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Table 3 Delphi statements approaching consensus

From: Ethical considerations for children’s participation in data collection activities during humanitarian emergencies: A Delphi review

Number Statement Consensus AI DI
S115 It would be unhelpful and unethical to ask children questions without having a clear data management strategy. Children may easily begin to tell the story of what they have experienced and continue to experience, but this is qualitative data which is notoriously costly and time-intensive to manage. A clear structure to consultations with children is required. 88% 0.53 0.60
S100 In general but especially for younger children, data collectors should use the interviewee’s language/terms. If it is not clear to the interviewer what is being said, they should ask the child ‘What do you call _?’ using names rather than pronouns, use simple and short sentences, avoiding questions involving time, rephrasing questions, not repeating them, establishing a space where only stories are told that happened, no lying, etc. 88% 0.39 0.20
S124 The challenge is when an inter-agency approach is required and different approaches to programming may create a clash on assessment methodology. This is why one tool cannot meet the requirements of all agencies at all stages of the emergency. It is more helpful to have a toolkit where inter-agency child protection actors can be guided to develop a customized approach, based on standardized tools matched with the current reality. 88% 0.36 0.20
S112 In data collection activities with children in conflict settings of a political or ethnic nature, enumerators should either be selected based on their neutrality or based on their membership to the same ethnic, political, or military group as the children. 88% 0.25 0.00
S51 It may be that it is less risky to engage with children in a natural disaster setting rather than conflict-based emergency. However, it is rarely that clear. 88% 0.11 0.60
S7 If children’s participation is primarily motivated by an effort to secure their rights to express their opinions (rather than trying to produce new information), it would be better for children to be given continuous opportunities to participate in the design and implementation of the concerned agency’s program. 86% 0.58 0.17
S26 A decision tree could help make an informed decision as to whether or not to include children in any given data collection effort. It could also help put in place additional safeguards and mitigation measures when necessary. 86% 0.14 0.33
S57 Children should only participate in data collection when they understand consent. 85% 0.60 0.50
S97 An interview with children should not take too long, an hour maximum. 85% 0.37 0.67
S74 Local beliefs and attitudes towards children should be weighed when deciding whether to involve children in data collection activities. 85% 0.14 0.33
S32 One guiding factor in deciding whether to involve children directly in data collection activities should be whether there is the intention to programme/deliver services for a certain issue. If not, then one is likely gathering data for the sake of it, which is broadly considered unethical, especially in early onset emergencies, or where resources are limited. 83% 0.59 0.43
S67 Children as of 10 years old would possibly be able to provide useful information regarding the humanitarian needs and response. 83% 0.18 0.14
S91 Consultations should be carried out separately with girls and boys of different age groups. 83% 0.12 0.29
S66 Children ages 5-12 may engage in meaningful research and programming if specialized research tools are used by a skilled research team. 80% 0.27 0.50
S36 Children’s participation in community based committees and in accountability mechanisms can be harnessed to identify and reach the most marginalized children and their families and to ensure that the humanitarian response is benefitting those who are most in need. 80% 0.24 0.38
S77 Older teenagers may not consider themselves children (and perhaps others in the community don’t either) so calling them children can be unhelpful at least and insulting and close doors at worst. 80% 0.18 0.50
S117 It is important to come back after data collection activities with children and review earlier findings through subsequent interviews so that researchers can check their assumptions, make sure their actions were appropriate, assess how the situation has changed since the initial data collection, and determine what these changes mean for programming. 80% 0.19 0.13