UNESCO’s Digital Kids Asia-Pacific project (DKAP), supported by Korean Funds-in-Trust, aims to assist Member Countries in developing evidence-based policies that foster children’s digital citizenship and promote their safe, effective and responsible use of ICT.  The DKAP Research Tools, including the DKAP Framework for Education, survey tool, and regional report, have been developed for education stakeholders to support the development of:

  • evidence-based national policy;
  • interventions in the education system; and
  • public information and awareness campaigns.

One of its components, the “DKAP Champions Initiative” seeks collaborators to lead digital citizenship research efforts in their constituent countries by using DKAP research tools.

Following an initial meeting between UNESCO Bangkok and the SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES) on 22 April 2019, UNESCO has invited SEAMES to collaborate as a DKAP Champion.  As a result, four SEAMEO member countries have expressed their intentions to take part and participate in the proposed project.

Collaboration on this project will include ensuring the implementation of the DKAP research in up to 4 SEAMEO Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The coordinating activities including: 1) identification of the target countries; 2) coordination with the National Research Team of each country to translate research instruments and manual into the local languages, if necessary; and 3) monitoring of countries’ data collection and analysis.  UNESCO Bangkok will provide access to DKAP research tools and technical support during the project period. 


As part of the Project, the “Digital Kids Asia Pacific (DKAP)” project component seeks to conduct a comparative cross-national study to address the Asia-Pacific region’s knowledge gap regarding children’s ICT practices, attitudes, behaviors, and competency levels within an educational context. Specifically, the objectives of the proposed DKAP project are to:

  • Contribute to the evidence-based understanding of digital competency of children in Asia-Pacific by obtaining and comparatively analyzing quantitative and qualitative data on children’s actual attitudes, behaviors, competency levels, and use of ICT within an educational context.
  • Gain evidence-based insights into children’s safe, effective and responsible use of ICT in Asia-Pacific by developing and validating a framework that can measure children’s attitudes and behaviors, competency levels, and use of ICT within an educational context.

The expected output of this project is a comparative cross-national study that:

  • Sets out a reliable and comprehensive framework based on the four pilot Asia-Pacific countries’ data of children’s actual attitudes, behaviours, competency levels, and use of ICT within an educational context that will inform relevant education policies and practices.
  • Assesses whether the framework’s domains and competencies are valid, based on the data gathered from pilot countries, for measuring children’s attitudes and behaviors, competency levels, and use of ICT within each of the researched educational contexts.


The study will include analysis of the associations between the personal characteristics of students gathered from contextual questionnaires such as gender, ICT familiarity, family background, school and community living standards, and their competencies for digital citizenship. The project would also seek to promote the resulting evidence-based knowledge that would provide the skills of the big picture students in each participating country. The reach of what DKAP addresses will therefore be expanded from the knowledge and skills learned by students to the possible skills needed by future global citizens. It involves not only the recognition of the cognitive and non-cognitive skills of students, but also a detailed analysis of how financial, economic, cultural and educational variables are correlated with the digital skills of students.


Working closely with the SEAMEO Secretariat and UNESCO Bangkok, pilot countries research teams will strive to create an accessible research tool that will provide data/evidence to guide recommendations and policy implications for educators, policymakers and other stakeholders. The project will collect quantitative and qualitative information from four Southeast Asian pilot countries namely Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, and the Philippines. that the project will utilise different research methods as follows.

Theoretical research (Literature Review) and Instrument Development

  • Survey questionnaires for target participants were designed and developed by research team. After initial development, the team conducted an expert review and field tests for ensuring item reliability and validity using small sized samples in the respective countries.


Quantitative Study

  • Data will be utilized to validate the survey questionnaire and to further revise and develop the research toolkit by synthesis of the key findings from the pilot countries. The target age group is secondary aged children (15 years old) to ensure that the research findings can be used by Ministries of Education to inform digital citizenship curriculum development and contribute to the knowledge-based relevant to SDG 4 indicators. The expected audience includes policymakers, various stakeholders from the ICT and education sectors, civil society, UNESCO Bangkok and other regional and local organizations in the Southeast Asia.


Completing the adaptive instrument aligned with the country’s context

  • SEAMEO Secretariat supported by UNESCO Bangkok will coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia, SEAMEO CED in Lao PDR, Ministry of Education of Malaysia as well as Department of Education, Philippines as representative institutions to conduct a survey in their respective country. The following steps for adapting the survey instrument into Southeast Asia context will be carried out:
    1. Establishing National Research Team (NRT): The Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia, SEAMEO Regional Centre for Community Education Development (SEAMEO CED) in Lao PDR, Ministry of Education of Malaysia as well as Department of Education, Philippines will assign members for the project from research team in each organization.
    2. The research team will hold a series of meetings for the translation of the survey questionnaire and planning the project implementation as well put the instruments into online platform.
    3. An online meeting between piloting countries, SEAMEO Secretariat and UNESCO Bangkok will be organised to clarify the any issue arise, questions, and comments.
    4. Piloting the toolkit: The process of validating the questionnaire survey will be finalized with the last step of piloting and analyzing the pilot result in 2 schools in each country by online or paper based.
    5. Main survey process will be implemented in May-June 2020 by the project’s administrators and school coordinators.

Research Questions

The overall research question in this project is: “Is DKAP measuring the “digital citizenship competency” of Asia Pacific students?”

To answer this main question, more specific sub-research questions are established.

  1. What are the criteria for measuring digital citizenship competency?
  2. Are the DKAP toolkits used in this project valid and reliable?
  3. Are there any differences in 15-year-old students’ digital citizenship competency associated with the individual and contextual characteristics such as gender, family background, schools, and local communities within a country?
  4. Are there any differences in 15-year-old students’ digital citizenship competency across countries?

Sample Design and Procedure

Stratified random sampling will be used in this project to cover all students in both rural and urban schools in each country.

  1. Each country will be sampling at least 1000 students by using online or paper-based method and made some adaptations.
  2. NRT and school coordinator will be agreeing on the availability of sampled data.
  3. School coordinators and survey administrators will prepare the online or paper-based survey administration.
  4. Survey administrator conducted the online or paper-based survey with the support of School coordinators.
  5. NRT will conduct cleaning and coding the data. Final report will be consolidated by SEAMEO Secretariat.