Using cartoon videos to survey children and adolescents in the global south: A Tanzanian example

Deborah Levison, Anna Bolgrien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 12, states that children have the right to be heard on matters that concern them. Animating Children's Views (ACV) provides an innovative product for implementing Article 12 while reducing the risk that nearby adults will disagree with and punish children, a vulnerable population. We argue that national statistical offices (NSOs) should add ACV child modules to large, representative surveys, thereby becoming leaders in inclusive survey designs. This methodology uses cartoon videos with recorded voiceovers heard through headphones, followed by questions referencing the video stories (vignettes) rather than the young respondent's own life. Proxy reporting is not used, and literacy is not presumed. Analysis of follow-up interviews and focus groups helped interpret and validate quantitative results of ACV modules piloted in Tanzania. In addition to implementing Article 12, ACV can help NSOs improve interpretation of new and existing statistical sources by including the perspectives and behavior of young people in the Global South.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S147-S159
JournalStatistical Journal of the IAOS
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge support from (1) the Human Rights Initiative Fund of the University of Minnesota; (2) the University of Minnesota’s Grants-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship; (3) the Humphrey School of Public Affairs for 2018-19 support for Anna Bolgrien; (4) the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) at the University of Minnesota for funding the research circle, “Children and Youth as Subjects, Objects, Agents: Lives and Livelihoods in the Global South” (YaSOA); and (5) the Minnesota Population Center, funded through a grant (P2C HD041023) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development NICHD. In addition, we are grateful to many people for encouragement and feedback, in particular Michael Bourdillon, Andy Dawes, Bjorn Gowdy-Jaehnig, Gillian Mann, Joseph Ritter, Antje Ruhmann, Jessica Taft, and Frances Vavrus; also participants at a YaSOA workshop, particularly MJ Maynes; also participants at Humphrey School workshops, especially Ragui Assaad, Glenace Edwall, Greta Friedemann-Sanchez, Jason Kerwin, Jeylan Mortimer, and Maura Shramko.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


  • Survey methods
  • UNCRC Article 12
  • adolescent survey
  • child survey
  • human rights
  • vignette
  • youth survey


Dive into the research topics of 'Using cartoon videos to survey children and adolescents in the global south: A Tanzanian example'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this