(4 July 2018) Each year, UNICEF and its partners in Africa generate a wealth of evidence about the situation of children. The 2018 edition of the Knowledge for Children in Africa Publications Catalogue represents the collective knowledge produced by UNICEF Country and Regional Offices across Africa. Knowledge and evidence are essential to informing the development, monitoring and implementation of policies and programmes for the realization of children’s rights.
In Africa, the current demographic revolution will see the under-18 population increase by two thirds, reaching almost 1 billion by 2050. These figures underscore an urgent need for strong evidence to inform the implementation of social policies and budgets for children.
The catalogue features over 130 of the most important reports and studies that UNICEF and its partners have generated on the situation of children and young people across the continent. Covering a wide range of topics - including Child Poverty; Education and Early Childhood Development; and Social Protection among others - the publication captures some of the most advanced work to support efforts by children and young people to realize their rights to survival, development and protection.
UNICEF Innocenti has contributed extensively to evidence generation efforts in Africa. Within the Child Poverty topic alone, seven reports adopt Innocenti’s MODA tool for measuring multi-dimensional child poverty.
Commenting on this, Social and Economic Policy expert Lucia Ferrone, notes an increase in efforts to track and measure child poverty in more African countries over recent years. “It’s great to see so many countries not only join the measurement, but also embrace UNICEF’s measure of child multidimensional poverty,” says Ferrone. “MODA was the first measure used to assess child poverty in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, revealing that as many as 67% of children were multidimensionally poor. Now, countries are using MODA to adapt their national needs and priorities.”
Many studies in the catalogue explore the area of Education and Early Childhood Development. Despite considerable progress towards the goal of universal primary education, "high school drop-out rates, low levels of school readiness, poor learning outcomes, and high levels of teacher absenteeism continue to plague many African states," notes education expert Despina Karamperidou. "Generating high quality evidence on the magnitude and underlying causes of negative education outcomes is the first crucial step in addressing them through the development of education policies and programs that are both context specific and culturally sensitive."
UNICEF contributes to this effort by investing in three types of research projects, outlined in detail in the catalogue: (1) tools development for the measurement of education outcomes, (2) quantitative mapping and assessment exercises, and (3) qualitative causal analyses. Karamperidou comments that "collectively, these studies provide an evidence base on the major education challenges besetting the continent and a real opportunity for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of African education systems."
The catalogue aims to more effectively disseminate knowledge and evidence being generated in Africa for key African constituencies working on children’s rights and development, and promote improved south-south learning exchange among countries. This third edition of the catalogue adds to the fast-growing evidence base on the situation of children in Africa.
Download the full catalogue.