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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNDER DEVELOPMENT UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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It’s time for care, prioritizing quality care for children - Challenges, opportunities and an agenda for action

AUTHOR(S)
Gillian Huebner

Institution: *UNICEF, Better Care Network
Published: December 2020
COVID-19 is having unprecedented impacts on children and families across the globe; however, these are not being evenly experienced. While the challenges of caregiving are increasing for most families, the effects are particularly acute for those already engaged in low-wage or in-kind work, often in the informal economy where there are few safeguards. Caregivers are stretched, and there is a lack of quality, affordable childcare, with limited access to social protection, services and support to address the multiple and cumulative risks associated with the pandemic, as well as persistent poverty, systemic inequality and discrimination.
COVID-19 pandemic: increased risk for psychopathology in children and adolescents?

AUTHOR(S)
Esther Via; Xavier Estrada-Prat; Jordina Tor (et al.)

Published: November 2020
Abstract COVID-19 pandemic is prompting multiple stressors-including control strategies such as lockdown- which may impact child and adolescent mental health. 1,529 caregivers answered an online questionnaire about emotional and behavioral symptoms of youths (4-18 years old) using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC).
Strengthening the online education ecosystem in India

AUTHOR(S)
Rammohan Khanapurkar; Shalini Bhorkar; Ketan Dandare (et al.)

Published: November 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the formal schooling system in India, as it has across the globe, causing massive pressure on the online education sector. This paper analyses the state of digitalised education in India. It outlines current government guidelines on digital-mode schooling, and uses the case of Maharashtra’s five-year-old efforts at digitalising government schools to gauge preparedness for implementing the guidelines. It highlights systemic weaknesses in educators’ pedagogical capacities, critiques the assumption that the availability of digital tools is sufficient to cater to the requirements of online education, and calls for the creation of policies on online education that are context-specific.
Cite this research | No. of pages: 45 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: school attendance, COVID-19 response, e-learning, remote learning | Countries: India | Publisher: Observer Research Foundation
COVID-19: upending investments in human capital across Eastern and Southern Africa
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2020
This working paper discusses the impacts of COVID-19 on public investments in human capital in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. It is based on a review of economic outlook reports and forecasts as well as new projections of social sector spending trends in 2020 and 2021. The main objective is to stimulate discussion among UNICEF country offices, governments, and development partners on appropriate fiscal policy and budgetary responses to safeguard the situation of children.
Aggregate and intergenerational implications of school closures: a quantitative assessment

AUTHOR(S)
Youngsoo Jang; Minchul Yum

Published: October 2020
A majority of governments around the world unprecedentedly closed schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper quantitatively investigates the macroeconomic and distributional consequences of school closures through intergenerational channels in the medium and long-term. The model economy is a dynastic overlapping generations general equilibrium model in which schools, in the form of public education investments, complement parental investments in producing children ís human capital.
Moving beyond the numbers: what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the safety of women and girls
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020

On 5 April 2020, UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” since Governments around the world had begun imposing lockdowns, quarantines and movement restrictions in order to control the spread of COVID-19. In his remarks, the Secretary General noted that in some countries calls to gender-based violence (GBV) support services had doubled.1 Similarly, a plethora of reports from around the world have signaled an increase in reported cases of gender-based violence – particularly intimate partner violence – since the beginning of the pandemic. However, in some places, the service provision statistics actually show the opposite – that fewer GBV survivors are reaching out for support from service providers as compared to the levels seen prior to COVID-19.

The right to health: a case study of unaccompanied children and the challenges of minimum access to healthcare in Greece

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Bitter

Published: September 2020
COVID-19 as well as age assessment procedures can expose unaccompanied minors to a higher risk of an insufficient protection and access to healthcare. This paper examines he situation of unaccompanied children in detention in Greece in order to elaborate current circumstances and challenges regarding access to medical healthcare for those detained on the Greek islands as well as homeless children on the mainland. The work of Non-Governmental-Organizations (NGOs) as a parallel healthcare system to the national and local healthcare system is also examined as well as the practical challenges and barriers within the country. 
Changes in maternal substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kayla M. Joyce; Emily Cameron; Julia Sulymka (et al.)

Published: September 2020
Mothers may be at risk for increasing substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic which could lead to negative health consequences for the mother herself as well as her developing child. This study aims to examine group differences between mothers reporting decreased, increased, or no change to their substance use and identify risk and protective factors that influence retrospectively-reported changes in substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample of mothers with young children.
Parents’ distress and poor parenting during COVID-19: the buffering effects of partner support and cooperative coparenting

AUTHOR(S)
Caitlin S. McRae McRae; Annette M. E. Henderson; Rachel S. T. Low (et al.)

Published: September 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is placing considerable demands on parents that amplify the risk of poor parenting. Leveraging an ongoing longitudinal study, the current study tests whether parents’ distress during a mandated lockdown predicts residual changes in poorer parenting and identifies within-family support processes that buffer these harmful effects.
Countries embracing maternal employment have opened schools sooner after COVID-19 lockdowns

AUTHOR(S)
Ansgar Hudde; Natalie Nitsche

Published: September 2020
This study shows that societal gender ideology likely has affected school closure and opening policies. Societies that are more supportive of maternal employment have reopened schools significantly sooner than societies less supportive of maternal employment, relative to other opening measures and net of infection rates. The study contributes novel evidence on the role of attitudes on policy-decision making, and unveils the presence of a potential gender ideology bias in policy-makers’ ad-hoc decision-making under time pressure. The epidemic threat remains high and questions about the operation of schools continue to be a pressing matter. Considering this bias in decision-making can improve further policy-measures during the remainder of the pandemic, and beyond.
Missing school-based data due to COVID-19: some guidelines

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica A. R. Logan

Published: September 2020
In the wake of a global pandemic, most school buildings closed for the 2019-2020 school year two or three months early, while universities and research firms forced all in-person data collection to stop. Education scientists testing the efficacy or effectiveness of particular interventions were forced to abruptly stop data collection prior to collecting the critical data on children’s end-of school year progress. Methodological researchers have spent years developing ways to accommodate missing data into research strategies, both retrospectively and prospectively. In this research note, I discuss the potential educational research scenarios, and how missing data theory and methods can be applied to data collected during COVID-19 school year, allowing researchers to maximize the time, effort, and resources invested in their previously collected data.
Families under confinement: COVID-19, domestic violence, and alcohol consumption

AUTHOR(S)
Adan Silverio-Murillo; Jose Roberto Balmori de la Miyar; Lauren Hoehn-Velasco

Published: September 2020
Does the COVID-19 stay-at-home order increase domestic violence? The significant decline in household income combined with prolonged confinement with the potential assailant may increase household conflict. Despite these plausible reasons for an increase in household violence, economic theory predicts that domestic violence depends on the income distribution within the household. To test these effects empirically, we estimate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on domestic violence using two different data sources in Mexico City. First, we utilize call-center data from a domestic violence hotline (Línea Mujeres), and, then, we corroborate the call-center findings using official police reports.
Elementary and secondary school children: vulnerabilities of online learning

AUTHOR(S)
Jolan Marchese

Published: August 2020
Since December 2019, countries around the world have borne the impact of a virus that has altered the way that we do business, interact socially and receive our education. While COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact upon the world, it has also lead to a more in-depth look at the education of our children from elementary school up to secondary school. Cybersecurity is an issue for everyone, but children are a particularly vulnerable population because many are raised playing with a cellphone or a tablet and have not truly learned about the dangers involved with accessing the Internet. Instead, it’s a play area for children as they watch YouTube videos or even access social media with or without their parent’s consent.
Migrant and displaced children in the age of COVID-19: how the pandemic is impacting them and what we can do to help

AUTHOR(S)
Danzhen You; Naomi Lindt; Rose Allen

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: May 2020   Journal: Migration Policy Practice

Millions of children live outside of their country of birth as migrants or refugees or are displaced within their own borders. Facing acute deprivations in their access to school, health care, clean water and protective services, these children are among the most vulnerable populations on the globe. How will COVID-19 impact their precarious existence?  This article examines the enormous socioeconomic challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses for children on the move across four dimensions: poverty, survival and health, learning and protection and safety. It also considers how new laws and regulations enacted in response to the pandemic are impacting these children. It then suggests the necessary policies and actions to protect this intensely vulnerable population. 

COVID-19 and Children, in the North and in the South
This paper aims to document the likely direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in developed and developing countries. It also aims to identify potential urgent measures to alleviate such impacts on children. Thirty-three years after the UNICEF report, 'Adjustment with a Human Face', the authors warn of the effects of the pandemic which are likely to be considerable and comparable to the recession and debt crisis of the 1980s. The heavy costs for children can only be avoided with systematic and concerted efforts on the part of governments and the international community, to provide extensive financial and social support for the poor, and to invest in the health and education systems, in order to offset the negative impact of the virus-induced recession.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.