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Kath Ford; Richard Freund
Mental health issues are triggered and prolonged by multiple factors, particularly rising levels of global poverty and inequality. Young Lives research shows that COVID-19, climate and conflict crises are exacerbating this further, triggering high levels of anxiety and depression and declining well-being amongst young people at a critical period in their lives when resilience to mental health issues is typically built. This policy brief brings together new evidence from our longitudinal study on how global crises are impacting the mental health of disadvantaged youth in poor countries and calls for urgent action to support developing countries to respond effectively.
Nadia Belhaj Hassine; Sharon Faye Piza; Francine Claire Fernandez
Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Erin Oakley; Shoroq Abu Hamad (et al.)
Age- and gender-based violence during adolescence is widespread, and the risks permeate all spheres of adolescents’ lives – family and marriage, schools, peer networks and communities. Yet this violence affects girls and boys very differently within and across low- and middle-income country (LMIC) contexts. Midway through the Sustainable Development Agenda, data from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) research programme reinforces the urgency of investing in a tailored, adequately resourced package of interventions, coordinated across sectors and development actors. This would allow the global community to make meaningful progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 and 16 to eliminate all forms of violence affecting young people. This brief draws on data collected in three of GAGE’s core countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Jordan using mixed-methods research. GAGE findings highlight that adolescent girls – and boys – regularly face myriad forms of age- and gender-based violence. Risks are context-dependent, which in some cases means adolescent girls and boys do not perceive what they are experiencing as violence, and in other cases leads them to embrace such behaviour because it demonstrates to their peers and communities that they are conforming to social norms. Critical to tackling this violence is a recognition that age-based violence is often deeply gendered; that gender norms leave girls and boys at heightened risk of different types of violence; and that sometimes the best way to support girls to lead lives free of violence is to ensure that the boys in their environments are also free of violence.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP has continually assessed household vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity through monitoring surveys, while simultaneously providing technical assistance and operations support for programmes in response to the pandemic in the Asia Pacific region. Based on these experiences and in cooperation with partners, WFP undertook a series of studies to better understand the realities of the food security and nutrition landscape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. In addition to WFP’s food security monitoring reports and data made available from WFP’s Fill the Nutrient Gap analyses, this brief utilizes secondary data relevant to the crisis, as well as four documents recently published by WFP and its partners. While the focus of this brief is on the COVID-19 crisis, its lessons can be applied now and into the future. Other types of covariate shocks will create compounding problems for countries.
The Youth As Researchers (YAR) initiative is a youth development programme, designed to ensure, support, and advance youth voices. It provides training and mentoring that supports youth to design and conduct social research, with a view to informing policy-making, programme design and future research.The initiative was first conceived by the UNESCO Chair on Children, Youth and Civic Engagement (Ireland), as a model to engage vulnerable youth in re-designing their own futures. It is premised on the belief that no-one knows better than young people themselves about their problems, and the solutions that will work for them. It gained traction in the current context, as UNESCO’s Member States are looking for innovative ways to address the challenges youth are facing. In engaging with the Social and Human Science Sector, and with UNESCO’s field offices, the youth-led research agenda delivered a strong message on the need to underpin policy decisions with scientific facts, and to ensure civil society is consulted on the issues at hand.
The aim of this case study is to present information on national or government-led distance learning programmes in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that this will enable reflection on the policy responses and their effectiveness in minimizing disruption and learning loss, enabling the continuity and quality of learning, and maintaining inclusion and equity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education for approximately 1.2 billion students across the Asia-Pacific, and forced the closure of many schools, precipitating a transition towards remote learning, albeit with uneven access and quality, and threatening to deepen the ‘learning crisis’ that already existed, particularly for the most vulnerable learners. As education systems in the Asia-Pacific seek to recover the learning loss due to the pandemic and address the broader learning crisis, it is incumbent on governments to identify appropriate recovery strategies in the short term. Also, governments need to support education system transformation so that all learners reach minimum proficiency in numeracy and literacy and acquire competencies needed to fulfil their potential –personal, social and economic. Learning recovery strategies will differ across the region, not the least because schools were fully or partially closed1for different lengths of time -for example, India (82 weeks), Indonesia (77 weeks), and Bangladesh (73 weeks). Other countries saw shorter closures, such as: Vanuatu (4 weeks), Papua New Guinea (6 weeks), and the Solomon Islands (7 weeks).
Teachers are the most important actors in improving students’ learning outcomes and thus in addressing a learning crisis in the region. Moreover, the unprecedented and extensive school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected about 43 million teachers in school education in the Asia-Pacific region. These teachers were at risk of losing their jobs due to budget cuts, they had to address the new challenge of teaching remotely, as well as worrying about their own and their families’ health and well-being. Throughout the school closures, teachers continued to teach under extremely fluid and trying conditions: increased workloads, having to use new and unfamiliar technologies without adequate training, experiencing a lack of materials for online instruction, high levels of physical and mental stress, and insufficient support.
This brief was developed to support the dissemination of key messages in Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises. It provides an overview of evidence and gaps in girls’ and women’s access to distance education and recommends actions for gender-responsive planning and design of distance education policies and interventions.
This paper summarizes the findings of the monitoring report: Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises, which was commissioned by the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in collaboration with the INEE Reference Group on Girls’ Education in Emergencies. It recommends actions for governments, donors, civil society, collectors and collators of data, and teachers and other education personnel to address the gaps identified in the delivery, planning, funding, and monitoring of girls’ and women’s education in crisis contexts.
This is the first position paper to be published by WHO on the behavioural and social drivers (BeSD) of vaccine uptake. It summarizes the development of new tools and indicators to assess the BeSD of vaccine uptake for childhood and COVID-19 vaccination, enabling decision-makers on immunization policy, programme managers, and partners to address under-vaccination through an enhanced understanding of the underlying causes. This paper also reports the main findings of a scoping review that examined existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses on interventions to improve vaccine uptake – a first step towards understanding which interventions work to increase vaccine uptake, for whom, and in what settings. Finally, this paper makes recommendations for using the new tools and the resulting data to prioritize local interventions, and concludes with future research directions.
This brief focuses on Colombia, which, like most countries globally, closed its schools in March of 2020. As throughout most of Latin America, Colombian schools remained closed for over a year, and they only began to gradually reopen in July 2021. This study explores the pandemic’s impact on student learning by analyzing trends in student achievement in national assessments from 2015 to 2019 and comparing them with student achievement in the same national assessments carried out in 2020 and 2021. It also explores the extent to which students in subnational territories (ETCs)—the equivalent to U.S. states, except some are certified by the national government to have more autonomy in spending than others—with different lengths of school closure periods experienced varying levels of learning losses.
Steven R. Kraaijeveld; Rachel Gur-Arie; Euzebiusz Jamrozik
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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