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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 187
Against COVID-19 vaccination of healthy children

AUTHOR(S)
Steven R. Kraaijeveld; Rachel Gur-Arie; Euzebiusz Jamrozik

Published: March 2022   Journal: Bioethics
COVID-19 vaccination of children has begun in a number of countries with provisional regulatory approval and public support. This article provides an ethical analysis of COVID-19 vaccination of healthy children. Specifically, it presents three of the strongest arguments that might justify COVID-19 vaccination of children: (a) an argument from paternalism, (b) an argument from indirect protection and altruism, and (c) an argument from global eradication. This article offers a series of objections to each of these arguments to show that none of them is currently tenable.
Adolescent lives in Jordan: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Jordan is a small, highly resource-constrained country situated in the heart of the Middle East. Long a haven for refugees fleeing regional conflict, over one-third of Jordan’s 10 million residents are not Jordanian. Jordan is home to approximately 1.5 million Syrians, half of whom are registered as refugees with UNHCR. Jordan is also hosting 2.5 million registered Palestine refugees. In Jordan, GAGE has collected mixed-methods baseline data (between mid-2018 and early 2019) with approximately 4,000 Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Dom adolescents living in host communities, formal refugee camps and informal tented settlements; fielded three rounds of covid-19 phone surveys; and is running ongoing participatory research groups with older married girls, out-of-school boys and adolescent girls and boys with disabilities (15–19 years). GAGE is also evaluating a variety of UNICEF Jordan’s programming. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to fuller publications.

Adolescent lives in Lebanon: what are we learning from participatory evidence? Lessons from participatory research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Since 2019, Lebanon’s economy has been caught in an accelerating downward spiral, which the World Bank predicts will rank in the top three most severe global economic crises in the last 150 years. Food prices have now climbed more than 500%, over half of the country is living below the poverty line and the electrical grid is on the verge of collapse as fuel has become unavailable. For the 1.5 million Syrian refugees and nearly 200,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, the situation is even more dire. In Lebanon, GAGE is running participatory research groups with 83 vulnerable Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese adolescents. These young people are between the ages of 15 and 19 and live in host communities, formal refugee camps served by UNRWA (Palestinians), and informal tented settlements  (Syrians). The participatory research groups were established in 2019 and meet every four to six weeks  to discuss themes related to GAGE’s conceptual framework. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to fuller publications.

Adolescent lives in Cox’s Bazar: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

From August 2017, the largest wave of Rohingya refugees crossed the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, fleeing crimes that the UN Special Rapporteur has claimed ‘bear the hallmarks of genocide’. Over 880,000 displaced Rohingya now live in 32 makeshift and 2 registered refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district, one of Bangladesh’s poorest regions, where 1.36 million people – comprising both refugees and host community residents – remain in need of humanitarian assistance. This brief draws on mixed-methods data collected both before and after the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from younger (aged 10–14) and older (aged 15–19) cohorts at baseline, our research captures the voices of Rohingya and Bangladeshi adolescents and their views on everyday life, including the structural and socio-cultural constraints they face and whether they are being left behind.

Adolescent lives in Ethiopia: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Ethiopia has made remarkable progress over the last two decades. The poverty rate has halved (from 46% to 24%), the primary completion rate has more than doubled (from 18% to 50%) and the odds of marriage for girls under the age of 15 have fallen to less than 1 in 10. However, alongside the covid-19 pandemic, the last two years have seen increasing ethnic and religious tension and violence, as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has struggled to deliver on promised political transformations. In Ethiopia GAGE has collected baseline and midline data with approximately 8,000 rural and urban adolescents in Afar, Amhara and Oromia regions as well as Dire Dawa City Administration; fielded two rounds of covid-19 phone surveys; and is running ongoing participatory research groups with older girls and boys (15–19 years). Nested within the Ethiopian study, GAGE is also carrying out an impact evaluation of the adolescent empowerment programme ‘Act With Her’ (AWH). This brief highlights headline emerging findings from this unique dataset, as well as providing links to more comprehensive publications and an annex with key quantitative indicators.

Adolescent lives in Bangladesh: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in social and economic development in recent decades, which contributed to the country attaining middle-income status in 2015. While the country’s educational advancements are noteworthy – net enrolment rates in school have converged towards gender parity and literacy rates have improved – entrenched obstacles related to educational transitions for adolescents persist. In Bangladesh, GAGE has collected mixed-methods baseline data from a school-based sample in Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, as well as virtual data collected at various intervals during the covid-19 pandemic. Quantitative baseline data was collected from 2,220 adolescents attending grades 7 and 8 in 109 public (government) and semi-private (monthly pay order (MPO)) schools in February and March 2020; and qualitative baseline data was collected by phone from 100 adolescents, parents and teachers between August and September 2020. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to more comprehensive publications.

Two years of COVID-19 is threatening progress towards the sustainable development goals: emerging policy recommendations to support young people in developing countries

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Richard Freund

Institution: Young Lives
Published: March 2022

After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, our four study countries are each facing significant economic and social challenges, and rapidly changing circumstances. But COVID-19 is not the only global crisis; our evidence from Ethiopia reflects unprecedented times, as vulnerable families grapple with the compounding effects of civil conflict and climate change. This policy brief summarises key findings from the fifth call in the Young Lives phone survey, conducted between October and December 2021, and draws on previous COVID-19 calls, as well as longitudinal data collected since 2001 through regular in-person surveys. The brief builds on previous policy recommendations from our phone survey, highlights how the pandemic, alongside climate change and conflict, is continuing to have an adverse impact on the lives of young people in low- and middle-income countries, and presents emerging policy recommendations in response to this impact. Our analysis demonstrates that urgent action is required if we are to get progress towards the SDGs back on track.

Shortfalls in social spending in low- and middle-income countries: COVID-19 and shrinking finance for social spending
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

Financing quality social services will require increased public investment and greater mobilization of both domestic and international resources in the post-COVID era. Currently, low- and middle-income countries invest, on average, just one third of their total government expenditure in social spending on education, health and social protection. However, the fiscal space to enhance social spending remains constrained in many parts of the world. Given the scale of the challenge facing many countries, a renewed focus on financing social spending is needed to address widening inequalities. This policy brief is the second in a series that assesses key issues affecting social spending as part of UNICEF’s work on Public Finance for Children. The brief examines how recent trends are impacting on the financing available for, and directed to, social spending in low- and middle-income countries in different regions, using secondary analysis of public expenditure data collected by international organizations. It calculates median spending figures by region and income group, using World Bank regional aggregates for domestic spending.

Girls’ lived experiences of school closures : insights from interviews with girls and mothers in Punjab, Pakistan

AUTHOR(S)
Rabea Malik; Najaf Zahra; Ayesha Tahir (et al.)

Published: February 2022
This note explores findings on the changing household dynamics in response to the mandated Coronavirus (COVID-19) school closures in Punjab, Pakistan. The SMS girl impact evaluation and a complementing qualitative study assessed the lived experiences of girls during school closures. Mothers and daughters in select districts were interviewed via phone. The initial round of interviews tells a story of economic hardship, gendered division of household tasks, loss of learning, lack of engagement with educational TV programming, and fear that some students may not re-enrol when schools reopen.
COVID-19 school health and safety protocols: good practices and lessons learnt to respond to Omicron
Institution: UNESCO
Published: January 2022

Based  on  an  analysis  of  35  countries,  this  brief  report  aims  to  provide  a  current  overview of  national health  and  safety  protocols  to  keep  schools  open,  their  dimensions  and  how  they  are  designed, implemented  and  regulated  to  ensure  the  continuation  of  education.  It  also  aims  to  guide  education systems by outlining some lessons learnt and effective practices on how the reopening of schools might be achieved safely and successfully. Finally, the report seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the  impacts  of  the  protocols  on  learning  as  well  as  the  social  and  emotional  well-being,  health  and development of learners and teachers.In a changing environment where infection rates are increasing at an exponential rate, it also explores how the Omicron variant is affecting current operations and what education systems should do to keep schools open while ensuring that all students are safe and learning.

How much does universal digital learning cost?

AUTHOR(S)
Haogen Yao; Mathieu Brossard; Suguru Mizunoya (et al.)

Published: January 2022

COVID-19 school closures initially revealed more than 75% of children lacked access to critical digital learning opportunities. Three out of four were living in the poorest 40% of households. Digital learning is impossible without connectivity and electricity. However, in places like Chad, Malawi and Niger, the proportion of people with access to electricity is below 1 in 5. What efforts will ensure these children are not further left behind in future crises if schools are again closed? How much will universal access to digital learning cost? The answer is US$1.4 trillion. This paper estimates the cost of universalizing digital learning by 2030, in alignment with the conceptual framework of the Reimagine Education initiative. It provides a rationale for cost assumptions; classifies costs into enabling digital learning and delivering digital learning; and, finally, discusses financing achievability by comparing the estimated costs with current spending in education and other sectors.

Inequality kills: The unparalleled action needed to combat unprecedented inequality in the wake of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Nabil Ahmed; Anna Marriott; Nafkote Dabi (et al.)

Institution: Oxfam
Published: January 2022

The wealth of the  world’s 10 richest men has doubled since the pandemic began. The incomes of 99% of humanity are worse off because of COVID-19. Widening economic, gender, and racial inequalities—as well as the inequality that exists between countries—are tearing our world apart. This is not by chance, but choice: “economic violence” is perpetrated when structural policy choices are made for the richest and most powerful people. This causes direct harm to us all, and to the poorest people, women and girls, and racialized groups most. Inequality contributes to the death of at least one person every four seconds. But it is possible to radically redesign our economies to be centered on equality. It is possible to claw back extreme wealth through progressive taxation; invest in powerful, proven inequality-busting public measures; and boldly shift power in the economy and society. If we are courageous, and listen to the movements demanding change, we can create an economy in which nobody lives in poverty, nor with unimaginable billionaire wealth—in which inequality no longer kills.

Digital learning for every child: closing the gaps for an inclusive an prosperous future

AUTHOR(S)
Matt Brossard; Marta Carnelli; Stephane Chaudron (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: December 2021
Pre-COVID-19, half of the world’s children were already unable to read a simple text by the age of 10. School closures have deepened pre-existing learning disparities, within and among countries, due to inequities in access to technology. This brief summarises research findings and provides actionable recommendations for how to equitably scale up digital learning and provide children and young people with the skills to improve their prospects and safeguard their well-being. It pinpoints solutions for education systems’ use of digital and blended learning anchored in a sound pedagogical approach and urges the G20 and other countries to overcome the barriers that limit the potential benefits of digital learning.
Systems thinking in COVID-19 recovery is urgently needed to deliver sustainable development for women and girls

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica Omukuti; Matt Barlow; Maria Eugenia Giraudo (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: The Lancet Planetary Health
In low-income and middle-income countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, the COVID-19 pandemic has had substantial implications for women's wellbeing. Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the gendered aspect of pandemics; however, addressing the gendered implications of the COVID-19 pandemic comprehensively and effectively requires a planetary health perspective that embraces systems thinking to inequalities. This Viewpoint is based on collective reflections from research done by the authors on COVID-19 responses by international and regional organisations, and national governments, in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa between June, 2020, and June, 2021. A range of international and regional actors have made important policy recommendations to address the gendered implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on women's health and wellbeing since the start of the pandemic. However, national-level policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have been partial and inconsistent with regards to gender in both sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, largely failing to recognise the multiple drivers of gendered health inequalities.
Humanitarians and the women, peace and security agenda during Covid-19
Institution: Gender and development network
Published: December 2021

The Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda’s call to transform crisis response by coordinating across the “triple nexus” is more important than ever. Gender justice is intimately linked to peace and disarmament, economic prosperity and recovery, and human rights, so breaking down divisions between humanitarianism, peacebuilding and development will further efforts at a more peaceful and just world. At this pivotal moment for carving out an agenda beyond 2021, the UK can take leadership by making WPS a foundational part of gender-responsive humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery in the wake of Covid-19. This briefing, produced by the GADN Humanitarian Working Group in collaboration with the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), Fe-Male, the Gender Equality Network and the Gender Violence Recovery Centre, sets out key themes emerging from the panel discussion among women humanitarians in Myanmar, Kenya and Lebanon. We demonstrate first that the WPS agenda is key to putting gender at the heart of effective humanitarian response, and second that responses led by women, girls and gender-diverse people are critical for truly gender-responsive humanitarian action.

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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.