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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region: Lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crisis response
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: August 2022

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.

Youth as researchers: exploring the impact of COVID-19 on youth; global policy brief
Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2022

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.

National distance learning programmes in response to the COVID-19 education disruption: case study of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2022

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.

Learning recovery and addressing the learning crisis in the Asia Pacific: policy brief
Institution: UNESCO, *UNICEF
Published: June 2022

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).

Training and supporting teachers in adapting to the post-pandemic era in the Asia Pacific: policy brief
Institution: UNESCO, *UNICEF
Published: June 2022

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.

 

Distance education & the digital divide: ensuring learning continuity for girls during school closures
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: June 2022

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.


COVID-19 and mandatory vaccination: Ethical considerations
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: May 2022
The aim of the document is to identify and articulate salient ethical considerations regarding mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19. This document updates a policy brief initially published in April 2021 in response to changes in the COVID-19 vaccine landscape, including authorization of vaccines for children and additional information about, and experiences with, vaccination mandates for COVID-19.
Closing the gap 2: delivering safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth Naylor

Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

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.

Understanding the behavioural and social drivers of vaccine uptake WHO position paper – May 2022
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: May 2022

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.


COVID-19’s impact on learning losses and learning inequality in Colombia

AUTHOR(S)
Emiliana Vegas

Institution: The Brookings Institute
Published: April 2022

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.

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.

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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.