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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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A neglected tragedy: The global burden of stillbirths 2020

There is a high risk that the COVID-19 pandemic may reverse decades-long progress on reducing child mortality and affect the number of stillbirths. This new release of the first-ever joint stillbirth estimates by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) presents the number of babies that are stillborn every year due to pregnancy and birth-related complications, the absence of health workers and basic services. The issue has become an essential part of global child survival initiatives. UNICEF calls on international organizations, governments and partners for increased and strong political will, sound policies and targeted investment along the continuum of care for every mother and child.

Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 90 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Child Protection | Tags: child mortality
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Protect the progress: rise, refocus, recover
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Since the Every Woman Every Child movement was launched 10 years ago, there has been remarkable progress in improving the health of the world’s women, children, and adolescents, including reducing maternal and child mortality and improving child nutrition and education. However, conflict, climate instability, and the COVID-19 pandemic are putting all children and adolescents at risk . In particular, the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating inequities, with reported disruptions in essential health interventions disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable women and children.
This report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how fundamental good data are across sectors; that greater investments are needed to build resilient systems to provide high-quality and integrated services consistently; and COVID-19 recovery efforts  require multilateral action and continued investment in development.
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Accelerating results for children with technology and digital innovation
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
With the global emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, digital development has become an integral component of UNICEF’s work as national programmes shifted to distance and remote delivery means.

This report highlights examples of country-level COVID-19 response initiatives employing digital innovation and T4D approaches, in support of both its humanitarian action and development programmes. It further demonstrates how the scale-up of T4D’s strategic integration in programming and digital innovations has allowed UNICEF to support programme partners in closing gaps to meet children’s needs, often under complex environments, and in line with existing national systems. These initiatives span UNICEF programmes worldwide and help address children’s health, nutrition, education, protection, access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and inclusion. 
Cover
Levels & Trends in Child Mortality. United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) Report 2020
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation, The World Bank
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication

There have been dramatic reductions in child and youth mortality over the last 29 years. Globally, under-five mortality has dropped by 59% since 1990—from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births then to 38 deaths in 2019. Initial evidence suggests that the impact of COVID-19 on direct mortality for children and youth may be small, but indirect effects can be severe. Many life-saving services have already been disrupted by COVID-19. 

Covid-19 and the world of work: Rapid assessment of the employment impacts and policy responses Serbia
Institution: International Labour Organisation
Published: September 2020
This rapid country assessments launched by the Employment, LabourMarkets and Youth Branch (EMPLAB) of the ILO in around 14 countries aims to provide constituents and other policy-makers with a practical tool for the real-time diagnosis of the employment impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to inform policy responses. Serbia adopted the most generous and comprehensive economic package among the Western Balkan economies, providing near universal support to both firms and citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
From insights to action: Gender equality in the wake of COVID-19 
Institution: UN Women
Published: September 2020
This publication summarizes the data, research and policy work produced by UN Women on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, including how it is affecting extreme poverty, employment, health, unpaid care and violence against women and girls. The publication also brings into focus the paucity of gender data and calls for greater investment and prioritization of data on the gendered effects of the crisis.
Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: special focus on COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affect up to 1.6 billion children and present an unprecedented risk to their education and well-being. WHO and UNICEF guidelines on infection prevention in schools identify a range of measures that need to be in place for schools to reopen and operate safely, including regular hand-washing with soap and water, daily disinfection and basic drinking water and sanitation services.
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.
Is the COVID-19 regulation that prohibits parental visits to their children who are patients in hospital invalid in terms of the Constitution? What should hospitals do?

AUTHOR(S)
D. J. McQuoid-Mason

Published: September 2020   Journal: South African Medical Journal
This article deals with whether the COVID-19 regulation that prohibits parental visits to their children who are patients in hospital is
invalid in terms of the Constitution of South Africa. The article contends that the ban on visits by parents to their children in hospital is
a violation of the children’s rights provisions of the Constitution regarding the ‘best interests of the child’, and the ‘best interests standard’
in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. The article also points out that the regulations are not saved by the limitations clause of the Constitution,
because the restriction is not ‘reasonable and justifiable’ and a ‘less restrictive means’ can be used to achieve the same purpose of preventing
the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The article concludes that the relevant regulation is legally invalid, and hospitals would be fully justified
in allowing parental visits to child patients provided proper precautions are taken to contain the virus.
The long-term distributional and welfare effects of Covid-19 school closures

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln; Dirk Krueger; Alexander Ludwig (et al.)

Published: September 2020
Using a structural life-cycle model, this study quantifies the long-term impact of school closures during the Corona crisis on children affected at different ages and coming from households with different parental characteristics. In the model, public investment through schooling is combined with parental time and resource investments in the production of child human capital at different stages in the children's development process.
Child maltreatment reporting statistics during the Covid-19 pandemic: a cursory analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Alison L. Hansen

Published: September 2020
This goal of this research is to provide a cursory analysis of publicly available child maltreatment data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of total allegations of child maltreatment between the months of March and June—a span of time representative of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far—were analyzed in five different states in the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. An analysis of total numbers of allegations and the percentage change in allegations per year revealed a disproportionate decline in child maltreatment reports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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.