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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The COVID-19 consequences on child labour in agrifood systems

This paper provides insights and evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and related policy responses to curb its spread influence the risk of child labour in agriculture through different pathways.It draws on case studies from seven countries covering different production systems: Côte d’Ivoire (cocoa), Ethiopia (cattle keeping and farming), (Lebanon (horticulture and greenhouse farms), the Philippines (municipal fisheries), and Viet Nam (crop farming, livestock, and citrus fruit chains). Based on these evidence, the document provides concluding reflections and recommendations on priority areas regarding knowledge generation and data collection, policy responses (social protection, education), and household- and community-level responses.

Adaptive social protection in Southern Africa
Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2022
The countries of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) - Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa are exposed to climatic shocks, especially drought, that pose a continual threat to lives and livelihoods across the subregion. The pandemic has compounded these existing vulnerabilities. Climatic shocks such as these tend to affect the poorest most, exacerbating inequalities and increasing poverty. Food insecurity, which is chronic in the subregion and both a root cause of vulnerability to drought and an outcome of it also increased as a result of impacts from the pandemic. Social safety net programs can help poor and vulnerable households manage the risks they face from shocks, helping to mitigate the impacts on poverty and food insecurity, but their effectiveness can be constrained in several ways. The mobilization of social protection in response to COVID-19 and the challenges that have emerged to that mobilization have strengthened the case for investments in preparedness ahead of future shocks. Adaptive social protection refers to an agenda for preparing social protection systems to improve their response to shocks and to build the resilience of poor and vulnerable households. This report takes stock of ASP in four of the five SACU countries and provides targeted recommendations for each country’s development.
Cambodia poverty assessment: toward a more inclusive and resilient Cambodia

AUTHOR(S)
Wendy Karamba; Kimsun Tong; Isabelle Salcher

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2022
This poverty assessment evaluates Cambodia’s poverty reduction progress between 2009 and 2019 and contributing factors. Based on the authors understanding of contributing factors, the assessment asks what the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been, and what will be needed to support inclusive recovery. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) recently updated the national poverty lines for Cambodia. Prompted by Cambodia’s transition to lower middle-income status in 2015, the RGC revisited the poverty measurement methodology in 2017; the review confirmed that the way Cambodians live and spend today has changed considerably as the country became richer, and that the national poverty lines needed revising to better reflect economic realities. This assessment uses the new poverty lines to evaluate Cambodia between 2009 and 2019, coupled with other data sources. This poverty assessment covers 5 chapters. Chapter 1 examines the progress Cambodia made in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity between 2009 and 2019. Chapter 2 examines the evolution of nonmonetary poverty between 2009 and 2019. Chapter 3 examines the profile of poverty and inequality in 2019/20. Chapter 4 examines the 2019 fiscal system and its effects on poverty and inequality in 2019/20. Chapter 5 examines COVID-19 socio-economic effects on Cambodian Households in 2020.
The World Bank’s early support to addressing Coronavirus (COVID-19) health and social response: an early-stage evaluation
Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2022
This evaluation assesses the quality of the World Bank’s early response to the COVID-19 crisis and the initial steps toward recovery, focusing on the health and social response. It concentrates on the relief stage and support to restructure systems in the first 15 months of the pandemic (February 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021) in 106 countries. A parallel Independent Evaluation Group evaluation looks at the World Bank Group support to address the economic implications of the pandemic. To assess the quality of the response, the evaluation is guided by a theory of action that synthesizes evidence in three dimensions: relevance of support to the needs of countries; implementation, learning, and adjustment; and operational policy and partnerships to support smooth responses in countries. As the response is ongoing, the evaluation does not assess effectiveness but considers early results and pathways that are expected to lead to outcomes.
Using learning assessment data for educational planning in Sub-Saharan Africa: a comparative analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Ieva Raudonytė; Tuamanaia Foimapafisi

Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, UNESCO
Published: October 2022

How do countries in sub-Saharan Africa use data from large-scale learning assessments in different phases of the educational planning cycle? What facilitates and impedes the use of the data? How can governments and development partners sustain and improve the use of learning data? The new IIEP-UNESCO publication compares data from The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Senegal, and Zambia to answer these questions. It explores the complex dynamics of the use of learning data, examining among other factors, the interactions among the different actors.

Impact of COVID-19 on accelerated and alternative education programs

AUTHOR(S)
Anusha Ramakrishnan

Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, *UNICEF
Published: October 2022
This report provides an analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on accelerated and short-term alternative education programs. The study focuses on alternative and accelerated education programs targeting out-of-school children which were in place pre-COVID and analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on such programs.This study contributes to the AEWG’s learning agenda as well as helping to strengthen learning recovery by focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on accelerated and alternative education programs. The research is intended for policymakers and education partners working in the area of accelerated and alternative education. It provides accessible summaries of best practice and aims to support efforts to strengthen program resilience in the wake of COVID-19.
Real choices real lives: Latin America
Institution: Plan International
Published: October 2022

This report, focusing on evidence from Brazil, Dominican Republic, and El Salvador, forms part of Plan International’s ongoing research, Real Choices, Real Lives – a qualitative, longitudinal study following the lives of girls living in nine countries* around the world from their birth (in 2006), until they turn 18 (in 2024). Through annual data collection, Real Choices, Real Lives captures unique insights into what it means to grow up as a girl across different contexts, including how families and communities shape expectations of what girls can do, and be, right from the moment they are born.

Fighting for a future: girls' opportunities
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2022

What kind of opportunities can a child expect in life? Every child deserves to be loved, cared for, free from the threat of violence, and have the ability to fulfil their potential through exercising their agency, pursuing their education, and making choices in how to earn and spend money. However, due to entrenched gender norms and societal practices, girls are particularly at risk of living in an environment where many of their God-given rights are taken away from them. Child marriage is perhaps the most blatant sign of this. Every year, approximately 12 million girls are married before they reach the age of 18, robbing them of the opportunity to reach their full potential. Child marriage can result in early pregnancy (with associated serious health risks) and social isolation, interrupt schooling, limit opportunities for career and vocational advancement, and place girls at increased risk of domestic violence.

Price shocks: rising food prices threaten the lives of thousands of children
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2022

Conflict, climate change, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and fallout from the Ukraine crisis are interacting to create new and worsen existing hunger hotspots around the world. These overlapping crises are reversing the gains many families have made to escape poverty. While global food prices are now stabilising after reaching record highs, in many countries around the world, they continue to climb. High food prices are exacerbating existing humanitarian crises and putting the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable children at risk as policymakers are slow to take necessary large-scale action.

The Pandemic fund: a blueprint for success
Institution: Save the Children
Published: October 2022

Over the past three years, children have suffered immensely from the health and socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which threatened their rights to survive, thrive, learn and be protected. Many health systems were unable to respond adequately to the increased demand for health care due to the pandemic, nor could they maintain routine health services. With limited health financing, it is critical that we maximise the impact of the investments in the Pandemic Fund. The new fund must focus on the areas which both; strengthen primary health care to boost resilience for health shocks and build core preparedness capacities. By doing so we will make gains in child survival and improve health outcomes for all women, children and adolescents. It is therefore essential that interventions must be equitable, inclusive, integrated and that all stakeholders play an equal part in their design.

The Pandemic accord: a pivotal opportunity to build resilient health systems and realise children’s right to health
Institution: Save the Children, *UNICEF
Published: October 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fragilities in the global health architecture that contributed to countries being ill-equipped to effectively respond to a global health emergency, which in turn led to devastating consequences for children’s access to essential health services. Increased political awareness and commitment to pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR) efforts offer a pivotal opportunity to make gains in child survival through resilient health systems that are anchored in a primary health care and rights-based approach. Save the Children and UNICEF UK new policy briefing presents a series of measures for the WHO Pandemic Accord as well as recommendations for the broader health emergency PPR architecture.

Protect the promise: 2022 progress report on the Every woman every child global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health (2016–2030)
Institution: World Health Organisation, *UNICEF
Published: October 2022

The 2022 Global Strategy progress report provides an assessment of the situation of women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health in this third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Section 1 presents abundant evidence showing that inequities persist despite great progress in reducing maternal and child mortality in the two decades leading up to the pandemic. A child’s life trajectory and rights to health, education, opportunities and safety are still largely determined by where that child is born. Data showing stagnation or drops in coverage of lifesaving interventions similarly serve as a reminder of the need to be more vigilant about bridging gaps and placing women, children and adolescents at the centre of development efforts. It also showcases key drivers of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being. It emphasizes that women’s empowerment and adolescent participation are pivotal to achieving the 2030 Agenda yet notes that there is a long way to go in reducing gender inequality and increasing young people’s meaningful opportunities to actively engage in community and civic life. Also stressed is the importance of addressing the complex factors underpinning today’s unacceptable levels of malnutrition and developing effective strategies to reach women, children and adolescents affected by conflict, forced migration, poverty and climate change impacts. Section 2 takes stock of the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on women, children and adolescents. Although children and adolescents are less likely to experience severe health consequences from SARS-COV-2 infection compared with adults, multiple years of education, health, nutrition and social service disruptions have impacted and will continue to impact their lives.

Operational research on the WFP Cash Transfer Programme in Cambodia, March 2022
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: October 2022
In 2021, WFP Cambodia implemented a cash transfer programme to support households impacted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and large-scale floods. This was done in consultation with the Royal Government of Cambodia and development partners. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), provided financial support to the implementation of the cash transfer programme and accompanying operational research. The objective of the cash transfer programme was two-fold: (1) to increase the beneficiaries’ ability to fulfil essential needs and to support their recovery in the face of these shocks, and (2) to create an operational model for shock responsive social protection programmes that could be adopted institutionally and rolled out to address future shocks. For the second objective, WFP commissioned Oxford Policy Management (OPM) to conduct operational research to generate and document key learnings regarding the WFP cash transfer programme. The research sought to answer the following research question: “To what extent did the design and implementation of the WFP cash transfer programme align with and support the building blocks for shock responsive social protection in Cambodia, and what recommendations do WFP, the Royal Government of Cambodia, and social protection actors need to take into account when designing and implementing future cash (and other) programmes to further strengthen the shock responsiveness of the social protection system in the country?”
Rebuilding human capital amidst the pandemic - A global analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on school-aged children and youth
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: October 2022
This joint study by the Research, Assessment and Monitoring (RAM) Division and the School–Based Programme (SBP) Service aimed to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted school–aged children and youth through a global web survey conducted across seven countries Cambodia, Colombia, Ghana, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya and Zimbabwe from May to July 2021.
COVID-19 pandemic impacts on Asia and the Pacific

AUTHOR(S)
A. Elbehri; T. Temel; F. Burcu Ceylan (et al.)

The COVID-19 health crisis has turned into a global economic crisis, putting at risk the health, jobs and incomes of millions of people across the world. The pandemic is becoming persistent and seemingly slow to eradicate, with medium and long-term consequences affecting the trajectories of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) targets across the countries. Better understanding of the implications of COVID-19 containment these measures for food systems, food insecurity and malnutrition is vital to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a food crisis and to rebuilt resilient food systems. The regional review presented in this report is broad-based but provisional since we are still dealing with an active pandemic having just moved past the fourth wave (dominated by Delta variant) and now facing a new variant, Omicron (whose real impact is still under review). As we approach 2022, the world is learning to live with COVID-19 and its variants for longer than initially believed. So the numbers related to COVID-19 infections and vaccination rates are only provisional and reflect the situation as of the time of writing.
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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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Check our quarterly thematic digests on children and COVID-19

Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.