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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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UNICEF Innocenti Publication
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16 - 30 of 497
Where are we on education recovery? taking the global pulse of a RAPID response
Institution: *UNICEF, UNESCO, The World Bank
Published: March 2022

Two years into the COVID-19 global pandemic, education has been seriously disrupted. In response to this crisis, the global priority remains to ensure every child is supported so they can return to school and catch up on lost learning. Recognizing the need to accelerate education recovery with urgent, at-scale action, this joint report by UNICEF in partnership with UNESCO and the World Bank highlights staggering levels of learning loss globally and takes stock of the measures being taken by countries to mitigate learning losses as schools reopen. Based on a survey of 122 UNICEF country and fundraising offices administered in early March 2022, the report presents the importance of and progress made in five key actions for education recovery, the RAPID: Reach every child and retain them in school; Assess learning levels; Prioritize teaching the fundamentals; Increase catch-up learning and progress beyond what was lost; and Develop psychosocial health and well-being so every child is ready to learn.

18 months lost and found: reflections from a transnational participatory action research project exploring young people's lived experiences of the COVID-19 crisis

Laurie Day; Barry Percy-Smith; Sara Rizzo (et al.)

Published: March 2022

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, Growing-up Under COVID-19 was a transnational action research project, which aimed to provide insights to the impact of the public health crisis on young people’s lives, and to inform the development of appropriate tools and measures to safeguard children’s wellbeing and rights during and beyond the pandemic.

Research priorities for early childhood development in the context of COVID-19: results from an international survey

Kerrie Proulx; Kristy Hackett; Shekufeh Zonji

Institution: Early Childhood Development Action Network
Published: February 2022

This project was undertaken in December 2021 using a short online questionnaire. Respondents were asked to provide demographic information and to select up to three urgent COVID-19 research priorities among a list of 15 topics related to early childhood development and nurturing care. This list was generated by reviewing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Nurturing Care Framework and expert opinion. Space was provided for respondents to list additional research priorities not included in the list. The questionnaire was completed by 98 respondents from 47 mostly low- and middle-income countries. Most respondents were professionals in the early childhood development space and users or consumers of research (59%), including pediatricians, early childhood educators and program managers. Thirty-six percent of respondents were researchers, and 5% worked for research funding agencies.

Food insecurity, depressive symptoms, and the salience of gendered family roles during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa

Debra L. Shepherd

Published: February 2022   Journal: Social Science & Medicine
Extensive research has indicated food insecurity to be associated with depressive symptoms, both of which have been indicated to increase globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few studies, however, have made use of nationally representative and longitudinal data to investigate this relationship, making causal claims difficult. In South Africa (SA), as with other low- and middle-income contexts, population-based studies have generally focused on mothers during the perinatal period and other vulnerable groups. This study made use of Cross-Lagged Dynamic Panel Models to examine the relationship between household food insecurity and the depressive symptoms of adults across three waves of the National Income Dynamics Survey–Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) study collected in 2020 and 2021, a dataset nationally representative of all adults in SA in 2017. Stratification of the sample by gender, parenthood and marital statuses allowed for the assessment of gender differences in family roles that might account for differential impacts of food insecurity on mental health outcomes.
Adaptive school grounds design in response to COVID-19: Findings from six primary schools in South East England

Alison Quinn; Alessio Russo

Published: February 2022   Journal: Building and Environment
The purpose of this research is to look at how primary schools in England have adapted their outdoor spaces in the context of COVID-19 rules and guidelines to meet the needs of students returning from school closures and national lockdown of Spring/Summer 2020, how that impacted play and learning value of their grounds, and to consider how these findings might inform future school grounds design. Thus, this study used a mixed-method approach that included qualitative interviews with representatives from six primary schools (three in rural and three in urban areas), quantitative desk research, and in-person site surveys. It used literature-based scoring criteria to quantify changes in the playground before and after the implementation of COVID-19 measures.
A quasi-experimental study of parent and child well-being in families of color in the context of COVID-19 related school closure

Alexandra Ursache; R. Gabriela Barajas-Gonzalez; Samrachana Adhikari (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: SSM - Population Health
Families of color living in historically disinvested neighborhoods face a multitude of health disparities which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the resulting strategies to mitigate its transmission. School closure, which occurred with little warning and few, if any, resources for preparation, disrupted multiple aspects of families’ lives; these disruptions are anticipated to adversely impact mental health and well-being. The current study aims to advance understanding of the experiences of families of young children of color during the pandemic by utilizing a natural experiment design to test impact on child and parent mental health and sleep in the context of COVID-19 related school closure among families in historically disinvested neighborhoods. Data from this study come from an ongoing study of 281 families of color enrolled in 41 pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs in neighborhoods across New York City (NYC). In NYC, school closure occurred on March 16, 2020, during a data collection period involving phone surveys with parents; the quasi-experimental design allows for comparison of the 198 families who had completed the survey prior to March 16, and the 83 families who completed the survey after March 16, using identical protocols and procedures.
Social protection in the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons from South Africa

Lena Gronbach; Jeremy Seekings; Vayda Megannon

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: February 2022
South Africa responded to the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown using a combination of existing social protection programmes, unemployment insurance, and additional measures to support those most affected. This paper reviews policies and implementation with the objective of highlighting lessons for the global community, including on the use of digital mechanisms.
Intersecting disadvantages for married adolescents: life after marriage pre- and post-COVID-19 in contexts of displacement

Sarah Baird; Maureen Murphy; Jennifer Seager (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
Although there is a growing evidence base on the drivers of child marriage, comparatively little is known about the experiences of married girls in refugee settings and how their development trajectories diverge from those of their nonmarried peers, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on cross-national panel data from Bangladesh and Jordan, this article explores diversity in child marriage experiences in contexts affected by forced displacement, highlighting how married girls’ well-being differs from that of their unmarried peers, and how COVID-19 has reinforced these differences.
Inequality and social security in the Asia-Pacific region

Stephen Kidd; Diloá Athias; Silvia Nastasi (et al.)

Institution: United Nations Development Programme
Published: February 2022

High income inequality can engender a wide range of negative impacts. It can harm child development, increase ill-health and mortality, limit the status of women, generate distrust in government, exacerbate levels of violence and social unrest, slow the pace of poverty reduction and hinder economic growth. The Asia-Pacific region is characterized by high levels of income inequality, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, it is imperative that countries in the region take action to tackle high inequality and create fairer and more decent societies. Investments in social security are one of the most effective means of tackling inequality. This includes schemes such as child, unemployment, sickness, maternity, disability and old age benefits, funded from general government revenues as well as by social insurance. Currently, across most countries in the Asia-Pacific region, investments in tax-financed social security are minimal. Nonetheless, the report demonstrates that, both globally and in the Asia-Pacific region, universal social security systems are much more effective than poverty-targeted systems in reducing inequality. If countries in the region make the move to modern, universal lifecycle systems, the impacts on inequality would be impressive. And, the more that countries invest, the higher will be the impacts on family well-being, employment, social cohesion and economic growth.

The Syrian refugee life study: first glance

Edward A. Miguel; Bailey Palmer; Sandra Rozo Villarraga (et al.)

Published: February 2022
This paper presents descriptive statistics from the first wave of the Syrian Refugee Life Study (S-RLS), which was launched in 2020. S-RLS is a longitudinal study that tracks a representative sample of 2,500 registered Syrian refugee households in Jordan. It collects comprehensive data on socio-demographic variables as well as information on health and well-being, preferences, social capital, attitudes, and safety and crime perceptions. This study uses these novel data to document the socio-demographic characteristics of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and compare them to those of the representative Jordanian and non-Jordanian populations interviewed in the 2016 Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey. The findings point to lags in basic service access, housing quality, and educational attainment for the Syrian refugee population, relative to the non-refugee population. The impacts of the pandemic may serve to partially explain these documented disparities. The data also illustrate that most Syrian refugees have not recovered economically from the shock of COVID-19 and that this population has larger gender disparities in terms of income, employment, prevalence of child marriage, and gender attitudes than their non-refugee counterparts. Finally, mental health problems are common for Syrian refugees in 2020, with depression indicated among over 61 percent of the population.
Saudi Arabia's digital and distance education: experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic and opportunities for educational improvement

Anna Boni; Laura Gregory

Published: February 2022

Faced with the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Saudi Arabia embarked on a journey to adapt the way in which schooling operated, enabling a continued education for children across the country. This was a unique journey, and one that will have lasting impacts on education in Saudi Arabia. The World Bank studied this journey in detail over the 2020–21 school year, as the pandemic was underway. This report compiles the results of this study and provides a comprehensive review of the experiences of digital and distance education in Saudi Arabia, along with an analysis of opportunities for future educational improvement. The study aimed to answer three main questions. Firstly, how well did Saudi Arabia provide for, and achieve, continued education of K–12 students during the COVID-19 pandemic? Secondly, what were the strengths of Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in K–12 education? And finally, what are the opportunities for educational improvement following the digital and distance education experience?

Lebanese crisis forcing youth out of learning, robbing them of their futures: UNICEF survey
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

As Lebanon’s triple crisis continues to worsen, youth are struggling to find hope, support and opportunities amid mounting despair. The combined impact of an economic meltdown, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Beirut Port explosions are forcing youth from all backgrounds to take on responsibilities beyond their ages, with detrimental impacts on their mental health and on access to opportunities. More and more young people are dropping out of education or any type of learning to engage in ill-paid, irregular and informal work to generate whatever income they can to help their families cope with the mounting challenges. UNICEF’s new assessment shows that 3 in 10 young people in Lebanon have stopped their education, while 4 in 10 reduced spending on education to buy essential items like basic food and medicine. The combined impact of the crises has led to a significant increase in mental health issues among young people, resulting in risky behaviour and substance abuse, as well as an increase in gender-based violence (GBV). Approximately one in four adolescents in Lebanon suffers from a psychiatric disorder. Alarmingly, 94 per cent of adolescents with a mental disorder have not sought any treatment. In September 2021, UNICEF conducted a Youth-Focused Rapid Assessment (YFRA), interviewing around 900 youth and adolescents aged 15 to 246 across Lebanon. One in four reported often feeling depressed and just over half the respondents said their lives worsened over the past year.

Adolescent carers’ psychological symptoms and mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal study using data from the UK millennium cohort study

Miharu Nakanishi; Marcus Richards; Daniel Stanyon (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

During the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescent carers in the UK may have experienced psychological distress due to increased caring burden and loss of a break from their caring role. This study investigated longitudinal association between adolescents’ caring status and mental health outcomes from 2018/2019 to February–March 2021. The participants (n = 3,927) answered mental health questions in both the Millennium Cohort Study sweep 7 survey (age 17 years in 2018/2019) and at least one of three waves of the COVID-19 survey from May 2020 to February–March 2021. Caring status at the age of 17 years was assessed using a single question regarding whether the participant regularly looked after anyone who needed care, without being paid. Outcome measures were psychological symptoms, measured using the Kessler Distress Scale, and mental well-being, measured using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale.

Both sides of the screen: predictors of parents’ and teachers’ depression and food insecurity during COVID-19-related distance learning

Anneanne Martin; Anne Partika; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented strains on both parents and teachers, both of whose mental and financial hardships have serious implications for young children's wellbeing. This study drew on an existing cohort study of families with low incomes in Tulsa, OK when children were in their Spring of 1st grade in 2020. It surveyed parents and teachers – children's caregivers on both sides of the screen during distance learning – before and after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools were closed. It first compared the proportion of parents and teachers who were depressed and food-insecure before and after the pandemic struck. It then used pre-pandemic characteristics of parents and teachers in separate models to predict their depression and food insecurity during the pandemic.
The impact of COVID-19 on gender equality and food security in the Arab region with a focus on the Sudan and Iraq
This rapid gender analysis (RGA) explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality and food security in the Arab region. It is a joint collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and CARE International (CARE). This collaboration recognizes the need to expand the evidence base on gender-differentiated impacts of crises for informed recovery and response planning, while highlighting the imperative of collecting sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD) more consistently.
16 - 30 of 497

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.