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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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.
National agrifood systems and COVID-19 in Iraq: effects, policy responses and long-term implications

This report is part of a series of country profiles that describe: (i) policy measures enacted by the government of Iraq to contain the spread of the virus; (ii) policies and measures to stabilize the functioning of agri-food systems; (iii) potential effects of policies on agri-food systems and vulnerable groups. Finally, the profiles also assess longer-term options for agri-food system policies and investments to make them more resilient.


Forest communities in the face of COVID-19 crisis

AUTHOR(S)
J. Covey; A. Bolin

COVID-19 continues to have severe impacts on the societies, economies and environment of forest communities. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on forest communities have been shaped by pre-existing social, economic en environmental vulnerabilities. Despite existing vulnerabilities, forest communities have shown a great deal of resilience. Forest communities have not been passive in the face of these significant impacts. Key responses have included the use of informal and formal social protection programmes. Reflecting on past crisis and building on the initial COVID-19 responses found in the case studies and lessons from producer organisations, this working paper identifies seven key pathways and 14 strategic actions for forest communities to recover and building back better from COVID-19.
Leveraging COVID-19 recovery strategies to build climate-smart agrifood systems in developing countries

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the stability of agrifood systems and the welfare of the rural households that are actively engaged in the different components of these systems, particularly in developing countries. Efforts are underway to redress the negative impacts of the pandemic through investments to ‘build back better’. These efforts represent an enormous opportunity to make significant and lasting contribution to the longer-term resilience and sustainability of agrifood systems in the context of climate change.The objective of this report is to provide an overview of the current opportunities for harnessing short-term response and recovery efforts to address longer-term impacts on resilience and sustainability. The analysis focuses on the role of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in recovery strategies and outlines concrete policy objectives that can be implemented by national governments and their development partners. The report is structured in two parts. The first part outlines the nature of the challenges presented by climate change and COVID-19, their interrelationships, and the potential role CSA can play in addressing these interrelated challenges. The second part of the report outlines a set of policy options for enabling post-pandemic recovery efforts to contribute to longer-term resilience of agrifood systems through investments in CSA and associated enabling conditions.

Coping with shocks: migration and the road to resilience
Institution: The World Bank
Published: October 2022
South Asia is facing renewed challenges. The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on food and energy prices on domestic inflation is long-lasting. Externally, countries’ current account balances deteriorate rapidly as imports rise on the back of economic recovery and rising inflation, remittances decline, and foreign capital flows out following monetary tightening in advanced economies. An economic slowdown in advanced economies and trading partners can also be a drag to the exports sector and remittances inflows, which many countries in the region depend on. These immediate challenges can translate to persistent deterrent to long-term growth and development. Higher energy prices already are changing the attitude of many countries outside the region about green transition and carbon reduction. The South Asia region is thus at a critical juncture. The theme chapter provides a deep dive into COVID-19 and migration. Migrant workers and remittances flows are important for South Asia as sources of income and means to smooth local income shocks for households, and as an important source of foreign reserves for the country. The pandemic changed the flows of migration, as some migrants had to return home and some had to stay in foreign countries due to COVID-related restrictions. The chapter studies the long-run trend of migration in the region, how COVID-19 impacted migration and remittance inflows, whether migration has (or has not) recovered, and proposes policies to address underlying problems.
Social protection and response to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Nurth Palomo; Luis Vargas Faulbaum; Anna Carolina Machado (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2022

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the foundations of the economy and provoked devastating social effects in all the countries in the world, being Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) one of the most affected regions. The region is also experiencing a significant deterioration in the levels of poverty and extreme poverty, which affects children and adolescents more significantly. This Research Report analyzes digital payment systems for social protection interventions in the region.

On call: using mobile technologies to measure learning in emergencies

AUTHOR(S)
Marco Valenza; Thomas Dreesen; Sophia Kan

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2022
How can we harness the power of mobile technologies to track learning in emergencies? Identifying ways to improve assessments in emergencies is incredibly important as there remains large gaps in understanding how children are learning in crisis settings. This report aims to provide practitioners with practical guidance and resources on using mobile technology to conduct learning assessments in emergency settings. It is the second of a two-part series on uses of mobile phones for education in emergency programmes and draws from a review of the existing literature as well as feedback from education in emergencies practitioners.
On call: using mobile phones to provide learning in emergencies

AUTHOR(S)
Sophia Kan; Thomas Dreesen; Marco Valenza

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2022
In 2021, an estimated 37 million children were forcibly displaced across the globe. Ensuring these children continue their education in times of crisis is a significant challenge. One tool that can help children stay in education is basic mobile phones. Basic mobile phones can provide learning through multiple channels, such as text messages, voice calls, nudges and lessons through radio broadcasts. This report outlines, in detail, how mobile phones can be applied as a learning tool in emergency settings. It also provides practical case studies and references for how mobile phones have been used to teach students, support parents and train teachers.
Towards a child-centred digital equality framework

AUTHOR(S)
Ellen Helsper; Steven Vosloo

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2022

The digitization of society does not have a universal effect on all children. Even with the same internet access, digital literacy and content, children from different places and backgrounds can still have unequal experiences and outcomes. A child’s individual environment influences the extent to which they can seize digital opportunities and avoid digital risks. Unaddressed injustices and inequities based on sexism, racism, classism and other forms of discrimination, contribute to this, and technological advances reflect and amplify existing social, cultural and economic inequalities. In order to get the most out of digital technology, underlying inequalities in the lives of children need to be addressed. This report presents a future-ready, child-centred digital framework that incorporates all aspects of digital inclusion, addresses known gaps, explicitly aims to achieve digital equality, involves a broader range of stakeholders to do this, and responds to emerging technologies and trends.

Children with disabilities and distance education: experiences of primary school teachers and parents: Covid-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Maxine McKay; Lorna McKay

Published: September 2022
This study highlights the experiences of parents of children with disabilities and primary school teachers who taught these children via Distance Education during the COVID-19 Lockdown. The teachers who participated in the study teach children ages 10-14 with varying disabilities. The teachers are from three districts located in Belize (Belize, Orange Walk, and Cayo). The 30 parents were chosen based on recommendations made by the teachers. A phenomenological approach was used as the research method because this approach allowed the researchers to make in -depth analyses and provide thematic descriptions. Research data was collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed using the inductive method.
Crisis within crisis: The psychosocial toll of Lebanon’s economic and political turmoil on Syrian refugee adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Sally Youssef; Nicola Jones; Agnieszka Małachowska (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: September 2022

Syrian refugee adolescents in crisis-stricken Lebanon are facing growing challenges to their overall well-being, including their psychosocial well-being. With almost all the Syrian population in Lebanon sinking into severe poverty, the country’s compound crisis is taking a heavy toll on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of ever more vulnerable Syrian refugees. Isolation and mental health problems have been increasing among Syrian refugees, particularly adolescents and young people, as a direct result of the pressures caused by the economic crisis. Stigma surrounding mental health and lack of access to support services threatens the psychosocial well-being of all adolescents, but especially married girls. This report explores the impacts of this compound crisis on Syrian refugee adolescents’ psychosocial well- being and their opportunities to exercise voice and agency in their family and community. Drawing on a capabilities approach, the report presents findings from participatory research undertaken with 30 Syrian refugee adolescent girls and boys in Lebanon between 2019 and 2022. It explores gendered differences in voice and agency, and psychosocial well-being, by focusing on adolescents’ lived experiences amid the turbulent and deteriorating socioeconomic and political environment. It concludes with recommendations for policy and programming so that refugee adolescents can be supported to reach their full capabilities.

Adolescents in the abyss of Lebanon’s worst economic crisis: A focus on Lebanese and Palestinian adolescents’ education, and voice and agency

AUTHOR(S)
Sally Youssef; Nicola Jones; Agnieszka Małachowska (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: September 2022

Vulnerable Lebanese and Palestinian refugee adolescents in crisis-stricken Lebanon, amid a global pandemic, face the most enormous challenges to their education. With increasing socioeconomic vulnerabilities and shrinking opportunities, and the ever more fragile education sector, adolescents’ education is increasingly at risk. In 2021, an estimated 260,000 Lebanese children and 440,000 refugee children dropped out of school. This report focuses on Palestinian and Lebanese adolescents’ access to education and learning, and their opportunities to exercise voice and agency, highlighting the impact of the Lebanese crisis on their lives. It draws on findings from the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) longitudinal study, involving adolescents from Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities and vulnerable Lebanese host communities. Using interactive participatory tools, including participatory photography, GAGE aims to gain a better understanding of ‘what works’ to empower different groups of adolescents (especially girls) in conflict-affected contexts.

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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.