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Heather Ohly; Martyn Clark; Sonja Read (et al.)
Children make up 50% of those affected in humanitarian crises and are disproportionately impacted by conflict and crisis. Throughout 2020 and 2021, COVID-19, conflict and climate change have been impacting children at unprecedented scale, putting them at risk and driving displacement, poverty and violence. Whilst funding for child protection is increasing, child protection consistently remains one of the most underfunded sectors in humanitarian action and funds not meeting increasing needs. Closing this gap will require collective action to change the way we think about children’s protection and its centrality to crisis response. This report highlights key areas associated with funding for child protection in humanitarian crises, including both cluster and refugee responses in 2020. A snapshot is also given for 2021 with data available as of October 2021
To address the situation in the central Sahel region, improve learning and restore hope of the displaced children in Central Sahel, NRC, UNHCR and UNICEF have been implementing several activities other the past years. In December 2020, NRC launched the Better Learning Program (BLP) implemented by teachers to support children’s recovery from the traumatic events experienced during conflict and displacement. The programme improves conditions for learning through mobilization of a child’s support network of caregivers, teachers and counsellors to assess and address the level of mental and psychological trauma faced by children. In 2021, UNHCR has strengthened the capacity of teachers and members of community structures in refugee and IDP hosting areas of the three countries by organizing training sessions dedicated to the psychosocial support (PSS) of students. Psychosocial support was also provided on an individual basis for cases requiring child protection interventions. UNICEF has broadly taken a multi-sectoral approach to providing psychosocial support to children in the Sahel, across education, child protection and nutrition activities in particular. Moving forward, there will be an increasing drive to consider this within the broader consideration of mental health as a foundation for resilience and learning. As part of NRC BLP Program, an assessment has been conducted, in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali aiming to measure promoters and barriers for learning before and after interventions.
For girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, education can be a ladder out of poverty and a way to break cycles of abuse and violence. Yet, there are still steep gender-related barriers to a quality and safe education such as gender-based violence, discrimination, child and forced marriage, lack of access to healthcare and menstrual hygiene products, unpaid domestic labour, and the prioritization of boys’ education. Even girls who do access education face a range of challenges, including poor quality facilities, large class sizes, and a lack of qualified female teachers and staff. For girls in fragile and conflict-affected areas, the threats can include kidnapping, injury, forced recruitment, and displacement. With the COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges have only increased. There are several stakeholders working to reduce these barriers and make sure that girls who must access their education in emergency situations can do so safely and effectively. They are also trying to make sure that the education available is of high quality and sensitive to their unique needs. In 2021, the Government of Canada supported a partnership with Equal Measures 2030 and its in-country partners FAWE and IPBF, based in Kenya and Burkina Faso, respectively, to look at how to strengthen the equitable and coordinated provision of education for girls and women in both countries. The result was research and advocacy that aimed to make the education systems of both countries more data-driven and gender-responsive. This report details the experiences, findings, and recommendations encapsulated in our work.
Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin; Cristóbal Cobo Romaní; Fernando Reimers
During the first wave of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the OECD, the World Bank, the Global Education Innovation Initiative at Harvard University and HundrED joined forces to document a variety of examples of what education stakeholders did to allow academic learning to continue. This report brings together a collection of 45 case studies that were initially published on the OECD and World Bank websites between May 2020 and March 2021 (Part II). The “education continuity stories” describe specific solutions implemented by government, non-governmental organisation or companies to support teachers and learners. Many of these solutions had a strong technology dimension. These stories describe the proposed solution in terms of objectives and implementation, but also reflect on the challenges and success factors, the replicability of the initiative in other contexts, and the evidence of success that was gathered (at the time of initial publication). While most initiatives focus on primary and secondary education, they cover all levels of education, and illustrate innovations that have been undertaken around the world, in countries with different contexts, culture and levels of income.
Michelle J. Neuman; Shawn Powers
Limin Zhang; Hongjian Cao; Chaopai Lin (et al.)
Nicola Jones; Taghreed Alabadi; Sarah Alheiwidi (et al.)
Recognition that access to digital connectivity, tools and services is fundamental to inclusion and participation in society has grown exponentially over the last five years, including for persons affected by forced displacement and socially disadvantaged young people. This report presents findings from a rapid qualitative research assessment of UNICEF Jordan’s digital inclusion programme for vulnerable Jordanians, Palestinian and Syrian refugees attending Makani centres undertaken in July and August 2021. The programme distributed tablets and 10GB of monthly data to 10,000 vulnerable households in order to help address the digital divide and support access to online education and learning as well to life skills and other non-formal education programming. Drawing on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with adolescents and their parents, this report explores the effects that the tablet distribution initiative has had in terms of education and learning, access to information and services, as well as to peers and mentors.
The news encouraged people to see all the global, regional and national responses by the governments and various organizations. There are local efforts by the agents of change that also deserve the spotlight - young people. Plan International advocates for youth-led movements and seeks to ensure that girls and young women experience significant improvement in their ability to make decisions that concern their lives and engage in collective action to shape the world around them. In two years, the pandemic has negatively affected our progress on gender equality and girls’ rights, but young people decided not to surrender. Plan International is proud to accompany them in the journey supporting community recovery. This report will show the global pandemic through different lenses of young people. There are inevitably various hardships, even loss and pain from the devastating negative effects that COVID-19 brings to the region. But the spirit here is apparent, that youth activists in Asia Pacific won’t wait for the storm to pass, instead they fight the pandemic hard and start to build a better today. Stepping out of the “battle”, young activists in the region are invited to come together, listen to the personal stories and experiences of their peers in a series of Focus Group Discussions, write each other letters that are full of empathy and encouragement and see the world they long to visit through a collection of photo voices.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for children in early childhood to develop healthy brains, bodies, and lives. While countries in East Asia and the Pacific have made substantial progress in investing in early childhood development (ECD), services supporting the development and learning of young children will likely suffer more than other education levels as they remain closed or in limited duration for fear of children contracting COVID-19. This publication has been developed based on LACRO’s publication and adapted to suit the East Asia and the Pacific regional needs and context. It is intended for UNICEF country offices in the region to support their role in providing technical assistance to government partners and other organizations. The publication provides guidelines for reopening of services for young children aged 2 years up until the official primary school entry, either 5 or 6 years, and their families. It also includes a checklist to conduct rapid analysis of the services’ conditions and designing plans for a safe reopening.
The short- and long-term impact of the Covid-19 crisis on children’s education, wellbeing, and future productivity is profound. Almost two years after schools began closing in most countries across the world, governments need to take urgent steps to limit the damage.
Allison M. Blatz; Adrienne G. Randolph
Rui Liu; Xu Chen; Han Qi (et al.)
This study examined the extent to which the network structure of anxiety and depression among adolescents identified during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic could be cross-validated in a sample of adolescents assessed after the COVID-19 peak. Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted between February 20 and 27, 2020 and between April 11 and 19, 2020, respectively. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were assessed using 20-item the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression and 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder, respectively. Anxiety-depression networks of the first and second assessments were estimated separately using a sparse Graphical Gaussian Model combined with the graphical least absolute shrinkage and selection operator method. A Network Comparison Test was conducted to assess differences between the two networks.
Valentina Costa; Ivette Maria Contreras Gonzalez; Amparo Palacios-Lopez (et al.)
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.
The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response
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