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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 45
Transforming education in Africa through innovation: the Global Education Coalition leading in action
Institution: UNESCO, Global Education Coalition
Published: May 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated the vulnerabilities of our education systems, worsening existing inequalities and digital divides even as it highlighted the essential value of accessible, inclusive and quality education. Learning communities, expected to make rapid, sweeping changes, were caught unprepared, causing learning losses that will reverberate for years to come. This was particularly true for many countries in Africa, where further infrastructural development, training, domestic resources and funding were – and are – needed to mitigate the effects of pandemic-related education disruptions that exacerbated the pre-COVID-19 learning crisis. Unprecedented change has followed, involving new collaborations and innovations that engaged the regional community at every level, from policy-makers to school leaders, teachers and learners, through original examples of ingenuity and transformation.

High-stakes exams and assessments during the COVID-19 crisis: what is the status at the end of the 2020-2021 school year?

AUTHOR(S)
Huong Le Thu; Schwabe Markus

Institution: UNESCO
Published: May 2022

The analyses made and findings presented in this paper are based on the data collected through  a rapid assessment carried out in July/August 2021 by UNESCO staff  (Section of Education Policy, Education Sector)  from various sources including information available online (articles, papers, blogs, websites of countries’ Ministries of Education), media reports, national and international organizations’ databases and reports (e.g. the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank-OECD Survey of National Education Responses to COVID-19 (2021) and the UK ENIC Special ReportonCOVID-19 -Guide to International Secondary Assessment in 2020.

An analysis of COVID-19 student learning loss

AUTHOR(S)
Harry Patrinos; Anthony Vegas; Emiliana Carter-Rau (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: May 2022
COVID-19 caused significant disruption to the global education system. Early reviews of the first wave of lockdowns and school closures suggested significant learning loss in a few countries. A more recent and thorough analysis of recorded learning loss evidence documented since the beginning of the school closures between March 2020 and March 2022 finds even more evidence of learning loss. Most studies observed increases in inequality where certain demographics of students experienced more significant learning losses than others. But there are also outliers, countries that managed to limit the amount of loss. This review aims to consolidate all the available evidence and documents the empirical findings. Thirty-six robust studies were identified, the majority of which find learning losses on average amounting to 0.17 of a standard deviation, equivalent to roughly a one-half year’s worth of learning. These findings confirm that learning loss is real and significant, even compared to the first year of the pandemic. Further work is needed to increase the quantity of studies produced, and to ascertain the reasons for learning loss and in a few cases mitigation of loss.
School is closed: simulating the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic–related school disruptions in Kuwait

AUTHOR(S)
Simon Bilo; Mohamed Ihsan Ajwad; Ebtesam AlAnsari (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: May 2022

The schooling disruption caused by COVID-19 in Kuwait is among the longest in the world. Using the similarities between the schooling disruptions due to the Gulf War and the schooling disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this note shows that students in school during the COVID-19 pandemic face significant reductions in the present value of their lifetime income. Furthermore, the findings show that students in higher grades during the pandemic are likely to face larger reductions in lifetime earnings than students in lower grades. Kuwaiti females in secondary school who will become civil service workers face a reduction of close to $40,000. The corresponding reduction for males is more than $70,000.

Does higher parental involvement lead to learning gains? Experimental evidence from Indonesia

AUTHOR(S)
Florischa Ayu Tresnatri; Asep Kurniawan; Daniel Suryadarma (et al.)

Institution: Research on Improving Systems of Education
Published: April 2022
This study aimed to show how information delivered by teachers to parents on students’ learning progress and guidelines for active involvement in children's education can improve learning outcomes. A randomized control trial experiment in 130 primary schools in Kebumen District, Central Java, Indonesia was conducted. The implementation of the intervention collided with the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding to the significance of this intervention to help parents in undertaking learning from home.
Childcare, COVID-19 and female firm exit: impact of COVID-19 school closure policies on global gender gaps in business outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
Markus Goldstein; Paula Gonzalez; Sreelakshmi Papineni (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: April 2022
This paper estimates the impact of a large negative childcare shock on gender gaps in entrepreneurship using the shock created by national COVID-19 school closure policies. The paper leverages a unique data set of monthly enterprise data collected from a repeated cross-section of business owners across 50 countries via Facebook throughout 2020 and in 2021. The paper shows that, globally, female-led firms were, on average, 4 percentage points more likely to close their business and experienced larger revenue declines than male-led firms during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (male firms closed at a rate of 17 percent in 2020, and 12 percent in 2021). The gender gap in firm closures persisted into 2021. The closing of schools, a key part of the care infrastructure, led to higher business closures, and women with children were more likely to close their business in response to a school closure policy than men with children. Female entrepreneurs were found to take on a greater share of the increase in the domestic and care work burden than male entrepreneurs. Finally, the paper finds that women entrepreneurs in societies with more conservative norms with respect to gender equality were significantly more likely to close their business and increase the time spent on domestic and care responsibilities in response to a school closure policy, relative to women in more liberal societies. The paper provides global evidence of a motherhood penalty and childcare constraint to help explain gender inequalities in an entrepreneurship context.
Scars of pandemics from lost schooling and experience : aggregate implications and gender differences through the lens of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Roberto Samaniego; Remi Jedwab; Paul Romer (et al.)

Published: February 2022

Pandemic shocks disrupt human capital accumulation through schooling and work experience. This study quantifies the long-term economic impact of these disruptions in the case of COVID-19, focusing on countries at different levels of development and using returns to education and experience by college status that are globally estimated using 1,084 household surveys across 145 countries. The results show that both lost schooling and experience contribute to significant losses in global learning and output. Developed countries incur greater losses than developing countries, because they have more schooling to start with and higher returns to experience. The returns to education and experience are also separately estimated for men and women, to explore the differential effects by gender of the COVID-19 pandemic. Surprisingly, while the study uncovers gender differences in returns to education and schooling, gender differences in the impact of COVID-19 are small and short-lived, with a loss in female relative income of only 2.5 percent or less, mainly due to the greater severity of the employment shock on impact. These findings might challenge some of the ongoing narratives in policy circles. The methodology employed in this study is easily implementable for future pandemics.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of assistive technology in the State of Palestine

AUTHOR(S)
Golnaz Whittaker; Gavin Wood

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

Official statistics identify 2% to 7% of the population in the State of Palestine as having a disability. Evidence is limited regarding levels of access to assistive technologies (AT) by people with disabilities in the State of Palestine. However, estimates suggest that there are high levels of unmet need. Less than 10% of children with disabilities received assistive devices in the year of one recent survey. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on a range of such services in many countries, but little information is yet available on the impact on AT provision in humanitarian settings.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted both school bullying and cyberbullying

AUTHOR(S)
Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Joshua Goodman; Jennifer G. Green (et al.)

Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research
Published: December 2021   Journal: NBER Working Paper Series

One-fifth of U.S. high school students report being bullied each year. This study uses internet search data for real-time tracking of bullying patterns as COVID-19 disrupted in-person schooling. It first shows that, prepandemic, internet searches contain useful information about actual bullying behavior. It then shows that searches for school bullying and cyberbullying dropped 30-35 percent as schools shifted to remote learning in spring 2020. The gradual return to in-person instruction starting in fall 2020 partially returns bullying searches to pre-pandemic levels. This rare positive effect may partly explain recent mixed evidence on the pandemic’s impact on students’ mental health and well-being.

Socio-emotional and academic learning before and after COVID-19 school closures: evidence from Ethiopia

AUTHOR(S)
Stephen Bayley; Darge Wole Meshesha; Paul Ramchandani (et al.)

Published: November 2021

This paper presents the findings of research undertaken in Ethiopia to examine the effects of COVID-19 school closures on children’s holistic learning, including both socio-emotional and academic learning. It draws on data collected in 2019 (prior to the pandemic) and 2021 (after schools reopened) to compare primary pupils’ learning before and after the school closures. In particular, the study adapts self-reporting scales that have been used in related contexts to measure Grade 3 and 6 children’s social skills, self-efficacy, emotional regulation, and mental health and wellbeing, along with literacy and numeracy. Lesson observations were also undertaken to explore teachers’ behaviours to foster socio-emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom.

Investment case for child-centred climate actions in the context of COVID-19 in East Asia and the Pacific
Institution: *UNICEF, Vivid Economics
Published: November 2021

The dual challenges of the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic compound on each other and are disproportionately impacting children in East Asia and Pacific. This calls for ambitious climate actions that help advance climate justice for current and future generations of children and support a green and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As stated by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the pandemic recovery is “a profound opportunity” to steer the world on “a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind”. Unless inclusive climate-smart solutions are prioritized in the recovery phase, there is a high risk of emissions rebounding and governments locking themselves in to a carbon-intense future, leaping from the COVID-19 frying pan into the climate fire. This working paper provides an economic analysis of climate and COVID-19 recovery policy measures in East Asia and the Pacific region and makes an investment case for accelerating ambitious and inclusive climate actions through national climate policies and COVID-19 recovery measures in East Asia and the Pacific and beyond.

Teaching and testing by phone in a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lee Crawfurd; David K. Evans; Susannah Hares (et al.)

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: September 2021
How did children learn while schools were closed during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic? In low-income countries where internet access is scarce, distance learning is often passive, via TV or radio, with little opportunity for teacher-student interaction. In this paper we evaluate the effectiveness of live tutoring calls from teachers, using a randomized controlled trial with 4,399 primary school students in Sierra Leone. Tutoring calls increased engagement in educational activity but had no effect on mathematics or language test scores, for girls or boys. We also make a methodological contribution, testing the reliability of student assessments conducted by phone. Phone-based assessments have sensible properties, but we find suggestive evidence that scores are higher than with in-person assessments, and there is differential item functioning across survey modes for most individual questions.
Breastfeeding in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: a discussion paper

AUTHOR(S)
Karen Walker; Janet Green; Julia Petty (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Neonatal Nursing
Breastfeeding offers one of the most fundamental global health benefits for babies. Breastmilk is lifesaving, providing not only nutrition but immunologic benefits and as such is strongly supported by the World Health Organization and leading healthcare associations worldwide. When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, the impact of the restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease created challenges and questions about provision of safe, quality care, including breastfeeding practices, in a new ‘normal’ environment. Mothers were temporarily separated from their babies where infection was present or suspected, parents were prevented from being present on neonatal units and vital breastfeeding support was prevented. This discussion paper provides an overview of essential areas of knowledge related to practice for neonatal nurses and midwives who care for breastfeeding mothers and babies, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the latest global guidance.
Supporting, teaching and empowering parents: a teacher's manual on psychosocial interventions for elementary school-aged students and parents during disasters and emergency situations

AUTHOR(S)
Mee Young Choi ; Remegio Alquitran; Maria Soriano-Lemen (et al.)

Institution: UNESCO
Published: July 2021

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education implemented the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan, directing schools to switch to online and distance learning modes. The start of School Year 2020-21 was moved to August from June. By September 2020, however, only 23,987,944 basic education students enrolled in public and private schools for SY 2020-21, representing 86.3% of the national enrolment figures from SY 2019-2020. This new normal in education underscores the important role of parents to make sure that the educational goals for their children are met during these challenging times. Enhancing the resilience of children allows them to develop normally despite adverse conditions brought about by disaster experiences. This Manual was developed as a resource for teachers to train parents and caregivers of elementary school-aged children and build their capacity to provide psychosocial support to their children during and in the aftermath of disaster experiences. The Manual consists of a framework to guide teachers, learning packs on the different modules covered in the program, and 8 modules detailing step-by-step conduct of the training sessions.

Rapid review protocol - Life in lockdown: child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: July 2021

While there has been a global rush to generate rapid evidence on COVID-19 mental health impacts among adults, limited evidence exists on the potential impacts on children. This is the protocol for our rapid review that seeks to (i) understand the immediate impact of COVID-19’s first wave on the mental health of children and adolescents (0–19 years); and (ii) apply lessons learned from this pandemic to mitigate the impacts of future health crises.

1 - 15 of 45

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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Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.

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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.