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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Can youth empowerment programs reduce violence against girls during the COVID-19 pandemic?

AUTHOR(S)
Selim Gulesci; Manuela Puente Beccar; Diego Ubfal

Institution: The World Bank
Published: February 2021
This paper shows that a youth empowerment program in Bolivia reduces the prevalence of violence against girls during the COVID-19 lockdown. The program offers training in soft skills and technical skills, sex education, mentoring, and job-finding assistance. To measure the effects of the program, the study conducts a randomized control trial with 600 vulnerable adolescents. The results indicate that seven months after its completion, the program increased girls' earnings and decreased violence targeting females. Violence is measured with both direct self-report questions and list experiments. These findings suggest that empowerment programs can reduce the level of violence experienced by young females during high-risk periods.
Are we asking the right questions?: choices and challenges in assessing COVID-19 impact on the vulnerable in Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Debapriya Bhattacharya; Sarah Sabin Khan; Towfiqul Islam Khan

Institution: Citizen’s Platform for SDGs
Published: January 2021
The paper puts forward a framework to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable population groups in a developing country context. Bangladesh has been used as a case study. The pandemic has not only exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities of these groups but has also induced new ones. Policy actions towards recovery and resumption—both immediately and over the medium-term—need to be informed by genuine and disaggregated evidence based on realities on the ground. The paper urges a need to have conceptual, analytical and methodological clarity on the relevant issues. Towards this end, it explores the current state of knowledge on the topic and digs deep into the existing literature to analyse these issues. The paper offers a set of analytical questions to construct the assessment framework. The resultant framework presented can be adopted and replicated across national contexts.
Impact of Covid-19 on adolescent mental health in Viet Nam and Tanzania

AUTHOR(S)
Roshni Chakraborty; Fiona Samuels

Published: January 2021
Since May 2020, ODI and its Vietnamese and Tanzanian country partners have been engaged in a 2.5-year project to address the mental health needs of adolescents in schools, in the community and at the institutional level through the co-creation and implementation of digital and non-digital solutions. As a first phase of this project, a literature review has been carried out. This paper contributes to the other outputs published in the literature review. This literature review explores the impacts of Covid-19 on mental well-being and the mental health and psychosocial support needs of adolescents in Viet Nam and Tanzania.
A simulation of COVID-19 school closure Impact on student learning in Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Tashmina Rahman; Uttam Sharma

Institution: The World Bank
Published: January 2021
This Note presents results from a series of simulations that aim to capture the impacts that school closures in Bangladesh might have on the learning levels, enrollment and future earnings of children and students using a methodological tool developed by the Education Global Practice of the World Bank .
COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition

In 2019, 135 million people in 55 countries were in food crises or worse, and 2 billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. COVID-19 has exacerbated these hardships and may result in an additional 121 million people facing acute food insecurity by the end of 2020. Further, since the beginning of the pandemic, an estimated 1.6 billion learners in 199 countries worldwide were affected by school closures, with nearly 370 million children not receiving a school meal in 150 countries.

The paper presents the evidence on the potential negative short-term and long-term effects of school meal scheme disruption during Covid-19 globally. It shows how vulnerable the children participating in these schemes are, how coping and mitigation measures are often only short-term solutions, and how prioritizing school re-opening is critical. For instance, it highlights how girls are at greater risk of not being in school or of being taken out of school early, which may lead to poor nutrition and health for themselves and their children. However, well-designed school feeding programmes have been shown to enable catch-up from early growth failure and other negative shocks. As such, once schools re-open, school meal schemes can help address the deprivation that children have experienced during the closures and provide an incentive for parents to send and keep their children, especially girls, in school.

COVID-19: Trends, Promising Practices and Gaps in Remote Learning for Pre-Primary Education
This paper examines the remote learning options that countries around the world have made available for pre-primary students and their families while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights trends, gaps and emerging good practices that are supported by existing evidence.
Socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in four African countries

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Josephson; Talip Kilic; Jeffrey D. Michler

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2020
This paper provides some of the first evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of and responses to the pandemic among households in Sub-Saharan Africa. Econometric methods are applied to longitudinal household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda. Results show that 256 million individuals are estimated to live in households that have lost income due to the pandemic. Attempts to cope with this loss are exacerbated by the inability to access medicine and staple foods among 20 to 25 percent of the households in each country, and food insecurity is disproportionately borne by households that were already impoverished prior to the pandemic. Finally, student-teacher contact has dropped from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 96 percent to just 17 percent among households with school-age children. These findings can help inform decisions by governments and international organizations on measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal the need for continued monitoring.
Resultados del diagnóstico rápido de necesidades frentre a la pandemia COVID-19 Nicaragua
Institution: Save the Children
Published: October 2020
In May, Save the Children conducted a survey with 87 beneficiaries of projects that have been implemented in partnership with CESESMA, FUNARTE, Los Pipitos, MILAVF, and the City Hall of Cua. The survey was aimed at parents of children and adolescents to gain better knowledge of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results set the foundation for this document and will support the definition and adaptation of current and future Save the Children interventions.
Survey of COVID-19 impact on national education planning units
Institution: UNESCO - Institute of Statistics
Published: October 2020

As  the  COVID-19  pandemic  spreads,  most  governments  around  the  world  have  temporarily  closed  educational  institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease. These nationwide closures are not only impacting hundreds  of  millions  of  students,  they  are also  affecting  the  capacity  of  national education planning units  to monitor education outcomes. During these trying times, when countries need data more urgently than ever before to plan and monitor emergency response efforts and prepare for medium- and long-term mitigation and recovery strategies, statistical operations and other office activities are being seriously disrupted or interrupted.  The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has therefore launched and conducted a survey of COVID-19 pandemic impacts on national education planning units. The questionnaire is designed for statistical planning units in charge of national education statistics. The survey is available in four languages (English, French, Spanish, and Russian) and can be submitted by email or through the online survey platform. Therefore, the greatest degree of survey participation, integrity, and confidence in the quality of the data are ensured.

Stemming learning loss during the pandemic: a rapid randomized trial of a low-tech intervention in Botswana

AUTHOR(S)
Noam Angrist; Peter Bergman; Caton Brewster (et al.)

Published: August 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has closed schools for over 1.6 billion children, with potentially long-term consequences. This paper provides some of the first experimental evidence on strategies to minimize the fallout of the pandemic on education outcomes. We evaluate two low-technology interventions to substitute schooling during this period: SMS text messages and direct phone calls. We conduct a rapid trial in Botswana to inform real-time policy responses collecting data at four to six-week intervals. We present results from the first wave.
COVID-19: Effects of school closures on foundational skills and promising practices for monitoring and mitigating learning loss

While remote learning measures are essential for mitigating the short-term and long-term consequences of COVID-19 school closures, little is known about their impact on and effectiveness for learning.

This working paper contributes to filling this gap by: 1. Exploring how disrupted schooling may affect foundational learning skills, using data from MICS6 (Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys - round 6) in 2017–2019; 2. Examining how countries are delivering and monitoring remote learning based on data from the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank’s National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures survey; and 3. Presenting promising key practices for the effective delivery and monitoring of remote learning.

COVID-19: A reason to double down on investments in pre-primary education
This paper summarizes the recent UNICEF analysis on investing in early childhood education in developing countries. It provides a benefit-cost analysis of investments in pre-primary education in 109 developing low- and middle-income countries and territories, using data from 2008 to 2019.
TV-based learning in Bangladesh: is it reaching students?

AUTHOR(S)
Kumar Biswas; T. M. Asaduzzaman; David K. Evans (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: July 2020
Is TV-based learning during COVID-19 school closures in Bangladesh reaching students? Most students (86 percent) within our sample of more than 2,000 Grade 9 stipend recipients are aware of government provided TV-based learning programs; yet only half of the students with access to these programs choose to access them. Also, very few students (21 percent) have access to government provided online learning programs, and among those that do, only about 2 percent choose to access them.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 6 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: educational policy, COVID-19 response, remote learning | Countries: Bangladesh
Study Protocol: Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

 

This protocol details the aims, scope and methodology used for the rapid review titled: “Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19."

 

Cite this research | No. of pages: 18 | Language: English | Topics: Child Protection | Tags: COVID-19 | Publisher: UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

 

This rapid review collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.

The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and  school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19, is extremely limited.

There are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities - such as being orphaned, stigmatization and discrimination and reductions in household income - leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy.

Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks:

  • Responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. throughpsychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions that provide families with resources and access to services)
  • Responding to stigmatization and discrimination (e.g. throughinformation and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools)
  • Investing in social protectionenable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks
  • Promoting access to health, protective and justice services, which may be restricted or suspending during infectious disease outbreaks
  • Ensuring continued access to education, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected

There is a high burden of proof for data collection during the current COVID-19 outbreak than there would be in normal circumstances. Evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes – particularly where there is ongoing longitudinal data collection. There should also be efforts to synthesize evidence from existing research on the effectiveness of interventions that respond to the key risk pathways identified in this review.

 

 

 

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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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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.