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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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Averting a lost COVID generation: a six-point plan to respond, recover and reimagine a post-pandemic world for every child
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2020 UNICEF Publication
After almost one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the impact of the virus on the world’s children and young people is becoming clearer – and increasingly alarming. Children face a trifecta of threats: direct consequences of the disease itself, interruption in essential services and increasing poverty and inequality.

Despite being less affected than any other age group, emerging data suggest that children and young people’s health may be more directly impacted by COVID-19 than originally anticipated when the crisis began in late 2019. Disruptions to essential services such as education, health care, nutrition and child protection interventions are harming children. A severe global economic recession is impoverishing children and compounding deep pre-existing inequalities and exclusion.

On World Children’s Day, UNICEF is taking stock of the global impact of COVID-19 on children and young people, laying out what we know from the latest available data and research, highlighting what is still unclear as well as the options for action, and urging the world to take bold and unprecedented steps to reimagine a better future for children.
The importance of investing in the wellbeing of children to avert the learning crisis
Institution: UNESCO, World Food Programme, *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion school-age children in more than 190 countries. Already last year, 250 million school-age children being out of school, the world was facing a “learning crisis”. But now with the COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis could turn into a generational catastrophe. While many children will continue with their education once schools reopen, others may never return to school. Current estimates indicate that 24 million children will never return to the classroom and among those, disproportional number of girls. To avert this crisis, we need to reimagine how we deliver good quality and inclusive education to the world children. Among other things, this calls for urgent investments in school health and nutrition programmes and create the conditions for children to lead healthy lives. This also includes health and nutrition literacy offered through the curriculum and through counselling in the school health services which provides young people with knowledge, skills, values, culture and behaviours they need to lead healthy, empowered lives.

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Gender Alert on COVID-19 Afghanistan
Institution: UN Women, *UNICEF, Human Rights Watch
Published: October 2020
Families already living in poverty, many of whom are internally displaced persons or returnees, have little ability to weather a new crisis. They will be most under pressure to relieve financial crises through child labor or child marriage. In addition to dropping out of school, education disruption puts girls and young women at increased risk of numerous abuses: child marriage, exploitation, child labor, early pregnancy, and gender-based violence. An increase in reported cases of child marriage within the first few weeks/months of the pandemic has been documented.

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Research on violence against children during the COVID-19 pandemic
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
Research and data are important to draw attention to the experiences of children during the COVID-19 pandemic, to advocate for a range of protection services to be available during the crisis and beyond, and to inform the design of violence against children (VAC) prevention and response programmes. That said, the need for evidence must be balanced against the substantial risks to children, families and even researchers participating in violence-related research and data collection efforts. These risks are always present, but are likely to be amplified in the context of COVID-19, which may require rapid research, often via remote methods such as mobile phones or the Internet. This new UNICEF publication, Research on Violence against Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance to inform ethical data collection and evidence generation, addresses key questions on generating VAC evidence that may arise during the pandemic and includes a decision tree (below) to guide those considering conducting research and data collection on VAC during COVID-19.

 
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What have we learnt? Findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19
Institution: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
According to this new report published by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank, schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle-income countries have already lost nearly four months of schooling since the start of the pandemic, compared to an average of six weeks among high-income countries. Compiling data from surveys on national education responses to COVID-19 from 149 countries between July and October, the report also finds that schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle income countries were less likely to have access to remote learning or to be monitored on a day-to-day basis by teachers and were more likely to have delays in their schools reopening.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 51 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: education, government policy, COVID-19 response | Publisher: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank
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A neglected tragedy: The global burden of stillbirths 2020

There is a high risk that the COVID-19 pandemic may reverse decades-long progress on reducing child mortality and affect the number of stillbirths. This new release of the first-ever joint stillbirth estimates by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) presents the number of babies that are stillborn every year due to pregnancy and birth-related complications, the absence of health workers and basic services. The issue has become an essential part of global child survival initiatives. UNICEF calls on international organizations, governments and partners for increased and strong political will, sound policies and targeted investment along the continuum of care for every mother and child.

Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 90 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Child Protection | Tags: child mortality
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UNICEF’s social protection response to COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on children and their families, with current estimates suggesting that an additional 117 million children will be living in poverty by the end of 2020. Beyond income, the pandemic is deepening poverty across every dimension of a child’s life, including health, education, nutrition, housing, water and sanitation. Social protection is playing a crucial role in the response, with countries expanding their social protection coverage and expanding national cash transfer programmes. This report highlights UNICEF’s role in supporting governments with both the immediate social protection response and longer-term recovery. Our work encompasses 115 countries where UNICEF has supported governments in strengthening national systems reaching over 44 million households. The report outlines UNICEF’s key areas of expertise in social protection and country examples covering the range of our work across all regions.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 12 | Language: English | Topics: Child Poverty | Tags: social protection | Publisher: *UNICEF
Supplement to framework for reopening schools: emerging lessons from country experiences in managing the process of reopening schools
Institution: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank
Published: September 2020
Education systems around the world continue to grapple with the complex decisions of when and how to reopen schools for in-person learning following widespread closures due to the COVID 19 pandemic.1 Many countries closed schools along with other widespread restrictions as an immediate response to the increased spread of COVD-19. But school closures have had increasingly clear negative impacts on child health, education and development, family income and the overall economy.
Moving beyond the numbers: what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the safety of women and girls
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020

This article illustrates some of the limitations of the statistics that have been widely publicized in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, provides additional contextual information to better understand the risks women and girls are facing, and outlines some priority recommendations to Governments, policy makers, donors and key humanitarian and development actors for addressing gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19.

Tracking the situation of children during COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
This dashboard is based on quarterly updates of recent data collection efforts from UNICEF country offices drawing on best available sources in each country, including administrative data or representative survey data collected in the last 3 months; or where necessary, extrapolations from reliable localized quantitative and/or qualitative reports. Estimates may not accurately represent the full national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the challenges of traditional data collection efforts during the pandemic, this dashboard offers relevant early indication of impacts on the disruption of essential services.
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Supplement to Framework for reopening schools: emerging lessons from country experiences in managing the process of reopening schools
Institution: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank, World Food Programme, UNHCHR
Published: September 2020
Education systems around the world continue to grapple with the complex decisions of when and how to reopen schools for in-person learning following widespread closures due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Experiences in most high-income countries show no measurable impact of school reopening on increasing community transmission rates, while within primary school settings in particular there has been limited transmission among children or between children and adults. Emerging evidence drawn from Eastern and Southern Africa also suggests that schools have not been associated with significant increases in community transmission. As more countries are re-opening schools, lessons are emerging on what is working. These lessons are shared in this supplement piece covering the same areas that were covered in the Framework for Re-opening Schools.
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Resilience In Action: Lessons Learned From The Joint Programme During The Covid-19 Crisis
Institution: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
According to estimates by UNFPA, the COVID-19 pandemic may result in two million cases of female genital mutilation that would otherwise have been averted or a one third reduction in progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 5.3, the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030. With limited research and documentation on the impact of humanitarian crises on female genital mutilation, the Joint Programme developed this brief to document lessons learned during the COVID-19 crisis. Drawing on rapid assessments and surveys, and consultations with country and regional offices, the brief presents Joint Programme strategies for adapting interventions to ensure business continuity in the face of the pandemic, and captures learning that will inform the programme’s future strategic planning. The brief is intended for staff, partners, and stakeholders working towards the elimination of female genital mutilation.
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Protect the progress: rise, refocus, recover
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Since the Every Woman Every Child movement was launched 10 years ago, there has been remarkable progress in improving the health of the world’s women, children, and adolescents, including reducing maternal and child mortality and improving child nutrition and education. However, conflict, climate instability, and the COVID-19 pandemic are putting all children and adolescents at risk . In particular, the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating inequities, with reported disruptions in essential health interventions disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable women and children.
This report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how fundamental good data are across sectors; that greater investments are needed to build resilient systems to provide high-quality and integrated services consistently; and COVID-19 recovery efforts  require multilateral action and continued investment in development.
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Accelerating results for children with technology and digital innovation
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
With the global emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, digital development has become an integral component of UNICEF’s work as national programmes shifted to distance and remote delivery means.

This report highlights examples of country-level COVID-19 response initiatives employing digital innovation and T4D approaches, in support of both its humanitarian action and development programmes. It further demonstrates how the scale-up of T4D’s strategic integration in programming and digital innovations has allowed UNICEF to support programme partners in closing gaps to meet children’s needs, often under complex environments, and in line with existing national systems. These initiatives span UNICEF programmes worldwide and help address children’s health, nutrition, education, protection, access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and inclusion. 
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Levels & Trends in Child Mortality. United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) Report 2020
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation, The World Bank
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication

There have been dramatic reductions in child and youth mortality over the last 29 years. Globally, under-five mortality has dropped by 59% since 1990—from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births then to 38 deaths in 2019. Initial evidence suggests that the impact of COVID-19 on direct mortality for children and youth may be small, but indirect effects can be severe. Many life-saving services have already been disrupted by COVID-19. 

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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.