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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Adolescent girls in crisis: the Venezuelan migration
Published: June 2021

This report presents the experiences, voices, challenges and opportunities of Venezuelan refugee and migrant girls and adolescent girls in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, from a feminist, intersectional and human rights perspective. The purpose of this report is to amplify adolescent girls' voices and make visible the risks to the protection of their rights, safety and integrity, as well as their experiences. The report highlights their main needs, opportunities, desires, projects and dreams, with the aim of contributing to the guarantee of their rights in the context of the humanitarian crisis confronting these three countries, as part 
of Plan International’s ‘Girls in Crisis’ global research series.

Changes in physical activity, sleep, mental health, and social media use during COVID-19 lockdown among adolescent girls: a mixed-methods study

AUTHOR(S)
S. Maria O’Kane; Ian M. Lahart; Alison M. Gallagher (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Physical Activity and Health
To suppress the transmission of coronavirus, many governments, including that of the island of Ireland, implemented a societal lockdown, which included school closures, limits on social gatherings, and time outdoors. This study aimed to evaluate changes in physical activity (PA), mental health, sleep, and social media use among adolescent girls during lockdown.
The challenges made me stronger: what contributes to young people's resilience in Ethiopia?

AUTHOR(S)
Gina Crivello; Agazi Tiumelissan; Karin Heissler

Institution: Young Lives
Published: April 2021
This working paper explores the meanings and experiences of resilience, and its gender dimensions, among a cohort of Ethiopian children exposed to poverty and adversity across the early life course. It asks why some girls and some boys seem to fare well as they transition to adulthood, despite the challenges and obstacles they had faced, while others do less well. The data comprise repeat life history interviews (from ages 12 to 24) and survey questionnaires over a 20-year period (to age 25). Qualitative analysis (n=64) revealed how children’s lives did not follow linear paths, and were easily derailed by unplanned events and shocks, including: (a) climatic shocks; (b) societal influences; (c) school transitions and relations; (d) household changes; and (e) child health and social development. Gender mediated children’s experiences of risk and their individual and family coping mechanisms.
Building our imagined futures: supporting resilience among young women and men in Ethiopia
Institution: Young Lives, UK Aid, *UNICEF
Published: April 2021
This policy brief draws on a qualitative study that uses a gender perspective to investigate the notion of resilience among a cohort of young women and young men who grew up in poverty in five rural and urban communities in Ethiopia, and who are part of the broader Young Lives longitudinal study of 3000 children and young people in the country.  It asks why some children seem to fare well as they transistion to adulthood, despite the challenges and obstacles they had faced, whilst others do less well.
Listen to us: adolescent girls in North West South West Cameroon on conflict and COVID-19
Institution: Plan International
Published: March 2021

This report is the result of a multi-sectoral needs assessment exercise focusing on the rights and needs of adolescents living in the Anglophone territories of North West South West (NWSW) Cameroon. Conducted under extremely challenging circumstances, the assessment used innovative methods pioneered by Plan International to capture the voices of adolescent girls and young women, alongside adolescent boys, young men and their parents and caregivers. It spoke directly to adolescent girls themselves, in particular adolescent girls who are mothers, pregnant, or married, whose ideas, and needs, are often ignored. The NWSW regions of Cameroon have been engulfed in crisis since late 2016, yet this conflict, and its impacts on adolescents, have received limited attention from the international community. This report, which gives adolescents the space to voice their concerns and priorities can be used to engage with states, donors and other humanitarian actors on this neglected crisis and highlight what needs to be done to address adolescents’ needs, rights and aspirations.

Pre-pandemic influences on Kenyan girls’ transitions to adulthood during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Meghan Bellerose; Maryama Diaw; Jessie Pinchof (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Girlhood Studies
COVID-19 containment measures have left adolescent girls in Nairobi, Kenya vulnerable to negative educational, economic, and secondary health outcomes that threaten their safe transitions into adulthood. In June 2020, the Population Council conducted phone-based surveys with 856 girls aged between 10 and 19 in 5 informal settlements who had been surveyed prior to COVID-19 as part of five longitudinal studies. We performed bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses to assess the relationship between COVID-19 outcomes and potential protective or risk factors. We found that younger girls are experiencing high levels of food insecurity and difficulty learning from home during school closures, while many older girls face the immediate risk of dropping out of school permanently and have been forgoing needed health services.
Social isolation and disrupted privacy impacts of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in humanitarian contexts

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Baird; Sarah Alheiwidi; Rebecca Dutton (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Girlhood Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has shattered the everyday lives of young people, limiting peer interactions and disrupting privacy, with potential for long-term detrimental impacts. This study uses rapid virtual quantitative and qualitative surveys undertaken from April to July 2020 with over 4,800 adolescents affected by displacement in Bangladesh and Jordan to explore adolescent girls’ experiences of social isolation and lack of privacy.
Child marriage in COVID-19 contexts: disruptions, alternative approaches and building programme resilience
Institution: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, *UNICEF
Published: December 2020
This brief has been developed jointly by UNFPA and UNICEF regional offices in Eastern and Southern Africa. It provides an overview of child marriage in the region, particularly in the context of COVID-19, as well as an analysis of disruptions to child marriage programmes. The brief also describes alternatives to traditional programmatic work as a means to overcome challenges presented by COVID-19. It proposes a way forward for child marriage programming during the COVID-19 response and recovery phases, as well as outlining implications for future programming, including the need to strengthen programme resilience
Centring adolescent girls and young women in the HIV and COVID-19 responses

AUTHOR(S)
Ameena Goga; Linda Gail Bekker; Philippe Van de Perre

Published: November 2020   Journal: The Lancet
Adolescent girls (10–19 years) and young women (20–24 years) are a key part of the 1·8 billion people who live in fragile contexts. In 2019, adolescent girls and young women comprised an estimated 10% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa but accounted for 59% of new HIV infections. Adolescent girls and young women are disproportionally affected by HIV and COVID-19.
Coping with more than COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Kelley Swain

Published: October 2020   Journal: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health
Education, and its precarity for young women around the world, is a major theme in the UNICEF video essay series, “Coping with COVID-19”, which invited 16 adolescent girls from nine countries to film their lives under lockdown—“unfiltered, unscripted, 100% real”. These young women face complex interconnected challenges. Having access to safe, reliable, high-quality education can help them make choices that will benefit their goals relating to future work, relationships, and community involvement.
Beijing+25: generation equality begins with adolescent girls' education
Institution: UNESCO
Published: October 2020

Adolescent girls' education contributes to a virtuous cycle that has proven positive impact on sustainable development. This report aims to examine progress and persistent gaps in our efforts to achieve gender equality in and through education since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, and to identify priority actions to be implemented within the Beijing+25 process, the Generation Equality Forum's Action Coalitions, and the Sustainable Development Goals. It shows the importance of adolescent girls' education and provides recommendations for collective action – in particular on three priority levers: Comprehensive sexuality education; the participation of adolescent girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); and the development of adolescent girls' leadership – drawing in particular on consultation processes among international organizations, civil society and adolescent girls in the run-up to the Forum. In all areas, specific levers, intersectoral approaches and multi-stakeholder partnerships are promoted.

Girl-driven change: meeting the needs of adolescent girls during COVID-19 and beyond
Institution: CARE
Published: October 2020
As a result of the circumstances brought on by COVID-19, adolescent girls face a myriad of risks—ranging from an increased likelihood of exposure to violence and early marriage, to catastrophic learning, health and economic losses. This report draws upon available country data from CARE’s work as well as external sources, in order to highlight the initial impact of the pandemic on the health, well-being and safety of adolescent girls as well as their access to, and involvement in, essential services. It further provides examples of program adaptations developed during the pandemic to highlight the ways in which projects have continued to respond in targeted ways across sectors to the unique needs of girls.
Pan-African Girlhood Report 2020: how COVID-19 is putting progress in peril
Institution: Save the Children
Published: October 2020
Lack of legal protection to protect women from domestic violence and sexual abuse, as well as gender inequality when it comes to accessing political and economic opportunities are some of the remaining challenges faced by girls and women across Africa. When COVID-19 struck, rather than being the year of opportunity and change, 2020 risks being a year of irreversible setbacks and lost progress for girls. Unless the world acts fast and decisively, the impact on girls’ futures – and on all our futures – will be devastating. Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, progress for girls on some issues was already under threat.
Periods in a pandemic
Institution: Plan International
Published: August 2020

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are the first line of defence against COVID-19. It’s widely recognised that access to clean, running water and soap for handwashing is a critical need that must be met in  our global response to the pandemic, however there are other essential aspects of WASH that should not be forgotten at this time.  On any single day during this health emergency, 800 million diverse women and girls are menstruating and grappling with the unique challenges of doing so in a global pandemic. This report looks at how the current implications of COVID-19 is exacerbating key challenges for people who menstruate around the world and  provides recommendations on how to include menstrual hygiene management (MHM) within  a COVID-19 response. 

Immediate impact of stay-at-home orders to control COVID-19 transmission on socioeconomic conditions, food insecurity, mental health, and intimate partner violence in Bangladeshi women and their families: an interrupted time series

AUTHOR(S)
Jena Derakhshani Hamadani; Mohammed Imrul Hasan; Andrew J. Baldi

Published: August 2020   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
Stay-at-home orders (lockdowns) have been deployed globally to control COVID-19 transmission, and might impair economic conditions and mental health, and exacerbate risk of food insecurity and intimate partner violence. The effect of lockdowns in low-income and middle-income countries must be understood to ensure safe deployment of these interventions in less affluent settings. This article aims to determine the immediate impact of COVID-19 lockdown orders on women and their families in rural Bangladesh.
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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.