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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Using social capital to mitigate impacts of Covid-19: lessons from returning migrant workers and their families in a Laotian province bordering Thailand

AUTHOR(S)
Angie Dang

Published: December 2022   Journal: Proceedings: Rangahau Horonuku Hou – New Research Landscapes, Unitec/MIT Research Symposium
In the global context of the Covid-19 pandemic, migrant workers and their families are subject to job cuts, state-imposed restrictions, hostility, discrimination, prejudice and harassment from communities who fear catching the virus from them. They receive little or no state support compared to other population groups. How have migrant workers and their families managed these challenges? What could be learned from them in terms of pandemic management and support to vulnerable groups? Findings from a study in a Laotian province bordering Thailand show that returning migrant workers and their families sourced and used social capital to mitigate the impacts of the first wave of Covid-19. Their social-capital strategies have helped them to cope with the pandemic. Implications are discussed along with recommendations for support and intervention.
Government transfers and consumer spending among households with children during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Pinghui Wu; Vincent Fusaro; H. Luke Shaefe

Published: December 2022   Journal: Research Department Working Papers
Leveraging novel data on consumer credit and debit card spending by Zip code, this study examines how the impact of government transfers on economic well-being varied by household type during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings indicate that pandemic transfers disproportionately benefited households with children, buffering them from earnings losses at the pandemic’s start and sustaining spending growth over time. Household essential spending increased proportionally with the delivery of cash transfers, while discretionary spending was influenced more by pandemic-specific factors beyond household income.
Covid-19 lockdowns and the precarity of South Asian key workers' families in the United Kingdom

AUTHOR(S)
Rizwana Yousaf

Published: December 2022   Journal: South Asian Diaspora
With growing concern in the lives of individuals and communities during COVID-19, there is growing consensus across the globe that the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on different segments of society. It is of pertinent significance to understand the differential impact of pandemic on diverse groups. The concept of ‘intersectional vulnerability’ has been used in this paper to understand the unequal impact of the pandemic. Using an intersectional lens of ethnicity, this paper aims to understand the lived experiences of South Asian key workers’ family members (women) during the COVID-19 lockdowns through narratives of precarity and vulnerability, this study brings out the challenges faced by families of key workers. Vulnerable family members’ fear, stress, economic pressures, persistent inequalities in society, and gendered experiences shape the narratives of these families. The pandemic exacerbated existing precarious positions of families by creating a situation where ethnic inequality and inequitable gendered impacts were further reinforced.
Between a rock and a hard place: COVID concerns and partnered U.S. mothers' employment during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel L. Carlson; Priya Fielding-Singh; Richard J. Petts (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World
Shutdowns of in-person school and childcare in spring 2020 in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic were associated with substantial reductions in mothers’ labor force participation (LFP). By fall 2020, in-person school and daycare were more widely available, but mothers’ LFP remained as low as it was in spring. Coincidently, by fall 2020, daily COVID deaths had also began to peak. Using unique panel survey data from partnered U.S. mothers (n = 263), the authors use structural equation modeling to analyze how mothers’ concerns over COVID shaped their LFP in fall 2020. Findings show that mothers’ COVID concerns were associated with reduced LFP via children’s time at home, perceived stress, and remote work. Concerned mothers were more likely to keep children home, but this resulted in less paid work likely vis-à-vis work-family conflicts.
Economic precarity among single parents in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Zachary Parolin; Emma K. Lee

Published: November 2022   Journal: The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Single-parent families have historically faced greater economic precarity relative to other family types in the United States. This study investigate how and whether those disparities widened after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data on exposure to school and childcare center closures, unemployment, poverty, food hardship, and frequent worrying among single-parent families versus two-parent families throughout 2020 and 2021, it find that the challenges that single parents faced prior to the pandemic generally magnified after the arrival of COVID-19. In April 2020, one in four single parents was unemployed, and unemployment rates recovered more slowly for single parents throughout 2021, perhaps in part due to their unequal exposure to school and childcare closures. The expansion of income transfers largely buffered against potential increases in poverty and hardship, but levels of worrying among single parents continued to worsen throughout 2021.
Patterns of adolescent eating behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ludmila Zhuravleva; Elena Zarubina; Aleksey Ruchkin (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: BIO Web of Conferences
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated problems of ensuring food security for all strata of the population of many countries of the world, including Russia. For scientific research of these problems, development and implementation of effective practical recommendations in the international scientific community has developed an interdisciplinary the concept of “food security”. Food security is a stable condition processes, mechanisms, infrastructures, relationships and influences related to food production, storage, transportation, supply, consumption and disposal food waste. The concept of food security it is the key to studying the problems of providing for the population food economists, lawyers, specialists management and logistics, marketers, social psychologists, nutritionists, as well as specialists in the field of other sciences. Its place in comprehensive security research food security is also found by the sociology of nutrition, which studies food systems, first of all, in its links such as the consumption of food by various social groups and food waste management. During the third stage of the sociological research, the topic which was the change in the eating behavior of various socio-demographic groups of Russian society in the conditions of ongoing pandemics, the author’s team conducted an analysis of food practices children and adolescents in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods of conducting smart survey and in-depth interviews were selected for the research.
Artificial Intelligence framework for threat assessment and containment for COVID-19 and future epidemics while mitigating the socioeconomic impact to women, children, and underprivileged groups

AUTHOR(S)
G. Ilangarathna; H. Weligampola; Y. Ranasinghe (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka
With the emergency situation that arises with COVID-19, the intense containment strategies adopted by many countries had little or no consideration towards socio-economic ramifications or the impact on women, children, socioeconomically underprivileged groups. The existence of many adverse impacts raises questions on the approaches taken and demands proper analysis, scrutiny and review of the policies. Therefore, a framework was developed using the artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to detect, model, and predict the behaviour of the COVID-19 pandemic containment strategies, understanding the socio-economic impact of these strategies on identified diverse vulnerable groups, and the development of AI-based solutions, to predict and manage a future spread of COVID or similar infectious disease outbreaks while mitigating the social and economic toil. Based on generated behaviour and movements, AI tools were developed to conduct contact tracing and socio-economic impact mitigation actions in a more informed, socially conscious and responsible manner in the case of the next wave of COVID-19 infections or a different future infectious disease.
Impact of COVID-19 on children
Published: November 2022   Journal: Middle East Current Psychiatry
The COVID-19 global pandemic has spread throughout the world, posing an extremely dangerous health risk for almost everyone. While dealing with such a large-scale viral disease, the healthcare infrastructure is under strain. Young adults who were thought to have been clinically affected fared better than their older counterparts. This pandemic has affected millions of children, especially those from low-economic backgrounds, who are otherwise highly susceptible and underprivileged. Children of frontline workers and single parents face particular challenges. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more vulnerable to infection and may experience long-lasting negative effects of the pandemic, such as child labor, child trafficking, child marriage, sexual exploitation, and even death. To lessen the psychological negative effects of COVID-19 on children and adolescents, parents, physicians, psychologists, social workers, and hospital administrators, government and non-governmental organizations have essential responsibilities to play. Priority one is to ensure that all children from all socioeconomic strata have access to the necessities of life, including social security, health care, and education. Moreover, some positive changes may result from the global crisis. This research paper discusses the potential consequences of this pandemic.
The role of social transfers in mitigating families with children from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Sanna Kärkkäinen; Merita Mesiäislehto; Outi Sirniö (et al.)

Published: November 2022   Journal: International Journal of Social Welfare
This study investigated the household income of families with children. Its specific interest was the earned income losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how social transfers have mitigated those losses. It assessed the monthly income levels by comparing the information on the year prior to pandemic to income levels during COVID-19 pandemic.
Rural youth employability trends and the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Liva Grinevica; Baiba Rivza; Peteris Rivza

Published: November 2022   Journal: The Open Agriculture Journal

The COVID-19 pandemic seriously impacts youth employability, especially in rural regions. In rural areas, the lack of system and availability of education, vocational education and training can have a negative impact on a young person's ability to obtain an education and continue to succeed in the labour market. These circumstances can hinder a young person's transition to the labour market. The paper presents a brief analysis of rural youth employment trends, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the labour market in Latvia, and an analysis of the youth employability using dynamic series analysis. The research methodology implemented for the present research study is based on the theoretical concepts and statistical data regarding the rural youth employment trends and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young lives under pressure: protecting and promoting young people’s mental health at a time of global crises

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Richard Freund

Institution: Young Lives
Published: November 2022

Mental health issues are triggered and prolonged by multiple factors, particularly rising levels of global poverty and inequality. Young Lives research shows that COVID-19, climate and conflict crises are exacerbating this further, triggering high levels of anxiety and depression and declining well-being amongst young people at a critical period in their lives when resilience to mental health issues is typically built.  This policy brief brings together new evidence from our longitudinal study on how global crises are impacting the mental health of disadvantaged youth in poor countries and calls for urgent action to support developing countries to respond effectively.

The COVID-19 consequences on child labour in agrifood systems

This paper provides insights and evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and related policy responses to curb its spread influence the risk of child labour in agriculture through different pathways.It draws on case studies from seven countries covering different production systems: Côte d’Ivoire (cocoa), Ethiopia (cattle keeping and farming), (Lebanon (horticulture and greenhouse farms), the Philippines (municipal fisheries), and Viet Nam (crop farming, livestock, and citrus fruit chains). Based on these evidence, the document provides concluding reflections and recommendations on priority areas regarding knowledge generation and data collection, policy responses (social protection, education), and household- and community-level responses.

Price shocks: rising food prices threaten the lives of thousands of children
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2022

Conflict, climate change, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and fallout from the Ukraine crisis are interacting to create new and worsen existing hunger hotspots around the world. These overlapping crises are reversing the gains many families have made to escape poverty. While global food prices are now stabilising after reaching record highs, in many countries around the world, they continue to climb. High food prices are exacerbating existing humanitarian crises and putting the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable children at risk as policymakers are slow to take necessary large-scale action.

Operational research on the WFP Cash Transfer Programme in Cambodia, March 2022
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: October 2022
In 2021, WFP Cambodia implemented a cash transfer programme to support households impacted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and large-scale floods. This was done in consultation with the Royal Government of Cambodia and development partners. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), provided financial support to the implementation of the cash transfer programme and accompanying operational research. The objective of the cash transfer programme was two-fold: (1) to increase the beneficiaries’ ability to fulfil essential needs and to support their recovery in the face of these shocks, and (2) to create an operational model for shock responsive social protection programmes that could be adopted institutionally and rolled out to address future shocks. For the second objective, WFP commissioned Oxford Policy Management (OPM) to conduct operational research to generate and document key learnings regarding the WFP cash transfer programme. The research sought to answer the following research question: “To what extent did the design and implementation of the WFP cash transfer programme align with and support the building blocks for shock responsive social protection in Cambodia, and what recommendations do WFP, the Royal Government of Cambodia, and social protection actors need to take into account when designing and implementing future cash (and other) programmes to further strengthen the shock responsiveness of the social protection system in the country?”
COVID-19 pandemic impacts on Asia and the Pacific

AUTHOR(S)
A. Elbehri; T. Temel; F. Burcu Ceylan (et al.)

The COVID-19 health crisis has turned into a global economic crisis, putting at risk the health, jobs and incomes of millions of people across the world. The pandemic is becoming persistent and seemingly slow to eradicate, with medium and long-term consequences affecting the trajectories of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) targets across the countries. Better understanding of the implications of COVID-19 containment these measures for food systems, food insecurity and malnutrition is vital to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a food crisis and to rebuilt resilient food systems. The regional review presented in this report is broad-based but provisional since we are still dealing with an active pandemic having just moved past the fourth wave (dominated by Delta variant) and now facing a new variant, Omicron (whose real impact is still under review). As we approach 2022, the world is learning to live with COVID-19 and its variants for longer than initially believed. So the numbers related to COVID-19 infections and vaccination rates are only provisional and reflect the situation as of the time of writing.
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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.