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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The digital divide, gender and education: challenges for tribal youth in rural Jharkhand during Covid-19

AUTHOR(S)
Kumari Vibhuti Nayak; Shamsher Alam

Published: August 2022   Journal: Decision
When analysing the Covid-19 pandemic potential consequences on education, it is evident that it had adverse effects on the existing educational inequalities worldwide. However, little is known about how the digital divide have worsened the conventional educational system and reinforced pre-existing gender inequalities among the historically marginalised communities. This research paper explores how the pandemic, along with digital divide, deteriorated the educational system among the socially deprived groups (i.e. tribals also known as indigenous or Adivasis) and place them in a disadvantageous position. The paper reflects on how the Covid-19 pandemic re-configured the pre-existing issues of educational inequalities and how the digital dived have been manifested in a way that has particularly affected the young tribal girls. For this study, semi-structured interviews with tribal students, their parents and teachers residing in a remote area of Jharkhand, India, were conducted to understand their experiences of shifting to online education mode. Other than accessibility and infrastructure issue, the findings reveal that the elements of cultural and social issues (related to perceived benefits of education for girls and mindset or beliefs parents and teachers towards effectiveness of digital mode of education delivery) create and reinforce the digital divide for the tribal girls in the hinterlands.
Feasibility of a peer-led, after-school physical activity intervention for disadvantaged adolescent females during the COVID-19 pandemic: results from the Girls Active Project (GAP)

AUTHOR(S)
Sara McQuinn; Sarahjane Belton; Anthony Staines (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Pilot and Feasibility Studies volume

There is a critical need for interventions that can be feasibly implemented and are effective in successfully engaging adolescent females in physical activity (PA). A theory-based, peer-led, after-school PA intervention, the Girls Active Project (GAP), was codesigned with adolescent females. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of implementing and evaluating the GAP programme. One single-sex, female-only, designated disadvantaged postprimary school (students aged 12–18) in Dublin, Ireland. Mixed methods were applied with multiple stakeholders over a 12-week trial (March to May 2021). A single-arm study design was used to examine intervention: reach, dose, fidelity, acceptability, compatibility and context. Feasibility of using proposed self-reported outcome measures (moderate-to-vigorous PA levels, self-rated health, life satisfaction, PA self-efficacy and PA enjoyment) was also explored.

Adolescent well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in India

AUTHOR(S)
Amita N. Vyas; Nitasha C. Nagaraj; Shikha Chandarana (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health

It is without question that gender attitudes/norms, voice and agency, self-efficacy, and locus of control are important determinants of health and well-being, particularly for adolescent girls and boys in low to middle income countries. And, while prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were trends suggesting social inequities would be on the decline, these trends have since reversed due to abrupt long-term school closures as a result of the pandemic. This study examines adolescents’ perceptions of gender norms/attributes, voice/agency, self-efficacy, locus of control, and gender-based violence norms pre-COVID and one year later during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in India, a country with one of the largest adolescent populations worldwide. The data for this study were derived from a larger study via two cross-sectional self-reported survey of adolescents ages 10-15 years old in public schools located in Delhi, India (urban), and Uttar Pradesh, India (rural) pre-COVID and one year later. The adolescent participants were part of local existing after-school programs and interventions implemented by non-profit community organizations, and a convenience sample (n=547) was recruited.

Youth economic security, skills and empowerment: Learning from positive outliers among youth affected by forced displacement in Jordan

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Jude Sajdi; Elizabeth Presler-Marshall (et al.)

Most of the research on refugee economic participation has focused on adult refugee populations, particularly men. Data on adolescents and youth, particularly girls and young women, is limited. This report aims to fill some of these research gaps and contribute to efforts to support refugee youth to realise their potential in line with the commitments enshrined in both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to ‘leave no one behind’, and in the Global Compact on Refugees, to ‘enhance refugee self-reliance’. Focusing on male and female youth aged 15–24 years from Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities in Jordan, as well as vulnerable Jordanians in host communities, the report captures their aspirations and experiences in building independent and sustainable livelihoods. It incorporates a gender lens to identify and analyse the factors that promote or hinder youth participation in the labour market, paying particular attention to gender norms and roles.

Factors associated with adolescent pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review of socioeconomic influences and essential interventions

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly Kons; Adriana A. E. Biney; Kristin Sznajder

Published: June 2022   Journal: International Journal of Sexual Health
A literature review was conducted to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on documented preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa such as poverty, inequitable gender norms, low access to education, and reproductive health services. The terms “sub-Saharan Africa,” “Gender Norms,” “Poverty,” and “Adolescent Pregnancy” were used to search the literature for preexisting determinants of adolescent pregnancy in academic and grey literature. “COVID-19” was added to investigate the potential consequences of the pandemic. The literature revealed similar experiences in adolescent girls during the Ebola outbreak, which lead to the analysis of government and healthcare official responses to previous epidemics.
Data disaggregation for inclusive quality education in emergencies: the COVID-19 experience in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Sayibu Abdul Badi

Published: June 2022   Journal: The Journal on Education in Emergencies
The process of data analysis provides, undoubtedly, some of the major challenges facing organizations during the implementation of interventions in emergencies. The challenges are primarily due to the lack of direct access to beneficiaries and the rapidly evolving nature of emergencies. This paper outlines how Plan International’s Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed) project used phone-based surveys to assess the uptake of a Ghana Learning TV (GLTV) programme implemented in partnership with the government. Due to the emergency context and the need for real-time information to guide the implementation of this intervention, there was little time to undertake a major statistical analysis of survey data. This paper discusses how the MGCubed project adopted a simple data disaggregation method using a logic tree technique to gain valuable insights from the survey data. The method allowed for exploring the insights of the data set in real-time without requiring more complex and time-consuming analysis.
Adaptation and resilience: lessons learned from implementing a combination health and education intervention for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe Duby; Brittany Bunce; Chantal Fowler (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Health Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with reduced access to health services and worsening health outcomes for HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Through the analysis of data from an evaluation study of a combination intervention for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in South Africa, this study sought to examine the way in which implementation and service provision were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, describing the adaptation implementers made to respond to this context. The intervention was implemented from 2019 in South African districts identified as high priority, given the high rates of HIV and teenage pregnancy amongst AGYW.
Distance education & the digital divide: ensuring learning continuity for girls during school closures
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: June 2022

This brief was developed to support the dissemination of key messages in Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises. It provides an overview of evidence and gaps in girls’ and women’s access to distance education and recommends actions for gender-responsive planning and design of distance education policies and interventions.


Inclusive learning for children in Northeast Nigeria: radio school response during a global pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Margaret Ebubedike; Michael Boampong; Kiki James

Published: May 2022   Journal: Social Inclusion
With a burgeoning out‐of‐school population and illiteracy rate, the situation of protracted conflict and crises fuelled by the Boko‐Haram insurgency further exacerbates educational inequality for children in northern Nigeria. The Covid‐19 pandemic further deepened the “educational poverty” experienced there. This article focuses on data generated around ACE radio school, an initiative to mitigate the impact of Covid‐19‐related school closures in northern Nigeria. The initiative targeted young learners using radio as a medium to support their continued learning remotely in numeracy, literacy, sciences, and civics education. Daily learning activities were broadcasted in the local Hausa language, supported through “listening groups” that engaged local learning facilitators in the communities. Despite the known existing barriers that have been identified to hinder access to quality education in the region, including poverty, religion, socio‐cultural factors, and protracted conflict situations, our interviews revealed that parents were committed to supporting their children’s attendance at listening groups, due to the use of their mother tongue as a mode of instruction.
Closing the gap 2: delivering safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth Naylor

Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This paper summarizes the findings of the monitoring report: Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises, which was commissioned by the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in collaboration with the INEE Reference Group on Girls’ Education in Emergencies. It recommends actions for governments, donors, civil society, collectors and collators of data, and teachers and other education personnel to address the gaps identified in the delivery, planning, funding, and monitoring of girls’ and women’s education in crisis contexts.

Mind the gap 2: seeking safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This report summarizes progress, gaps, challenges and opportunities in improving education and training for girls and women affected by conflict and crisis. This report monitors progress since the first Mind the Gap report and highlights the following thematic areas: distance education and the digital divide, school-related gender-based violence, and girls’ education during climate crisis.  The report aims to support the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education’s commitment to enhance the evidence base and monitor progress toward gender-equitable education in crises. The report draws from data on 44 crisis-affected countries, from recent research, and from a set of case studies of interventions in a range of crisis-affected contexts.

Girls’ education and women’s equality: how to get more out of the world’s most promising investment

AUTHOR(S)
Shelby Carvalho; David Evans

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: May 2022

To hear talk of it, you might think educating girls is a silver bullet to solve all the world’s ills. A large and still growing collection of research demonstrates the wide-ranging benefits of girls’ education. Recent research has nuanced some of those findings, but the fundamental result stands: Educating girls is good for girls and good for the people around them. This report goes beyond what works to get girls in school and learning—still very important questions—to probe how education can work together with other societal systems and structures to provide better lifetime opportunities for women.

Unplanned pregnancy among secondary students during the Covid 19 pandemic: a phenomenological study

AUTHOR(S)
Carmel Vip C. Derasin; Lloyd Vincent C. Derasin; Carren Joy G. De Pedro (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: International Journal of Science and Management Studies
The study focused on Teenage Pregnancy among Secondary Students during the Covid 19- Pandemic. The study made use of hermeneutic phenomenological research design in exploring the Lived experiences of teen mothers. The informants of the study are the five teen mothers. The informants were selected using a purposive sampling procedure. in addition, the study was conducted in different parts of Cebu Province and the Colaizzi method was used by the researchers to analyze the data. The study yielded seven themes which include; (1) engaging in sexual intercourse for fun, (2) unplanned pregnancy, (3) Financial Difficulties, (4) Postponing education, (5) Ridicule from the Neighbors, (6) Physical and Emotional Abuse and (7). Joy and Happiness. Moreover, the study revealed that Teenagers who become pregnant face numerous hurdles and hardships in their lives which were intensified by the current pandemic yet despite these obstacles, they are happy and fulfilled as mothers, and they are optimistic and determined to overcome these obstacles for the sake of their child's future.
Reusable sanitary napkins in rural India: a remote quality improvement project for adolescent girls promoting menstrual hygiene health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Ciardi Sassone; Susan Silva; Jed Metzger (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Global Health Promotion
Medical and public health research supports an ongoing need for health promotion in meeting menstrual hygiene needs, including menstrual hygiene management (MHM) education and the adoption of reusable sanitary napkins. This quality improvement project focuses on menstruation education for adolescent girls in rural Tamil Nadu, India and the promotion of reusable sanitary napkins. Results indicate a significant improvement in MHM knowledge, confidence in managing menstruation, adoption of reusable sanitary napkins, and a decrease in missed school days. These findings support global recommendations for health promotion in India.
Gendered effects of COVID-19 school closures: Bangladesh case study
Institution: Population Council
Published: March 2022
Bangladesh’s education system met intensified challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the difficulties students have historically faced. A recent study on the impacts of COVID-19 school closures in rural communities in Bangladesh clarifies issues of remote learning access, management, and monitoring, as well as new strains on students’ time use. It also reveals general impacts on mental and physical health, economic status, as well as gendered effects including child marriage. Based on evaluations of mitigation measures, recommendations for comprehensive policies, provision of technical, financial, and social support, and improvements in education systems emerged.
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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.