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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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16 - 30 of 248
Evidence on the gendered impacts of extended school closures: a systematic review
Institution: UNESCO
Published: March 2022

This publication investigates the evidence on the gendered impacts of extended school closures and periods out of school. The aim is to ensure that responses to the current and future crises are informed by an understanding of how they affect education access, participation and outcomes, as well as children’s nutrition, health, well-being and protection. Building on the findings of 154 studies from every region of the world, it highlights how extended school closures and periods out of school deepen gendered exclusions and vulnerabilities – with the poorest children being the most affected. Seven different forms of gendered impact on education processes are delineated, linked to failures to address the needs, rights and capabilities of girls, boys, women and men, and to build institutional structures to sustain equality and protect from violence.

Disentangling youth non-compliance with COVID-19 restrictions from gender, socioeconomic vulnerability and poor mental health: lessons from the first wave in Catalonia

AUTHOR(S)
Eva Padrosa; Mireia Bolíbar

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of Youth Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic focused public attention on youth non-compliance with restrictions, but the social and health factors underpinning this behaviour were overlooked. Hereby, this study considered the complex relationships between age (16–29 vs. 30+), non-compliance, socioeconomic vulnerabilities and poor mental health using a gender perspective. Data were derived from the ‘Survey on the impact of COVID-19’, fielded on 11–15 April 2020 in Catalonia. In a non-probabilistic sample of 14,123 individuals, this study performed gender-stratified mediation analyses using Structural Equation Models.
Inequality and social security in the Asia-Pacific region

AUTHOR(S)
Stephen Kidd; Diloá Athias; Silvia Nastasi (et al.)

Institution: United Nations Development Programme
Published: February 2022

High income inequality can engender a wide range of negative impacts. It can harm child development, increase ill-health and mortality, limit the status of women, generate distrust in government, exacerbate levels of violence and social unrest, slow the pace of poverty reduction and hinder economic growth. The Asia-Pacific region is characterized by high levels of income inequality, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, it is imperative that countries in the region take action to tackle high inequality and create fairer and more decent societies. Investments in social security are one of the most effective means of tackling inequality. This includes schemes such as child, unemployment, sickness, maternity, disability and old age benefits, funded from general government revenues as well as by social insurance. Currently, across most countries in the Asia-Pacific region, investments in tax-financed social security are minimal. Nonetheless, the report demonstrates that, both globally and in the Asia-Pacific region, universal social security systems are much more effective than poverty-targeted systems in reducing inequality. If countries in the region make the move to modern, universal lifecycle systems, the impacts on inequality would be impressive. And, the more that countries invest, the higher will be the impacts on family well-being, employment, social cohesion and economic growth.

The Syrian refugee life study: first glance

AUTHOR(S)
Edward A. Miguel; Bailey Palmer; Sandra Rozo Villarraga (et al.)

Published: February 2022
This paper presents descriptive statistics from the first wave of the Syrian Refugee Life Study (S-RLS), which was launched in 2020. S-RLS is a longitudinal study that tracks a representative sample of 2,500 registered Syrian refugee households in Jordan. It collects comprehensive data on socio-demographic variables as well as information on health and well-being, preferences, social capital, attitudes, and safety and crime perceptions. This study uses these novel data to document the socio-demographic characteristics of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and compare them to those of the representative Jordanian and non-Jordanian populations interviewed in the 2016 Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey. The findings point to lags in basic service access, housing quality, and educational attainment for the Syrian refugee population, relative to the non-refugee population. The impacts of the pandemic may serve to partially explain these documented disparities. The data also illustrate that most Syrian refugees have not recovered economically from the shock of COVID-19 and that this population has larger gender disparities in terms of income, employment, prevalence of child marriage, and gender attitudes than their non-refugee counterparts. Finally, mental health problems are common for Syrian refugees in 2020, with depression indicated among over 61 percent of the population.
Lebanese crisis forcing youth out of learning, robbing them of their futures: UNICEF survey
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

As Lebanon’s triple crisis continues to worsen, youth are struggling to find hope, support and opportunities amid mounting despair. The combined impact of an economic meltdown, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Beirut Port explosions are forcing youth from all backgrounds to take on responsibilities beyond their ages, with detrimental impacts on their mental health and on access to opportunities. More and more young people are dropping out of education or any type of learning to engage in ill-paid, irregular and informal work to generate whatever income they can to help their families cope with the mounting challenges. UNICEF’s new assessment shows that 3 in 10 young people in Lebanon have stopped their education, while 4 in 10 reduced spending on education to buy essential items like basic food and medicine. The combined impact of the crises has led to a significant increase in mental health issues among young people, resulting in risky behaviour and substance abuse, as well as an increase in gender-based violence (GBV). Approximately one in four adolescents in Lebanon suffers from a psychiatric disorder. Alarmingly, 94 per cent of adolescents with a mental disorder have not sought any treatment. In September 2021, UNICEF conducted a Youth-Focused Rapid Assessment (YFRA), interviewing around 900 youth and adolescents aged 15 to 246 across Lebanon. One in four reported often feeling depressed and just over half the respondents said their lives worsened over the past year.

Social connectedness matters: depression and anxiety in transgender youth during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Zeynep Tüzün; Koray Başar; Sinem Akgül (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Gender-affirming and supportive relations for transgender youth are considered protective in terms of mental health. This study aims to describe how transgender youth perceived changes in their gender expression, in the course of the gender-affirming path, and the effect of social connectedness and social support on depression and anxiety during the pandemic. In this cross-sectional study, transgender youth completed an online survey developed to evaluate the perceived changes in gender expression and affirmation path that occurred during COVID-19 and the age-stratified lockdown.

Compounding inequalities: Adolescent psychosocial wellbeing and resilience among refugee and host communities in Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Sarah Baird; Bassam Abu Hamad (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Plos One
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated risk-mitigation strategies have altered the social contexts in which adolescents in low- and middle-income countries live. Little is known, however, about the impacts of the pandemic on displaced populations, and how those impacts differ by gender and life stage. This study investigates the extent to which the pandemic has compounded pre-existing social inequalities among adolescents in Jordan, and the role support structures play in promoting resilience.
The impact of COVID-19 on gender equality and food security in the Arab region with a focus on the Sudan and Iraq
This rapid gender analysis (RGA) explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality and food security in the Arab region. It is a joint collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and CARE International (CARE). This collaboration recognizes the need to expand the evidence base on gender-differentiated impacts of crises for informed recovery and response planning, while highlighting the imperative of collecting sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD) more consistently.
Scars of pandemics from lost schooling and experience : aggregate implications and gender differences through the lens of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Roberto Samaniego; Remi Jedwab; Paul Romer (et al.)

Published: February 2022

Pandemic shocks disrupt human capital accumulation through schooling and work experience. This study quantifies the long-term economic impact of these disruptions in the case of COVID-19, focusing on countries at different levels of development and using returns to education and experience by college status that are globally estimated using 1,084 household surveys across 145 countries. The results show that both lost schooling and experience contribute to significant losses in global learning and output. Developed countries incur greater losses than developing countries, because they have more schooling to start with and higher returns to experience. The returns to education and experience are also separately estimated for men and women, to explore the differential effects by gender of the COVID-19 pandemic. Surprisingly, while the study uncovers gender differences in returns to education and schooling, gender differences in the impact of COVID-19 are small and short-lived, with a loss in female relative income of only 2.5 percent or less, mainly due to the greater severity of the employment shock on impact. These findings might challenge some of the ongoing narratives in policy circles. The methodology employed in this study is easily implementable for future pandemics.

Shortfalls in social spending in low- and middle-income countries: COVID-19 and shrinking finance for social spending
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

Financing quality social services will require increased public investment and greater mobilization of both domestic and international resources in the post-COVID era. Currently, low- and middle-income countries invest, on average, just one third of their total government expenditure in social spending on education, health and social protection. However, the fiscal space to enhance social spending remains constrained in many parts of the world. Given the scale of the challenge facing many countries, a renewed focus on financing social spending is needed to address widening inequalities. This policy brief is the second in a series that assesses key issues affecting social spending as part of UNICEF’s work on Public Finance for Children. The brief examines how recent trends are impacting on the financing available for, and directed to, social spending in low- and middle-income countries in different regions, using secondary analysis of public expenditure data collected by international organizations. It calculates median spending figures by region and income group, using World Bank regional aggregates for domestic spending.

Girls’ lived experiences of school closures : insights from interviews with girls and mothers in Punjab, Pakistan

AUTHOR(S)
Rabea Malik; Najaf Zahra; Ayesha Tahir (et al.)

Published: February 2022
This note explores findings on the changing household dynamics in response to the mandated Coronavirus (COVID-19) school closures in Punjab, Pakistan. The SMS girl impact evaluation and a complementing qualitative study assessed the lived experiences of girls during school closures. Mothers and daughters in select districts were interviewed via phone. The initial round of interviews tells a story of economic hardship, gendered division of household tasks, loss of learning, lack of engagement with educational TV programming, and fear that some students may not re-enrol when schools reopen.
Leveraging data and partnerships: strengthening girls' education in emergencies with WROs
Institution: Equal Measures 2030
Published: January 2022

For girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, education can be a ladder out of poverty and a way to break cycles of abuse and violence. Yet, there are still steep gender-related barriers to a quality and safe education such as gender-based violence, discrimination, child and forced marriage, lack of access to healthcare and menstrual hygiene products, unpaid domestic labour, and the prioritization of boys’ education. Even girls who do access education face a range of challenges, including poor quality facilities, large class sizes, and a lack of qualified female teachers and staff. For girls in fragile and conflict-affected areas, the threats can include kidnapping, injury, forced recruitment, and displacement. With the COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges have only increased. There are several stakeholders working to reduce these barriers and make sure that girls who must access their education in emergency situations can do so safely and effectively. They are also trying to make sure that the education available is of high quality and sensitive to their unique needs. In 2021, the Government of Canada supported a partnership with Equal Measures 2030 and its in-country partners FAWE and IPBF, based in Kenya and Burkina Faso, respectively, to look at how to strengthen the equitable and coordinated provision of education for girls and women in both countries. The result was research and advocacy that aimed to make the education systems of both countries more data-driven and gender-responsive. This report details the experiences, findings, and recommendations encapsulated in our work.

EdTech for Ugandan girls: Affordances of different technologies for girls’ secondary education during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kalifa Damani; Rebecca Daltry; Katy Jordan (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Development Policy Review

This article discusses the use of educational technology (EdTech) in girls’ education at PEAS schools (‘Promoting Education in African Schools’) in rural Uganda during the COVID-19-related school closures. This article addresses a research gap surrounding the potential use of EdTech to support girls’ education, focusing on the barriers to girls’ EdTech use and how technology might be used to enhance girls’ education in disadvantaged rural areas – specifically their academic learning and their social and emotional learning. A sequential, explanatory mixed-methods case study approach was used. Quantitative exploration of a dataset of 483 Ugandan students, from 28 PEAS schools, was first conducted, followed by interviews with PEAS staff to elucidate the reasons and context behind the findings.

Spanish youth at the crossroads of gender and sexuality during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Miguel Ángel López-Sáez; R. Lucas Platero

Published: January 2022   Journal: European Journal of Women's Studies
This study examines some of the perceptions amongst Spanish LGBTQ+ youth during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent confinement and lockdown measures, between March and May 2020. During this time, many of these young people were forced to return to their family homes and restrict their social relations. This new situation often exposed them to forms of violence from which there was no escape, with negative consequences for their psychosocial health. The study evaluates the correlations between perceived social support, burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness and the people with whom LGBTQ+ youth lived during confinement. A descriptive and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and bivariate correlations is used to examine the responses of 394 LGBTQ+ youth, between 17 and 21 years of age, residing in Spain.
The impact of the COVID-19 recession on Mexican households: evidence from employment and time use for men, women, and children

AUTHOR(S)
Lauren Hoehn-Velasco; Adan Silverio-Murillo; José Roberto Balmori de la Miyar (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Review of Economics of the Household
This study examines changes in labor supply, income, and time allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico. Using an event-study design, it shows that the COVID-19 recession had severe negative consequences for Mexican households. In the first month of the pandemic, employment declined by 17 percentage points. Men recovered their employment faster than women, where men’s employment approaches original levels by 2021Q2. Women, on the other hand, experienced persistent employment losses. Within-household, men also increased their time spent on household chores while neither gender (persistently) increased their time caring for others. Instead, children reduced their time spent on schoolwork by 25%.
16 - 30 of 248

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.