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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 43
“I Must Work to Eat”: Covid-19, poverty, and child labor in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda
Institution: Human Rights Watch
Published: September 2021

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe had made remarkable progress in reducing child labor. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of children in child labor decreased by approximately 94 million between 2000 and 2016, representing a drop of 38 percent. But as the pandemic caused massive school closures and unprecedented loss of jobs and income for millions of families, many children have entered the workforce to help their families survive, while others have been forced to work longer hours or enter more precarious and exploitative situations. Some have become their families’ primary breadwinners after losing a caregiver to Covid-19. Some despair of ever going back to school. This report examines the rise in child labor and poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic in three countries: Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda, the impact on children’s rights, and government responses. Each of the three countries has made significant progress reducing poverty and child labor in recent decades. Each has also made an explicit commitment as a “pathfinder” country to accelerate efforts to eradicate child labor in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Teaching and testing by phone in a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Lee Crawfurd; David K. Evans; Susannah Hares (et al.)

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: September 2021
How did children learn while schools were closed during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic? In low-income countries where internet access is scarce, distance learning is often passive, via TV or radio, with little opportunity for teacher-student interaction. In this paper we evaluate the effectiveness of live tutoring calls from teachers, using a randomized controlled trial with 4,399 primary school students in Sierra Leone. Tutoring calls increased engagement in educational activity but had no effect on mathematics or language test scores, for girls or boys. We also make a methodological contribution, testing the reliability of student assessments conducted by phone. Phone-based assessments have sensible properties, but we find suggestive evidence that scores are higher than with in-person assessments, and there is differential item functioning across survey modes for most individual questions.
Are working children in developing countries hidden victims of pandemics?

AUTHOR(S)
Polyxeni Kechagia; Theodore Metaxas (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Social Sciences
The consequences of the recent pandemic have been disproportionately disruptive to several social groups, including children. As developing economies have been firefighting the recent pandemic, the welfare of minors could be affected and children’s economic exploitation and abuse could increase. Therefore, the present research aims to shed light on and to investigate the association between child labour in developing countries and pandemics, including the coronavirus, through conducting a systematic literature review on previous empirical studies. The present research concludes that previous studies on non-COVID-19 pandemics have mainly focused on the African economies, while studies on the recent pandemic have focused on Asian countries. In addition, differences were observed in relation to the methodological approaches and the characteristics of minor employees and the protection services in certain countries have proven to be insufficient.
Mainstreaming gender into social protection strategies and programmes: Evidence from 74 low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti; Tara Patricia Cookson; Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF, UN Women
Published: July 2021

The importance of mainstreaming gender into social protection policies and programmes is increasingly recognized. However, evidence on the extent to which this is actually happening remains limited. This report contributes to filling this evidence gap by drawing on the findings of two complementary research projects undertaken by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and UN Women in 2019. Using a specifically developed analytical framework, these two projects reviewed 50 national social protection strategies and 40 social protection programmes across a total of 74 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to assess the extent to which they incorporate gender equality concerns.

Unequal experience of COVID-induced remote schooling in four developing countries

AUTHOR(S)
Mobarak Hossain

Institution: Young Lives
Published: July 2021   Journal: International Journal of Educational Development
Lockdown measures during the pandemic have resulted in school closure worldwide affecting nearly 9 out of 10 students. Consequently, remote schooling has become a growing phenomenon. However, due to a lack of infrastructural capacity and widespread poverty, the experience of remote learning in developing countries may have been unequal by pupils’ socioeconomic status, gender and location. This study draws evidence from a phone survey conducted by Young Lives (YL) in Ethiopia, two states of India, Peru and Vietnam enquiring which sociodemographic groups are benefiting more from remote schooling.
Challenges in maternal and child health services delivery and access during pandemics or public health disasters in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic review

AUTHOR(S)
Krushna Chandra Sahoo; Sapna Negi; Kripalini Patel (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Healthcare
Maternal and child health (MCH) has been a global priority for many decades and is an essential public health service. Ensuring seamless delivery is vital for desirable MCH outcomes. This systematic review outlined the challenges in accessing and continuing MCH services during public health emergencies—pandemics and disasters. A comprehensive search approach was built based on keywords and MeSH terms relevant to ‘MCH services’ and ‘pandemics/disasters’. The online repositories Medline, CINAHL, Psyc INFO, and Epistemonikos were searched for studies. We included twenty studies—seven were on the Ebola outbreak, two on the Zika virus, five related to COVID-19, five on disasters, and one related to conflict situations. The findings indicate the potential impact of emergencies on MCH services. Low utilization and access to services have been described as common challenges. The unavailability of personal safety equipment and fear of infection were primary factors that affected service delivery. The available evidence, though limited, indicates the significant effect of disasters and pandemics on MCH. However, more primary in-depth studies are needed to understand better the overall impact of emergencies, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, on MCH.
Feasibility and acceptability of a synchronous online parent-mediated early intervention for children with autism in a low resource setting during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Koyeli Sengupta; Aakankshi Javeri; Cristabelle Mascarenhas (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: International Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Very few studies exist on tele-health models of parent-mediated interventions delivered in low resource developing countries. The global COVID-19 pandemic catalysed a pilot of an online delivery of an evidence-based parent-mediated intervention (Project ImPACT) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mumbai, India. Context and culture-specific adaptations were made in program structure and a mixed-methods approach was adopted to evaluate acceptability, feasibility and preliminary efficacy of this model. Quantitative results (n = 12) showed excellent completion rates, with significant improvement in parent fidelity to intervention and child social-communication skills. Analysis of qualitative data from focus groups with parents on completion revealed that parents found the online mode convenient and acceptable, found the synchronous model of sessions especially beneficial and perceived improvements in their own parenting skills and children’s developmental profiles.
The intergenerational mortality tradeoff of COVID-19 lockdown policies

AUTHOR(S)
Lin Ma; Gil Shapira; Damien de Walque (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: May 2021
In lower-income countries, the economic contractions that accompany lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19 can increase child mortality, counteracting the mortality reductions achieved by the lockdown. To formalize and quantify this effect, this paper builds a macro-susceptible-infected-recovered model that features heterogeneous agents and a country-group-specific relationship between economic downturns and child mortality. The model is calibrated to data for 85 countries across all income levels. The findings show that in low-income countries, a lockdown can potentially lead to 1.76 children’s lives lost due to the economic contraction per COVID-19 fatality averted. The figure stands at 0.59 and 0.06 in lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries, respectively. As a result, in some countries, lockdowns can produce net increases in mortality. The optimal lockdowns are shorter and milder in poorer countries than in rich ones and never produce a net mortality increase.
Double burden of malnutrition among women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries: progress achieved and opportunities for meeting the global target

AUTHOR(S)
Md. Mehedi Hasan; Saifuddin Ahmed; ● Ricardo J. Soares Magalhaes (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The aim of this study is to examine trends and projections of underweight (Body Mass Index, BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) in women of reproductive age in 55 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It used data from 2,337,855 women aged 15–49 years from nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey conducted between 1990 and 2018. Bayesian linear regression analyses were performed.

COVID-19 preparedness—a survey among neonatal care providers in low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Claus Klingenberg; Sahil K. Tembulkar; Anna Lavizzari (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Perinatology volume
This study aims to evaluate COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, available resources, and guidelines for neonatal care delivery among neonatal health care providers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) across all continents. Cross-sectional, web-based survey administered between May and June, 2020.
‘Some got married, others don’t want to attend school as they are involved in income-generation’: adolescent experiences following covid-19 lockdowns in low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
N. Jones; S. Guglielmi; A. Małachowska (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: April 2021

This report aims to support timely and context-relevant policy and programming in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the State of Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) and Jordan by adding to the evidence base on adolescent girls’ and boys’ experiences during COVID-19. Drawing on mixed methods research it captures the risks and opportunities adolescents face across four low- and middle-income country contexts six to nine months after lockdowns in response to the pandemic were first introduced. With a focus on the intersectional challenges faced by adolescents including by gender, age, marital status, disability and context, the report covers three key domains: education and learning; violence and bodily integrity; and voice, agency and community participation. This is the companion report to a report published in August 2020, ‘I have nothing to feed my family’, which focused on the immediate, short-term effects of COVID-19 and associated lockdowns on girls and boys across the same contexts. The report concludes with key recommendations for policy and programming actors so that efforts to ‘build back better’ post-pandemic can be more effectively informed by adolescents’ experiences and voices.

Media use among kindergarteners from low-income households during the COVID-19 shutdown

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca A. Dore; Kelly Purtell; Laura M. Justice

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

This study examines the media use of children from low-income homes during school closings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caregivers of 151 kindergarteners from low-income homes completed questionnaires as part of a larger study. Caregivers reported how much time children spent watching television/videos and using apps on the most recent weekday and weekend days. Caregivers also reported how their child's current use of media for several different purposes compared with how much the child usually uses media for that purpose.

COVID-19 preparedness: a survey among neonatal care providers in low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Claus Klingenberg; Sahil K. Tembulkar; Anna Lavizzari (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Journal of Perinatology
This study aims to evaluate COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, available resources, and guidelines for neonatal care delivery among neonatal health care providers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) across all continents. This study design cross-sectional, web-based survey was administered between May and June, 2020.
Supply and delivery of vaccines for global health

AUTHOR(S)
Jean-Louis Excler; Lois Privor-Dumm; Jerome H. Kim

Published: April 2021   Journal: Current Opinion in Immunology

Vaccines developed in high-income countries have been enormously successful in reducing the global burden of infectious diseases, saving perhaps 2.5 million lives per year, but even for successful cases, like the rotavirus vaccine, global implementation may take a decade or more. For unincentivized vaccines, the delays are even more profound, as both the supply of a vaccine from developing country manufacturers and vaccine demand from countries with the high disease burdens have to be generated in order for impact to be manifest. A number of poverty-associated infectious diseases, whose burden is greatest in low-income and middle-income countries, would benefit from appropriate levels of support for vaccine development such as Group A Streptococcus, invasive non-typhoid salmonella, schistosomiasis, shigella, to name a few. With COVID-19 vaccines we will hopefully be able to provide novel vaccine technology to all countries through a unique collaborative effort, the COVAX facility, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Whether this effort can deliver vaccine to all its participating countries remains to be seen, but this ambitious effort to develop, manufacture, distribute, and vaccinate 60–80% of the world’s population will hopefully be a lasting legacy of COVID-19.

Violence against women and children during COVID-19—One year on and 100 papers in: a fourth research round up

AUTHOR(S)
Shelby Bourgault; Amber Peterman; Megan O'Donnell

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: April 2021
A year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, this research takes stock of an increasingly diverse set of new studies linking violence against women and children (VAW/C) to COVID-19 and associated pandemic response measures. This fourth round up focuses exclusively on research in low- and middle-income countries (LICs and MICs) published since December 2020 to highlight dynamics in settings that previously had fewer studies. As in previous round ups, this research only include studies that have sufficient information on indicator definition and analysis methods. In total, 26 new studies from LICs and MICs are summarized, with the majority focused on identifying trends (15 studies), while others present analysis of risk factors or dynamics (an additional ten studies), and one represents an impact analysis of prevention programming.
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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.