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Helene Kreys; Dana Schneider; Andrea Erika Kowallik (et al.)
Carmit Katz; Natalia Varela; Jill E. Korbin (et al.)
Alongside deficits in children's
wellbeing, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an elevated risk for child
maltreatment and challenges for child protective services worldwide.
Therefore, some children might be doubly marginalized, as prior
inequalities become exacerbated and new risk factors arise. This paper aims to
provide initial insight into international researchers' identification
of children who might have been overlooked or excluded from services
during the pandemic.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, social protection systems in the Arab region were weak, fragmented, not inclusive, and non-transparent. They were also costly and unsustainable. Underinvestment in these systems and exclusion of vulnerable populations were key challenges. The COVID-19 crisis spotlighted the problems and presented a historic opportunity to address some of the challenges facing social protection systems. Lessons learned in various countries were identified as useful examples for change, in addition to certain innovations. This report embarked on actionable policy research to examine and assess the interplay of the social policy dimensions, global experiences, and regional responses to the pandemic in the Arab region. By critically engaging with the actions and priorities of a variety of stakeholders, the report develops and advocates for policies for the judicious and methodical implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, combating inequality and supporting the principle of leaving no one behind, as instigated in the Agenda 2030.
Elisabetta Colosi; Giulia Bassignana; Diego Andrés Contreras (et al.)
Schools were closed extensively in 2020-21 to counter SARS-CoV-2 spread, impacting students' education and wellbeing. With highly contagious variants expanding in Europe, safe options to maintain schools open are urgently needed. By estimating school-specific transmissibility, this study evaluates costs and benefits of different protocols for SARS-CoV-2 control at school. The study developed an agent-based model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools. It used empirical contact data in a primary and a secondary school and data from pilot screenings in 683 schools during the alpha variant (B.1.1.7) wave in March-June, 2021, in France. It fitted the model to observed school prevalence to estimate the school-specific effective reproductive number for the alpha (Ralpha) and delta (B.1.617.2; Rdelta) variants and performed a cost-benefit analysis examining different intervention protocols.
Sadiyya Haffejee; Panos Vostanis; Michelle O'Reilly (et al.)
Drawing on integrated data from focus groups and diary entries, we explored the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic on child well- being for children from five Majority World Countries. We focus on the disruptions the pandemic caused, the adjustments made in response to these, and children's vision of a post- pandemic world. Underlying children's experiences of loss, boredom and concerns about educational progress, was an awareness of systemic inequalities that disadvantaged them or oth-ers in their community.
Tammary Esho; Dennis J. Matanda; Timothy Abuya (et al.)
The effects of COVID-19 on harmful traditional practices such Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Child or Forced Marriages (CFM) have not been well documented. We examined respondents’ perceptions on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected FGM/C and CFM in Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, and Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study design with a mixed methods approach was used. Data collection on participants’ perceptions on the effects of COVID-19 on FGM/C and CFM took place between October-December 2020. Household surveys targeting women and men aged 15–49 years in Kenya (n = 312), Uganda (n = 278), Ethiopia (n = 251), and Senegal (n = 208) were conducted. Thirty-eight key informant interviews with programme implementers and policymakers were carried out in Kenya (n = 17), Uganda (n = 9), Ethiopia (n = 8), and Senegal (n = 4).
Muzna Fatima Alvi; Shweta Gupta; Prapti Barooah (et al.)
Kath Ford; Richard Freund
After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, our four study countries are each facing significant economic and social challenges, and rapidly changing circumstances. But COVID-19 is not the only global crisis; our evidence from Ethiopia reflects unprecedented times, as vulnerable families grapple with the compounding effects of civil conflict and climate change. This policy brief summarises key findings from the fifth call in the Young Lives phone survey, conducted between October and December 2021, and draws on previous COVID-19 calls, as well as longitudinal data collected since 2001 through regular in-person surveys. The brief builds on previous policy recommendations from our phone survey, highlights how the pandemic, alongside climate change and conflict, is continuing to have an adverse impact on the lives of young people in low- and middle-income countries, and presents emerging policy recommendations in response to this impact. Our analysis demonstrates that urgent action is required if we are to get progress towards the SDGs back on track.
Laurie Day; Barry Percy-Smith; Sara Rizzo (et al.)
Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, Growing-up Under COVID-19 was a transnational action research project, which aimed to provide insights to the impact of the public health crisis on young people’s lives, and to inform the development of appropriate tools and measures to safeguard children’s wellbeing and rights during and beyond the pandemic.
Kerrie Proulx; Kristy Hackett; Shekufeh Zonji
This project was undertaken in December 2021 using a short online questionnaire. Respondents were asked to provide demographic information and to select up to three urgent COVID-19 research priorities among a list of 15 topics related to early childhood development and nurturing care. This list was generated by reviewing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Nurturing Care Framework and expert opinion. Space was provided for respondents to list additional research priorities not included in the list. The questionnaire was completed by 98 respondents from 47 mostly low- and middle-income countries. Most respondents were professionals in the early childhood development space and users or consumers of research (59%), including pediatricians, early childhood educators and program managers. Thirty-six percent of respondents were researchers, and 5% worked for research funding agencies.
Christina Bergmann; Nevena Dimitrova; Khadeejah Alaslani (et al.)
To address the situation in the central Sahel region, improve learning and restore hope of the displaced children in Central Sahel, NRC, UNHCR and UNICEF have been implementing several activities other the past years. In December 2020, NRC launched the Better Learning Program (BLP) implemented by teachers to support children’s recovery from the traumatic events experienced during conflict and displacement. The programme improves conditions for learning through mobilization of a child’s support network of caregivers, teachers and counsellors to assess and address the level of mental and psychological trauma faced by children. In 2021, UNHCR has strengthened the capacity of teachers and members of community structures in refugee and IDP hosting areas of the three countries by organizing training sessions dedicated to the psychosocial support (PSS) of students. Psychosocial support was also provided on an individual basis for cases requiring child protection interventions. UNICEF has broadly taken a multi-sectoral approach to providing psychosocial support to children in the Sahel, across education, child protection and nutrition activities in particular. Moving forward, there will be an increasing drive to consider this within the broader consideration of mental health as a foundation for resilience and learning. As part of NRC BLP Program, an assessment has been conducted, in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali aiming to measure promoters and barriers for learning before and after interventions.
Michelle J. Neuman; Shawn Powers
Based on an analysis of 35 countries, this brief report aims to provide a current overview of national health and safety protocols to keep schools open, their dimensions and how they are designed, implemented and regulated to ensure the continuation of education. It also aims to guide education systems by outlining some lessons learnt and effective practices on how the reopening of schools might be achieved safely and successfully. Finally, the report seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the impacts of the protocols on learning as well as the social and emotional well-being, health and development of learners and teachers.In a changing environment where infection rates are increasing at an exponential rate, it also explores how the Omicron variant is affecting current operations and what education systems should do to keep schools open while ensuring that all students are safe and learning.
Haogen Yao; Mathieu Brossard; Suguru Mizunoya (et al.)
COVID-19 school closures initially revealed more than 75% of children lacked access to critical digital learning opportunities. Three out of four were living in the poorest 40% of households. Digital learning is impossible without connectivity and electricity. However, in places like Chad, Malawi and Niger, the proportion of people with access to electricity is below 1 in 5. What efforts will ensure these children are not further left behind in future crises if schools are again closed? How much will universal access to digital learning cost? The answer is US$1.4 trillion. This paper estimates the cost of universalizing digital learning by 2030, in alignment with the conceptual framework of the Reimagine Education initiative. It provides a rationale for cost assumptions; classifies costs into enabling digital learning and delivering digital learning; and, finally, discusses financing achievability by comparing the estimated costs with current spending in education and other sectors.
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.
The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response
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