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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Prospects for children in 2022: a global outlook
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: January 2022
In 2021, the Office of Global Insight and Policy (OGIP) produced a medium-term analysis of global trends in support of UNICEF’s preparation of a new Strategic Plan. The report ‘Prospects for children: a global outlook through 2025’ examined the nature and consequences of a potential exit from the COVID-19 pandemic and explored the trajectory of longer-term trends identified as being critical in shaping the world and children’s lives over the next five years. These were: (i) weakened support for multilateralism; (ii) slowing globalization; (iii) global warming; (iv) evolving rules and norms governing the online world; and (v) the decline of democratization and civic space. As a follow-up to this exercise, the Global Insight team intends to produce an outlook assessment with a 12-month time horizon at the start of each year. Our aim is twofold: to draw the attention of the global community to the effects of global trends and events on child rights and well-being; and to support UNICEF staff and offices in interpreting and engaging in a rapidly changing world.
Community rapid assessment on COVID-19 end line report: behavioural findings and insights from 8 Eastern and Southern African countries
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2021

The UNICEF Evaluation Office, in collaboration with Communication for Development (C4D) section in the UNICEF Programme Group and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, developed the Community Rapid Assessment (CRA) exercise as a way to measure the protective practices, health-seeking behaviours, coping strategies and emerging needs of individuals and households in relation to COVID-19. The primary objective was to provide UNICEF country offices valuable data to strengthen the evidence base and inform country-level programming in response to the pandemic. The CRA is also intended to contribute to UNICEF’s overall analytical agenda on COVID in an effort to better position this type work in the overall corporate efforts. Its findings have thus far provided a rich and much-needed picture of the behavioural component of the outbreak at the individual and community levels. In making use of time-series data – that is, the longitudinal data repeatedly captured over several waves of data collection – the CRA has also provided further opportunities to examine country- and region-specific trends over time. And because the CRA is a real-time exercise, analysis, visualization and interpretation of findings are already being used in several country-level fora to guide program changes. The long-term vision is to embed capacity for similar surveys within government data systems at the country level. This report presents early findings and insights from eight countries in Eastern and Southern Africa – namely Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan and Uganda.

Economic Crisis and Child Well-being in the West and Central Africa Region
The COVID-19 pandemic that swept over the world from early 2020 has triggered both health and economic shocks of unprecedented proportions in recent memory. Some estimates suggest that the consequences of these shocks will likely erase most of the progress made in global development over the past two decades. Many countries now risk falling further behind the attainment of national and international development goals, including the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of these shocks due to their persistent higher levels of vulnerability, and the reality that school closures and other COVID-19 containment measures can be more damaging to children. 

This report examines the effect of previous economic crises on children’s well-being in UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Region (WCAR) and makes projections regarding the potential impacts of COVID-19-induced economic crises on priority indicators for the region. 
The gendered politics of pandemic relief: labor and family policies in Denmark, Germany, and the United States during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Nino Bariola; Caitlyn Collins

Published: March 2021   Journal: American Behavioral Scientist
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified families’ struggles to reconcile caregiving and employment, especially for working mothers. How have different countries reacted to these troubling circumstances? What policies have been implemented to alleviate the pernicious effects of the pandemic on gender and labor inequalities? This research examined the policies offered in Denmark, Germany, and the United States, three countries that represent distinct welfare regimes. It found important differences among the policy solutions provided, but also in the “cultural infrastructures” that allow policies to work as intended, or not.
Prospects for children: a global outlook through 2025
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: January 2021

This report was prompted by an internal request for an assessment of the changing external environment, and its impact on children, to inform the preparation of UNICEF’s next Strategic Plan. It was produced collectively by staff from UNICEF's Global Insight team and reflects their views and perspectives. The report benefited from feedback from various UNICEF staff. In addition, its initial findings were presented and debated at a virtual consultation held with 32 youth experts, leaders, and activists from around the world on January 8th 2021. We are especially grateful to participants of the consultation, some of whose views are presented throughout this report.

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Dominic Richardson; Alessandro Carraro; Victor Cebotari; Anna Gromada

COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis.

High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline.

This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children. 
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Dominic Richardson; Alessandro Carraro; Victor Cebotari; Anna Gromada

COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis.

High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline.

This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children. 
Building resilient societies after COVID-19: the case for investing in maternal, neonatal, and child health

AUTHOR(S)
Chandni Maria Jacob; Despina D. Briana; Gian Carlo Di Renzo (et al.)

Published: September 2020   Journal: The Lancet Public Health
This study indicates clearly that a focus on maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) will promote later resilience. This knowledge offers an unprecedented opportunity to disrupt entrenched strategies and to reinvest in MNCH in the post-COVID-19 so-called new normal. Furthermore, analysis of the short-term, medium-term, and longer-term consequences of previous socioeconomic shocks provides important insights into those domains of MNCH, such as neurocognitive development and nutrition, for which investment will generate the greatest benefit. Such considerations apply to high-income countries (HICs) and low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, implementing appropriate policies in the post-COVID-19 recovery period will be challenging and requires political commitment and public engagement.
A surveillance system for the maternal and child health (MCH) population during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Veronica B. Ajewole; Ahone E. Ngujede; Emmanuella Oduguwa (et al.)

Published: August 2020   Journal: International Journal of MCH and AIDS
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and its ensuing mitigation measures have negatively affected the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) population. There is currently no surveillance system established to enhance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to guide policy decision making to protect the MCH population in this pandemic. Based on reports of community and household spread of this novel infection, this study presents an approach to a robust family-centered surveillance system for the MCH population. The surveillance system encapsulates data at the individual and community levels to inform stakeholders, policy makers, health officials and the general public about SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics within the MCH population.
The impact of COVID-19 on children in Europe
Institution: Save the Children
Published: July 2020
This paper is divided into two parts. The first details the evidence from the ground, painting the picture of life for children during the pandemic in different European countries with statistics and examples, and giving a set of recommendations on measures that national governments across Europe can take to help protect children from the worst impacts of the crisis relating to the economic impacts on families, loss of services, access to education and targeted measures for children in migration. The second part focuses on recommendations to the EU institutions on how EU policy and funding can support and complement these national-level actions in these challenging times.
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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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Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.

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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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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.