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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 COVID-19 pandemic in the Arab region: an opportunity to reform social protection systems

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.

Systems thinking in COVID-19 recovery is urgently needed to deliver sustainable development for women and girls

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica Omukuti; Matt Barlow; Maria Eugenia Giraudo (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: The Lancet Planetary Health
In low-income and middle-income countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, the COVID-19 pandemic has had substantial implications for women's wellbeing. Policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the gendered aspect of pandemics; however, addressing the gendered implications of the COVID-19 pandemic comprehensively and effectively requires a planetary health perspective that embraces systems thinking to inequalities. This Viewpoint is based on collective reflections from research done by the authors on COVID-19 responses by international and regional organisations, and national governments, in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa between June, 2020, and June, 2021. A range of international and regional actors have made important policy recommendations to address the gendered implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on women's health and wellbeing since the start of the pandemic. However, national-level policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have been partial and inconsistent with regards to gender in both sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, largely failing to recognise the multiple drivers of gendered health inequalities.
The social policy response to COVID-19: the failure to help vulnerable children and elderly people

AUTHOR(S)
Tom Christensen

Published: August 2021   Journal: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11115-021-00560-2
Norway’s handling of COVID-19 has been seen as a success. Vulnerable groups among young and elderly people, have however, not been part of this success. Their interests have been defocused in two ways. First, they have not been prioritized in the big picture, because the precautionary principle and health concerns, in particular the capacity questions, have dominated. Second, the more specific social policy measures have been indirect and not particular targeted vulnerable children, youths and old people, and had negative effects for them, such as social isolation and lack of daily support and services, resulting in increasing problems.
Social work legitimacy: democratising research, policy and practice in child protection

AUTHOR(S)
Jo Warner

Published: January 2021   Journal: The British Journal of Social Work
This article analyses the concept of legitimacy as applied to the use of power in statutory social work with children and families in the UK. It draws on literature from police studies and criminology, in which the concept is a stable one that continues to be heavily researched and analysed. Police and social workers bear comparison in respect of legitimacy because of the significant powers they use on behalf of the state with direct implications for the civil and human rights of their fellow citizens. The article defines legitimacy in theoretical terms before applying the concept to social work. Here, perceptions of fairness in the distribution of resources, the quality of treatment people receive, and the quality of decision-making are critically examined. The article then proposes a democratising agenda across the three domains of social work research, policy, and practice.
Socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in four African countries

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Josephson; Talip Kilic; Jeffrey D. Michler

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2020
This paper provides some of the first evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of and responses to the pandemic among households in Sub-Saharan Africa. Econometric methods are applied to longitudinal household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda. Results show that 256 million individuals are estimated to live in households that have lost income due to the pandemic. Attempts to cope with this loss are exacerbated by the inability to access medicine and staple foods among 20 to 25 percent of the households in each country, and food insecurity is disproportionately borne by households that were already impoverished prior to the pandemic. Finally, student-teacher contact has dropped from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 96 percent to just 17 percent among households with school-age children. These findings can help inform decisions by governments and international organizations on measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal the need for continued monitoring.
Tackling the COVID-19 employment crisis in Asia and the Pacific
Institution: International Labour Organisation, Asian Development Bank
Published: August 2020
Young people’s employment prospects in Asia and the Pacific are severely challenged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth will be hit harder than adults in the immediate crisis and also will bear higher longer-term economic and social costs. Before the pandemic, young people were already facing challenges in the labour market. These are worsened by the COVID-19 crisis, and its multiple effects threaten to create a “lockdown generation” that will feel the weight of this crisis for a long time.
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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.