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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Targeted social protection in Arab countries before and during the Covid-19 crisis
The present technical paper provides an overview of targeted social protection programmes in selected Arab countries and discusses recent reforms these programmes have been undergoing, focusing on the approaches to identify poor and vulnerable population groups and management information systems utilized to administer these programmes. Additionally, the paper touches upon, how governments in the Arab region used social protection programmes and their respective delivery mechanisms to cushion the socio-economic fallout of Covid-19 prevention measures.
Have social protection responses to Covid-19 undermined or supported gender equality? Emerging lessons from a gender perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Rebecca Holmes; Abigail Hunt

Institution: UK Aid, ODI
Published: June 2021

The impacts of the Covid-19 crisis have exacerbated gender inequalities. The rapid onset of the crisis in early 2020 severely disrupted livelihoods, and these impacts were strongly mediated by existing gender inequalities in the labour market, gendered roles and responsibilities around care work, and also household composition, with women shouldering disproportionate burden of the crisis. This paper examines the extent to which social protection responses to the crisis have recognised and addressed the gendered impacts of the crisis. Drawing on case studies from South Africa and Kerala, India, the paper looks at the design and implementation features of the social protection response from a gender perspective, and offers policy recommendations for strengthening gender in social protection and crisis response in the future.

Social protection and Venezuelan migration in Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an enormous challenge for all countries due to its public health consequences and socio-economic effects on families. In this difficult context, the Latin America and the Caribbean region is facing the largest displacement in its recent history, with approximately 4.2 million Venezuelans now living in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. This migrant population faces various risks, whether linked to the migration process or their migratory status, or others that were aggravated by the health emergency. Their extreme vulnerability to the socioeconomic impacts of the measures adopted in response to COVID-19, given their overrepresentation in the informal sector of the economy, coupled with their low inclusion in social protection mechanisms, profoundly jeopardizes their welfare and compromises public health as well as the overall well-being of local populations. Faced with this scenario, social protection may play a fundamental role in reducing the vulnerabilities of migrants and in helping to mitigate the impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.
Social protection and jobs responses to COVID-19 : a real-time review of country measures

AUTHOR(S)
Ugo Gentilini; Mohamed Almenfi; Pamela Dale

Institution: The World Bank
Published: December 2020
Some key finds from this "living paper" include : As of April 23, 2020, a total of 151 countries (18 more since last week) have planned, introduced or adapted 684 social protection measures in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This is a ten-fold increase in measures since the first edition of this living paper (March 20). New countries include Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belarus, Bermuda, Brunei, Chad, Grenada, Libya, Montserrat, Nigeria, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, St Maarten, and UAE. Social assistance transfers are the most widely used class of interventions (60 percent of global responses, or 412 measures). These are complemented by significant action in social insurance and labor market-related measures (supply-side measures). Among safety nets, cash transfer programs remain the most widely used safety net intervention by governments. Overall, cash transfers include 222 COVID-related measures representing one-third of total COVID-related social protection programs.
Shelter from the storm: the global need for universal social protection in times of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Liliana Marcos Barba; Hilde van Regenmortel; Ellen Ehmke

Institution: Oxfam
Published: December 2020

As 2020 draws to a close, the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating. Without urgent action, global poverty and inequality will deepen dramatically. Hundreds of millions of people have already lost their jobs, gone further into debt or skipped meals for months. Research by Oxfam and Development Pathways shows that over 2 billion people have had no support from their governments in their time of need. This study shows that none of the social protection support to those who are unemployed, elderly people, children and families provided in low- and middle-income countries has been adequate to meet basic needs. 41% of that government support was only a one-off payment and almost all government support has now stopped. Decades of social policy focused on tiny levels of means-tested support have left most countries completely unprepared for the COVID-19 economic crisis. Yet, countries such as South Africa and Bolivia have shown that a universal approach to social protection is affordable, and that it has a profound impact on reducing inequality and protecting those who need it most.

Rural youth and the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all parts of society and livelihoods around the globe. It is though worth recognizing that disadvantaged segments of populations like rural young women and men will be impacted harder, nevertheless, when proactively engaged, they have demonstrated to be innovators in their own sectors to surmount the pandemic impact. As governments and development partners take steps to address the economic and social effects of COVID-19, they should not allow a reversal of the rural youth progress achieved in recent years in terms of inclusion in food systems, access to education, vocational education and training, and access to decent employment. While in the immediate future the majority of global resources will be redirected toward the fight against the virus, rural young women and men, should remain a top priority both during and after the pandemic in order to support them to reach their full potential, allow them to prosper and also ensure a sustainable rural recovery. Furthermore, transforming food systems to be inclusive, sustainable, efficient, healthy and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, should be connected in all COVID-19 recovery measures.
Impact of COVID-19 on informal workers
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major economic and labour market shock, presenting significant impacts in terms of unemployment and underemployment for informal workers. In rural areas, the livelihoods of especially the self-employed and wage workers are at risk, because agrifood supply chains and markets are being disrupted due to lockdowns and restrictions of movement. Families might resort to negative coping strategies such as distress sale of assets, taking out loans from informal moneylenders, or child labour. Specific groups of workers, including women, youth, children, indigenous people, and migrant workers, who are over represented in the informal economy, will experience further exacerbation of their vulnerability. Response measures should foster the expansion of social protection coverage to informal workers in agriculture and rural sectors, including timely cash transfers, food or in-kind distributions. Specific measures should be tailored towards women workers with care responsibilities at home, families that may resort to child labour as a coping strategy, as well as other vulnerable subgroups. Efforts should be made to maintain agricultural supply chains and strengthen the market linkages for local producers, while promoting decent work.
FAO COVID-19 response and recovery programme: economic inclusion and social protection to reduce poverty
The COVID-19 pandemic is, directly and indirectly, impacting health and well-being around the globe. Illness and containment measures are compounding the social and economic disadvantages of the most vulnerable in society. These social and economic impacts stand to cause devastating setbacks to efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Pervasive inequalities between rural and urban inhabitants, rich and poor, women and men will exacerbate these effects. People in areas impacted by severe climate change, conflict, forced displacement, and migration will be even more vulnerable.
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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.