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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Children with disabilities: ensuring their inclusion in COVID-19 response strategies and evidence generation.
Institution: UNICEF Data & Analytics
Published: December 2020 UNICEF Publication
The COVID-19 crisis is disrupting life in every corner of the globe. But while its impacts are far-reaching, the virus and the measures implemented by governments to contain its spread are hitting the most vulnerable children and families the hardest. Even before the pandemic struck, children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged, facing increased exposure to abuse and discrimination as well as reduced access to services in many parts of the world. This publication uses existing data to illustrate the vulnerabilities that place children with disabilities at higher risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services. It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic.
Effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the education system in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Domeniter Naomi Kathula

Published: November 2020   Journal: Journal of Education

Since the first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was announced in Kenya, many aspects of society and the education sector have been dramatically affected. On March 15th 2020, the Kenyan government closed all learning institutions countrywide to contain the spread of the virus. As the numbers of those infected by coronavirus rose to over 8,000, the ministry of education announced on July 7th that, the 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to COVID-19 restrictions . The purpose of this study was therefore to determine the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the education systems in Kenya.


Cite this research | Vol.: 3 | Issue: 6 | No. of pages: 31-52 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: child education, educational policy, school attendance, social inequality, COVID-19 response, lockdown | Countries: Kenya
Essential services, risk, and child protection in the time of COVID-19: an opportunity to prioritize chronic need

AUTHOR(S)
Johanna Caldwell; Ashleigh Delaye; Tonino Esposito (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
In many North American jurisdictions, socioeconomically vulnerable families are more likely to be involved with child protection systems and experience ongoing challenges. The current public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on these families via unemployment, “essential” work, isolation, and closures of childcare and schools, with negative implications for children’s developmental wellbeing. Experts warn that while child protection referrals have gone down, children who are at risk of maltreatment are less exposed to typical reporters (e.g., school professionals). At the same time, physical distancing measures are prompting many human service settings to shift toward virtual intervention with children and families. This commentary suggests that a focus on short-term risk in the response to COVID-19 may obscure support for children’s long-term outcomes.
Inequalities in children's experiences of home learning during the COVID‐19 lockdown in England

AUTHOR(S)
Alison Andrew; Sarah Cattan; Monica Costa Dias

Published: November 2020   Journal: Fiscal Studies
This paper combines novel data on the time use, home‐learning practices and economic circumstances of families with children during the COVID‐19 lockdown with pre‐lockdown data from the UK Time Use Survey to characterise the time use of children and how it changed during lockdown, and to gauge the extent to which changes in time use and learning practices during this period are likely to reinforce the already large gaps in educational attainment between children from poorer and better‐off families.
Let's break silos now! Achieving disability-inclusive education in a post-COVID world
Institution: Humanity & Inclusion
Published: November 2020
This report is about the difficulties children with disabilities face in accessing education in the world’s poorest countries. The exclusion of learners with disabilities from education is due to many reasons, including inaccessible school facilities, a lack of assistive technologies, poor health, prejudice, discrimination and stigma. The interconnected and complex nature of achieving inclusive, quality education for all therefore requires stakeholders to break with siloed approaches and to work collaboratively across economic, social, cultural and protection sectors and domains.
COVID-19 and children: how a global pandemic is changing the lives of children in Albania & Kosovo: a mixed method study
Institution: World Vision Albania
Published: November 2020
The disease was confirmed to have reached Albania on March 8 2020 (WHO, 2020d) and Kosovo on March 13 2020 (Ministry of Health, 2020) when the first case respectively was confirmed. The virus, known to its very fast spread ability, forced governments to take drastic measures in order to contain it. Lockdown measures were imposed and the lives of girls and boys, families and communities in Albania & Kosovo changed drastically as health systems buckled, borders closed, and schools and businesses shuttered under the pressure of the crisis of COVID 19. The most vulnerable families and their children was hardest hit in such crises. Due to pandemic suffering of those living in fragile contexts already facing difficulties from economic distress, conflict, instability or natural disaster and great injustices has further increased.
Adolescence in the time of COVID-19: evidence from Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Baird; Jennifer Seager; Shwetlena Sabarwal (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2020
This note examines the effects of COVID-19 and subsequent economic and educational disruptions on adolescent well-being in Bangladesh. The analysis is based on data from 2,095 in-school adolescents aged 10–18 collected pre-COVID-19 (February–March 2020) through a field survey for an ongoing impact evaluation, and a follow-up virtual survey undertaken early in the pandemic (May-June 2020). Findings show large household-level economic impacts associated with increased food insecurity, anxiety, and mental health issues among adolescents. In addition, school closures have decreased adolescents’ access to learning, increased time spent on household chores, and affected future job aspirations. The impacts are particularly large for girls and for adolescents from more vulnerable households. Policy makers need to consider policies that facilitate school return, targeting girls and the most vulnerable. They also need creative school-based programming to address the likely long-run physical and mental health effects of COVID-19 on young people.
Why COVID-19 strengthens the case for a dedicated financing mechanism to scale up innovation in women's, children's, and adolescents' health

AUTHOR(S)
Flavia Bustreo; Mario Merialdi; Rachael Hinton (et al.)

Published: November 2020   Journal: The Lancet Global Health
The disruptive effects of pandemics on the delivery of health services is increasingly recognised as a global threat to maternal and child health. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need to not only rapidly develop health-care innovations but to also make them equitably available. In this context, innovations that contribute to maintaining coverage of essential interventions, such as by facilitating task shifting, simplifying service delivery, or both, are crucial. Therefore, this paper argues that the case for a dedicated financing mechanism for scaling up innovations in women's, children's, and adolescents' health is stronger than ever.
Intersecting vulnerabilities: the impacts of COVID-19 on the psycho-emotional lives of young people in low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Prerna Banati; Nicola Jones; Sally Youssef

Published: November 2020   Journal: The European Journal of Development Research
Across diverse contexts, emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing levels of anxiety and stress. In calling for greater attention to people’s psychosocial and emotional well-being, global actors have paid insufcient attention to the realities of the pandemic in low- and middle-income countries, where millions of people are already exposed to intersecting vulnerabilities. Chronic poverty, protracted violence, confict and displacement, coupled with weak health, education and protection systems, provide the backdrop of many adolescents’ lives. Drawing on qualitative in-country telephone interviews with over 500 adolescents in Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire and Lebanon, this article unpacks the age and gendered dimensions of COVID-19 and its response.
Child development during the COVID‐19 pandemic through a life course theory lens

AUTHOR(S)
Aprile D. Benner; Rashmita S. Mistry

Published: October 2020   Journal: Child Development Perspectives
The COVID‐19 global pandemic and the resulting economic, health, and educational disruptions have upset all aspects of young people’s lives. The pandemic’s reach will likely continue in the near term and as psychological and academic trajectories unfold over time. This article draws on the central tenets of life course theory—intertwined developmental trajectories, linked lives, and stratification systems (Elder, 1998)—to inform understanding of potential adverse effects of the COVID‐19 pandemic on children’s and adolescents’ adjustment and well‐being, as well as mechanisms and processes that may buffer or exacerbate the pandemic’s negative impact.
Supporting children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: a rights-centered approach

AUTHOR(S)
Shazeen Suleman; Yasmine Ratnani; Katrina Stockley (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: Paediatrics & Child Health
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis, affecting millions globally and in Canada. While efforts to limit the spread of the infection and ‘flatten the curve’ may buffer children and youth from acute illness, these public health measures may worsen existing inequities for those living on the margins of society. This commentary highlights current and potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 on children and youth centering on the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), with special attention to the accumulated toxic stress for those in difficult social circumstances. By taking responsive action, providers can promote optimal child and youth health and well-being, now and in the future, through adopting social history screening, flexible care models, a child/youth-centered approach to “essential” services, and continual advocacy for the rights of children and youth.
Counting the costs of COVID-19: assessing the impact on gender and the achievement of the SDGs in Indonesia
Institution: UN Women, Indosat Ooredoo
Published: October 2020

OVID-19 has affected Indonesian women and men differently. Although men are more likely to die from the pandemic, women’s mental health is taking a bigger toll. With school closures many women are now spending more time helping their children with schoolwork, and other forms of unpaid care and domestic work have also increased at home. As a result of the crisis, women’s paid work time and access to public transit have decreased, putting their livelihoods at stake. At a time when social distancing measures have rendered traditional data collection methods impossible, these effects are hard to capture. In response to this challenge, UN Women’s has partnered with Indosat Ooredoo to find innovative solutions to pursue data collection. These timely findings are important to inform response policies that meet the needs of women and men.

A fair share for children: preventing the loss of a generation to COVID-19

As this report makes clear, it is not just COVID-19 that is exacerbating global inequality; the world’s unjust economic response to COVID-19 will deepen global inequality for at least a generation. The most marginalised and vulnerable have been left to fend for themselves and millions of children will pay the price with their lives, unless we act now. In the short term, we need immediate action to ensure the most marginalised have their fair share of the global response. At the United Nations, world leaders must review the dreadful damage done by COVID-19 to the world’s poorest communities and realise they have faced the heaviest burden. Leaders must come together and agree a global package to help low income countries and ensure the most vulnerable to the crisis receive at least some support.

COVID-19 and children: UNICEF data hub
Institution: UNICEF Data & Analytics
Published: October 2020

Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims, as children’s lives are nonetheless being changed in profound ways. All children, of all ages, and in all countries, are being affected, in particular by the socio-economic impacts and, in some cases, by mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good. Moreover, the harmful effects of this pandemic will not be distributed equally. They are expected to be most damaging for children in the poorest countries, and in the poorest neighbourhoods, and for those in already disadvantaged or vulnerable situations. The potential losses that may accrue in learning for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom. 188 countries imposed countrywide school closures during the pandemic, affecting more than 1.6 billion children and youth. Even prior to the pandemic, however, children’s learning was in crisis, and the pandemic has only sharpened these inequities, hitting schoolchildren in poorer countries particularly hard. Globally, many schools lack the resources to invest in digital learning, and many children from poorer households do not have internet access.

The right to education and ICT during COVID-19: an international perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Luis Miguel Lázaro Lorente; Ana Ancheta Arrabal; Cristina Pulido-Montes

Published: October 2020   Journal: Sustainability
There is a lack of concluding evidence among epidemiologists and public health specialists about how school closures reduce the spread of COVID-19. Herein, we attend to the generalization of this action throughout the world, specifically in its quest to reduce mortality and avoid infections. Considering the impact on the right to education from a global perspective, this article discusses how COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities and pre-existing problems in education systems around the world. Therefore, the institutional responses to guaranteeing remote continuity of the teaching–learning process during this educational crisis was compared regionally through international databases.
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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.