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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Children rights to 'Zero hunger' and the execution challenges during the COVID-19 crisis

AUTHOR(S)
Nurul Hidayat binti Ab Rahman; Redwan bin Yasin

Published: August 2022   Journal: Hasanuddin Law Review
‘Zero hunger is the world’s pledge under the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition. Nevertheless, the mission had been seized as the world faced economic turndown due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. The circumstances have brutally affected society’s ideal living standards and raised social problems such as extreme poverty, famishment, malnutrition, and medical conditions, specifically among vulnerable children. The essential purpose of this writing is to elucidate the ‘zero hunger goal as one of the central legal rights and identify challenges in executing it during the COVID-19 crisis. Data were collected through library studies and analyzed critically using the content analysis method.
Inclusive and resilient societies: equality, sustainability and efficiency
Institution: UNESCO, Fundacion La Caixa
Published: May 2022

This first UNESCO Policy Report on Inclusive and Resilient Societies, released as the world enters the third year of the pandemic, analyses the causes, nature and evolution of inequalities during the COVID-19 crisis. High-level analysis and findings are detailed in this summary, with detail provided in the report.

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.
Investment case for child-centred climate actions in the context of COVID-19 in East Asia and the Pacific
Institution: *UNICEF, Vivid Economics
Published: November 2021

The dual challenges of the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic compound on each other and are disproportionately impacting children in East Asia and Pacific. This calls for ambitious climate actions that help advance climate justice for current and future generations of children and support a green and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As stated by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the pandemic recovery is “a profound opportunity” to steer the world on “a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind”. Unless inclusive climate-smart solutions are prioritized in the recovery phase, there is a high risk of emissions rebounding and governments locking themselves in to a carbon-intense future, leaping from the COVID-19 frying pan into the climate fire. This working paper provides an economic analysis of climate and COVID-19 recovery policy measures in East Asia and the Pacific region and makes an investment case for accelerating ambitious and inclusive climate actions through national climate policies and COVID-19 recovery measures in East Asia and the Pacific and beyond.

COVID-19 and health sector development plans in Africa: the impact on maternal and child health outcomes in Uganda

AUTHOR(S)
M. G. Atim; V. D. Kajogoo; D. Amare (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Risk Management and Healthcare Policy
Health Sector Development Plans (HSDPs) aim to accelerate movement towards achieving sustainable development goals for health, reducing inequalities, and ending poverty. Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services are vulnerable to economic imbalances, including health insecurity, unmet need for healthcare, and low health expenditure. The same vulnerability influences the potential of a country to combat global outbreaks such as the COVID-19. This paper aimed to provide some important insights into the impacts of COVID-19 on RMNCH indicators and outcomes of the HSDP in Uganda.
Uneven global education stimulus risks widening learning disparities
Institution: UNESCO
Published: October 2021
Due  to  the  COVID-19  Pandemic,  governments  around  the world  risk  losing  years  of  progress  towards  the  Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG4) in the 2030 Education Agenda if they do not invest sufficiently in education systems during the crisis response and recovery. Education is not only a human right, but also a strategy for ongoing economic revival and  sustainable  development.  Efforts  to  sustain  or  increase economic investment in education should be smart, strong, and leave no one behind, providing targeted stimulus to vulnerable populations at higher risk of dropping out. UNESCO believes that  the  post-pandemic  economic  recovery  is  dependent  on short- and long-term investment in flexible, resilient education systems that can respond quickly and efficiently.
Measuring and forecasting progress in education: what about early childhood?

AUTHOR(S)
Linda M. Richter; Jere R. Behrman; Pia Britto (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: npj Science of Learning
A recent Nature article modelled within-country inequalities in primary, secondary, and tertiary education and forecast progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to education (SDG 4). However, their paper entirely overlooks inequalities in achieving Target 4.2, which aims to achieve universal access to quality early childhood development, care and preschool education by 2030. This is an important omission because of the substantial brain, cognitive and socioemotional developments that occur in early life and because of increasing evidence of early-life learning’s large impacts on subsequent education and lifetime wellbeing. This study provides an overview of this evidence and uses new analyses to illustrate medium- and long-term implications of early learning, first by presenting associations between pre-primary programme participation and adolescent mathematics and science test scores in 73 countries and secondly, by estimating the costs of inaction (not making pre-primary programmes universal) in terms of forgone lifetime earnings in 134 countries. This study finds considerable losses, comparable to or greater than current governmental expenditures on all education (as percentages of GDP), particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries. In addition to improving primary, secondary and tertiary schooling, it concludes that to attain SDG 4 and reduce inequalities in a post-COVID era, it is essential to prioritize quality early childhood care and education, including adopting policies that support families to promote early learning and their children’s education.
Global, regional, and national progress towards Sustainable development goal 3.2 for neonatal and child health: all-cause and cause-specific mortality findings from the Global burden of disease study 2019
Published: September 2021   Journal: The Lancet
Sustainable Development Goal 3.2 has targeted elimination of preventable child mortality, reduction of neonatal death to less than 12 per 1000 livebirths, and reduction of death of children younger than 5 years to less than 25 per 1000 livebirths, for each country by 2030. To understand current rates, recent trends, and potential trajectories of child mortality for the next decade, we present the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 findings for all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality in children younger than 5 years of age, with multiple scenarios for child mortality in 2030 that include the consideration of potential effects of COVID-19, and a novel framework for quantifying optimal child survival.
Empowering the workforce of tomorrow

This report released by UNICEF and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), provides concrete recommendations for actions that businesses can take to help address the “skills mismatch” that young people all over the world are encountering. Based on combined insights from WBCSD’s Future of Work project and UNICEF’s programming and research experience in the area of education, the “Empowering the Workforce of Tomorrow: The role of Business in Tackling the Skills Mismatch among Youth” report highlights the scale of the skills mismatch challenge globally, its root causes and the impacts it has on youth, business and society more broadly. Young people in particular are being disproportionately affected by these disruptions. All over the world, hundreds of millions of individuals are coming of age and finding themselves unemployed and unemployable, lacking the right skills to take up the jobs available today and, even more, the skills that will be needed tomorrow.

Rise, respond, recover: renewing progress on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in the era of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Requejo

This action brief summarizes the latest status and trends of key areas related to women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being from a global perspective. It aims to promote coordinated action among global and national partners to recognize and overcome the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, children and adolescents and to accelerate progress to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Rise, Respond, Recover is an update to Protect the Progress: 2020 progress report on Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Childrens’ and Adolescents’ Health (September 2020), capturing key evidence points presented in May 2021 to the World Health Assembly as well as top priorities and activities among partners.

Foundations for building forward better : an education reform path for Lebanon
Institution: The World Bank
Published: June 2021
Human capital development is a critical determinant of economic growth, equity, and prosperity, but outcomes in this domain are worryingly low inLebanon, risking the future of generations of children. Lebanese children lag behind their peers in human capital development—measured accordingto the World Bank (2020c) Human Capital Index—suggesting that the future productivity of the labor force and the country’s trajectory for equitablegrowth is at risk (World Bank 2020b). The Human Capital Index indicates that children born in Lebanon today will reach, on average, only 52 percentof their potential productivity when they grow up. This is lower than the average estimates for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region(57 percent) and upper-middle-income countries (56 percent). Lebanon’s poor performance on the Human Capital Index is largely attributed to theeducation outcomes calculated for the index.
Building a resilient generation in Central Asia and Europe
Institution: *UNICEF, European Training Foundation
Published: June 2021
What are the hopes, concerns, and expectations of young people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) about their futures and the role of education, social inclusion, and the environment? This UNICEF-ETF joint report brings youth voices, views, and sentiments from the ECA region as a contribution to the regional and global discussions on how to create better lifelong learning systems, more inclusive communities, and greener societies.
Impact of COVID-19 on learning : evidence from six Sub-Saharan African countries

AUTHOR(S)
Hai-Anh Dang; Gbemisola Oseni; Alberto Zezza

Institution: The World Bank
Published: May 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc upon global learning, with many countries facing severe school disruptions and closures. An emerging literature based on household survey data points to the pandemic as having exacerbated inequalities in education and learning in countries from Italy to Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This brief offers new analysis on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning outcomes for six sub-Saharan African countries. We analyze detailed householdlevel data from several rounds of panel phone surveys collected by the World Bank in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda.
Impact of COVID-19 on achieving the goal of sustainable development: E-learning and educational productivity

AUTHOR(S)
Xin-Yu Wang; Guang Li; Summaira Malik (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Economic Research = Ekonomska Istraživanja
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a thought-provoking impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were approved by United Nations in the year 2015. Therefore, taking this very consideration forward, this study primarily explores the impact of COVID-19, particularly on the SDG number 4, i.e., education. Due to the COVID-19 contagion, given the unusual and never been experienced circumstances, educational institutions all over the world have been forced to establish their e-learning systems practically overnight. For this purpose, this study collected the relevant data from middle school students, by using a technique known as convenience sampling. Furthermore, moving on in the same context, it also developed an integrated model with five dimensions, i.e., Learner, Design, Technology, Instructor, and Environment, in order to gauge this relationship in further detail.
Scaling up parenting interventions is critical for attaining the sustainable development goals

AUTHOR(S)
Matthew R. Sanders; Gauri Divan; Meghna Singhal (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Of all the potentially modifiable influences affecting children’s development and mental health across the life course, none is more important than the quality of parenting and family life. In this position paper, we argue that parenting is fundamentally linked to the development of life skills that children need in order to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We discuss key principles that should inform the development of a global research and implementation agenda related to scaling up evidence-based parenting support programs.
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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.