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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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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.
Guidelines to strengthen the right to education in national frameworks
Institution: UNESCO
Published: April 2021

These timely Guidelines were developed precisely with the aim to assist countries and stakeholders to conduct assessments of their national education legal and policy frameworks. The first edition was published in 2014. Today, more than being just a revision, the new Guidelines have been entirely re-designed and re-written to reflect the new context, trends and challenges. They build on the new knowledge we produced, capitalize on the work carried out in countries, and use improved methodological tools.

Keeping girls in the picture during and after the COVID-19 crisis: the latest facts on gender equality in education
Institution: UNESCO - Global Education Monitoring Report Team
Published: April 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history. Throughout 2020 most governments around the world temporarily closed schools and other learning spaces in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. At the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries. This unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education inrecent decades, with broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender equality.

Global education monitoring report, 2021, Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia: inclusion and education: all means all
Institution: UNESCO - Global Education Monitoring Report Team
Published: April 2021

If all children are to reach their full potential in life, they must have an equal chance of receiving an education of good quality. The critical importance of education for the prospects and prosperity of individuals, communities and entire nations is recognized in Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with SDG 4 calling for inclusive and equitable quality education for all. However, too often, the most marginalized children are left behind, including girls, ethnic and linguistic minorities, migrants and refugees, children with disabilities, and those from low-income families or living in remote areas. Yet education’s unique power to act as a catalyst for wider development goals can be fully realized only if it is equitable.If all children are to be fully included in education, we need to understand the factors that inhibit and exclude the most vulnerable from learning. The 2021 Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia report on inclusion and education aims to fill key knowledge gaps and provide evidence-based recommendations to assist governments and other key education stakeholders in strengthening inclusion and SDG 4 implementation across the region.

Leave no one behind: COVID-19 and its impact on childcare and education in urban areas

AUTHOR(S)
Kutisha Ebron

Published: April 2021   Journal: Cities & Health
The United Nations Leave No One Behind, A Call-to-Action pledges and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the formulating structure of this article. The commitments are documents to offer structure on how to eliminate poverty for all global citizens. The article aims to highlight where our urban areas and cities across the globe need improvement by eradicating discriminatory practices that affect women and trickle down to childcare and education of their children to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the year 2030, amidst COVID-19.
Progressing the SDGs: policy brief on COVID-19
Institution: Save the Children
Published: April 2021
COVID-19 was at the center of the 2020 United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The pandemic not only forced to move the meeting to virtual but was part of almost every debate. Besides the information provided by the 2020 voluntary national review (VNR) reports on the pandemic and its first impacts on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the UN system, the private sector, civil society, and academia produced studies of the actual situations and figured out future scenarios.
Successful delivery of nutrition programs and the sustainable development goals

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel Lopez de Romaña; Alison Greig; Andrew Thompson (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnolog
Malnutrition affects millions of people globally, especially women, children, and other vulnerable populations. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone by 2030. To achieve the SDG goals effective nutrition interventions and programs need to be efficiently delivered to those most in need. Nutrition directly affects 2 SDGs (2 and 3) and indirectly influences five others. In addition, almost all SDGs influence nutrition and thus attaining the SDG goals is also a pre-requisite to achieving the Global Nutrition targets set in 2012.
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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.