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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Evaluation of adolescent girls and Young Women’s Access to Education During COVID-19
Institution: Plan International
Published: November 2021

Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on education at every level all over the world. In many East and Southern African countries, the experience of the pandemic followed the effects of measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 severely effecting Africa’s education system. African countries dealt with the pandemic and are working to mitigate its effect on their education systems. This report, and the study findings behind it, provides a unique insight into the perspectives of girls, education actors and experts regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education in five countries of Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda. It recognizes that the continued closure of schools has exposed millions of young women and adolescent girls to increasing protection risks and severely threatens their futures are girls out of schools are less likely to resume.

The 2021 Asia-Pacific girls report

AUTHOR(S)
Chamaiporn Siangyen; Caterina Grasso; Reylynne Dela Paz (et al.)

Institution: Plan International
Published: September 2021

The 2021 Asia-Pacific Girls Report is Plan International’s annual research report concerning girls in the Asia-Pacific region. It is part of our contribution towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, committed to equitable and inclusive development for girls and young women. This report highlights both the civic engagement activities of young female activists in the Asia-Pacific and the unique challenges girls and young women face throughout the region. As part of this research, Plan International conducted interviews with sector-based experts and young female activists to assess the current situation in the region. Plan International developed and updated the Asia and Pacific Girls’ Leadership Indexes to measure the opportunities of adolescent girls and young women to develop and demonstrate their leadership capabilities, their unique voice in the region, the gaining of support for their choices and collective and individual power.

E-learning experience during COVID-19 needs assessment
Institution: Plan International
Published: July 2021

An in-depth report on the e-learning experience in Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report evaluates the experiences of refugees, marginalised and disadvantaged people in local communities and camps who are enrolled in distance education, conducting formal, informal, and non-formal education, from kindergarten up until grade 12. The report presents essential recommendations and outlines steps to improve the current infrastructure to ensure children’s safe and equitable access to digital learning platforms. Additionally, the report highlights that there is a growing need to improve the capacity and awareness of partners who are part of the current educational process and comes up with practical solutions to address the “learning gap” suffered by children during the pandemic.

Let's go digital! Using digital technology to end child, early and forced marriage and reduce adolescent pregnancy

AUTHOR(S)
Raša Sekulović

Institution: Plan International
Published: April 2021
This report examines the role that digital technologies and online solutions can play in ending child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on an in-depth literature review and key informant interviews, it explores the ways in which Plan International Asia-Pacific Regional Hub (APAC) and other child-rights based development organisations have integrated digital technologies in their programmatic and influencing approaches towards eliminating CEFM in the region. It also introduces some of the digital technologies that have been developed by the private sector, which can be effective in CEFM prevention. Drawing on these insights, the report develops a series of recommendations about how digital technologies can be leveraged most effectively to reach scale and generate impact in eradicating CEFM.
Listen to us: adolescent girls in North West South West Cameroon on conflict and COVID-19
Institution: Plan International
Published: March 2021

This report is the result of a multi-sectoral needs assessment exercise focusing on the rights and needs of adolescents living in the Anglophone territories of North West South West (NWSW) Cameroon. Conducted under extremely challenging circumstances, the assessment used innovative methods pioneered by Plan International to capture the voices of adolescent girls and young women, alongside adolescent boys, young men and their parents and caregivers. It spoke directly to adolescent girls themselves, in particular adolescent girls who are mothers, pregnant, or married, whose ideas, and needs, are often ignored. The NWSW regions of Cameroon have been engulfed in crisis since late 2016, yet this conflict, and its impacts on adolescents, have received limited attention from the international community. This report, which gives adolescents the space to voice their concerns and priorities can be used to engage with states, donors and other humanitarian actors on this neglected crisis and highlight what needs to be done to address adolescents’ needs, rights and aspirations.

Children’s right to be heard: we’re talking; are you listening?
Institution: Child Fund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children
Published: January 2021
As countries usher in 2021, children throughout the world continue to grapple with unprecedented hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that turned the world upside down in 2020. The global health crisis prompted lockdown efforts that raised the risk of violence, hunger, child labor, child marriage, and school dropouts—particularly among girls. It also curtailed opportunities for children to engage in activities aimed at promoting their right to be heard. Recent research shows children are eager to have their voices heard and to play a pivotal role in halting the spread of the virus and minimizing its negative impacts. During consultations for this policy brief, children reported it was very important that they maintain strong peer participation groups and connections to other adolescents and children during lockdowns. They also shared that participation during lockdowns helped promote positive mental health and lessen anxiety and loneliness.
Children's right to be heard: we're talking; are you listening?
Institution: Save the Children, Child Fund Alliance, Plan International
Published: January 2021
Nearly a year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, children worldwide continue to grapple with unprecedented hardships. However, the virus did not destroy children’s resolve to find and use their voices as forces for change. This brief explores factors that inhibit children’s meaningful participation and outlines key takeaways from children on how their participation can lead to outcomes that are more meaningful and impactful.
Impact of Covid-19 on youth in the Lake Chad region

AUTHOR(S)
Josaphat Tchetan Awo

Institution: Plan International
Published: December 2020

The crisis affecting the Lake Chad Basin is one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world, having displaced more than 2.4 million people, half of whom are children. Most are internally-displaced but this number also includes refugees and returnees. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people living in humanitarian contexts are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic and will continue to feel the post-pandemic impacts. For people living in areas with weak health systems, disrupted social support networks, and ongoing conflict and instability, the coronavirus is an additional crisis that they have to face and adapt to. Within this population, youth face increased vulnerability. Youth groups however, provide a critical voice for accountability at the community, state/district and national level. In addition, most youth groups tend to be self-led, volunteer-based, internally-funded and informal with little to no structure. As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on nations’ economies, the pressure for economic survival is heightened for this group who already face bleak employment or income generation prospects. Beyond the impact on youth as individuals, there’s a threat to their ability to contribute to community building through youth groups, as their focus shifts to economic survival. This report seeks to highlight the effects of the pandemic on young people, and how they are facing their future.

Close to contagion: the impact of COVID-19 on displaced and refugee girls and women
Institution: Plan International
Published: September 2020

Currently, as COVID-19 spreads across the world, an unprecedented 76.7 million people are living as refugees, or have been displaced inside their countries. Some 131 of the countries affected by COVID-19 have sizeable refugee populations and more than 80% of refugees are hosted in low- and middle-income countries including Uganda, Sudan, Pakistan and Turkey, with health systems that are ill-equipped to manage significant outbreaks. Refugee and IDP camps are mostly chronically overcrowded and measures to avoid community transmission of the virus, such as physical distancing and frequent handwashing, are difficult to implement. The absence of basic amenities, such as clean running water and soap, insufficient medical personnel, and poor access to health information, let alone access to masks, will make avoiding infection virtually impossible. Also, in many host countries, refugees’ entitlement to healthcare and social protection systems are restricted or non-existent, which increases their vulnerability even further.

Periods in a pandemic
Institution: Plan International
Published: August 2020

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are the first line of defence against COVID-19. It’s widely recognised that access to clean, running water and soap for handwashing is a critical need that must be met in  our global response to the pandemic, however there are other essential aspects of WASH that should not be forgotten at this time.  On any single day during this health emergency, 800 million diverse women and girls are menstruating and grappling with the unique challenges of doing so in a global pandemic. This report looks at how the current implications of COVID-19 is exacerbating key challenges for people who menstruate around the world and  provides recommendations on how to include menstrual hygiene management (MHM) within  a COVID-19 response. 

African girls in the Covid-19 pandemic
Institution: Plan International
Published: August 2020

As countries across Africa experience the impact of COVID-19 across health systems, economies and communities, progress made in the last decade in achieving the rights of adolescent girls’ risks being lost. African governments must act in urgency to address this “invisible crisis" and protect the important gains made to protect, and empower girls over the last decade.COVID-19, an unfolding global health crisis, is revealing a grim impact on millions of adolescent girls across Africa. Along with rising infection rates across countries in the continent, the disease is compounding challenges to girls’ agency, protection, learning and leadership. The African response to the pandemic will – if unchecked - roll back important gains made in ensuring African girls’ access and enjoyment of human rights. COVID-19 is emerging as not only a health crisis but a significant protection crisis for adolescent girls across the continent.

COVID-19 and child marriage in West and Central Africa
Institution: Girls not Brides, Plan International
Published: August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic may cause 13 million additional child marriages by 2030, and West and Central Africa will be severely affected unless multi-sectoral, comprehensive efforts to end child marriage are accelerated in the region. This joint brief from Girls Not Brides and Plan International outlines the impacts of the pandemic on child marriage. It provides recommendations and an urgent call for action for governments, regional bodies and humanitarian actors to ensure that girls and young women's rights are upheld during and after the COVID-19 crisis response.

Halting lives: the impact of Covid-19 on girls and young women

AUTHOR(S)
Sharon Goulds; Isobel Fergus; Esther Winslow

Institution: Plan International
Published: August 2020

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread worldwide it is becoming clear that the outbreak of this virus has implications that reach far beyond the direct impact on people’s physical health. What started as a health emergency is causing fundamental shifts in society as governments struggle to try and contain the crisis. COVID-19 is having an impact on all sectors of society across the world. But its impact does not fall equally: the virus is taking advantage of pre-existing inequalities. As the world has sought desperately to deal both with the medical impacts of the virus and to prepare a response to its many secondary effects, research on COVID-19 has accelerated. However, there is limited research on the social impacts of COVID-19 and on the consequences for young people, especially those specific to girls. Plan International commissioned research to look specifically at the impact of the current pandemic on girls and young women, collecting data from over 7,000 girls across 14 countries. The report also includes extracts from interviews with young women, reflecting on the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives in Mozambique, Brazil, Ghana and Nicaragua. The scale of this pandemic affects girls and young women in all aspects of their daily lives: their safety, wellbeing, education, economic security, health, nutrition and access to technology. All pre-existing inequalities are made worse by COVID-19. Its impact on girls and young women, who face unique vulnerabilities, needs to be acknowledged and it is their experiences and perspectives this research seeks to understand.

Building back equal: girls back to school guide
Institution: Malala Fund, Plan International, *UNICEF, UNESCO
Published: August 2020

COVID-19 unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll back substantial gains made on girls’ education in recent 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. The guide, developed by the Malala Fund, Plan International, UNESCO, UNGEI and UNICEF, aims to help policymakers and practitioners in ministries of education and their partners address the gender dimensions of the pandemic-related school closures. It provides targeted recommendations to ensure continuity of learning while schools are closed, and to establish comprehensive, timely and evidence-based plans for reopening schools in a way that is safe, gender-responsive and child-friendly.

Because We Matter: Addressing COVID-19 and violence against girls in Asia-Pacific
Institution: Save the Children, Plan International
Published: July 2020
Asia is home to more than half of the world’s 1.1 billion girls. Gender inequality in many parts of the region means that girls are often systematically disadvantaged and oppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion, and discrimination. Emerging data shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against girls and women, particularly domestic violence, has intensified. Partly due to containment measures during COVID19, systems and services that are mandated to prevent, identify, and respond to violence against children are operating with limited or no capacity. Inadequate levels of government and donor investments in child protection, as well as gaps in the functionality of systems and effective enforcement of laws and policies have been pervasive. These existing challenges have been further exacerbated by the pandemic and are now affecting all children, while disproportionately impacting girls.
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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.