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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Adaptation and resilience: lessons learned from implementing a combination health and education intervention for adolescent girls and young women in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Zoe Duby; Brittany Bunce; Chantal Fowler (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Health Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with reduced access to health services and worsening health outcomes for HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Through the analysis of data from an evaluation study of a combination intervention for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in South Africa, this study sought to examine the way in which implementation and service provision were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, describing the adaptation implementers made to respond to this context. The intervention was implemented from 2019 in South African districts identified as high priority, given the high rates of HIV and teenage pregnancy amongst AGYW.
Distance education & the digital divide: ensuring learning continuity for girls during school closures
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: June 2022

This brief was developed to support the dissemination of key messages in Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises. It provides an overview of evidence and gaps in girls’ and women’s access to distance education and recommends actions for gender-responsive planning and design of distance education policies and interventions.


Closing the gap 2: delivering safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth Naylor

Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This paper summarizes the findings of the monitoring report: Mind the Gap 2: Seeking Safe and Sustainable Solutions for Girls’ Education in Crises, which was commissioned by the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) in collaboration with the INEE Reference Group on Girls’ Education in Emergencies. It recommends actions for governments, donors, civil society, collectors and collators of data, and teachers and other education personnel to address the gaps identified in the delivery, planning, funding, and monitoring of girls’ and women’s education in crisis contexts.

Mind the gap 2: seeking safe and sustainable solutions for girls’ education in crises
Institution: Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
Published: May 2022

This report summarizes progress, gaps, challenges and opportunities in improving education and training for girls and women affected by conflict and crisis. This report monitors progress since the first Mind the Gap report and highlights the following thematic areas: distance education and the digital divide, school-related gender-based violence, and girls’ education during climate crisis.  The report aims to support the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education’s commitment to enhance the evidence base and monitor progress toward gender-equitable education in crises. The report draws from data on 44 crisis-affected countries, from recent research, and from a set of case studies of interventions in a range of crisis-affected contexts.

Girls’ education and women’s equality: how to get more out of the world’s most promising investment

AUTHOR(S)
Shelby Carvalho; David Evans

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: May 2022

To hear talk of it, you might think educating girls is a silver bullet to solve all the world’s ills. A large and still growing collection of research demonstrates the wide-ranging benefits of girls’ education. Recent research has nuanced some of those findings, but the fundamental result stands: Educating girls is good for girls and good for the people around them. This report goes beyond what works to get girls in school and learning—still very important questions—to probe how education can work together with other societal systems and structures to provide better lifetime opportunities for women.

Reusable sanitary napkins in rural India: a remote quality improvement project for adolescent girls promoting menstrual hygiene health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Ciardi Sassone; Susan Silva; Jed Metzger (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Global Health Promotion
Medical and public health research supports an ongoing need for health promotion in meeting menstrual hygiene needs, including menstrual hygiene management (MHM) education and the adoption of reusable sanitary napkins. This quality improvement project focuses on menstruation education for adolescent girls in rural Tamil Nadu, India and the promotion of reusable sanitary napkins. Results indicate a significant improvement in MHM knowledge, confidence in managing menstruation, adoption of reusable sanitary napkins, and a decrease in missed school days. These findings support global recommendations for health promotion in India.
Gendered effects of COVID-19 school closures: Bangladesh case study
Institution: Population Council
Published: March 2022
Bangladesh’s education system met intensified challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the difficulties students have historically faced. A recent study on the impacts of COVID-19 school closures in rural communities in Bangladesh clarifies issues of remote learning access, management, and monitoring, as well as new strains on students’ time use. It also reveals general impacts on mental and physical health, economic status, as well as gendered effects including child marriage. Based on evaluations of mitigation measures, recommendations for comprehensive policies, provision of technical, financial, and social support, and improvements in education systems emerged.
Gendered effects of COVID-19 school closures: India case study
Institution: Population Council
Published: March 2022
With sudden school closures in 2020, about 250 million children in India from preschool through high school faced disruptions to their education. A case study assessed the gendered impact of COVID-19 school closures on education, health, well-being, and protection of adolescents in India. Based on surveys and interviews in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, findings point to the digital divide for girls as well as shared barriers to effective remote learning. Informed by the evidence, the study presents recommendations to scale up efforts to improve remote learning, reduce digital divide and strengthen teacher support, with a particular attention to addressing gendered differences.
Gendered effects of COVID-19 school closures: Kenya case study
Institution: Population Council
Published: March 2022
In Kenya, COVID-19 school closures escalated education inequalities especially for girls and young people in rural areas. These closures exacerbated adolescent mental health issues, food and economic insecurity, and experiences of violence. COVID-19 response programs implemented by both the Government of Kenya and non-state actors were not able to fully mitigate the impacts of school closures for adolescents, teachers, or schools. Continued efforts to understand the implications of school closures and to support vulnerable students are needed.
Gendered effects of COVID-19 school closures: Pakistan case study
Institution: Population Council
Published: March 2022
As schools closed and reopened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a study was conducted to assess the gendered impacts of COVID-19 school closures on adolescent girls and boys in three districts in the province of Punjab. Data as well as discussions and interviews with adolescents, teachers, and parents shed light on difficulties in accessing and adjusting to remote learning, learning loss, deterioration of behaviors and health, and other effects. Based on these findings and further reflections by stakeholders on the successes and gaps of mitigation measures, the case study proposes recommendations for improved teacher training, digital access, alternative learning options, and a gendered focus in interventions.
Adolescent lives in Ethiopia: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Ethiopia has made remarkable progress over the last two decades. The poverty rate has halved (from 46% to 24%), the primary completion rate has more than doubled (from 18% to 50%) and the odds of marriage for girls under the age of 15 have fallen to less than 1 in 10. However, alongside the covid-19 pandemic, the last two years have seen increasing ethnic and religious tension and violence, as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has struggled to deliver on promised political transformations. In Ethiopia GAGE has collected baseline and midline data with approximately 8,000 rural and urban adolescents in Afar, Amhara and Oromia regions as well as Dire Dawa City Administration; fielded two rounds of covid-19 phone surveys; and is running ongoing participatory research groups with older girls and boys (15–19 years). Nested within the Ethiopian study, GAGE is also carrying out an impact evaluation of the adolescent empowerment programme ‘Act With Her’ (AWH). This brief highlights headline emerging findings from this unique dataset, as well as providing links to more comprehensive publications and an annex with key quantitative indicators.

Adolescent lives in Bangladesh: what are we learning from longitudinal evidence? Lessons from longitudinal research with adolescents
Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: March 2022

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in social and economic development in recent decades, which contributed to the country attaining middle-income status in 2015. While the country’s educational advancements are noteworthy – net enrolment rates in school have converged towards gender parity and literacy rates have improved – entrenched obstacles related to educational transitions for adolescents persist. In Bangladesh, GAGE has collected mixed-methods baseline data from a school-based sample in Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, as well as virtual data collected at various intervals during the covid-19 pandemic. Quantitative baseline data was collected from 2,220 adolescents attending grades 7 and 8 in 109 public (government) and semi-private (monthly pay order (MPO)) schools in February and March 2020; and qualitative baseline data was collected by phone from 100 adolescents, parents and teachers between August and September 2020. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to more comprehensive publications.

WINGS 2022 – The world of India’s Girls: spotlight on adolescent girls amid COVID-19
Institution: Save the Children
Published: March 2022

This research by Save the Children India highlights the disproportionate impact of India’s Covid-19 crisis on girls, with lockdowns and school closures exacerbating existing gender inequalities in the country and hindering girls’ access to health, education, and play. The report, The World of India’s Girls, reveals that only a third (33%) of girls in India attended online classes during lockdown, while two thirds (68%) struggled to access health and nutrition services. A further 80% were unable to access sanitary items due to limited government supplies, lack of money and shop closures. This study was conducted in four states – Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Telangana, representing the four geographical zones (East, West, North and South) and included a survey, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.

Evidence on the gendered impacts of extended school closures: a systematic review
Institution: UNESCO
Published: March 2022

This publication investigates the evidence on the gendered impacts of extended school closures and periods out of school. The aim is to ensure that responses to the current and future crises are informed by an understanding of how they affect education access, participation and outcomes, as well as children’s nutrition, health, well-being and protection. Building on the findings of 154 studies from every region of the world, it highlights how extended school closures and periods out of school deepen gendered exclusions and vulnerabilities – with the poorest children being the most affected. Seven different forms of gendered impact on education processes are delineated, linked to failures to address the needs, rights and capabilities of girls, boys, women and men, and to build institutional structures to sustain equality and protect from violence.

Compounding inequalities: Adolescent psychosocial wellbeing and resilience among refugee and host communities in Jordan during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Sarah Baird; Bassam Abu Hamad (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Plos One
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated risk-mitigation strategies have altered the social contexts in which adolescents in low- and middle-income countries live. Little is known, however, about the impacts of the pandemic on displaced populations, and how those impacts differ by gender and life stage. This study investigates the extent to which the pandemic has compounded pre-existing social inequalities among adolescents in Jordan, and the role support structures play in promoting resilience.
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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.