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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Youth economic security, skills and empowerment: Learning from positive outliers among youth affected by forced displacement in Jordan

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Jude Sajdi; Elizabeth Presler-Marshall (et al.)

Most of the research on refugee economic participation has focused on adult refugee populations, particularly men. Data on adolescents and youth, particularly girls and young women, is limited. This report aims to fill some of these research gaps and contribute to efforts to support refugee youth to realise their potential in line with the commitments enshrined in both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to ‘leave no one behind’, and in the Global Compact on Refugees, to ‘enhance refugee self-reliance’. Focusing on male and female youth aged 15–24 years from Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities in Jordan, as well as vulnerable Jordanians in host communities, the report captures their aspirations and experiences in building independent and sustainable livelihoods. It incorporates a gender lens to identify and analyse the factors that promote or hinder youth participation in the labour market, paying particular attention to gender norms and roles.

'Each one of us has a dream': gender-responsive education and economic empowerment for refugee youth in Lebanon

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Agnieszka Małachowska (et al.)

Published: July 2022

Echoing global trends, where the absolute number of displaced persons continues to grow in tandem with the proportion of people living in protracted displacement, the vast majority of both Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities in Lebanon have been there for 10 years or longer. So, how can decision-makers lay the foundations for gender-responsive education systems and economic empowerment for refugee youth in Lebanon? The collapse of Lebanon’s GDP by 58% during recent years has resulted not only in an explosion of demand for humanitarian assistance, but also created growing concerns about meeting SDG targets. Questions arise over how best to support adolescents and young people to transition into adulthood in the midst of such intertwined, and escalating, crises. This ODI Report began with an extensive review of secondary data, and uses primary qualitative data collected from Syrian and Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon over the first half of 2021. Our research aims to identify programming proposals and recommended actions for donor and policy-makers to facilitate the economic and educational success for all young refugees living permanently outside their country's borders.

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

Jordan is a small, highly resource-constrained country situated in the heart of the Middle East. Long a haven for refugees fleeing regional conflict, over one-third of Jordan’s 10 million residents are not Jordanian. Jordan is home to approximately 1.5 million Syrians, half of whom are registered as refugees with UNHCR. Jordan is also hosting 2.5 million registered Palestine refugees. In Jordan, GAGE has collected mixed-methods baseline data (between mid-2018 and early 2019) with approximately 4,000 Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Dom adolescents living in host communities, formal refugee camps and informal tented settlements; fielded three rounds of covid-19 phone surveys; and is running ongoing participatory research groups with older married girls, out-of-school boys and adolescent girls and boys with disabilities (15–19 years). GAGE is also evaluating a variety of UNICEF Jordan’s programming. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to fuller publications.

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

Since 2019, Lebanon’s economy has been caught in an accelerating downward spiral, which the World Bank predicts will rank in the top three most severe global economic crises in the last 150 years. Food prices have now climbed more than 500%, over half of the country is living below the poverty line and the electrical grid is on the verge of collapse as fuel has become unavailable. For the 1.5 million Syrian refugees and nearly 200,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, the situation is even more dire. In Lebanon, GAGE is running participatory research groups with 83 vulnerable Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese adolescents. These young people are between the ages of 15 and 19 and live in host communities, formal refugee camps served by UNRWA (Palestinians), and informal tented settlements  (Syrians). The participatory research groups were established in 2019 and meet every four to six weeks  to discuss themes related to GAGE’s conceptual framework. This brief highlights headline emerging findings and provides links to fuller publications.

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

From August 2017, the largest wave of Rohingya refugees crossed the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, fleeing crimes that the UN Special Rapporteur has claimed ‘bear the hallmarks of genocide’. Over 880,000 displaced Rohingya now live in 32 makeshift and 2 registered refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district, one of Bangladesh’s poorest regions, where 1.36 million people – comprising both refugees and host community residents – remain in need of humanitarian assistance. This brief draws on mixed-methods data collected both before and after the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from younger (aged 10–14) and older (aged 15–19) cohorts at baseline, our research captures the voices of Rohingya and Bangladeshi adolescents and their views on everyday life, including the structural and socio-cultural constraints they face and whether they are being left behind.

The Syrian refugee life study: first glance

AUTHOR(S)
Edward A. Miguel; Bailey Palmer; Sandra Rozo Villarraga (et al.)

Published: February 2022
This paper presents descriptive statistics from the first wave of the Syrian Refugee Life Study (S-RLS), which was launched in 2020. S-RLS is a longitudinal study that tracks a representative sample of 2,500 registered Syrian refugee households in Jordan. It collects comprehensive data on socio-demographic variables as well as information on health and well-being, preferences, social capital, attitudes, and safety and crime perceptions. This study uses these novel data to document the socio-demographic characteristics of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and compare them to those of the representative Jordanian and non-Jordanian populations interviewed in the 2016 Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey. The findings point to lags in basic service access, housing quality, and educational attainment for the Syrian refugee population, relative to the non-refugee population. The impacts of the pandemic may serve to partially explain these documented disparities. The data also illustrate that most Syrian refugees have not recovered economically from the shock of COVID-19 and that this population has larger gender disparities in terms of income, employment, prevalence of child marriage, and gender attitudes than their non-refugee counterparts. Finally, mental health problems are common for Syrian refugees in 2020, with depression indicated among over 61 percent of the population.
Education and an ethics of care when working with refugee families during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Anne Keary; Andrea Reupert; Mervi Kaukko (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Years
Provision of early childhood education and care services for refugee families took on heightened challenges during COVID-19 restrictions. This study undertook a small-scale study to explore how Australian educators worked with and cared for refugee families during the COVID-19 outbreak in an urban Australian setting. This study emerges from a larger project that aimed to support social inclusion and cultural and linguistic diversity for refugee families in Australia. It draws on two group interviews conducted during a COVID-19 lockdown with four educators working with refugee families in early childhood education and care. Data analysis is framed by the ethics of care work of Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings. On the basis of these theories and the interview data, two vignettes on an ethics of care were developed. The importance of being cared for and cared about and genuinely listening were identified as crucial aspects of the care provided to refugee children and their families.
Tackling digital exclusion among disadvantaged adolescents in Jordan: what difference does access to devices and online platforms make?

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Taghreed Alabadi; Sarah Alheiwidi (et al.)

Institution: Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence
Published: January 2022

Recognition that access to digital connectivity, tools and services is fundamental to inclusion and participation in society has grown exponentially over the last five years, including for persons affected by forced displacement and socially disadvantaged young people. This report presents findings from a rapid qualitative research assessment of UNICEF Jordan’s digital inclusion programme for vulnerable Jordanians, Palestinian and Syrian refugees attending Makani centres undertaken in July and August 2021. The programme distributed tablets and 10GB of monthly data to 10,000 vulnerable households in order to help address the digital divide and support access to online education and learning as well to life skills and other non-formal education programming. Drawing on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with adolescents and their parents, this report explores the effects that the tablet distribution initiative has had in terms of education and learning, access to information and services, as well as to peers and mentors.

Educational participation of young refugees in the context of digitized settings

AUTHOR(S)
Nadia Kutscher; Jana Hüttmann; Michi S. Fujii (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Information, Communication & Society
This article focuses on the educational participation of young refugees in the context of digitalized settings. Education policies often consider digital media beneficial for the educational participation of disadvantaged groups, or vulnerable groups facing many challenges in education and society, such as young people with a forced migration background. Moreover, digital media are highly relevant in the everyday lives of young refugees. Our 3-5-year (02/2019-07/2022) research project focuses on the trans-organizational orientation occurring in different everyday media-permeated life contexts of young refugees, which includes the formal educational setting of school, the non-formal setting of child and youth welfare, and informal contexts in the everyday life of young refugees. Through combining grounded theory, ethnography, and neo-praxeological methodologies, organizational cross-connections and cross-relations were revealed in practices and arrangements, involving digital artifacts as well as human actors. This article presents methodological insights into distributed educational practices concerning understanding information, acquiring knowledge, and developing agency in which digital media are implicated. Emerging dimensions of educational inequalities within digitalized educational contexts, which became apparent during lockdown periods in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, are discussed.
Joint evaluation of the protection of rights of refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic
Institution: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Itad, ALNAP
Published: December 2021

The evaluation focuses on specific rights: the right to seek and enjoy asylum; the right to health; protection against sexual and gender-based violence (GBV); child protection and family reunification; the rights of persons with specific needs; and access to information. The Management Group for this evaluation includes the Evaluation Units of UNHCR, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Governments of Colombia and Uganda, and the humanitarian system network ALNAP. The evaluation team is headed by Itad in partnership with VALID Evaluations and is a collaborative effort including a network of evaluators and academic institutions. This paper provides only a short, high-level summary of the emerging themes from the data collection period (August-October 2021). Some of the triangulation and analysis of data is still ongoing, and this paper outlines only emerging findings to date.

Remote evaluation of feedback and decision-making during Save the Children’s Covid-19 response in Bangladesh

AUTHOR(S)
Bethan Mathias; Sarah Singer

Published: November 2021

This research study evaluates the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on Save the Children’s use of feedback from adults and children in Bangladesh. It examines the impact of Covid-19 and the ways in which approaches to feedback inform Save the Children’s decision-making at a time of particular global challenge. The report’s findings are intended to serve as a useful, rapidly-realised tool for organisational learning and to support Save the Children as it continues to serve displaced populations in Bangladesh and globally.

Adolescents in protracted displacement: exploring risks of age- and gender-based violence among Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and the State of Palestine

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Bassam Abu Hamad; Sally Youssef (et al.)

Published: October 2021

Palestine refugees, of whom there are nearly 6 million, primarily live in the countries surrounding the land that is now recognised by most UN member states as the State of Palestine. Palestine refugees are largely excluded from labour markets, due to blockades and national laws, and subsequently have high rates of poverty. Most depend on services and support delivered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and its governmental and non-governmental partners for survival. Palestinian adolescents, whether they live in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, in Jordan or in Lebanon, face myriad threats to their well-being. These include age- and gender-based violence and exploitation in the home, at school and in the community. With the world’s attention elsewhere, however, most of those threats remain largely invisible. This report draws on data collected by the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) research programme to begin addressing evidence gaps and exploring the protection risks facing Palestinian adolescents.

Reflections of methodological and ethical challenges in conducting research during COVID-19 involving resettled refugee youth in Canada

AUTHOR(S)
Zoha Salam; Elysee Nouvet; Lisa Schwartz

Published: July 2021   Journal: Journal of Medical Ethics
Research involving migrant youth involves navigating and negotiating complex challenges in order to uphold their rights and dignity, but also all while maintaining scientific rigour. COVID-19 has changed the global landscape within many domains and has increasingly highlighted inequities that exist. With restrictions focusing on maintaining physical distancing set in place to curb the spread of the virus, conducting in-person research becomes complicated. This article reflects on the ethical and methodological challenges encountered when conducting qualitative research during the pandemic with Syrian migrant youth who are resettled in Canada. The three areas discussed from the study are recruitment, informed consent and managing the interviews. Special attention to culture as being part of the study’s methodology as an active reflexive process is also highlighted. The goal of this article is to contribute to the growing understanding of complexities of conducting research during COVID-19 with populations which have layered vulnerabilities, such as migrant youth. This article hopes that the reflections may help future researchers in conducting their research during this pandemic by being cognizant of both the ethical and methodological challenges discussed.
Unaccompanied children at the gates of Europe: voices from Samos

AUTHOR(S)
Emma Musty

Institution: Save the Children, Refugee Rights Europe
Published: June 2021

This report investigates the situation facing unaccompanied minors during Covid-19 in Samos. Drawing from desk research, interviews with unaccompanied minors and staff working with them, the report findings underline the further deterioration of an already acute and protracted situation. The children are trapped in dismal reception conditions without appropriate and adequate services. The access to medical care and psychological rehabilitation is grossly insufficient and unaccompanied children face acute safety risks due to being treated as adults, in clear contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In consequence, these conditions and the lack of protection has bred a mental health crisis on the island.

High risk, low priority: refugees excluded from COVID-19 vaccine rollout

AUTHOR(S)
Delphine Vallette; Nina Nepesova; Natalia Korobkova (et al.)

Institution: World Vision
Published: June 2021
The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone, but people living on the world’s margins, including the forcibly displaced who face some of the highest risks but remain the lowest priority in national and global responses to the pandemic. Yet, vaccine justice is not only essential to protect the most at risk but it is also critical to prevent even more catastrophic impact globally. The pandemic will not end anywhere until it ends everywhere
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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.