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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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COVID-19 and the Rohingya revugees in Bangladesh: socioeconomic and health impacts on women and adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Bezon Kumar; Susmita Dey Pinky; Orindom Shing Pulock (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies 1
COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing crisis that the vulnerable refugee population faces. More than a million Rohingya refugees live in Bangladesh. COVID-19 has affected both males and females. It is critical to understand how this population group is coping during this trying period. They are constituted by 52% women and 55% adolescents. The socioeconomic and physiological repercussions of the pandemic on the Rohingya people are contextualised in this study. The socioeconomic and health impacts of COVID-19 on Rohingya women and adolescents in Bangladesh are investigated. Because of the restrictions imposed, over 63% of Rohingya adolescent females suffered from food scarcity. The vast majority of respondents (87%) stated that they had reduced their meal frequency, resulting in a protein deficiency. Since their arrival in Bangladesh, they have had limited access to medical and educational facilities. The pandemic has further exacerbated the situation. Girls are more vulnerable to sexual and gender-based abuse, early marriage, school dropout, and pregnancy. This research aims to add to existing knowledge on refugees, Rohingya, women, and adolescents
World report on the health of refugees and migrants
Institution: World Health Organisation
Published: July 2022

Worldwide, more people are on the move now than ever before, yet many refugees and migrants face poorer health outcomes than the host populations. Addressing their health needs is, therefore, a global health priority and integral to the principle of the right to health for all. The key is to strengthen and maintain health systems by ensuring that they are refugee- and migrant-sensitive and inclusive. Health outcomes are influenced by a whole host of determinants. However, refugees and migrants face additional determinants such as precarious legal status; discrimination; social, cultural, linguistic, administrative and financial barriers; lack of information about health entitlements; low health literacy; and fear of detention and deportation. This groundbreaking publication outlines current and future opportunities and challenges and provides several strategies to improve the health and well-being of refugees and migrants. It is an advocacy tool for national and international policy-makers involved in health and migration.

Barriers to refugee adolescents’ educational access during COVID-19: exploring the roles of gender, displacement, and social inequalities

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones; Kate Pincock; Silvia Guglielmi (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: The Journal on Education in Emergencies
As of 2021, more than 80 million people worldwide have been displaced by war, violence, and poverty. An estimated 30 to 34 million of these are under age 18, and many are at risk of interrupting their education permanently—a situation aggravated in recent years by the global COVID-19 pandemic. This article adopts an intersectional conceptual framework to explore the roles gender and other social inequalities have played in shaping adolescents’ access to education during the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines two refugee populations: the Rohingya, who have been excluded from formal education opportunities in Bangladesh, and Syrian refugees in Jordan, who have access to formal education in their host country. It provides novel empirical data, as well as insights into the adolescent refugee experience and the short-term consequences for education resulting from the pandemic. The article draws from quantitative survey data on 3,030 adolescents, and from in-depth qualitative interviews conducted in the spring of 2020 with a subset of 91 adolescents who are part of an ongoing longitudinal study. A 40 key informant interviews with community leaders and service providers was also conducted.
Effects of occupational therapy via telerehabilitation on occupational balance, well-being, intrinsic motivation and quality of life in Syrian refugee children in COVID-19 lockdown: a randomized controlled trial

AUTHOR(S)
Sümeyye Belhan Çelik; Esma Özkan; Gonca Bumin

Published: April 2022   Journal: Children
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an occupational training program via telerehabilitation on well-being (WB), occupational balance (OB), intrinsic motivation (IM), and quality of life (QoL) in Syrian refugee children resettled in Turkey during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a single-center, prospective, randomized, non-blinded trial in which children aged 13–15 years and attending a secondary school were recruited. OB, WB, IM, and QoL were evaluated via the OB Questionnaire (OBQ11), the Well-Star Scale (WSS), the IM Scale (IMS), and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). The intervention group attended online occupational therapy classes. Online classes were carried out as five sessions per week, each session lasting 1 h, for 3 weeks. Questionnaires were performed at the outset of the study and following the training program. Overall, 52 refugee children were randomized into the intervention and control groups, each including 26 children. The mean OBQ11, WSS, IMS, and PedsQL scores significantly improved more in the intervention group than in the control group. This was the first study investigating the effects of a customized online training course on OB, WB, IM, and QoL in Syrian refugee children, also affected unfavorably by the COVID-19 lockdown.
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.

I was not safe in his house: The COVID-19 pandemic and violence against refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy
Institution: *UNICEF, Washington University in St. Louis
Published: March 2022

This research explored the specific impacts of the pandemic on exposure to gender based violence risks among refugee and migrant girls and women in Italy. The research focused on refugee and migrant girls and women because of the intersectionality of vulnerabilities related to their gender and their migration status. It examined the availability and accessibility of gender based violence service provision over the course of the pandemic, and explored how services adapted in the face of this health emergency.

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.
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.

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.

The exacerbation of a crisis: the impact of COVID-19 on people on the move at the French-Italian border

AUTHOR(S)
Diletta Mastria; Jean Daniel Patierno

Published: September 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Europe, the situation for displaced people in the Italian border town of Ventimiglia deteriorated further. Vulnerable individuals and groups would face additional dangers and protection risks in this context, while unaccompanied children continued to be pushed back at alarming rates while being treated as adults, a tactical practice aimed at depriving them of their right to seek asylum in France. This report is based on a combination of desk and field research, and sheds a light on the grave impacts of COVID-19 on an already desperate situation at the French-Italian border. It underlines the acute impact of the pandemic on all aspects of life for people on the move, including access to adequate shelter, medical care, protection, and other rights violations such as racial profiling, pushbacks and detention.

HBCC (Hygiene and Behavior Change Coalition) project: inclusive communities – Changing behaviors to respond to COVID-19
Institution: CARE
Published: August 2021
The “Promoting safer hygiene practices for women and girls to remain safe and live better lives project has been implemented between the 23rd of July 2020 and the 31st of August 2021 through CARE International in Jordan and funded by Unilever-UKAID HBCC (Hygiene Behaviour Change Coalition). The project’s overall objective was to support the most vulnerable women and girls in conflict communities, refugee, asylum and host populations within the Syrian crisis region to improve their key hygiene behaviours and be better equipped to protect themselves from COVID-19 transmission through mass awareness, interpersonal communication and digital media communication.
Monitoring the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on Djiboutian and refugee households in Djibouti : results from the third wave of survey

AUTHOR(S)
Bilal Malaeb; Anne Duplantier; Romeo Jacky Gansey

Institution: The World Bank
Published: May 2021
The third round of data collection on monitoring of socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Djibouti followed urban national households based on two previous waves of data collection as well as a replacement sub-sample. This round also includes a refugee sub-sample, covering urban refugees and those based in refugee villages. Economic recovery in Djibouti continues to follow a positive trend. Breadwinners from Djiboutian households continue to come back to work. Only 4 percent of those working before the pandemic were not working at the time of the survey. Even when counting those who were not working before the pandemic, 83 percent of all national households' breadwinners are now working – continuing strong trends from waves 1 and 2.
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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.