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

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Supporting parenting among Syrian refugees in Lebanon: a randomized controlled trial of the caregiver support intervention

AUTHOR(S)
Kenneth E. Miller; Alexandra Chen; Gabriela V. Koppenol-Gonzalez (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Parenting interventions in humanitarian settings have prioritized the acquisition of parenting knowledge and skills, while overlooking the adverse effects of stress and distress on parenting—a key mediator of refugee children's mental health. We evaluated the effectiveness of the Caregiver Support Intervention (CSI), which emphasizes caregiver wellbeing together with training in positive parenting. This research conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial of the CSI with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with an intent-to-treat design, from September 2019–December 2020. A total of 480 caregivers from 240 families were randomized to the CSI or a waitlist control group (1:1). Retention from baseline to endline was 93%. Data on parenting and caregiver psychological wellbeing were collected at baseline, endline, and three-month follow-up.

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.

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.

A mixed methods study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

AUTHOR(S)
Mariana Rodo; Lucy Singh; Neal Russell (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Conflict and Health

The impacts of COVID-19 are unprecedented globally. The pandemic is reversing decades of progress in maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition (MNCHN), especially fragile and conflict-affected settings (FCAS) whose populations were already facing challenges in accessing basic health and nutrition services. This study aimed to investigate the collateral impact of COVID-19 on funding, services and MNCHN outcomes in FCAS, as well as adaptations used in the field to continue activities. A scoping review of peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1st March 2020–31st January 2021 was conducted. It analysed 103 publications using a narrative synthesis approach. 39 remote semi-structured key informant interviews with humanitarian actors and donor staff within 12 FCAS were conducted between October 2020 and February 2021. Thematic analysis was undertaken independently by two researchers on interview transcripts and supporting documents provided by key informants, and triangulated with literature review findings.

Understanding the sexual and reproductive health experiences of refugee and host community adolescents and youth in Rwanda during COVID-19: needs, barriers, and opportunities

AUTHOR(S)
Katherine Meyer; Monique Abimpaye; Jean de Dieu Harerimana (et al.)

Institution: Save the Children
Published: March 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Reproductive Health,
COVID-19 has exacerbated the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of those affected by humanitarian emergencies, particularly affecting adolescents and youth, whose needs are often neglected during crises. In Rwanda, the situation for refugees in Mahama Refugee Camp has worsened, as COVID-19 lockdown measures have increased needs while restricting access to basic services. Few assessments have been conducted on the SRH needs of refugees in Mahama camp, including adolescents and youth, since COVID-19. To address this gap, Save the Children (SC) undertook research utilizing SenseMaker to collect data on the SRH needs of adolescents and youth in Mahama camp, as well as in the surrounding host community.
Intersecting disadvantages for married adolescents: life after marriage pre- and post-COVID-19 in contexts of displacement

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Baird; Maureen Murphy; Jennifer Seager (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health
Although there is a growing evidence base on the drivers of child marriage, comparatively little is known about the experiences of married girls in refugee settings and how their development trajectories diverge from those of their nonmarried peers, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on cross-national panel data from Bangladesh and Jordan, this article explores diversity in child marriage experiences in contexts affected by forced displacement, highlighting how married girls’ well-being differs from that of their unmarried peers, and how COVID-19 has reinforced these differences.
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.

An analysis of admissions to a refugee child mental health unit in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Hatice Ünver; Neşe Perdahlı Fiş

Published: November 2021   Journal: Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

This study aims to examine the admissions to a refugee child outpatient mental health unit in the COVID-19 pandemic and to compare them with the pre-pandemic period. This retrospective observational study, planned through the hospital information system and patient files, included the 1-year number of outpatient unit admissions, sociodemographic, and clinical data. Before the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2019–February 2020), a total of 2322 patients (local and refugee) applied to the same unit, and 236 (10.1%) of these patients were refugees. Since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey (March 2020–February 2021), 1209 patients applied, and 10.4% (n = 126) of them were refugees. While 19.66 ± 6.31 refugees applied per month in the pre-pandemic period, this number decreased to 10.50 ± 5.31 during the pandemic period (p = 0.01). During the pandemic period, there was a significant decrease in the number of female refugee patient admissions. In addition, while admissions for external disorders increased significantly during the pandemic period (x2 = 13.99, p = 0.001), admissions for internal disorders decreased significantly (x2 = 4.54, p = 0.03).

The prevalence and correlates of depression before and after the COVID-19 pandemic declaration among urban refugee adolescents and youth in informal settlements in Kampala, Uganda: a longitudinal cohort study

AUTHOR(S)
Carmen H. Logie; Isha Berry; Moses Okumu (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Annals of Epidemiology

There is scant research examining urban refugee youth mental health outcomes, including potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined prevalence and ecosocial risk factors of depression in the periods before and after the COVID-19 pandemic declaration among urban refugee youth in Kampala, Uganda. Data from a cohort of refugee youth (n=367) aged 16-24 years were collected in periods before (February 2020) and after (December 2020) the WHO COVID-19 pandemic declaration. This research developed crude and adjusted generalized estimating equation logistic regression models to examine demographic and ecosocial factors (food insecurity, social support, intimate partner violence) associated with depression, and include time-ecosocial interactions to examine if associations differed before and after the pandemic declaration.

COVID-19 vaccination uptake: a study of knowledge, attitudes and practices of marginalized communities in Iraq
Institution: CARE
Published: August 2021

As of August 12, Iraq had registered 1.74 million cases of COVID-19 and 19,402 deaths from COVID-19. As of August 6, the country had administered 2.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Just over 1% of Iraq’s population is fully vaccinated. As vaccination efforts continue, it is critical to increase people’s confidence in vaccines to ensure they are willing to take the vaccines as they become available. Giving people the information they need to feel safe taking vaccines in a format that is useful for them is key to successfully combatting COVID in Iraq. CARE Iraq conducted a study with 3,770 people (2,067 men and 1,703 women) in Ninewa and Duhok in mid-July 2021. The data specifically looks at the needs of marginalized people, and covers refugee, internally displaced people (IDPs), returnee, and host communities in several districts in each governorate.

Enhancing teaching recovery techniques (TRT) with parenting skills: RCT of TRT + parenting with trauma-affected Syrian refugees in Lebanon utilising remote training with implications for insecure contexts and COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Aala El-Khani; Kim Cartwright; Wadih Maalouf (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Child psychosocial recovery interventions in humanitarian contexts often overlook the significant effect that caregivers can have on improving children’s future trajectory. This study enhanced the well-established, evidenced-based child trauma recovery programme Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) intervention with parenting sessions, i.e., TRT + Parenting (TRT + P), which aims to improve parent mental health and their ability to support their children’s mental health. It also described the findings of a three-arm randomised controlled trial comparing enhanced TRT + P vs. TRT and waitlist.
How to maximise the impacts of cash transfers for vulnerable adolescents in Jordan

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola Jones

Published: July 2021

Jordan’s population grew considerably in the last decade, as it took in more than a million Syrians fleeing civil war. With the support of the international community, the Government of Jordan has taken multiple measures to ensure refugees are housed, fed and educated. Compared to other countries in the region, results have been largely positive – yet significant gaps remain. Unemployment is exceptionally high, especially for Syrians, and most Jordanians are poorer today than they were a decade ago. Moreover, despite scaling up free education, primary education is not yet universal, with Syrian children particularly likely to be out of school. UNICEF Jordan has invested heavily to improve school access and learning outcomes for children and adolescents from refugee and host communities. A key initiative to support extremely vulnerable Syrian and Jordanian households with school-aged children to access education is through a cash transfer programme, called Hajati, which is a ‘cash for education’ programme. Within this broader context, this report has two objectives: 1) to identify economic barriers (e.g., costs of schooling, labour market ‘pull’ factors, and returns on investment to formal education) and non-economic barriers (e.g., school violence and legal constraints to enrolment) to education in Jordan, taking into consideration gender and disability status differences; and 2) to provide evidence-based recommendations for overcoming the barriers facing adolescents, especially those at risk of dropping out, with a particular focus on strengthening the Hajati cash transfer programme and maximising its synergies with Makani centres.

 

Talent on the move: listening to children and young people on the move to unlock their potential

AUTHOR(S)
Verena Knaus; Danzhen You

Institution: *UNICEF, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Published: July 2021

There are an estimated 281 million international migrants. One in five is a young person and 36 million are children. Worldwide, more than 4 out of 10 forcibly displaced persons are younger than 18, with 33 million children living in forced displacement at the end of 2019 – either as internally displaced persons within their country or abroad as refugees or asylum seekers. Young migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) across continents represent a unique, untapped pool of talent, ideas, and entrepreneurship. Often resilient, motivated and with experience in overcoming adversity, they have the potential to help solve some of our greatest challenges. Powered by the voices of youth, this report harnesses the technology of U-Report to ask 8,764 young people on the move, aged between 14 and 24, if they felt heard and invited them to share their aspirations to learn and earn. According to this poll, nearly 40 per cent of young people on the move identify education and training as their biggest priorities, and 30 per cent prioritized looking for a job. As the examples in this report highlight, young people on the move are a force for success. But only by creating incentives and opportunities for them to fulfil their aspirations can we turn their passions, energy and hopes into something productive and empowering.

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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.