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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Empowered women. empowered children
Published: November 2021

Every child deserves to reach her or his full potential wherever they live. Yet, achieving positive child well-being outcomes remains a challenge globally. COVID-19 has further exacerbated children’s existing vulnerabilities and amplified inequalities, especially in fragile contexts. As part of its mandate to help the most vulnerable children achieve their full potential, World Vision focuses on child well-being programmes that aim to improve key child well-being outcomes. Ten years of conflict in Syria have aggravated gender inequalities and the risks of violence for women and girls inside and outside the country. To increase the focus on gender-responsive programmes that respond to the strategic needs of women, World Vision (WV) Syria Response conducted a piece of research that aimed to better understand the connection between Syrian mothers’ and children’s well-being and identify impactful approaches that effectively address both. Specifically, the research explored women’s empowerment and children’s well-being factors in Syria and selected host countries. It looked at how women’s socio-demographic factors and empowerment components influence physical, emotional, mental, and psycho-social child well-being. A cross-sectional observation methodology was developed using convenience sampling in Northwest Syria (NWS) and Government of Syria (GoS) areas, Jordan, and Turkey. The research targeted World Vision’s beneficiary children living in structured families and their mothers. The survey results were complemented key informant interviews (KIIs) with mothers and their children.

COVID-19 and Child Marriage: How COVID-19’s impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Shaw; Tendai Chigavazira; Tamara Tutnjevic

Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2021

How COVID-19's impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most experts estimated child marriage would continue for many more decades. Because the pandemic has increased poverty levels and hunger, and decreased access to education, the risk of girls becoming child brides is also increasing. This report pairs data from World Vision’s Youth Healthy Behaviour Survey with global literature to better understand the conditions which enable child marriage and how these conditions may be changing because of the global pandemic. The report analyzes 14,964 observations from children and youth aged 12 to 18 from World Vision programming sites in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, and Zimbabwe. Case studies also provide insights into the lives of girls within these communities.

COVID-19 and women and girls’ health in low and middle-income countries: an updated review of the evidence

AUTHOR(S)
Abiola Awofeso; Lotus McDougal; Y-Ling Chi (et al.)

Institution: Center for Global Development
Published: October 2021

In an updated review of how the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting women’s and girls’ health in low- and middle-income contexts, this study examined 247 studies between January and March 2021 (peer-reviewed papers, pre-prints, and working papers that met specific search terms, and contained empirical analyses and findings). This collection of evidence largely reinforces previous findings that in many areas, women are bearing the greatest burdens of the crisis. Evidence continues to mount that there has been disruption of access to and utilization of maternal health services and contraceptive services, disproportionately worse mental health for women versus men, as well as worsened mental health for pregnant women during the pandemic. This review also identifies new research indicating mixed evidence on COVID-19- related knowledge and behaviors and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality by gender. Gaps remain on several health issues (e.g., non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases other than HIV). Existing research also focuses primarily on describing and quantifying the burden of these gendered health impacts, rather than sharing effective mitigation strategies.

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.

Providing therapeutic services to women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and learnings

AUTHOR(S)
Alison Fogarty; Priscilla Savopoulos; Monique Seymour (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105365

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, many therapeutic services for children and their parents who had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) were required to rapidly transition to telehealth. The current study aims to explore parents' experiences of participating in a parent-child telehealth intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also aimed at exploring clinicians' experiences of delivering the service, including key strengths and challenges. Participants were five mothers who took part in Berry Street's Restoring Childhood service during the COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne, Australia, and 14 Restoring Childhood clinicians, delivering the service across metropolitan and regional sites

Epidemiological study of violence against children and its increase during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Stela Maria Tavolieri de Oliveira; Ewerton Alexandre Galdeano; Evelynne Maria Gomes Galvão da Trindade (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The aim of this study was to identify the epidemiological profiles of violence against children, victims, and their aggressors, and their correlations between socioeconomic and demographic factors analyzed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a cross-sectional, retrospective observational study based on a review of Individual Notification Forms from the Information System for Notifiable Diseases, including child victims of violence, under 18 years, assisted by a pediatric emergency service in Brazil, from 2016–2020. Data were stratified, then statistical analysis was performed using the two-proportion equality test and the Chi-square test, with p < 0.05 and a 95% confidence interval. A total of 609 notifications were analyzed and a prevalence of sexual violence (63.2%) was reported. The prevalent profile of victim was female (76.7%), aged between 2–9 years (38.1%) and 14–18 years (35.6%). The violence occurs in the victim’s home (58.9%). The prevalent profile of perpetrator was male (82.4%), young adolescent (59.2%), living as family (64%), mainly the parents (18.4%).
"Evidence matters – now more than ever: results from a review of UNICEF’s evidence on COVID-19 and child protection"

AUTHOR(S)
Manahil Siddiqi; Ramya Subrahmanian

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021

This paper presents a review of select evidence generated by UNICEF on the impact of COVID-19 on child protection. It takes stock of UNICEF’s contributions to the global COVID-19 child protection knowledge base and presents what has been learned so far from this evidence base on the impacts of COVID-19 on child protection and the response measures put in place since the pandemic. This review offers a starting point for UNICEF to further build its evidence base with external partners for continued evidence generation – so that it can be used to address child protection issues and lessons in the context of COVID-19.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Australian domestic and family violence services and their clients

AUTHOR(S)
Kerry Carrington; Christine Morley; Shane Warren (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Australian Journal Of Social Issues
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports emerged that lockdowns were increasing the prevalence of domestic and family violence (DFV) in Australia and across the world. The lockdowns and restrictions were necessary to contain the pandemic. However, leaders in the domestic family violence sector expressed concerns early during 2020 that these lockdowns would lead to the escalation of domestic and family violence. Calling it a shadow pandemic, the United Nations Secretary-General urged all governments to prioritise the prevention of violence against women in their national response plan for COVID-19. To gain some insight into the Australian context, a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Centre for Justice research team conducted a nationwide survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on DFV services and their clients.
Patterns of sexual violence against adults and children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya: a prospective cross-sectional study

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Rockowitz; Laura M. Stevens; James C. Rockey (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMJ Open

This study examined patterns of sexual violence against adults and children in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform sexual violence prevention, protection, and response efforts. A prospective cross-sectional research design was used with data collected from March to August 2020.

Unforeseen effects of COVID-19 on adolescent health

AUTHOR(S)
Mishu Mangla

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India
India is presently in the midst of a major health crisis with the second wave of corona virus spreading at an alarming rate and claiming more lives than ever before. Although the pandemic is affecting the lives of all sections of society, adolescent girls being a vulnerable group are affected in dual manner, not just by the direct effects of the virus but also by many still underrated indirect effects. The present article aims to highlight the indirect yet sinister effects of COVID-19 on physical, mental, social, sexual and reproductive and psychological health and well-being of adolescent girls and other issues like their personal safety, peer support and long-term health issues.
Social and economic situation of Palestinian women and girls July 2018 - June 2020
The present report reviews the situation of Palestinian women and girls during the period July 2018 – June 2020, focusing on political, social, economic and human rights developments. Building on research by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the status of Palestinian women and girls, and drawing upon the most recent data, the present report highlights the complex situation of women and girls, revealing both progress and setbacks in the context of the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the blockade on Gaza.
Remote evaluations of violence against women and girls interventions: a rapid scoping review of tools, ethics and safety

AUTHOR(S)
Ilana Seff; Luissa Vahedi; Samantha McNelly (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMJ Global Health
Although programmes and policies targeting violence against women and girls (VAWG) have increased in the past decade, there is a paucity of evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions. To expand this evidence base, researchers increasingly employ remote data collection (RDC)—including online surveys, mobile applications and telephone interviews—in their evaluations. Although RDC allows for evaluations without in-person interactions—which are restricted during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic— information about these methods is necessary to understand their potential usefulness and limitations. This scoping review examines remote evaluations of VAWG interventions to describe the landscape of RDC methods, reflect on safety and ethical considerations, and offer best practices for RDC in VAWG research. Fourteen studies met eligibility criteria, with seven, five, and two studies employing telephone interviews, online surveys, and mobile applications, respectively.
Tracking the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in Kenya : special edition COVID-19 barometer
Institution: *UNICEF, Shujaaz Inc.
Published: August 2021

One of the objectives of this collaboration is to produce a range of youth-led, data-driven research products, providing insight into the most effective ways to support young people in East Africa. This special edition Barometer is designed to provide a snapshot into the lives of Kenyan girls aged 15-19 (also referred to as adolescent girls) in 2021. This edition of COVID-19 Barometer includes new insights from Shujaaz Inc’s annual national youth survey, which draws on face-to-face interviews with 2,015 young people conducted between December 2020 and January 2021. Drawing on additional qualitative research, the Barometer aims to provide an update on the challenges, lifestyles, priorities and aspirations of adolescent girls, during a turbulent pandemic. This edition focuses on key topics including education, sexual and reproductive health, financial security, mental wellbeing and resilience. We hope it provides a valuable update for organisations working with adolescent girls across Kenya, and inspiration for similar research in East and Southern African countries.

Youth relationships in the era of COVID-19: a mixed-methods study among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya

AUTHOR(S)
Celia Karp; Caroline Moreau; Grace Sheehy (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

Measures to mitigate COVID-19's impact may inhibit development of healthy youth relationships, affecting partnership quality and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. This is a mixed-methods study aiming to understand how COVID-19 affected girls' and young women's relationships in Kenya. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression examined factors associated with relationship quality dynamics and SRH outcomes among 756 partnered adolescents aged 15–24 years. Qualitative data from in-depth interviews were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis to explore youth perceptions of how intimate relationships changed during COVID-19.

Uncertain pathways: how gender shapes the experiences of children on the move

AUTHOR(S)
Jan Beise; Danzhen You (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2021

Age plays a critical role in a child’s migration, but how will gender mediate that experience? Which gender-specific vulnerabilities, needs, and opportunities influence the lives of girls and boys on the move? This report reviews the existing evidence base – official statistics and quantitative and qualitative studies from the community level to the global level – to shed light on these important questions. Examining the available information not only indicates where and how children on the move need targeted resources, support and protection, but also pinpoints areas needing further investigation. Available data and research demonstrate that gender plays a pivotal role from the time the decision to leave home is made, and continues to shape experiences and vulnerabilities throughout the child’s journey and integration process at the destination. COVID-19 has added another layer of complexity to the lives of children on the move, exacerbating pre-existing insecurities in some dimensions and introducing new ones. Girls in particular are feeling many of these effects acutely, such as gender-based violence.

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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.