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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Global progress report on WASH in health care facilities: fundamentals first
Institution: World Health Organisation, *UNICEF
Published: December 2020 UNICEF Publication

This global progress report on water, sanitation, hygiene, waste management and cleaning (WASH) in health care facilities comes at an unprecedented moment, when coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is exposing key vulnerabilities in health systems, such as inadequate infection prevention and control. WASH services in health care facilities, so often taken for granted – or as this report highlights, outright neglected – are needed more than ever to protect vulnerable health workers and patients. The report identifies major global gaps in WASH services: one third of health care facilities do not have what is needed to clean hands where care is provided; one in four facilities lack basic water services, and one in 10 have no sanitation services.

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Averting a lost COVID generation: a six-point plan to respond, recover and reimagine a post-pandemic world for every child
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2020 UNICEF Publication
After almost one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the impact of the virus on the world’s children and young people is becoming clearer – and increasingly alarming. Children face a trifecta of threats: direct consequences of the disease itself, interruption in essential services and increasing poverty and inequality.

Despite being less affected than any other age group, emerging data suggest that children and young people’s health may be more directly impacted by COVID-19 than originally anticipated when the crisis began in late 2019. Disruptions to essential services such as education, health care, nutrition and child protection interventions are harming children. A severe global economic recession is impoverishing children and compounding deep pre-existing inequalities and exclusion.

On World Children’s Day, UNICEF is taking stock of the global impact of COVID-19 on children and young people, laying out what we know from the latest available data and research, highlighting what is still unclear as well as the options for action, and urging the world to take bold and unprecedented steps to reimagine a better future for children.
COVID-19 water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: a safe return to schools for refugee children and youth
Institution: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Published: October 2020
This document presents the results of a survey assessing the WASH readiness of schools in UN-HCR-supported refugee camps and refugee settlements. UNHCR and partners are using the results to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) COVID-19 mitigation measures in schools and design targeted improvements to WASH facilities to allow for safe operation of schools.
Deployment of a smart handwashing station in a school setting during the COVID-19 pandemic: field study

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy Herbert; Caitlin Horsham; Helen Ford (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: JMIR Public Health Surveill
Hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to remove germs, prevent the spread of infectious pathogens, and avoid getting sick. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, health authorities have been advocating good hand hygiene practices. The primary aim of this study is to field test a prototype smart handwashing station deployed in a school setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tracking the situation of children during COVID-19
Institution: UNICEF Data & Analytics
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
This dashboard is based on quarterly updates of recent data collection efforts from UNICEF country offices drawing on best available sources in each country, including administrative data or representative survey data collected in the last 3 months; or where necessary, extrapolations from reliable localized quantitative and/or qualitative reports. Estimates may not accurately represent the full national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the challenges of traditional data collection efforts during the pandemic, this dashboard offers relevant early indication of impacts on the disruption of essential services.
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Accelerating results for children with technology and digital innovation
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
With the global emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, digital development has become an integral component of UNICEF’s work as national programmes shifted to distance and remote delivery means.

This report highlights examples of country-level COVID-19 response initiatives employing digital innovation and T4D approaches, in support of both its humanitarian action and development programmes. It further demonstrates how the scale-up of T4D’s strategic integration in programming and digital innovations has allowed UNICEF to support programme partners in closing gaps to meet children’s needs, often under complex environments, and in line with existing national systems. These initiatives span UNICEF programmes worldwide and help address children’s health, nutrition, education, protection, access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and inclusion. 
Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: special focus on COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affect up to 1.6 billion children and present an unprecedented risk to their education and well-being. WHO and UNICEF guidelines on infection prevention in schools identify a range of measures that need to be in place for schools to reopen and operate safely, including regular hand-washing with soap and water, daily disinfection and basic drinking water and sanitation services.
Periods in a pandemic
Institution: Plan International
Published: August 2020

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are the first line of defence against COVID-19. It’s widely recognised that access to clean, running water and soap for handwashing is a critical need that must be met in  our global response to the pandemic, however there are other essential aspects of WASH that should not be forgotten at this time.  On any single day during this health emergency, 800 million diverse women and girls are menstruating and grappling with the unique challenges of doing so in a global pandemic. This report looks at how the current implications of COVID-19 is exacerbating key challenges for people who menstruate around the world and  provides recommendations on how to include menstrual hygiene management (MHM) within  a COVID-19 response. 

Gender Inequality and the COVID-19 Crisis: A Human Development Perspective
Institution: UNDP
Published: July 2020   Journal: UNDP Report
Across several social, economic, and political dimensions, women and girls are disproportionately affected by the crisis simply because of their sex. The immediate effects of COVID-19 on gender inequality are already showing themselves in health and education, on the burden of unpaid care work and gender-based violence.
While the COVID-19 crisis affects everyone, women and girls face specific and often disproportionate economic, health, and social risks due to deeply entrenched inequalities, social norms, and unequal power relations. Understanding the gender-differentiated impacts of the COVID-19 crisis through sex-disaggregated data is fundamental to designing policy responses that reduce vulnerable conditions and strengthen women's agency, placing gender equality at their centre. This is not just about rectifying long-standing inequalities but also about building a more just and resilient world.
Soro Sali, a 39 years old woman is practicing Kangaroo, at the Regional Hospital of Korhogo, in the North of Côte d'Ivoire.
Data to inform the COVID-19 response
Institution: UNICEF Data & Analytics
Published: June 2020 UNICEF Publication
Timely, disaggregated, and quality data on the situation of children can help identify where the most vulnerable live so that interventions to counteract the potential adverse effects of COVID-19 can be implemented to reach those most in need. UNICEF’s call to protect children, especially the most marginalized, is essential now more than ever and our global databases can inform that response by painting a picture of children around the world. In the face of this unprecedented crisis, where are children especially vulnerable to physical punishment? Are sufficient hygiene facilities available in schools? And is healthcare accessible for children with acute respiratory symptoms? How will the most vulnerable children, such as those living on the street or in refugee camps fare? Data like these can provide guidance for UNICEF and country programmes so that our efforts to mitigate and overcome the effects of the pandemic can be measured.
The Secondary Impacts of COVID-19 on Women and Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Tal Rafaeli; Geraldine Hutchinson

Published: June 2020   Journal: K4D Helpdesk Report
Based on emerging evidence and lessons from past health crises, there is strong evidence to suggest that women and girls in SSA will suffer from extreme and multifaceted negative secondary impact as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Some of which may include higher poverty rates, increase in unplanned pregnancies, a surge in school dropout rates and child labour of adolescent girls, loss of income and reduced financial empowerment, increased household work, reduced access to healthcare and WASH alongside increased maternal deaths, and greater food insecurity and malnutrition.
Handwashing data to inform the COVID-19 response
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: May 2020 UNICEF Publication
Washing hands frequently and properly with soap and water is critical to preventing diseases. Yet the latest global estimates find that 3 billion people lacked soap and water at home, 900 million children lacked soap and water at their school, and 40% of health care facilities were not equipped to practice hand hygiene at points of care. Adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services for households, schools and healthcare facilities are essential to prevent the spread of infectious diseases including COVID-19. The low levels of coverage of these basic services in many parts of the world reflect substantial inequalities between and within countries and contribute to the vulnerability of these populations to the pandemic.
How COVID-19 is changing the world: A statistical perspective

This report has been compiled jointly by 36 international organizations, under the aegis of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA).
It covers different aspects of public and private life from economic and environmental fluctuations to changes that affect individuals in terms of income, education, employment and violence and changes affecting public services such as civil aviation and postal services. The report also puts a spotlight on the affects for some sub-population groups like women and children as well as geographical regions. Children already left behind will likely bear the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, whether through missing out on life-saving vaccinations, increased risk of violence, or interrupted education. Many children, especially those in the poorest households and the poorest parts of the world, risk losing their lives to pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, HIV and other preventable diseases unless urgent action is taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

Beyond handwashing: Water insecurity undermines COVID-19 response in developing areas

AUTHOR(S)
Justin Stoler; Wendy Jepson; Amber Wutich

Published: May 2020   Journal: Journal of Global Health
Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) inequities are long-recognized as important contributors to the global burden of disease that inhibit sustainable development. Inadequate water quantity poses additional challenges for maintaining clean environments and sanitizing physical surfaces where COVID-19 can survive. But the problems associated with water insecurity extend well beyond issues of quantity and hygiene.
Social distancing can cause significant disruptions in people’s access to their most basic necessity. One of the most underappreciated coping strategies for dealing with water insecurity is water sharing between households. The ubiquitous, but often invisible, practice of household water sharing occurs in a variety of socio-cultural settings, and may serve as a transmission pathway for many communicable diseases. 
Water insecurity also complicates people’s ability to participate in social distancing if they have to fetch their own water. About a billion people globally collect their own water from sources outside of their home such as public standpipes, wells, or surface water bodies, and often at great distances. Water fetching in groups contributes to building social capital among women and children, while offering a mechanism of protection from physical dangers like injuries, accidents, harassment, and assaults. Thus, when social distancing measures are in place, vulnerable groups (especially women and girls) experience greater risks by having to fetch water alone. 
Under-resourced regions that already suffer economic losses from lack of adequate water supplies are on the verge of an enormous additional burden from COVID-19. 
A UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19
Institution: United Nations
Published: April 2020
This report sets out the framework for the United Nations’ urgent socio-economic support to countries and societies in the face of COVID-19, putting in practice the UN Secretary-General’s Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity report on the same subject. It is one of three critical components of the UN’s efforts to save lives, protect people, and rebuild better, alongside the health response, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the humanitarian response, as detailed in the UN-led COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.
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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.