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Events & Convening

Convening thought leadership on issues affecting children

COVID-19, the Infodemic, & Fake News

This golden age of innovation, with a flourishing of new technologies, and online platforms have created extraordinary opportunities for children and young people to enrich their knowledge and information, their social networks, their solidarity and civic activism like never before – all with a click and within arm’s reach. But at the same click of a button, those same technologies and social media are used, abused and misused to promote fake messages, manipulate, and harm leading to hate speech, racism, and hostility with often dangerous consequences to democracies, mental health and self-image of children and young people.

The infodemic that has spread at the same rate as the COVID pandemic has brought this into sharp relief.  Why now, why has this exploded in 2020 with data being exploited at an unprecedented level?

How can children and young people develop the ability to decipher disinformation and misinformation?

On Thursday 12 November at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti will present its 9th Leading Minds Online webcast ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children' on The Infodemic & Fake News. A panel of high-level experts will investigate the link between misinformation, disinformation and fake news, keeping the balance between fighting hate speech and safeguarding freedom of speech. A selection of audience questions will be asked and answered during the webcast, which will go live on UNICEF Innocenti website and on to YouTube, Facebook. The webcast recording and summary will be available shortly afterward.

COVID-19 & the Climate Crisis

On Thursday 22 October at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti presents its eighth Leading Minds Online webinar ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children' on COVID-19 and the Climate Crisis.

COVID-19 & Child Health

On Thursday 1 October at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti presented its seventh Leading Minds Online webcast ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children' on Child Health.

COVID-19 & Child Health

On Thursday 1 October at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti presented its seventh Leading Minds Online webcast ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children' on Child Health.

COVID-19 & Economic Impact

On Thursday 17 September at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti presented its sixth Leading Minds Online webcast ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children' on Economic Impact.

While children and young people have been spared the full force of Coronavirus itself, the worst is yet to come for this generation as the global economy enters unchartered territory. Latest projections from UNICEF and partners indicate that nearly half a billion children in total will live in poor households by the end of 2020.  Lockdowns to control the health crisis are having severe repercussions as they cascade down, with children being twice as likely to end up in poverty than other groups and prospects for young people drastically reduced.

Just in Europe and north America alone some 90 million full-time jobs were lost in the second quarter, according to the ILO. The COVID-recession not only threatens to erode global development but is predicted to have a broader and deeper impact than the 2008 financial crisis as it hits both supply and demand chains as well as informal sectors across Africa and South Asia.  But does it have to be as bad as it seems? We asked a panel of experts where the economy stands now, what lies ahead and how do we make the best of the worst that is to come for children and young people.


  • Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst 
    Jayati has consulted for international organizations including ILO, UNDP, UNCTAD, UN-DESA, UNRISD, and UN Women and is a member of several international commissions. She is also a Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA. Jayati has received several prizes, and she is the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates, an international network of heterodox development economists.

  • Ian Goldin, Professor of Globalisation and Development, Oxford University
    Ian is a Professorial Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford University, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technological and Economic Change, and founding Director of the Oxford Martin School. Ian previously was Vice President of the World Bank and the Group’s Director of Policy, after serving as Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Economic Advisor to President Nelson Mandela.

  • Sacha Nauta, Editor, Public Policy, The Economist
    Sacha writes across the paper about societal change, looking particularly at how issues around gender and diversity are reshaping business, finance, and economics as well as society at large. She previously wrote for the finance, business, international, and Europe sections. Before joining The Economist, she worked at the United Nations in New York and at Her Majesty’s Treasury in London, where she worked on public spending and European budget negotiations.

  • Joel Kibazo, Africa analyst, former FTI and African Development Bank
    Joel was Managing Director-Africa at international business and communications consultancy FTI Consulting; Director of External Relations & Communications at the African Development Bank, the continent’s premier financial and economic development institution; and Official Spokesperson and Director of Communications & Public Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, the inter-government body serving the 54 nations of the Commonwealth that span the globe.

Promoting an understanding of the intersection between violence against women and children

On 22 September Alessandra Guedes discusses the intersection between violence against women and children.

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action 2020 Annual Meeting

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action is holding the 2020 Annual Meeting on Child Protection in Humanitarian Action with the theme of Infectious Disease Outbreaks and the Protection of Children. 

How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations?

Elena Camilletti and Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed presented "How do national social protection strategies and programmes integrate gender considerations? Evidence from low- and middle income countries" at's e-conference.

Gender-responsive social protection in times of COVID-19

UNICEF Innocenti hosted a roundtable discussion on gender-responsive social protection during COVID-19 at's 2020 e-conference.

Worlds of Influence: Shaping policies for child well-being in rich countries

UNICEF Innocenti’s Report Card 16 – Worlds of Influence: Understanding what shapes child well-being in rich countries – offers a mixed picture of children’s health, skills and happiness. For far too many children, issues such as poverty, exclusion and pollution threaten their mental well-being, physical health and opportunities to develop skills. The evidence from 41 OECD and EU countries tells a comprehensive story: from children’s chances of survival, growth and protection, to whether they are learning and feel listened to, to whether their parents have the support and resources to give their children the best chance for a healthy, happy childhood. This report reveals children’s experiences against the backdrop of their country’s policies and social, educational, economic and environmental contexts.

This panel discussion, timed with the global launch of Report Card 16, comes at a moment when policy makers are asking deep questions about how to ensure child well-being in the light of one of the worst global pandemics in many decades. In it, we delve deeply into the findings of Report Card 16 to better understand how its findings may shape the increasingly uncertain world children are living in. And we examine how the comparative data in this and previous editions of Report Card can support policies for child well-being, looking at previous outcome-based indicators as well as newer context and conditions indicators which are presented in the latest edition of Report Card.

Confirmed panelists:

Senator Rosemary Moodie, Canada

Mr. Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

Ms. Denitsa Sacheva, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Bulgaria

Mr. Fayaz King, Deputy Executive Director,  Field Results and Innovation, UNICEF

Mr. Dominic Richardson, Chief of Social and Economic Policy, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti

Hand Hygiene

On Thursday 2 July at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti will present its fifth Leading Minds Online webcast ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children' on Hand Hygiene. 

Remote Learning and Beyond

On Thursday 18 June at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti launches the fourth installment of the Leading Minds Online webinar series ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children: Remote Learning and Beyond.

Support for Families During COVID-19

On Thursday 4 June at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti launched the third installment of the Leading Minds Online webinar series of "What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children: Support for Families.”

Gender and the Evidence Functions in Social Development

30 April - 4 June - In the road trip UNICEF aims to create an informal atmosphere of free exchange under the guidance of peers who are themselves probing and working to solve gender and evidence issues.

Violence in the home before, during and after COVID-19

On Thursday 21 May at 15:00 CET | 09:00 EST UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti launches the second webinar series of “Leading Minds Online What the Experts Say- Coronavirus and Children: Violence in the Home”.

Ethics in Humanitarian Research: A Practical Discussion

20 MAY 2020 - Join us for a lively discussion on ethical reviews for humanitarian research and monitoring.

Children Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic

6 May 2020 - UNICEF Innocenti hosted its first Leading Minds Online event as part of a new series on Coronavirus and Children: What the Experts Say.

Navigating through COVID-19: Unlocking Solutions for Education Organizations

6 MAY 2020 - UNICEF Innocenti's Tom Dreesen joins the Magic Schoolbus Webinar Series on Navigating through COVID-19: Unlocking Solutions for Education Organizations. 

Safeguarding and Ethics in Evidence Generation

27 April 2020 - This webinar will connect issues relating to child safeguarding with those relating to ethics in evidence generation. It will underline key considerations in evidence generation and the planning and clearance process.   

CGDev Online Event: Approaching COVID-19 Risk and Response through a Gender Lens

9 April 2020 - By applying a gender lens to this pandemic, researchers and policy makers can better assess differential risks and target responses to ensure already-vulnerable populations don’t fall even farther behind. Join us for this online discussion with CGD experts, external researchers, practitioners, and advocates on how a gender lens helps us better understand and respond to the threat of COVID-19.
Nelly Salinas (Right) helps her 21-month-old foster daughter, Milagro Carolina Kastano, look at an album of photographs, outside their home in Panama City, the capital. © UNICEF/UNI134960/Dormino

Bridging the Gaps: Intersections of violence against women and violence against children

12 March 2020 - Evidence on the points of intersection of the two forms of violence that follow parallel but distinct trajectories.
Aysha Akhter Khushi (18) received a stipend of 15,000 Taka under a conditional cash transfer project from UNICEF. With the money, she started her own business where she sells eggs. She earns around 500 to 600 Taka daily. © UNICEF/UN069642/Kiron

UNICEF Innocenti @ CSW64

9 March 2020 - While the CSW was curtailed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this year the CSW reviewed 25 years of progress since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (introduced in 1995). 

Evidence on educational strategies to address child labour in India and Bangladesh

30 Nov-Dec 2019 -  The workshop's objective is to establish current evidence and inform future direction for research on educational strategies to address child labour in India and Bangladesh. Bringing together 24 experts on the topics of child labour and education, as well as donors (DFID) and programme partners (ILO, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, IDS, UNICEF country offices), the workshop represents the main inception activity for the DFID-funded research project “Supporting DFID’s Asia Regional Child Labour Programme: Evidence on Educational Strategies to Address Child Labour in South Asia". The project is carried out by UNICEF Innocenti, as part of the broader DFID “Asia Regional Child Labour Programme”.
Brunelleschi's Loggiata degli Innocenti illuminated in blue with a World Children's Day multi-media display projected against it's walls in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 600th anniversary of the Istituto Degli Innocenti and the 30th year since the establishment of UNICEF's Office of Research - Innocenti. © UNICEF/Emma dell’Elba

World Children’s Day 2019

20 November 2019 - The City of Florence joined UNICEF Innocenti and the Istituto degli Innocenti to '#GoBlue,' an initiative launched by UNICEF around the world to celebrate World Children’s Day, 20 November 2019.

Leading Minds Conference 2019

7-9 November 2019 - UNICEF convened its inaugural Leading Minds conference this year, taking the pressing issue of mental health of children and young people as its theme. The purpose of the annual Leading Minds conference series is to bring attention to a theme pertinent to the present and future wellbeing of the world’s children and young people by convening some of the world’s leading minds to examine available evidence and solutions and contribute to accelerating progress on solutions and breakthroughs.

Inaugural UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival

27-29 October 2019 - Thirty two films from 28 countries were screened over three days, receiving enthusiastic reception from audiences. Apart from the diversity and quality of the film programme, a highlight of the festival was the panel discussions which featured dialogue between film directors and UNICEF child rights research experts.
UNICEF Innocenti's Jacobus de Hoop speaking on a panel at USAID's Counter-Trafficking in Persons Evidence Summit in 2019. Photo courtesy of Kristen Dayton.

USAID Counter-Trafficking in Persons Evidence Summit

29-30 October 2019 - UNICEF Innocenti's Jacobus de Hoop presented work on "Child Transfers, Child Work & Schooling" at USAID's Counter-Trafficking in Persons Evidence Summit. More than 85 researchers, experts, and practitioners gathered to share information about anti-trafficking data and efforts and discuss applications for field programming and policy.

Multi-Donor Learning Partnership Biannual Meeting 2019

9-10 October 2019 -  The Multi-Donor Partnership on Learning met at UNICEF Innocenti to continue to share knowledge and strengthen organisational learning practice among and between the partner agencies. 
New UN Peacekeeping Base Offers Yei Community Path to Peace and Prosperity, Yei, South Sudan. Migration flows, natural disasters, conflicts, and climate-related upheavals, among other developments, have changed the nature of the scourge of the sale and sexual exploitation of children considerably.

Expert consultation on the prevention of the sale & sexual exploitation of children

24-25 September 2019 - The UN Special Rapporteuron the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material, Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchioin, partnership with the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti, held a two-day expert meeting in Florence, Italy.

Ethics, data & technologies in evidence generation

11 September 2019 - Reflecting on the use of social media and geospatial technologies in evidence generation,  UNICEF Innocenti's expert on ethics in evidence generation, Gabrielle Berman, contributed to UNICEF's Webinar on Ethics, Data and Technologies held on September 11 2019.

Assessing emerging impacts of the Global Kids Online research programme

23 July 2019 - Sarah Morton, director of Matter of Focus and lead on the impact study, presented emerging findings that will shortly be consolidated in a forthcoming report ‘Children’s experiences online: building global understanding and action. A study of the impacts of the Global Kids Online initiative’.  
Participants from Eastern Europe and Central Asia meet for introductory training on multidimensional child poverty at UNICEF Innocenti in Florence, Italy July 8-10, 2019.

Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) training

11 July 2019 - How can we measure child poverty in the unique contexts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia?
UNICEF Innocenti held a training course to introduce multidimensional child poverty measurement to national stakeholders and UNICEF country office specialists from the Europe and Central Asia region. Participants were introduced to measurement of child poverty and completed exercises using national statistics to develop nationally contextually appropriate indicators for measuring child poverty in their countries.
Copyright UNICEF/UN017602/Ueslei Marcelino.

Global Kids Online Network Meeting

28 May 2019 - In high- and middle-income countries, and increasingly also in low-income countries, many children’s activities are underpinned by internet and mobile phone access in one way or another. Across truly diverse domestic, cultural and geographic contexts, many children now use digital and online technologies as part of their everyday lives.
© UNICEF/UNI198349/Quarmyne

The social value of health insurance

23 May 2019 - Christoph Strupat presented the results of a study assessing the cushioning effect of Ghana's national health insurance on the financial consequences of health shocks.

Experts' workshop on gender-responsive and age-sensitive social protection

6 May 2019 - Despite the importance of both gender and age in order to achieve social change, there is little evidence on how social protection systems and programmes can be more gender-responsive, as well as sensitive to different age groups’ specific risks and vulnerabilities.
Participants at the 7th Transfer Project Workshop held April 2019 in Arusha, Tanzania. © Michelle Mills.

Transfer Project workshop 2019

2-4 April 2019 - A gathering of social protection experts and stakeholders to promote cross-country learning on cash transfers.

Kick-off meeting of the global EVAC knowledge network

18-19 March 2019 - Experts discuss and explore critical issues on building the evidence base for ending violence against children.
© UNICEF/UN0287458/Nesbitt

GRASSP: Unleashing the potential of social protection for girls and women

12 March 2019 - How social protection can better address life course vulnerabilities and break inter-generational cycles of poverty?
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