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Events & Convening

Convening thought leadership on issues affecting children

LAUNCH: UNICEF's Youth Foresight Playbook at the Dubai Future Forum

28 November 2023:

Prospects for Children and Youth in the Polycrisis

8 March 2023:

Right now, the world is being confronted by a series of multiple and near-simultaneous shocks amplified by a world that is more interdependent than ever before – and many are calling this phenomenon a “polycrisis”. No matter what it’s called, it will have an enormous impact on children across the world.

At UNICEF, we recently analyzed the trends that we believe will impact children in the future, and they have much to lose. But while those trends are worrying, there are also positive signs.

This webinar will build upon our analysis and unpack some of the most pressing challenges facing children today and will feature thought-provoking contributions not just from sector analysts and experts, but from the very young people who will be most affected by the polycrisis.

Expert Consultation on Age-Related Public Expenditure and Policies

12 - 13 April 2023:  In the lead up to the launch of a new report Too Little Too Late, the UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight and the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy convened an expert consultation at Innocenti’s office in Florence, Italy, to discuss the basic set of comparable data that countries should collect to monitor public policies and public finance for children, including domestic expenditures and foreign assistance.

Expert Consultation on Age-Related Public Expenditure and Policies

12 - 13 April 2023:  In the lead up to the launch of a new report Too Little Too Late, the UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight and the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy convened an expert consultation at Innocenti’s office in Florence, Italy, to discuss the basic set of comparable data that countries should collect to monitor public policies and public finance for children, including domestic expenditures and foreign assistance.
a girl in pig-tails gazes into the distance

Best of UNICEF Research 2022

14 December 2022: For the past 10 years, the Best of UNICEF Research annual competition, run by UNICEF Innocenti, has invited UNICEF colleagues around the world to submit their latest and best research for children.
three happy children linking arms

UNICEF at the International Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Summit 2022

5 - 9 December 2022: The Social and Behavior Change Communication International Summit will reflect on how what we have learned through the COVID-19 pandemic can inform and inspire us as we use Social and Behavior Change Communication to tackle other global challenges, most importantly those of disparity – be they disparities of wealth, health, access, gender or education.
A woman walks along an expanse of flood water in Sindh Province, Pakistan

Monitoring the Social Costs of Climate Change for Low-and Middle-Income Countries

17 November 2022:

This event, organized by UNICEF-Innocenti, will provide an opportunity for leading experts on social spending to discuss a new report from UNICEF, ‘Monitoring the Social Spending Costs of Climate Change for Low-and Middle-Income Countries’ which argues that investing in social spending will be key to managing the climate crisis.

Leading Minds Conference 2022 Logo

Leading Minds Conference 2022

2 - 4 November 2022:

The 2022 edition of the Leading Minds for Children and Young People conference “On the Vital Importance of Child Identity”, will be held on 2-4 November in the Salone Brunelleschi of the Istituto degli Innocenti, in Florence, Italy. The Conference is co-hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UNICEF Innocenti — Global Office of Research and Foresight. 

The conference will bring together some of the world’s leading thinkers — scholars, scientists, innovators, influencers, philanthropists, governments and of course young people — to understand the identity challenges that children and young people face. These range from the most traditional forms of identity — such as age, name, nationality, and family relations specified in the opening articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — to 21st century challenges related to mass migration, cyber identity, activist status, and transnationalism, among many other topics. 


A girl writes on a blackboard.

Data Systems and Data Use in Education: Data Must Speak (DMS) Positive Deviance Research

12 - 13 October 2022:

The Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), is pleased to invite you to theThird Annual KIX Symposium, which will be held virtually on October 12-13, 2022 from 12 NN – 1:30 PM CET.  


Illustration of a young girl laying on the grass and writing in her book. Text that reads

The role of Core Capacities in child well-being and child policies in Europe

11 October 2022:

The report What Makes Me? Core Capacities for Living and Learning in Childhood, explores how core capacities develop over the early part of the life course, and how they contribute to children's personal well-being and development. Join the European launch to learn about the core capacities and why they matter for every child.

UNICEF at the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum 2022

19 - 23 September 2022: UNICEF is proud to collaborate with the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), including for the implementation of the SVRI Forum. The SVRI Forum is the largest global research conference on violence against women, and other forms of violence driven by gender inequality in low and middle-income countries. The conference provides a global space where delegates build knowledge, expand their network, collaborate, and share knowledge with key decision-makers in the field of violence against girls, boys and women.

Donor Collaboration on Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning for Development Impact

22 June 2022:

This session recounted the compelling story of voluntary donor coordination in the form of a community of purpose spanning 5 countries and 9 donor agencies; the challenges and triumphs of virtual collaboration for knowledge and learning; and how fostering connections between international development donors led to the co-creation of a shared theory of change for the contribution of effective KM and organizational learning for development impact.

Participants discuss The State of the World's Children 2023 on immunization at UNICEF - Innocenti in Florence, June 2022.

The State of the World’s Children 2023 Conference

9 - 10 June 2022: Florence, 9–10 June 2022 – UNICEF experts from around the world gathered at the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti for the first major in-person event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss the next State of the World’s Children publication on children and immunization. The meeting itself was a testament to the power of vaccines.

A Gender-Transformative, Life-Course Approach to Ending Violence Against Girls, Boys and Women

25 May 2022: On May 25th, 2022, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO), Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), and UNICEF, co-hosted a virtual partner roundtable discussion entitled: A Gender-Transformative, Life-Course Approach to Ending Violence Against Girls, Boys and Women. 

Places & Spaces: Shaping policies for environments and children's well-being

24 May 2022: This panel discussion, timed with the global launch of Report Card 17, comes at a moment when policymakers are seeking to ensure child well-being during a protracted global pandemic and with mounting climate change challenges.  Join us for a rich discussion with youth activists, policymakers, researchers, and practitioners on shaping better policies for environments and children’s well-being. Panelists to be announced.
In June 2021, Anna, Clarissa and Chiara socialize in the town center of Fara Gera D'adda, Bergamo, Italy.

UNICEF Innocenti presents Vite a Colori report on the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of children and adolescents in Italy

12 April 2022: UNICEF and the Authority for Children and Adolescents, an independent body that oversees the implementation of the rights of children in the Lombardy region of Italy, Riccardo Bettiga, presented the Report "Vite a Colori” (Life in Colors) about the experiences, perceptions, and opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic of children and adolescents in Italy. 
Girl plays at the park with her dad

Future Frontiers of Childhood and Adolescence

8 - 10 March 2022: The UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti and UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office, with the support of  On Think Tanks,  and  CIUP (Centro de Investigación de la Universidad del Pacífico) are convening three policy discussions to promote reflection and fruitful discussion around the concept of Future Frontiers of Childhood and Adolescence in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Shortfalls in Social Spending in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

17 February 2022: Join researchers, experts, educators, and policymakers for a one-hour virtual policy panel discussion on Shortfalls in Social Spending Worldwide. A new report from UNICEF, ‘Shortfalls in Social Spending in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. COVID-19 and Shrinking Finance for Social Spending’ argues that, in order to meet the rights of all to basic social services, greater mobilisation of both domestic and international resources will be needed to boost social spending in the wake of COVID-19. It calculates that low-and middle-income countries will need to spend an additional 0.9% of GDP on education; 4.7% of GDP on health; and 0.6% of GDP on social protection. Failure to meet these targets is currently resulting in annual shortfalls of, on average, $281 per child (education); $513 per capita (health); $66 per capita (social assistance). However, the fiscal space to achieve adequate spending on social services remains constrained in many countries. Join us as our experts discuss how to approach this challenge, bolster finance for the SDGs and address widening inequalities post COVID-19.

The Evidence Commission Report Launch

27 January 2022: COVID-19 has created a once-in-a-generation focus on evidence among governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations, many types of professionals, and citizens. Now is the time to systematize the aspects of using evidence that are going well and address the many shortfalls, which means creating the capacities, opportunities and motivation to use evidence to address societal challenge, and putting in place the structures and processes to sustain them.

Prioritizing Learning During COVID 19: Launch of Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel Report

26 - 27 January 2022: A new report, “Prioritizing Learning During Covid-19”, featuring evidence from UNICEF Innocenti, provides recommendations from the GEEAP, an independent, cross-disciplinary body composed of leading education experts, including a Nobel Prize winner.

Cross-sectoral Learning in Implementation Research

24 - 31 January 2022: Implementation Research is an innovative approach to systems strengthening in which decision-makers and implementers use research to overcome implementation bottlenecks and improve outcomes.

What Makes Me? A Policy Panel Discussion on Core Capacities for Living and Learning

9 December 2021: What Makes Me? Join researchers, experts, educators, and policymakers for a one-hour virtual policy panel discussion on the Core Capacities for Living and Learning. A new report from UNICEF, the Learning for Wellbeing Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute reveals nine core capacities and underscores the importance of noticing and nourishing these capacities from birth through adulthood. Often overlooked as innate basic skills, these capacities are underutilized in efforts to promote child well-being, education, and development. By protecting and promoting the development of these capacities, children can better understand and interact with the world around them, for life and for learning, and realize their unique potential. Join us for our regional launch of the research – to learn about these core capacities and why and how every child can cultivate these capacities to thrive.

The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery

6 December 2021: The global disruption to education caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is without parallel and the effects on learning are severe. The crisis brought education systems across the world to a halt, with school closures affecting more than 1.6 billion learners. While nearly every country in the world offered remote learning opportunities for students, the quality and reach of such initiatives varied greatly and were at best partial substitutes for in-person learning. Now, 21 months later, schools remain closed for millions of children and youth, and millions more are at risk of never returning to education. Evidence of the detrimental impacts of school closures on children’s learning offer a harrowing reality: learning losses are substantial, with the most marginalized children and youth often disproportionately affected.

This December 6th, building on the close collaboration of UNESCO, UNICEF, and the World Bank under the Mission: Recovering Education, the three organizations will launch a joint report on the state of the crisis.

The Report – titled “The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery” – charts a path out of the global education crisis and towards building more effective, equitable, and resilient education systems.

Learning losses can be reversed if countries act now!

The cost of keeping schools closed is steep and threatens to widen existing disparities for children and youth. Reopening schools and keeping them open should remain the highest priority for countries, as growing evidence indicates that with adequate measures, health risks to children and education staff can be minimized.

The event will feature the participation of Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, Robert Jenkins, Global Director of Education, UNICEF, Jaime Saavedra, Global Director of Education, the World Bank, as well as a panel of government officials and international education stakeholders who will reflect on the evidence presented in the joint report and lessons from country experiences in support of learning recovery from around the world. The panel will be moderated by Andrew Jack, Global Education Editor, Financial Times.

Mediterranean Dialogues

2 - 4 December 2021: Mediterranean Dialogues is the annual high-level initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) in Rome. On 2-4 December, more than 40 live session with 40+ ministers, over 100 business representatives, and members of the civil society from the MED region will share their views. 

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

1 December 2021: For the second year running, the Best of UNICEF Research is being awarded in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that poor and discriminated children are being hardest hit by the pandemic. Research and data are critical to reinvent responses, show tangible impact, and prioritize those children most at risk.

UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival 2021

21 - 24 October 2021: To take stock of the dynamic forces shaping childhood and promote deep reflection on the experiences of children in different contexts, we are proud to announce the second UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival (UIFF) will be held in person at Cinema La Compagnia and online at mymovies.it 21 – 24 October 2021.

Ethical considerations when applying behavioural science in projects with children

26 October 2021:

Over the last decade there has been a global trend to apply evidence and methods from the behavioural sciences to achieve programme and policy objectives. This webinar provides a focused reflection on ethical considerations for applying “behavioural insights” approaches to work that implicates children. UNICEF’s Office of Research-Innocenti worked in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team, Australia, and the Young and Resilient Research Centre (Western Sydney University) to undertake a systematic exploration of relevant literature along with consultations with youth to develop a comprehensive discussion paper and a set of practical tools to help practitioners navigate ethical considerations specific to applying behavioral insights approaches to programming with children. The webinar will provide an introduction and overview of the paper and associated tools followed by a panel discussion with select members of the Project Advisory Group as thought leaders and practitioners directly involved in shaping the project.   


Presenters: Karen Tindall, PhD, and Lydia Hayward, PhD, Behavioural Insights Team


Allison Zelkowitz, Director, Center for Utilizing Behavioral Insights for Children (CUBIC), Save the Children International

Liam Delaney, PhD, Head of Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, London School of Economics

Julianne Birungi, Social and Behaviour Change Specialist, UNICEF NYHQ

Mary MacLennan, Lead, UN Behavioural Science Group, UN Innovation Network

Chair: Benjamin Hickler, PhD, UNICEF Innocenti


Intersections between Violence Against Children and Women - Prevention and Response

19 October 2021:

The second event in the 2021 Solutions Summit Series Together to #ENDviolence series aims to share evidence and foster discussion on intersections between violence against women and violence against children, highlighting synergies opportunities for greater collaboration and opportunities for moving towards implementation to build knowledge and translate it into policy and programs.  

What does gender-responsive social protection have to do with the climate crisis?

13 October 2021: With the increased recognition of the important role social protection plays in securing household and gender-equitable security and response to shocks, the webinar will feature a panel of leading experts on gender, climate change and social protection. These experts will convene to investigate what and how current social protection policies and programmes have addressed climate change impacts, and how gender responsive and age sensitive they are or not. It will discuss:

Connected learning and living in a Disconnected Era

29 September 2021:

The pandemic sparked the biggest increase in history in digital learning and living, but what does it mean for this generation of children and the next? Is the future already inevitably written in computer code? What does this mean for the millions of children who simply cannot get online? Are today’s tweens and teens the canaries down the coal mine of this mass human online experiment?

Join us in our new Leading Minds Online series* as we put these questions and more to our two experts –  a Japanese-American academic Cultural Anthropologist Dr. Mizuko Ito, Director Connected Learning Lab, University of California, Irvine, and student  Zulaikha Patel, a South African youth activist.

Sport for Development Phase II Launch Event: Playing the Game

21 September 2021:

Join us for our live virtual launch of Phase II of our Sport for Development Research.

The Barça Foundation and UNICEF invite you to the launch of the latest evidence in #SportForDevelopment for Children by UNICEF Innocenti. We will present and discuss: - The Playing the Game Report: A framework for successful child-focused sport for development programmes - The Playing the Game Toolkit: A guide for sport for development practitioners Explore all our research on #S4D: https://www.unicef-irc.org/research/s... #PlayingTheGame #Sport4Change #AllOneForChildren

Strengthening and Promoting Education Data Systems and Utilization in Africa: Lessons from the Data Must Speak Global Initiative

15 September 2021: With reliable data, policymakers, school managers, teachers, and communities can identify problems, pose solutions, and direct resources where they are most needed. As part of the Africa Evidence Week 2021, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti is organizing a live webinar to share and discuss how UNICEF’s implementation of the Data Must Speak global initiative has supported countries in Africa strengthen the use of data and research for education management and decision-making. It will draw on panelists from Ministries of Education from Namibia and Togo, as well as UNICEF and its office of research. 

Evidence Matters

14 September 2021: 14 September 2021 - This event aims to share information and advance understanding of the growing body of evidence on violence against children (VAC) prevention and response. The event will bring together researchers, practitioners and policymakers, providing a forum to reflect on the current state of the evidence, the role of evidence in driving action to end VAC, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Strengthening Data Systems and Utilization in the Education Sector

27 July 2021: How can research play a vital role in ensuring strengthening of Education data systems and utilization for more data-informed decision-making? 

Reopening the Future: Prioritizing Pre-primary Education

27 July 2021:

Join UNICEF, UNESCO and World Bank for a webinar event on prioritizing pre-primary education.

How to apply Smart Buy's evidence in country education investment decisions

23 July 2021: Lessons on the implementation and contextualization of Smart Buys evidence at country level by the Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel (GEEAP).

What's Next? Lessons on Education Recovery

13 July 2021: Webinar on the latest research findings with panelists from UNESCO, UNICEF, OECD, and the World Bank.

Last Days at Sea Screening at Apriti Cinema Estate 2021

10 July 2021: As part of the program of the summer arena Apriti Cinema and the Unicef ​​Innocenti Film Festival, the documentary "Last Days at Sea" by Venice Altienza will be presented on Saturday 10 July. Tickets are FREE with reservations required.

COVID-19 and Child Labour

24 June 2021: As progress on child labour has stalled and absolute numbers of children engaged in child labour increase, Leading Minds Online asks the experts: How can we get progress back on track and prevent this worst-case scenario?

Pathways toward an education that leaves no one behind

16 June 2021:

Ahead of the G20 Education Ministers meeting and informed by ODI’s upcoming publication, ‘Pathways towards quality primary education: improving completion and learning outcomes’, we bring together a group of experts to examine successful reforms that have brought vulnerable children to the forefront of policy implementation and consider what is needed to push the agenda forward.



Susan Nicolai
Chair – Senior Research Fellow, Equity and Social Policy, ODI and Director of Research, EdTech Hub

Rukmini Banerji
Panellist – CEO, Pratham Education Foundation

Matt Brossard
Panellist – Chief, READ (Research on Education And Development) Unit, UNICEF Innocenti

Shem Bodo
Panellist – Senior Programs Officer, Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)

José Manuel Roche
Panellist – Policy Advisor, Senior Analyst and Evaluator in International Development, Consultant

Moizza Binat Sarwar
Panellist – Research Fellow, Equity and Social Policy, ODI

Gender dimensions of violence against children and adolescents

27 May 2021: The Child Protection and Gender sections at NYHQ and the Office of Research – Innocenti organized an internal webinar on UNICEF’s Strategy Paper on the Gender Dimensions of Violence against Children and Adolescents in which over 200 UNICEF colleagues from regional and country levels participated. The webinar aimed to help participants learn more about the strategy paper and provided an opportunity to share ideas and recommendations for the implementation of priority actions in this area.

Vaccines: Doses, Distribution and Bridging the Great Divide

28 April 2021:

UNICEF Innocenti’s Leading Minds will ask the high level panel how we keep up the momentum of the vaccine race while leaving no one behind; solutions to simplify complex trade barriers on intellectual property rights and technology transfer; and how can we develop vaccine manufacturing capacity where it is needed most.

COVID and the Looming Debt Crisis

1 April 2021: Time is fast ticking for a looming debt crisis that threatens to decimate decades of progress for children.

The debt crisis is likely to hit two-thirds of the world’s population. Even before the pandemic 1 in 8 countries spent more on debt than on education, health and social spending combined. And African countries are already spending three times more on debt repayments to banks and private lenders than it would cost to vaccinate the entire continent against Covid-19.
So how can this ticking time bomb be defused?

To coincide with the release of an important policy brief from UNICEF on the debt crisis, Leading Minds will ask the expert panelists:
How do we stop mortgaging children’s futures?
Can debt relief measures turn this tide?

Gender-sensitive social protection

31 March 2021: The pandemic has exposed the fault lines in social, political and economic systems and demonstrates the need for critical investment in robust social protection frameworks that reduce the impact of shocks, particularly on the most vulnerable. Women and marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by school closures, unpaid care work, gender-based violence and unemployment, and we need to consider the long-term implications of the pandemic’s gendered impacts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how gender interacts with age, disability, caste, race and class to influence educational attainment, care provision, livelihood security, technological accessibility, healthcare availability and economic independence. This webinar has discussed the political economy of gender-sensitive social protection and drawn upon empirical research in various countries to outline recommendations for a gender-sensitive social protection system drawing from the lessons of the pandemic.

#BOURE2020 webinar series

25 March 2021: From 2014 to 2018, more than 70,000 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Italy by sea. To better understand how to ensure their protection and social inclusion, this research presents an overview of trends and possible pathways to adult life for this group of children in Italy. Children’s voices are amplified by the participatory and youth-led approach, allowing them to express their views on decisions that affect them personally.

Preventing Family Violence

24 March 2021: Parenting and caregiving programmes offer a promising pathway to improving gender inequality as well as preventing both intimate partner violence (IPV) and violence against children (VAC) in the home. In this webinar, we highlight key findings and recommendations from parenting programmes that apply a gender-transformative approach to address IPV and VAC together and reflect on how this evidence has been used to strengthen interventions.

Research on violence against children during the COVID-19 pandemic

16 March 2021: Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers across the globe are attempting to find out how the health and socioeconomic crisis brought about by the coronavirus is affecting children’s exposure to violence. Four articles published in the Child Abuse and Neglect Journal provide valuable insights.

On Tuesday 16th March at 13:00 CET, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti presents its 3rd webinar on the research on violence against children during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the webinar series on Violence against children & COVID-19.

Modelling the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on violent discipline against children

23 March 2021:

Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers across the globe are attempting to find out how the health and socioeconomic crisis brought about by the coronavirus is affecting children’s exposure to violence. Four articles published in the Child Abuse and Neglect Journal provide valuable insights.

On Tuesday 23rd March at 13:00 CET, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti presents its 4th webinar on the modelled effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on violent discipline against children as part of the webinar series on Violence against children & COVID-19.


Special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

3 December 2020: It was expected to be the worst hit, but instead Africa is gaining praise for being amongst the best and waging an effective campaign against the COVID pandemic. The youngest continent on earth, with the average age just 18 years old, sub-Saharan Africa has experienced only a fraction of the death toll elsewhere in the world.

While Africa may be winning the numbers game, it has come at a massive cost and the real losses are only just being counted. Among them 250 million more children out of school; a loss of more than 6% of economic growth throwing the region into its first-ever economic recession. Added to the climate crisis that is making vast swathes of the continent unlivable, a perfect storm is looming. With aid budgets shrinking in donor countries, can Africa benefit from its own demographic dividend to find African solutions?

We ask our panelists if youth leadership today will bring a brighter tomorrow on poverty, climate action and governance and we explore some out-of-the-box approaches for the region to avoid financial ruin.

On Thursday 3rd December at 15:00 CET | 16:00-17:00 Central African Time EST, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti presented its 10th and last Leading Minds for 2020 with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Beyond Masks: A Policy Panel Discussion

19 November 2020: UNICEF Innocenti’s new report – Beyond Masks: Societal impacts of COVID-19 and accelerated solutions for children and adolescents – offers a comprehensive picture of the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, and its implications for children and adolescents. The report examines evidence from the current crisis, examines past health crises such as HIV/AIDS, SARS and Ebola to provide insights into the current one, and proposes proven and promising solutions.

Education Reforms in Global Context: Policy & Practice

23 November 2020: Leaders and experts from across the globe will discuss the efforts of international organizations, research institutes and governments to ensure the provision of quality education for all children. COVID-19 has added another layer of challenges vis-a-vis equity, learning and governance. How are governments responding to the COVID-19 educational disruption? What role are international organizations playing in this regard? Is Edtech an effective solution? What kind of research is being conducted to help the decision makers? Are policy makers and development practitioners using evidence to inform policy and practice? What are the key challenges facing education today, and how can different stakeholders join hands to resolve them effectively? We will be discussing all this and more with our panel of high-level experts.

COVID-19, the Infodemic, & Fake News

12 November 2020:

This golden age of innovation, with a flourishing of new technologies and online platforms, has created extraordinary opportunities for children and young people to enrich their knowledge and information, their social networks, and their solidarity and civic activism like never before. But those same technologies are used, abused and misused to promote fake messages and harm - leading to hate speech, racism, and hostility with often dangerous consequences to democracies, mental health and 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?


What have we learnt? Overview of findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19

4 November 2020:
As part of the coordinated global education response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank have conducted a survey on National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures. In this webinar the results from this data collection will be showcased, sharing the lessons learnt from government responses to school closures from pre-primary to secondary education.

COVID-19 & the Climate Crisis

22 October 2020: UNICEF 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

1 October 2020: UNICEF Innocenti presented its seventh Leading Minds Online webcast ‘What the Experts Say - Coronavirus and Children' on Child Health.

COVID-19 & Economic Impact

17 September 2020:

The 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

22 - 16 September 2020: Alessandra Guedes discusses the intersection between violence against women and children.

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action 2020 Annual Meeting

5 - 16 October 2020: 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?

6 October 2020:

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 socialprotection.org's e-conference.

Gender-responsive social protection in times of COVID-19

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

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

3 September 2020:

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

2 July 2020: 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

18 June 2020: The 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

4 June 2020: The 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 2020: 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

21 May 2020: The 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 - 12 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. 

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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

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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

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© UNICEF/UN0214365/Anush BabajanyanLiza, 12, makes a drawing while in the office of her former psychologist at a UNICEF supported shelter in Moldova.

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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

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Inaugural UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival

25 - 27 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.

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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

8 - 10 July 2019: How can we measure child poverty in the unique contexts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia?
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Copyright UNICEF/UN017602/Ueslei Marcelino.

Global Kids Online Network Meeting

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© UNICEF/UNI198349/Quarmyne

The social value of health insurance

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

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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.

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© UNICEF/UN0287458/Nesbitt

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