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Yekaterina Chzhen

Social Policy Specialist

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Kat joined the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in 2013 after two and a half years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Quantitative Methods in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College). She has completed her PhD in Social Policy & Economics at the University of York in 2010. She has 12 years of experience in applied quantitative social science research at universities and international organisations. Her main research interests are in the areas of comparative social policy, multidimensional poverty, and child well-being. Kat is currently working on: Innocenti Report Card series, Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA), and issues in children's time allocation in development settings.
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PUBLICATIONS

In the world’s richest countries, some children do worse at school than others because of circumstances beyond their control, such as where they were born, the language they speak or their parents’ occupations. These children enter the education system at a disadvantage and can drop further behind if educational policies and practices reinforce, rather than reduce, the gap between them and their peers. These types of inequality are unjust. Not all children have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential, to pursue their interests and to develop their talents and skills. This has social and economic costs. This report focuses on educational inequalities in 41 of the world’s richest countries, all of which are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and/or the European Union (EU). Using the most recent data available, it examines inequalities across childhood – from access to preschool to expectations of post-secondary education – and explores in depth the relationships between educational inequality and factors such as parents’ occupations, migration background, the child’s gender and school characteristics. The key feature of the report is the league table, which summarizes the extent of educational inequalities at preschool, primary school and secondary school levels. The indicator of inequality at the preschool level is the percentage of students enrolled in organized learning one year before the official age of primary school entry. The indicator for both primary school (Grade 4, around age 10) and secondary school (age 15) is the gap in reading scores between the lowest- and highest-performing students.

There is growing recognition among international organizations, scholars and policymakers that education systems must produce equitable outcomes, but there is far less consensus on what this means in practice. This paper analyses differences in inequality of outcome and inequality of opportunity in educational achievement among primary and secondary schoolchildren across 38 countries of the European Union (EU) and/or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The analysis focuses on reading achievement, drawing on data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). We use several measures to operationalize the two concepts of inequality in education. Our results show that inequality of outcome does not necessarily go hand in hand with inequality of opportunity. These two concepts lead to measures that produce very different country rankings. We argue that information on both inequality of outcome and inequality of opportunity is necessary for a better understanding of equity in children’s education.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

International trends in ‘bottom-end’inequality in adolescent physical activity and nutrition: HBSC study 2002–2014 (2018)

Yekaterina Chzhen, Irene Moor, William Pickett, Emilia Toczydlowska, Gonneke W J M Stevens
European Journal of Public Health,
VIEW ARTICLE

Multidimensional Poverty Among Adolescents in 38 Countries: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2013/14 Study (2017)

Yekaterina Chzhen, Zlata Bruckauf, Emilia Toczydlowska, Frank Elgar, Conception Moreno-Maldonado, Gonneke W.J.M. Stevens, Dagmar Sigmudova, Geneviève Gariépy
Child Indicator Research, , pp. 1-25.
VIEW ARTICLE

BLOG POSTS

How to halve poverty in all its dimensions by 2030 (19 Oct 2017)

The way countries define poverty is going to matter for their probability of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 1, Target 1.2. It c ...

Adolescent girls in Europe and Canada at a higher risk of multidimensional poverty than boys (15 Sep 2017)

A recent paper in Child Indicators Research shows that girls aged 11, 13 and 15 are more likely to suffer from multidimensional poverty than ...

PODCASTS

Uncovering An #UnfairStart: An Interview with UNICEF Report Card 15 authors on Education Inequality

Uncovering An #UnfairStart: An Interview with UNICEF Report Card 15 authors on Education Inequality

PROJECTS

Multidimensional child poverty

Generating quality evidence on multi-dimensional child poverty through Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA).

Children in high income countries

In-depth analysis of the latest comparable data on the well-being of children in high income countries.

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