(26 July 2019) Now in its seventh year, the Best of UNICEF Research competition continues its tradition of inspiring rigorous and influential evidence across the global organization. Each year, UNICEF offices around the world – including country offices, regional offices, national committees, and headquarters – are invited to submit their best and most recent examples of research for children. The aim is to bring attention to work that contributes to shifting policy agendas and has a high potential for impact on policies and programmes that benefit children.
Global Effort to Strengthen Available Evidence on Violence Affecting Children
(22 July 2019) Ending violence against children (EVAC) by 2030 is among the most important goals for children in the SDGs. While advocacy and political will is on the upswing, improving the availability of quality evidence, and building cooperation to scale up promising programmes to end violence represent major challenges.
Multidimensional Child Poverty Training Held for Researchers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
(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.
New Study on Realities Faced by Children on the Move in the Horn of Africa
(3 July 2019) A new UNICEF Innocenti study about children on the move in the Horn of Africa provides critical insights into the motivations driving child migration. The study titled: “No Mother Wants Her Child to Migrate,” reveals how children decide to move, their experiences during migration, as well as the legal systems in place to help protect them.
Social Protection: A Key Component for Achieving Gender Equality
(3 May 2019) International attention towards social protection has increased enormously as governments adopt and invest in social protection programmes. In fact, more than 3 billion people around the world today are covered by at least one social protection benefit. Despite the pervasiveness of social protection, and its potential to provide income security and resilience against shocks, one vital component is often missing in its design and implementation—gender dynamics.
Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal rank highest for family-friendly policies in OECD and EU countries
(13 June 2019) Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal offer the best family-friendly policies among 31 rich countries with available data, according to a new UNICEF report. Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Ireland rank the lowest.Produced by UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti the report ranks countries across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) based on their national family-friendly policies. These policies include the duration of parental leave at full pay equivalent, and childcare services for children aged between 0-6 years old.The report is part of UNICEF’s early childhood development policy and programmatic work, and Early Moments Matter campaign, now in its third year, which aims to support families in providing their young children with the nurturing environment and stimulating experiences needed for healthy brain development.“There is no time more critical to children’s brain development – and therefore their futures – than the earliest years of life,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “We need governments to help provide parents with the support they need to create a nurturing environment for their young children. And we need the support and influence of the private sector to make this happen.”Family-friendly policies strengthen the bond between parents and their children, which is critical for the development of families and socially cohesive societies. UNICEF advocates for at least six months of paid leave for parents, and for universal access to quality, affordable childcare from birth to children’s entry into the first grade of school. In line with the Early Moments Matter campaign, UNICEF is working with governments, civil society, academics, and the private sector – which plays an important role in influencing policies – to encourage greater investment in families.Taking a closer look at parental leave at full pay equivalent in 41 countries, Are the world’s richest countries family friendly? Policy in the OECD and EU notes that only half of countries offer at least six months of leave at full pay for mothers. Estonia offers mothers the longest duration of leave at full pay at 85 weeks, followed by Hungary (72 weeks) and Bulgaria (61 weeks). The United States is the only country included in the analysis with no national paid leave policy for mothers or fathers. The report also finds that even when fathers are offered paid leave, many do not take it. In Japan, the only country that offers at least six months at full pay for fathers, only 1 in 20 took paid leave in 2017. The Republic of Korea has the second longest, yet fathers only make up 1 in 6 of all parents who take parental leave. Paid paternity leave helps fathers bond with their babies, contributes to healthy infant and child development, lowers maternal depression and increases gender equality, the report says. It calls for national policies ensuring paid paternity leave and encouraging fathers to use it.For some parents looking for childcare options once they are ready to return to work, affordability is the biggest barrier. According to data from 29 countries, parents of young children in the United Kingdom were the most likely to cite cost as the reason why they do not use childcare centres more. However, in Czechia, Denmark and Sweden, cost was an issue for less than 1 in 100 parents who said that they had an unmet need for childcare services.The report offers guidance on how countries can improve their family-friendly policies:Provide statutory, nationwide paid parental leave of at least six months for parents.Enable all children to access high-quality, age-appropriate, affordable and accessible childcare centres irrespective of family circumstances.Ensure there is no gap between the end of parental leave and the start of affordable childcare so that children can continue their development without interruption.Ensure that mothers can breastfeed both before and after they return to work by providing lengthy-enough paid parental leave, guaranteed breaks at work and safe and appropriate locations to breastfeed and pump. Collect more and better data on all aspects of family-friendly policies so that programmes and policies can be monitored, and countries compared.LEARN MORE & DOWNLOAD THE REPORT: www.unicef-irc.org/family-friendly
Global Researchers on Child Internet Use Gather at Innocenti
(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.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: DUE TO THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF FILMS THAT HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED WE HAVE BEEN FORCED TO BRING OUR DEADLINE FOR ENTRY FORWARD TO 15 JULY 2019.
(2 May 2019) Three anniversaries of global significance for children will align with important implications for the city of Florence in 2019: 1. the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 2. the 30th anniversary of the opening of the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, and 3. the 600th anniversary of the founding of the Ospedale Degli Innocenti. To commemorate these "triple anniversaries," the inaugural UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival will be held in Florence 25 - 27 October 2019. The festival will showcase the world’s best current film, video, multi-media, with emphasis on young artists and the Global South.
Mental Health in Malawi: New Study Shows Positive Impacts of Cash for Youth
(18 April 2019) In a new paper published by the journal of Social Science and Medicine, UNICEF Innocenti researchers working with the Transfer Project demonstrate the positive effects of unconditional cash transfers on the mental health of youth in Malawi.
Researchers and Policy-Makers Discuss Evidence for Social Protection Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa
(10 April 2019) Celebrating 10 years of building evidence for action on cash transfers in Africa, the Transfer Project’s latest multi-stakeholder workshop in Arusha, Tanzania recently gathered social protection experts from 20 African countries. Attended by government representatives, NGOs, academics, and donors, the workshop facilitated cross-country learning, dialogue and debate to inform the development of social protection policies.
Participation in Sport Can Improve Children’s Learning and Skills Development
(28 March 2019) Participation in sport improves children’s educational attainment and skills development including empowerment, leadership and self-esteem – contributing to their overall well-being and future prospects, according to new research released today by the Barça Foundation and UNICEF.
“It’s long been understood that sport promotes children’s health, and physical development, but now we have solid evidence to suggest that sport can have a powerful impact on their overall education and life skills development,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Charlotte Petri Gornitzka. “We must use this evidence to inspire investment in sports for children, especially the most vulnerable.”
International effort to strengthen evidence on violence against children
(14 March 2019) Ending violence against children by 2030 is among the most important goals for children in the SDGs. The lack of robust, disaggregated data and evidence to understand the magnitude and nature of violence against children in their respective countries remains a challenge.