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UNICEF Innocenti
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Francesca Viola


Francesca joined the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in October 2018 where she supports the social and economic policy unit on research projects related to integrated social protection in Sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked on impact evaluation of public policies in Ghana, Kenya and Morocco with the World Bank and Innovation for Poverty Action and on children’s rights advocacy with Terre des Hommes. Francesca holds an MSc in Development Economics and an MA in Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights. Her research interests include household economic wellbeing, child sensitive social protection and child-rights based approaches.
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This rapid review seeks to inform initial and long-term public policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by assessing evidence on past economic policy and social protection responses to health and economic crises and their effects on children and families. The review focuses on virus outbreaks/emergencies, economic crises and natural disasters which, similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, were rapid in onset, had wide-ranging geographical reach, and resulted in disruption of social services and economic sectors without affecting governance systems. Lessons are also drawn from the HIV/AIDS pandemic due to its impact on adult mortality rates and surviving children.


Cash Plus

Integrating cash transfers with other services, like health insurance, can generate substantial benefits for individuals as well as their households. ...

Social protection and cash transfers

A multi-country research and learning initiative to provide rigorous evidence on the impact of large-scale national cash transfer programmes.