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Alessandra Guedes

Gender and development manager (Research)

Alessandra has dedicated 20 years of her professional life to promoting children’s and women’s rights and health, including working intensively to end violence against children and against women. She joined Innocenti in 2019 to lead the development and implementation of a research programme to address key issues and constraints to achieving gender equity within child protection, with a particular focus on addressing the interlinkages between violence against children and violence against women. Prior to joining UNICEF, Alessandra served as the World Health Organization’s Regional Advisor for the Americas on family violence prevention (2009-2019) and as the co-chair of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative’s Coordinating Group, a role she continues to occupy. Alessandra holds a Master of Science in Public Health for Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Masters of Arts in Art Therapy from the George Washington University.

Publications

Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest: October 2021
Publication

Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest: October 2021

Even before COVID-19, over 1 billion children (aged 2–17 years) reported experiencing sexual, physical or emotional violence every year. Across their lifetimes, 1 in 3 women are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner. Violence against children and against women are highly interconnected. Children who witness or experience violence are more likely to perpetrate it or be victimized in adulthood, thus continuing the cycle of violence. This digest highlights 13 newly curated research papers on the topic of COVID-19 and violence against children, selected based on criteria such as relevance to children's rights; a diversity of research methodology; and insights from low- and middle-income countries.

Articles

Remote data collection on VAW: A conversation with experts (Part 1)
Think Piece

Remote data collection on VAW: A conversation with experts (Part 1)

Violence against women (VAW) is a priority global concern especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting survivors during this time requires understanding the characteristics and magnitude of violence and effectiveness of responses – for which we need rigorous research. Researchers are well positioned to contribute to policy dialogue, drawing both on past evidence to inform critical pandemic responses, as well as studying dynamics as they unfold to inform real-time decisions and future pandemics.
Remote data collection on VAC: A conversation with experts (Part 2)
Think Piece

Remote data collection on VAC: A conversation with experts (Part 2)

Global stakeholders have raised concerns about the implications of COVID-19 for violence against children (VAC). An increased risk of violence could result from a variety of compounding structural, interpersonal and individual-level risk factors, including the increased economic strain placed on families, stay-at-home orders, school closures and other COVID-19 response measures. Over 165 governments have urged the UN to “Protect our Children” and the leaders of 22 organizations have called for the need to integrate measures to protect children from violence in COVID-19 response plans. To guide action on preventing and responding to violence, eight UN agencies outlined a child rights and multi-sectoral framework agenda for action. Initial and preliminary evidence on COVID-19 and VAC suggests that the pandemic could affect not only the risks of violence, but also help-seeking behavior and access to violence-related services.
5 Questions on Research on Violence against Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Article

5 Questions on Research on Violence against Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

A new publication produced jointly by UNICEF Innocenti and UNICEF Data and Analytics provides guidance on ethical data collection and research on violence against children in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. We sat down (virtually) with one of UNICEF Innocenti’s researchers involved in producing this research guidance, Alessandra Guedes, Gender and Development Research Manager, to discuss what this publication is about, why it has been produced and what the key messages from the publication are.
Research agenda on intersections of violence against children and violence against women
Article

Research agenda on intersections of violence against children and violence against women

(8 April 2021) There is growing global recognition of the intersections between violence against women and violence against children. Currently there is insufficient interaction between these fields, and evidence on interventions to address these linkages is limited. It is vital to identify knowledge/evidence gaps to address the intersections of these two forms of violence in order to strengthen prevention and response programming to achieve the best outcomes for both women and children.

Blogs

Can social protection simultaneously reduce violence against children and violence against women?
Blog

Can social protection simultaneously reduce violence against children and violence against women?

Despite the identification of cash transfers as a promising evidence-informed strategy to address violence against children and violence against women – until recently, there was little evidence from low- and middle-income country settings, that assessed the effects of such interventions on both in the same study. In this blog, we summarize five studies completed in the last two years that examine impacts of cash, cash-for-work and cash plus programmes on both violent discipline of children and male intimate partner violence against women (IPV) from diverse LMICs – Bangladesh, Colombia, Mali, the Philippines and Rwanda. 
Can we change the way we think about violence against children and women?
Blog

Can we change the way we think about violence against children and women?

Selina was 8 the first time her father hit her. And while he tearfully apologized afterwards, a few weeks later he did it again. Her mother often suffered the same fate, she knew, behind closed doors.
Researchers reflect on what inspired them to work on gender
Blog

Researchers reflect on what inspired them to work on gender

I actually didn’t intentionally set out to work on gender and came to the issue in a roundabout way. I often joke that while I started out by studying what, in my opinion, is arguably humanity at its best (I have a degree in studio art!), I ended up working with humanity at its worse: violence against children and against women.
Five ways governments are responding to violence against women and children during COVID-19
Blog

Five ways governments are responding to violence against women and children during COVID-19

While the world may have been caught off guard by the size and ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis, it should be prepared to respond to the increased risks to the wellbeing and safety of children and women. Violence against children and violence against women are widespread globally and intrinsically linked, sharing common risk factors and similar adverse and severe consequences. The literature within pandemics may be limited, but we have enough evidence to say unequivocally that related factors—such as confinement, social isolation, increased levels of financial stress, and weak institutional responses—can increase or intensify levels of violence.

Journal articles

The time is now! Preventing violence against women and children requires quality evidence.
Journal Article

The Co-Occurrence of Intimate Partner Violence and Violence Against Children: A Systematic Review on Associated Factors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

The time is now! Preventing violence against women and children requires quality evidence.
Journal Article

Singularity and Diversity in Child, Early, and Forced Marriage and Unions

The time is now! Preventing violence against women and children requires quality evidence.
Journal Article

Intimate partner violence in the Americas: a systematic review and reanalysis of national prevalence estimates

The time is now! Preventing violence against women and children requires quality evidence.
Journal Article

Modelling the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Violent Discipline Against Children

Events

Intersections between Violence Against Children and Women - Prevention and Response
Event

Intersections between Violence Against Children and Women - Prevention and Response

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.  
Gender dimensions of violence against children and adolescents
Event

Gender dimensions of violence against children and adolescents

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.
The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action 2020 Annual Meeting
Event

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

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

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