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Maria Carolina Alban Conto

Consultant (Former title)

Carolina joined the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in March 2020. She is a development economist that has contributed for 10+ years to the generation of knowledge, the promotion of evidence-based decision-making, and the construction of strategies for policy innovation. With experience conducting applied research and in policymaking, her work has focused on social sector topics including education, labour, migration, inequality, and poverty. Prior to joining UNICEF, Carolina led the area of development cooperation at the Colombian Embassy in Paris, worked as a policy analyst at the OECD and served as senior advisor to the Colombian entity in charge of evaluating the quality of education. She has conducted research with the World Bank, the Institute of Economic and Social Development Studies (IEDES) and the research centre Development, Institutions and Globalization (DIAL). Carolina owns a PhD from the Paris School of Economics and academic majors in Public Policy and Development (MSc), Economics (MSc) and Sociology (BA).

Publications

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Côte d’Ivoire
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire has made great strides in improving access and quality in its education system, but significant gaps in student learning and achievement remain. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 Ivorian children are not proficient in reading by the age of 10, and do not have enough math skills at the end of primary school. In Côte d’Ivoire, teacher absenteeism is estimated to responsible for the loss of approximately 25 per cent of teaching time. In the specific case of primary education, it is estimated that teacher absenteeism and other calendar delays are responsible for the loss of two months of courses per year on average. This Time to Teach study seeks to contribute to a better understanding of teacher attendance in Côte d’Ivoire’s primary schools. The study adapts a broad concept of teacher absenteeism which includes: absence from school, lack of teacher punctuality, absence from the classroom and reduction in the time dedicated to teaching.
Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean
Publication Publication

Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean

By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child. Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys are missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are troubling, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge. This study collates evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted linkages between education and migration. It estimates gaps in educational outcomes; identifies structural barriers to education; and highlights promising practices to inform policy.
COVID-19: Effects of school closures on foundational skills and promising practices for monitoring and mitigating learning loss
Publication Publication

COVID-19: Effects of school closures on foundational skills and promising practices for monitoring and mitigating learning loss

While remote learning measures are essential for mitigating the short-term and long-term consequences of COVID-19 school closures, little is known about their impact on and effectiveness for learning. This working paper contributes to filling this gap by: 1. exploring how disrupted schooling may affect foundational learning skills, using data from MICS6 (Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys - round 6) in 2017–2019; 2. examining how countries are delivering and monitoring remote learning based on data from the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank’s National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures survey; and 3. presenting promising key practices for the effective delivery and monitoring of remote learning.

Journal articles

Potential effects of COVID-19 school closures on foundational skills and Country responses for mitigating learning loss
Journal Article Journal Article

Potential effects of COVID-19 school closures on foundational skills and Country responses for mitigating learning loss