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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

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.