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Profiles

Dominic Richardson

Chief, Social and Economic Policy

Dominic Richardson leads Social Policy and Economic Analysis at UNICEF, Office of Research – Innocenti, where he oversees work on cash transfers and cash plus programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, multiple overlapping deprivation analysis, the Innocenti Report Card Series, and research on family policies and child well-being. Dominic previously worked with OECD Social Policy Division on a broad range of studies covering child well-being, evaluating family policies, integrating human services, and social impact investment. Dominic has led or co-authored multiple reports on comparative child well-being in high-income countries, and in 2014, was the lead researcher on a joint EC OECD project evaluating the content and quality of international surveys of school children in high and middle- income countries. In 2018, Dominic was awarded the Jan Trost Award for Outstanding Contributions in International Family Studies by the National Council for Family Relations in the United States.

Publications

Where Do Rich Countries Stand on Childcare?
Publication Publication

Where Do Rich Countries Stand on Childcare?

Even before COVID-19, some of the world’s richest countries were failing to offer comprehensive childcare solutions to all families. In some instances, this reflected their policy priorities rather than available resources. The COVID-19 pandemic also challenged children’s education, care and well-being as parents struggled to balance their responsibilities for childcare and employment, with a disproportionate burden placed on women. In the context of lockdown and school closures, childcare was one of the worst affected family services and had a significant knock-on effect. This report shows how governments can help parents through paid parental leave, followed by affordable and high-quality childcare. Using the most recent comparable data, it assesses the parental leave and childcare policies in the 41 high-income countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the European Union (EU). The report concludes with nine recommendations for how policies can be improved to provide comprehensive solutions to all families.
School-Related Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Building an evidence base for stronger schools
Publication Publication

School-Related Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Building an evidence base for stronger schools

The prevalence of school-related violence and, in particular, bullying is not a new or isolated phenomenon, nor is it limited to certain schools or countries. Abundant evidence indicates that bullying is widespread and has a negative impact on educational outcomes. Children who are victims of bullying can also be affected emotionally and physically in both the short and long terms. Evidence from low- and middle-income countries on bullying is less extensive when compared to the evidence available on predictors and effects of bullying from high-income countries. However, some findings for the Latin American and Caribbean region seem to suggest a similar picture, with a high prevalence of bullying victimization and association to lower reading scores in different subjects tested. This working paper first uses data from UNESCO’s Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study for nationally representative samples of sixth grade students to determine the prevalence of bullying and its association to learning outcomes in 15 countries of the LAC region. It then looks at interventions in countries of the region to mitigate the impacts of violence.
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries
Publication Publication

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries

COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis. High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline. This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa

There is a learning crisis. Fifty-three per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries are in ‘learning poverty’, i.e. they cannot read and understand a simple text by the end of primary school age. In sub- Saharan Africa, the learning poverty rate is 87 per cent overall, and ranges from 40 per cent to as high as 99 per cent in the 21 countries with available data. Teachers attending lessons and spending quality time on task is a critical prerequisite to learning. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, teacher absenteeism ranges from 15 to 45 per cent. Teacher absenteeism and reduced time on task wastes valuable financial resources, short-changes students and is one of the most cumbersome obstacles on the path toward the education Sustainable Development Goal and to the related vision of the new UNICEF education strategy: Every Child Learns. Whilst the stark numbers are available to study, and despite teacher absenteeism being a foremost challenge for education systems in Africa, the evidence base on how policies and practices can influence teacher attendance remains scant. Time to Teach (TTT) is a research initiative that looks at primary school teacher attendance in eight countries and territories in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region: the Comoros; Kenya; Rwanda, Puntland, State of Somalia; South Sudan; the United Republic of Tanzania, mainland; the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar; and Uganda. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of teacher attendance, which include being at school, being punctual, being in the classroom, and teaching when in the classroom, and use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies.

Blogs

Reducing poverty while achieving gender equality: the potential of social protection
Blog Blog

Reducing poverty while achieving gender equality: the potential of social protection

The UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti has launched a new four-year research programme called Gender-Responsive and Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP), funded by the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID), and other partners. The research programme will examine how gender-responsive and age-sensitive social protection can reduce poverty and achieve gender equality sustainably. It will also examine how social protection can better address and prevent stubborn vulnerabilities and inequalities experienced by people simply because of their sex or age.
League tables apart: Report Card 14 League Table on children and the SDGs
Blog Blog

League tables apart: Report Card 14 League Table on children and the SDGs

The League Table presented in UNICEF’s latest Innocenti Report Card 14, Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries, clearly shows which high-income countries are doing well, and which are doing poorly, in terms of achieving outcomes for their children as broadly defined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Improving school systems from beyond school walls
Blog Blog

Improving school systems from beyond school walls

No one would disagree that education systems should develop every child’s personal and social skills, and should equip them with the competencies needed for adult work. Recognising this, governments aim to achieve the dual ambitions of economic growth and social stability through investment in schools.

Journal articles

Protocol: Impact of social protection on gender equality in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A systematic review of reviews
Journal Article Journal Article

Protocol: Impact of social protection on gender equality in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A systematic review of reviews

Events

International Conference on Universal Child Grants
Event Event

International Conference on Universal Child Grants

6-8 February 2019 - This conference, convened by UNICEF, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), brings together national governments and policy practitioners, researchers and the international community to explore the arguments and the evidence emerging from the implementation of alternative cash transfer schemes and their implications for UCGs. 

Podcasts

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in SE Europe and Central Asia
Podcast Podcast

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in SE Europe and Central Asia

A Conversation with our Education Team
Podcast Podcast

A Conversation with our Education Team