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Prerna Banati

Deputy Director a.i. (Former title)

Prerna Banati has served as Chief of Programmes and Planning at the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti since 2012. Prior to this, she was a Takemi Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard University. She has previously led work on Program Effectiveness at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and conducted epidemiological modeling as part of the Global Burden of Disease project based at WHO. Prior to this, she was based in South Africa leading research on community HIV prevention for independent NGOs and has published in the fields of HIV prevention, reproductive health, migration and health, aid architecture, health financing and environmental risk. Before her work in Africa, Prerna worked for a multinational consulting company in Boston in the field of quantitative human health risk assessment. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.
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This brief discusses findings from Plan International UK’s ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’ report, which explores factors in adolescent girls’ lives across Benin, Togo and Uganda that may influence them to ‘accept’ or ‘disrupt’ the gender socialization process. The brief focuses on one of a handful of qualitative longitudinal studies addressing the challenges of gender norms in low- and middle-income country settings, providing crucial evidence in these countries to address Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equality.


Lilli Loveday; Jenny Rivett; Prerna Banati

Of 1.2 billion adolescents in the world today, 90% live in low- and middle-income countries. These adolescents not only face many challenges but also represent a resource to be cultivated through educational opportunities and vocational training to move them toward economic independence, through initiatives to improve reproductive health, and through positive interpersonal relationships to help them avoid risky behaviors and make positive decisions about their futures. This volume tackles the challenges and promise of adolescence by presenting cutting-edge research on adolescent social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and physical development; promising programs from different countries to promote adolescents’ positive development; and policies that can advance adolescents’ rights within the framework of international initiatives, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Sustainable Development Goals, which are guiding the international development agenda through 2030. This volume seeks to provide actionable strategies for policymakers and practitioners working with adolescents. Disconnects between national-level policies and local services, as well as lack of continuity with early childhood responses, present a significant challenge to ensuring a coherent approach for adolescents. Increasingly, adolescent participation and demands for rights-based approaches are seen and often unfortunately conflated with violence. This volume adopts a positive framing of adolescence, representing young people as opportunities rather than threats, and a valued investment both at individual and societal levels, contributing to a positive shift in discourses around young people.


Prerna Banati; Jennifer E. Lansford


Children’s Roles in Social Reproduction: reexamining the discourse on care through a child lens (2018)

Elena Camilletti, Prerna Banati, Sarah Cook
The Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development, 2018-6 (21), pp. 33-48.


Time to ramp up psychosocial support for adolescents in crisis settings (11 Oct 2019)

Globally, the increase in humanitarian crises, protracted conflicts, displacement, violence, terrorism, disease outbreaks, natural disasters ...

Unleashing the Potential of Social Protection for Adolescent Girls and Women (14 Mar 2019)

On March 12th 2019, UNICEF will co-host a side event to the sixty-third Commission on the Status of Women, tog ...


Longitudinal and lifecourse research for children

Promoting a global dialogue and exchange on the importance of longitudinal studies in understanding children’s life course trajectories.