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Goran Holmqvist

Former Deputy Director (Former title)

Göran Holmqvist has served as Associate Director of the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti since 2012. Prior to joining UNICEF he has held various leadership positions in the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), including as its interim Director General and as Director for several of its regional departments. Mr. Holmqvist is a national of Sweden. He has worked in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Burkina Faso, Zambia and Zimbabwe. His academic background is as a development economist, with publications in areas related to income inequality, social protection and aid effectiveness in both Latin American and African contexts. He is fluent in Swedish, English and Spanish; and proficient in French and Italian. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Current times are characterized by unprecedented migration levels: millions of people are on the move worldwide. Thus, understanding why people decide to migrate is a major goal of policymakers and international organizations, and migration has become a prominent issue on the global research agenda. Traditional migration drivers can be divided into reasons to leave (‘push’ factors) and reasons to migrate (‘pull’ factors), and include income deprivation, dissatisfaction with public services and institutions in the home country, conflict and war, climate change, and social networks abroad. In this paper, we focus our attention on children’s well-being as a potential migration driver. We investigate it by using the Gallup World Poll, a repeated cross-section dataset of a survey conducted in more than 150 countries from 2006 to 2016. We estimate the association between planned and intended migration and children’s perceived well-being using logit models with standardized coefficients, robust standard errors, and year and country fixed effects. Estimates reveal a positive and statistically significant association between child-related concerns, migration intent and plans. In particular, the probability of individuals having migration intent and plans increases where they report lower levels of satisfaction with child-related issues, as measured by the Youth Development Index, an index driven by indicators of respect for children and satisfaction with the education system. Moreover, children’s well-being affects more individuals living in households with children than those without. Finally, migration is a child- and youth-related phenomenon: young individuals would like to migrate, and plan to do so, more than older individuals.


Sara Burrone; Bina D'Costa; Goran Holmqvist

Target 2.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls for an end to hunger, in all its forms, by 2030. Measuring food security among children under age 5, who represent a quarter of the world’s population, remains a challenge that is largely unfeasible for current global monitoring systems. The SDG framework has agreed to use the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) to measure moderate and severe food insecurity. The FIES is an experience-based metric that reports food-related behaviours on the inability to access food due to resource constraints. We present the first global estimates of the share and number of children below age 15, who live with a respondent who is food insecure.


Audrey Pereira; Sudhanshu Handa; Goran Holmqvist


Children and migration decisions: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll (16 Nov 2017)

Migration is a major human phenomenon that has accompanied civilization since the origins of mankind. ...

Famines and stunting: Are adolescents the hardest hit? (27 Mar 2017)

The UN recently raised a red flag that we are heading for one of the worst humanitarian crises since 1945. 20 million people in four co ...