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Priscilla Idele

Deputy Director (Former title)

Dr Priscilla Idele is the Deputy Director at the UNICEF Office of Research in Florence, Italy. Previously, she led the Global Data and Analytics team at UNICEF New York. Her work over the past 30 years has focused on strategic direction and leadership of efforts in data and analytics, monitoring and evaluation, research, and evidence generation and use to inform global and national policy, advocacy, and strategic planning. She has broad experience in international development and leading complex high-level partnerships and networks spanning issues of child rights and protection, public health and HIV/AIDS, education, poverty and inequality, and gender, and in developing normative guidance and standards for monitoring and evaluation of global agenda such as the SDGs. She is a recipient of the International AIDS Society (IAS) Prize for Excellence in research related to children affected by HIV/AIDS. She holds a Ph.D in Social Statistics from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

Publications

Mind Matters: Lessons from past crises for child and adolescent mental health during COVID-19
Publication Publication

Mind Matters: Lessons from past crises for child and adolescent mental health during COVID-19

COVID-19 is a crisis like no other in modern times. It has reached every population and community. While the evidence base is still nascent, this report looks at the impacts of disasters and past epidemics – such as Ebola, HIV, SARS/MERS and Zika – on child and adolescent mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, and examines how these insights can guide policies and progammes to support children, their families and communities during the current pandemic.
Does COVID-19 Affect the Health of Children and Young People More Than We Thought? The case for disaggregated data to inform action
Publication Publication

Does COVID-19 Affect the Health of Children and Young People More Than We Thought? The case for disaggregated data to inform action

The Evolving Epidemiologic and Clinical Picture of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Disease in Children and Young People
Publication Publication

The Evolving Epidemiologic and Clinical Picture of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Disease in Children and Young People

The initial impression that paediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection is uncommon and generally mild has been replaced by a more nuanced understanding of infectious manifestations in children and adolescents across low-, middle-, and high-income countries, with recognition of a widening disease spectrum. Critical knowledge gaps, especially in low- and middle-income countries, remain that have significant public policy and programme implications. Insufficient data disaggregated by age, geography and race/ethnicity continue to hinder efforts to fully assess prevalence of infection and disease manifestations in children and adolescents and their role in transmission. Potential biologic differences in susceptibility to infection and transmissibility between children, adolescents and adults need to be assessed. Determination of mother-to-child SARS-CoV-2 transmission during pregnancy, the peripartum period, or through breastfeeding requires appropriate samples obtained with proper timing, lacking in most studies. Finally, predictors of disease progression, morbidity and mortality in children need to be determined and whether these predictors vary by geographic location and in settings where poor nutritional and health conditions and other vulnerabilities are more frequent. Countries, UN agencies, public health communities, donors and academia need to coordinate the efforts and work collectively to close the data and knowledge gaps in all countries (high-, middle- and low-income) for better evidence to guide policy and programme decision-making for children and COVID-19 disease.

Articles

Think Pieces Series: experts start the discussion
Article Article

Think Pieces Series: experts start the discussion

Addressing the Multiple Impacts of COVID-19 on Children Beyond Masks
Article Article

Addressing the Multiple Impacts of COVID-19 on Children Beyond Masks

(19 November 2020) From health to education, every child in the world has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many impacted in multiple ways. As the crisis rages on, further entrenching pre-existing inequalities, there is an urgent need for scalable and cost-effective solutions for children. Such solutions require more evidence on COVID-19, which is not yet available. A new report by the UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti, Beyond Masks: Societal impacts of COVID-19 and accelerated solutions for children and adolescents, examines past health crises (such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and Ebola) to provide insights into COVID-19, and proposes proven and promising solutions.

Blogs

COVID-19 may pose greater risk to children than originally thought
Blog Blog

COVID-19 may pose greater risk to children than originally thought

It is commonly accepted, at least for now, that children and adolescents (0-19 years) have been largely spared the direct epidemiological effects of the COVID-19 crisis on their own health and survival. This narrative is based predominantly on early data from the first affected countries of the virus, notably from China (Wuhan Province) and Italy in early 2020, and also other high-income countries including the United States and some European nations.
COVID-19 may pose greater risk to children than originally thought
Blog Blog

COVID-19 may pose greater risk to children than originally thought

It is commonly accepted, at least for now, that children and adolescents (0-19 years) have been largely spared the direct epidemiological effects of the COVID-19 crisis on their own health and survival. This narrative is based predominantly on early data from the first affected countries of the virus, notably from China (Wuhan Province) and Italy in early 2020, and also other high-income countries including the United States and some European nations.
Remote Learning Amid a Global Pandemic: Insights from MICS6
Blog Blog

Remote Learning Amid a Global Pandemic: Insights from MICS6

While some countries are now moving to reopen schools, nearly 1.3 billion children are still out of school and dependent on remote learning, due to nationwide shutdowns. As national educational systems strive to meet this challenge, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data offer some important insights into how we can ensure every child has an equal opportunity to learn remotely.
Educating the hardest to reach: Lessons from non-formal education in Nepal
Blog Blog

Educating the hardest to reach: Lessons from non-formal education in Nepal

A total of 835,401 children and adolescents were out of school in Nepal in 2017, equivalent to 11.3 per cent of the primary and secondary school aged population (UNESCO – UIS, 2020). This rate varies across the country and population, as barriers related to poverty, social exclusion linked to caste and ethnicity, disability, social norms and gender biases, migration, child labor, mother tongue, and geographical location disproportionately keep children out of school (Nepal Ministry of Education School Sector Development Plan, 2016).

Journal articles

We Are All in This Together: COVID-19 and a Call to Action for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents
Journal Article Journal Article

We Are All in This Together: COVID-19 and a Call to Action for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents

The evolving picture of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in children: critical knowledge gaps
Journal Article Journal Article

The evolving picture of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in children: critical knowledge gaps

Children, HIV, emergencies and Sustainable Development Goals: roadblocks ahead and possible solutions
Journal Article Journal Article

Children, HIV, emergencies and Sustainable Development Goals: roadblocks ahead and possible solutions