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Shivit Bakrania

Knowledge Management Specialist

Shivit Bakrania is a Knowledge Management Specialist with the Research Facilitation and Knowledge Management Unit. He primarily works on the evidence synthesis and research capacity building aspects of the unit’s work, as well as research governance activities, such as overseeing the research quality assurance procedure implementation and other research knowledge management activities. He is a social research methods specialist and his thematic academic and research interests include: evidence synthesis and translation, political economy approaches to development, youth and political violence, security and access to justice, and governance in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. He has experience in producing evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews, rapid reviews and evidence gap maps, policy analysis, political economy analysis and conflict analysis. Prior to joining UNICEF, he had been operating as an independent research consultant for over 10 years, specialising in producing policy-relevant research and evidence tools to support governments, international development agencies and non-governmental organisations to implement evidence-based policy, programming and advocacy. This included roles as the Principal Investigator on high profile evidence gap map projects for UNICEF and UK’s FCDO, and as a researcher for other international agencies such as the European Commission, Australian DFAT and the British Council. Prior to that, he managed a knowledge management platform/global research network on governance, security and access justice based at the University of Birmingham.

Publications

Inclusion Matters: Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities – An evidence and gap map from low- and middle-income countries
Publication

Inclusion Matters: Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities – An evidence and gap map from low- and middle-income countries

In this publication we report our Evidence and Gap Mapping (EGM) of “Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in LMICs”. It shows that research is lacking in many critical areas: awareness and non-discrimination, protection, adequate standard of living, family and community life, and empowerment – that represent critical areas of policy and programming in need of robust evidence to improve inclusion and participation. Specific areas overlooked include tackling harmful stereotypes, tackling abuse and violence and ways to reduce stigma; on improving accessibility to water, sanitation, hygiene, housing and food; and interventions that aim for children with disabilities to enjoy their right to be heard, to play and to have their views considered in all matters affecting them. Health research covers 3 in 4 of all studies in our EGM, but there is little evidence on improving access to general health services and accessibility for children with disabilities in healthcare settings. Inclusive education was moderately represented, but lacked the detail to understand how it was implemented or if inclusive education was effective in improving (or harming) academic outcomes, school readiness, graduation rates or the quality of educational services. The companion protocol for the EGM can be found at this link Please also see our EGM on Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions
The Impact of Interventions Targeting Caregivers, Health Workers and the Community to Alter Vaccine Behaviours and Childhood Vaccination Uptake: A Rapid evidence assessment protocol
Publication

The Impact of Interventions Targeting Caregivers, Health Workers and the Community to Alter Vaccine Behaviours and Childhood Vaccination Uptake: A Rapid evidence assessment protocol

Vaccination is one of the most effective measures for preventing illness, disability and death. In Europe and Central Asia, routine immunization rates vary between countries and over time. Behavioural determinants of vaccine hesitancy in the region include diminished trust among caregivers and health professionals; knowledge and awareness of vaccination; perceptions of risk; and health professionals’ skills, knowledge and attitudes. This rapid evidence assessment aims to summarize the impact of interventions targeting caregivers, healthcare workers and the community to improve intention and motivation to vaccinate and vaccination rates of children under 5 years old. The evidence will inform policy and programmatic recommendations.
Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Protocol for an evidence and gap map
Publication

Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Protocol for an evidence and gap map

Of the nearly 1 billion people with a disability, 80% live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and 240 million are children. Children with disabilities remain one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. This protocol to the Evidence and Gap Map on the Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities Living in LMICs aims to identify the available evidence on inclusive interventions to improve access to health, education and social services for these children, and enable them to participate fully in society by addressing discrimination, improving living conditions, incorporating mainstreaming approaches and promoting empowerment. It highlights gaps in the evidence to prioritize future research and evaluation agendas; identifies contextual factors related to various populations and settings; and provides a database of peer-reviewed and grey literature in this area.
The Impact of Educational Policies and Programmes on Child Work and Child Labour in Low- and-Middle-Income Countries: A rapid evidence assessment (Study Protocol)
Publication

The Impact of Educational Policies and Programmes on Child Work and Child Labour in Low- and-Middle-Income Countries: A rapid evidence assessment (Study Protocol)

There is increasing evidence on the importance of education access and quality for the abolition of child labour. However, to date, only a few evidence assessments have documented the effectiveness of educational policies and programmes with respect to child labour. This Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive review of the effects of educational policies and programmes on child labour. With the objective to provide policy and programmatic recommendations, the review will focus on quantitative and mixed methods studies that identify causal effects. The REA will be complemented by an evidence gap map.

Articles

5 Questions on the Impact of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection
Article

5 Questions on the Impact of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection

(23 July 2020) A new rapid review from UNICEF Innocenti collects and synthesizes the available evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics, and their control measures on child protection and offers key lessons learned for global and national responses to COVID-19 and recommendations for future research priorities.

Blogs

Protecting children from harm during COVID-19 needs evidence
Blog

Protecting children from harm during COVID-19 needs evidence

Although much of the world is focused on the “silver lining” that COVID-19 does not appear to severely impact children’s health, UNICEF is raising the alarm about the potential damage of the hidden impacts on children’s health as well as the indirect socio-economic effects of the fallout from the pandemic. In response, UNICEF Innocenti is generating evidence to assist and inform UNICEF’s COVID-19 work. This blog is about a research conducted by UNICEF on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection, including topics such as violence against children, child labour and child marriage. How are children affected by health crises?A key first step in this process is synthesising what we already know through a rapid review, which is a fast way of summarising what is known about a topic and highlights where there are gaps in our knowledge. COVID-19 affects numerous areas of children’s lives, including development and education. Child protection, including violence against children, child labour, and child marriage, is another key area impacted by the pandemic. Innocenti’s latest rapid review looks at how previous pandemics, epidemics (like Ebola and HIV/AIDS), and their control measures (such as social distancing and school closures) impact child protection. This is a particularly important issue because of the many hidden and understudied pathways between health crises and child protection areas. With the help of EPPI-Centre at University College London, over 6,000 studies were screened, of which 53 were included in the review. The broad scope of ‘child protection’Child protection is complex and includes many areas that cut across multiple aspects of children’s lives, including education and health. For this reason, the review has a very broad scope. While this means different policy needs are met, it makes completing a timely review challenging. The result is a ‘broad and shallow’ review, whereby the scope encompasses a range of areas, but the depth of analysis and specificity of policy recommendations are affected. Balancing robustness and timelinessRecent controversies point to the effects that poor quality studies and a rush to judgement can have on policy responses to COVID-19. It is generally understood, at least by the evidence synthesis community, that shortcuts and comprises on the standard systematic review template can be applied to produce something that is both policy-relevant and quick. The review is relatively comprehensive and transparent, with a publicly available methodology. However, the quality of evidence included was not assessed, which may affect the validity of the findings. There has been an unprecedented global sharing of data, editorials, policy guidance, and research during the COVID-19 crisis. While this is beneficial for evidence-informed responses, much of this research is being undertaken in an uncoordinated fashion, making it almost impossible to keep on top of new and potentially relevant research. As a result, the review may have duplicated some existing work and may be missing key evidence. Lessons LearnedFor evidence synthesis to be most useful, it may be counter-productive to expect too much from one product, especially if is a rapid evidence synthesis. Rather than one all-encompassing review, it may make sense to complete several smaller rapid reviews, each with their own specific purpose and scope. There is also value to be had in getting a draft version of the report into the public domain quickly via an open access portal. In the future, collaboration with emerging networks and initiatives will be prioritised to ensure that rigorous evidence for decision-making is made available in a timely and accessible manner. For example, the COVID-19 Evidence Network to support Decision-making helps decision makers find the best evidence available and coordinates evidence syntheses. Global organisations responsible for setting standards for evidence synthesis are fast-tracking editorial processes for COVID-19-relevant evidence reviews. Responding quickly to a crisisDespite the challenges encountered, UNICEF was able to respond quickly to the COVID-19 crisis for various reasons. Firstly, UNICEF was well-prepared to provide relevant evidence thanks to recent work on the use research to drive change for children. Secondly, UNICEF understood that COVID-19 had serious implications for children and adapted work plans to focus on this. Thirdly, diverse expertise from UNICEF’s Child Protection Section and the evidence community were combined in an integrated effort, using methods experts and technology to find and use research fast. This helped shape the review which will assist UNICEF and others to ensure no child is left behind, during and after the pandemic. Read the full rapid review and the shorter research brief. Explore an interactive visualization in the evidence gap map. Read the study protocol on which the review was based. Shiv Bakrania is a Knowledge Management Specialist at UNICEF Innocenti. Sandy Oliver is Professor of Public Policy at UCL Institute of Education and Deputy Director of the EPPI-Centre.

Journal articles

Protecting children from harm during COVID-19 needs evidence
Journal Article

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

Protecting children from harm during COVID-19 needs evidence
Journal Article

Impacts of health-related school closures on child protection outcomes: A review of evidence from past pandemics and epidemics and lessons learned for COVID-19

Protecting children from harm during COVID-19 needs evidence
Journal Article

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