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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
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COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition
Blog Blog

COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition

In 2019, 135 million people in 55 countries were in food crises or worse, and 2 billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. COVID-19 has exacerbated these hardships and may result in an additional 121 million people facing acute food insecurity by the end of 2020. Further, since the beginning of the pandemic, an estimated 1.6 billion learners in 199 countries worldwide were affected by school closures, with nearly 370 million children not receiving a school meal in 150 countries. The paper presents the evidence on the potential negative short-term and long-term effects of school meal scheme disruption during Covid-19 globally. It shows how vulnerable the children participating in these schemes are, how coping and mitigation measures are often only short-term solutions, and how prioritizing school re-opening is critical. For instance, it highlights how girls are at greater risk of not being in school or of being taken out of school early, which may lead to poor nutrition and health for themselves and their children. However, well-designed school feeding programmes have been shown to enable catch-up from early growth failure and other negative shocks. As such, once schools re-open, school meal schemes can help address the deprivation that children have experienced during the closures and provide an incentive for parents to send and keep their children, especially girls, in school.
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Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires au Togo
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires au Togo
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L'absentéisme des enseignants est un défi particulier affectant la qualité de l'éducation au Togo. Des études précédentes suggèrent qu'une fois dans la salle de classe, les enseignants n'enseignaient que 79 pour cent du temps, ce qui signifie que près d'un cinquième du temps était consacré à d'autres activités. Cette réduction du temps d'enseignement était exacerbée par l'absentéisme des enseignants. Bien que le défi de l’absentéisme soit reconnu par les acteurs politiques nationaux, les études sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui influencent l’assiduité des enseignants et enseignantes au Togo restent rares. La pandémie de COVID-19 ne fera qu’aggraver les défis existants au sein du système éducatif togolais. L’étude Time to Teach (TTT) vise à combler ce manque de connaissances et à renforcer la base de données factuelles sur les différents types d’assiduité des enseignants du primaire, et les facteurs qui y contribuent.

 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 47 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: primary schools, teachers
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Côte d’Ivoire
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Côte d’Ivoire
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Côte d’Ivoire has made great strides in improving access and quality in its education system, but significant gaps in student learning and achievement remain. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 Ivorian children are not proficient in reading by the age of 10, and do not have enough math skills at the end of primary school. In Côte d’Ivoire, teacher absenteeism is estimated to responsible for the loss of approximately 25 per cent of teaching time. In the specific case of primary education, it is estimated that teacher absenteeism and other calendar delays are responsible for the loss of two months of courses per year on average. This Time to Teach study seeks to contribute to a better understanding of teacher attendance in Côte d’Ivoire’s primary schools. The study adapts a broad concept of teacher absenteeism which includes: absence from school, lack of teacher punctuality, absence from the classroom and reduction in the time dedicated to teaching. 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: education, primary education, primary schools, teachers
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Mauritanie
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Mauritanie
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L'absentéisme des enseignants et le non-respect du temps scolaire constituent un obstacle persistant à l'apprentissage universel de qualité en République Islamique de Mauritanie. Cependant, les données vérifiées sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques relatives à l'assiduité des enseignants en Mauritanie restent rares.  Dans l'environnement post-COVID-19, il y a raison de s'inquiéter du fait que l'ampleur des répercussions sociales et économiques de la pandémie aggrave davantage les défis existants au sein du système éducatif mauritanien.  L'étude Time to Teach cherche à combler ce manque de connaissances.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 42 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: primary education, schools, teachers
Ethical Considerations When Applying Behavioural Science in Projects Focused on Children
Ethical Considerations When Applying Behavioural Science in Projects Focused on Children
Published: 2021 Innocenti Discussion Papers

Evidence increasingly shows applied behavioural science can positively impact childhood development and contribute to reducing inequalities. However, it is important for practitioners to reflect on the ethical considerations. For example, are you confident that the intervention is unlikely to have unintended harmful consequences? Or, is it easy for child recipients to opt out of the intervention?

To better understand these impacts, we consulted children in Australia, Chile and Ghana, interviewed subject matter experts and practitioners, and conducted a targeted literature review. This paper distils our findings and provides examples of how evidence-based interventions can meaningfully impact children’s futures. It is accompanied by a toolkit to guide and support practitioners through key ethical decision points.

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)
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)
Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

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.

Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest: October 2021
Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest: October 2021
Published: 2021 Innocenti Digest

Even before COVID-19, over 1 billion children (aged 2–17 years) reported experiencing sexual, physical or emotional violence every year. Across their lifetimes, 1 in 3 women are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner. Violence against children and against women are highly interconnected. Children who witness or experience violence are more likely to perpetrate it or be victimized in adulthood, thus continuing the cycle of violence.

This digest highlights 13 newly curated research papers on the topic of COVID-19 and violence against children, selected based on criteria such as relevance to children's rights; a diversity of research methodology; and insights from low- and middle-income countries.

Non-contributory Social Protection and Adolescents in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries: A review of government programming and impacts
Non-contributory Social Protection and Adolescents in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries: A review of government programming and impacts
Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

Adolescents face unique vulnerabilities related to their health, schooling and the intensification of gender socialization. As the next generation next in line to become adults, their transition has major implications for the future health, economic growth and well-being of nations. Yet, children and adolescents have low rates of social protection coverage globally – a missed opportunity for investment.

This report examines how social protection can promote adolescent well-being and facilitate safe and productive transitions to adulthood in lower- and middle-income countries. Focusing on government, non-contributory programmes, the following questions are examined: 1) whether and how current non-contributory social  protection programmes are adolescent-sensitive and 2) what is the impact of non-contributory social protection programmes on adolescents.

Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre
Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

En Afrique subsaharienne, la perte d'heures d'enseignement due à l'absentéisme des enseignants correspond à un gaspillage d'environ 46 centimes pour chaque euro investi dans l'éducation, soit un gaspillage annuel de 1 à 3 % du PIB. Cette note résume les résultats de recherches menées dans 11 pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre dans le cadre de l'étude Time to Teach, un projet de l'UNICEF qui étudie les raisons des différentes formes d'absentéisme des enseignants du primaire. Il analyse la fréquence de l'absentéisme des enseignants sous quatre formes – absence de l'école, retard ou départ prématuré, absence de la classe et temps d´enseignement en classe réduit – et les raisons invoquées par les enseignants pour leur absence. Mais les enseignants sont également motivés par des facteurs tels que la formation, la disponibilité des ressources d'apprentissage et d'autres facteurs positifs. Plus de détails sont disponibles dans les rapports pays.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 8 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: central africa, primary schools, teachers, west africa
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems.

Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical.

 To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and Time on Task in West and Central Africa – Summary
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and Time on Task in West and Central Africa – Summary
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

In sub-Saharan Africa, the loss of teaching hours due to teacher absenteeism corresponds to a waste of approximately 46 cents for every US dollar invested in education, an annual wastage of 1–3% of GDP. This brief summarizes the results of research in 11 countries in West and Central Africa under the Time to Teach study, a project in UNICEF that aims to provide critical insights into the factors that underpin different forms of primary school teacher absenteeism. It explains the frequency of teacher absenteeism in four forms—absence from school, lateness or early departure, absence from the classroom, and reduced time on task – and the reasons teachers give for their absence. But teachers are also motivated by factors such as training, availability of teaching and learning resources, and other non-system factors. More details are available in the country reports.   

  

 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 8
Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Niger
Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Niger
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L’absentéisme des enseignants représente l’un des principaux défis pour parvenir à l’apprentissage universel dans de nombreux pays en développement, où les taux d’absence des enseignants varient de 3% à 27%.

Une fois dans la salle de classe, les enseignants ne consacrent que 77% de leur temps prévu aux tâches d’enseignement. Dans l’environnement post COVID-19, il y a inquiétude que l’ampleur des répercussions sociales et économiques de la pandémie n’aggrave encore ces chiffres. Bien que le défi de l’absentéisme soit reconnu par les acteurs locaux de l’éducation, les études sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui influencent l’assiduité des enseignants au Niger restent rares. L’étude Time to Teach (TTT) cherche à combler ce manque de connaissances.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in The Gambia
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in The Gambia
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The international standards for teaching time in a year are 880 hours. In The Gambia, dedicated teaching time in a year is 734 hours. This reduced time is exacerbated by teacher absenteeism that varies across the different regions in the country from 12 to 30%, and is a barrier to achieving the required learning outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding an already compromised learning and teaching environment in The Gambia. This Time to Teach study looks at four dimensions of teacher attendance: being in school; being punctual (i.e., not arriving late/leaving early); being in the classroom (while in school); and spending sufficient time on task (while in the classroom). It also identifies factors associated with teacher absenteeism at five different levels of the education system: national, subnational, community, school, and teacher. This report provides recommendations that may help strengthen the ministry’s efforts to improve teachers’ time on task in The Gambia. 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40
1 - 12 of 1042
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Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic
Publication Publication

Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italy was the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown. Children and their families lived in nearly complete isolation for almost two months. Students missed 65 days of school compared to an average of 27 missed days among high-income countries worldwide. This prolonged break is of concern, as even short breaks in schooling can cause significant loss of learning for children and lead to educational inequalities over time. At least 3 million Italian students may not have been reached by remote learning due to a lack of internet connectivity or devices at home. This report explores children’s and parents’ experiences of remote learning during the lockdown in Italy, drawing on data collected from 11 European countries (and coordinated by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center). It explores how children's access and use of digital technologies changed during the pandemic; highlights how existing inequalities might undermine remote learning opportunities, even among those with internet access; and provides insights on how to support children’s remote learning in the future. *** L'Italia e’ stata il primo paese in Europa ad aver applicato la misura del lockdown su tutto il territorio. I bambini e le loro famiglie hanno vissuto in quasi completo isolamento per circa due mesi. Gli studenti hanno perduto 65 giorni di scuola rispetto ad una media di 27 negli altri paesi ad alto reddito del mondo. Questa interruzione prolungata rappresenta motivo di preoccupazione, in quanto persino interruzioni piu’ brevi nella didattica possono causare significative perdite nel livello di istruzione dei ragazzi e portare col tempo a diseguaglianze educative. Almeno 3 milioni di studenti in Italia non sono stati coinvolti nella didattica a distanza a causa d una mancanza di connessione ad internet o di dispositivi adeguati a casa. Questo rapporto analizza l’esperienza della didattica a distanza di ragazzi e genitori in Italia durante il lockdown, sulla base dei dati raccolti in 11 paesi europei (e coordinati dal Centro comune di ricerca della Commissione Europea). Studia il cambiamento nell’accesso e nell’uso delle tecnologie digitali dei bambini e ragazzi durante la pandemia; mette in evidenza come le diseguaglianze esistenti possano diminuire le opportunità offerte dalla didattica a distanza, anche tra coloro che hanno accesso ad internet; e fornisce approfondimenti su come sostenere la didattica a distanza di bambini e ragazzi in futuro.
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.

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