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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
SPOTLIGHT

Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
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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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Mind Matters: Lessons from past crises for child and adolescent mental health during COVID-19
Mind Matters: Lessons from past crises for child and adolescent mental health during COVID-19
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

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.

COVID-19 – its associated public health responses and social and economic impacts – is likely to have multiple deleterious effects on mental health, including elevated risks of anxiety and depression, trauma, loss of family and friends, violence, loneliness and social isolation. However, this pandemic also offers opportunities for positive coping and resilience.

While there is no magic formula to address the mental health and psychosocial impacts of crises, there are proven and promising interventions from past experiences to mitigate the impact today – especially for the most vulnerable children and adolescents. These include social protection, caregiver skills and support, community and social support, life skills and school based programmes, and specialized care, to name a few.



Cite this publication | No. of pages: 70 | Thematic area: Mental Health | Tags: mental health
Reimagining Migration Responses in Sudan: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report
Reimagining Migration Responses in Sudan: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Migration is a regular feature of life in Sudan and the broader region. It takes multiple forms and is driven by numerous factors, including personal aspirations, curiosity, problems accessing a livelihood in the context of poverty and economic exclusion, and forced displacement stemming from political persecution, armed conflict, or natural disasters.

Children and young people make up a significant portion of the upwards of 3 million migrants in Sudan. Yet there is limited understanding of the ways in which children and young people view migration, or of the opportunities and risks that it poses for them.

As part of a regional research series, 467 quantitative interviews were conducted with children and young people in Sudan. The data from these interviews provide insights from children and young people themselves. Building on the findings, the research suggests a number of principles and concrete actions to create a more protective environment for children and young people on their migration journeys.


Rapid Review Protocol - Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
Rapid Review Protocol - Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

While there has been a global rush to generate rapid evidence on COVID-19 mental health impacts among adults, limited evidence exists on the potential impacts on children.

This is the protocol for our rapid review that seeks to (i) understand the immediate impact of COVID-19’s first wave on the mental health of children and adolescents (0–19 years); and (ii) apply lessons learned from this pandemic to mitigate the impacts of future health crises.

The key research questions of this review are: 

  • What has been the immediate impact of COVID-19 and associated containment measures on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children and adolescents?
  • How and which risk and protective factors have affected mental health during COVID-19 and have they varied across subgroups of children and adolescents?

It’s Not Too Late to Act on Early Learning: Understanding and recovering from the impact of pre-primary education closures during COVID-19
It’s Not Too Late to Act on Early Learning: Understanding and recovering from the impact of pre-primary education closures during COVID-19
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs

This paper presents a new estimate that pre-primary school closures in 2020 may cost today’s young children US$1.6 trillion in lost earnings over their lifetimes. Children in middle-income countries will be most greatly affected. However, most low- and middle- income countries are leaving pre-primary education out of their responses to COVID-19. This paper also draws lessons from evaluations of accelerated, bridging and remedial programmes on how introducing or expanding these transition programmes in the early years can mitigate the long-term impact on learning from pre-primary school closures.

Continuing learning for the most vulnerable during COVID-19: Lessons from Let Us Learn in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal
Continuing learning for the most vulnerable during COVID-19: Lessons from Let Us Learn in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of society. In mid-April 2020, 192 countries had closed their schools, putting 9 out of 10 enrolled children out of school.

These closures disproportionately affected marginalized children, worsening existing inequities across education systems worldwide.

This brief draws on the experience of five UNICEF education country programmes supported by the Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative, to document tangible lessons in adapting education programmes to support the most marginalized children during school and learning centre closures.

The evidence in this brief stems from a series of semi-structured interviews with Education and Child Protection specialists, as well as a document review of available COVID-19 response studies, in the five LUL-supported UNICEF Country Offices.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 12 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: COVID-19, education, educational programmes
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Mozambique
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Mozambique
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Teacher attendance is one of the prerequisites on the path toward universal learning in developing countries. Over the past decades, however, studies from across the developing world have found national rates of teacher absenteeism that range from 3 to 27 per cent. Therefore, enhancing teachers’ presence in the classroom and ensuring that class time is spent teaching, can contribute significantly to the productivity and inclusive prosperity of a country.

This Time to Teach study collates and strengthens the evidence base on primary school teacher absenteeism in Mozambique. The study uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods to provide critical insights into the factors that underpin the multiple forms of teacher absenteeism and time on task. It also examines how factors vary across countries, school types, gender of teacher and other teacher characteristics. Despite high levels of teacher absenteeism, the study shows that teachers are generally committed and that what is needed is education system strengthening. It is hoped that findings will inform workable solutions and policies that will ensure a motivated teaching force, increase opportunities for children to learn at school and, ultimately, improve their life and work opportunities.

Mainstreaming gender into social protection strategies and programmes: Evidence from 74 low- and middle-income countries
Mainstreaming gender into social protection strategies and programmes: Evidence from 74 low- and middle-income countries
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The importance of mainstreaming gender into social protection policies and programmes is increasingly recognized. However, evidence on the extent to which this is actually happening remains limited. This report contributes to filling this evidence gap by drawing on the findings of two complementary research projects undertaken by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and UN Women in 2019.

Using a specifically developed analytical framework, these two projects reviewed 50 national social protection strategies and 40 social protection programmes across a total of 74 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to assess the extent to which they incorporate gender equality concerns.

Reimagining Migration Responses in Ethiopia: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report.
Reimagining Migration Responses in Ethiopia: Learning from migrant children and young people’s experiences. Summary Report.
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report
Migration is a regular feature of life in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region. It takes multiple forms and is driven by numerous factors, including personal aspirations, economic exclusion and forced displacement as a consequence of inter-ethnic communal violence or natural disasters. 

As part of a regional research series and based specifically on interviews carried out in 2019 with 405 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, this report provides a deeper understanding of their perceptions and feelings around safety, well-being and their protective environments. It also provides a snapshot of their access to services and resources, and their trust in authorities and other service providers in Ethiopia. 

The report concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations that can help rethink child protection approaches for migrant children and young people in Ethiopia.
Ujana Salama: Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya tatihimini ya kati
Ujana Salama: Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya tatihimini ya kati
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs
Mradi huu wa majaribio wa ‘Cash Plus’ unaohusu Ustawi na Mabadiliko Salama na Yenye Afya kwa Vijana nchini Tanzania, kwa ufupi “Ujana Salama”, unalenga kuimarisha maisha ya vijana wa vijijini. Vijana hawa wa umri wa balehe wanatoka katika kaya maskini na wanakabiliwa na hatari nyingi za kiafya na kiuchumi. Mradi huu unatekelezwa na Mfuko wa Maendeleo ya Jamii Tanzania (Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)) na kuendeshwa kupitia Mpango wa Kunusuru Kaya Maskini (Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN)). Mpango huo unawalenga vijana wa umri wa balehe katika kaya zinazonufaika na Mpango wa Kunusuru Kaya Maskini (ruzuku inayojumuisha uhawilishaji pesa, Ujenzi au ukarabati wa miundombinu na kuimarisha njia za kujiingizia kipato katika kaya). Msaada wa kiufundi unatolewa na UNICEF Tanzania na Tume ya Kudhibiti UKIMWI Tanzania (TACAIDS).
Ujana Salama: Mpango wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana  - Matokeo ya mzunguko wa3 tathimini
Ujana Salama: Mpango wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya mzunguko wa3 tathimini
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs

Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha “Cash plus’ wa majaribio unaohusu Ustawi na Mabadiliko Salama kwa Vijana unaotekelezwa Tanzania, kwa kifupi “Ujana Salama”, unalenga kuimarisha maisha ya vijana wa vijijini. Vijana hawa kutoka kaya maskini wanakabiliwa na changamoto nyingi za kiafya na kiuchumi, zikiwemo kukatisha masomo shuleni, mimba za utotoni, maradhi yaambukizwayo kwa njia ya ngono, ukatili, unyanyasaji na unyonyaji.

Where Do Rich Countries Stand on Childcare?
Where Do Rich Countries Stand on Childcare?
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Even before COVID-19, some of the world’s richest countries were failing to offer comprehensive childcare solutions to all families. In some instances, this reflected their policy priorities rather than available resources. The COVID-19 pandemic also challenged children’s education, care and well-being as parents struggled to balance their responsibilities for childcare and employment, with a disproportionate burden placed on women. In the context of lockdown and school closures, childcare was one of the worst affected family services and had a significant knock-on effect.

This report shows how governments can help parents through paid parental leave, followed by affordable and high-quality childcare. Using the most recent comparable data, it assesses the parental leave and childcare policies in the 41 high-income countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the European Union (EU). The report concludes with nine recommendations for how policies can be improved to provide comprehensive solutions to all families.

Ready to Start School, Learn and Work: Evidence from three education programmes for out-of-school children and adolescents in Bangladesh
Ready to Start School, Learn and Work: Evidence from three education programmes for out-of-school children and adolescents in Bangladesh
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Children in the Sylhet division, in the Northeast of Bangladesh, face complex challenges in accessing quality education, at all school levels. The region ranks among the poorest performers in learning attainment across education levels. UNICEF Bangladesh and its partners have leveraged resources from the Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative to deliver three alternative learning pathways for out-of-school children and adolescents in remote areas of Sylhet. The three pathways cover key transition points in a child’s education: Getting ready to start school (Pre-Primary Education programme), learning foundational skills (A​bility-B​ased Accelerated Learning programme) and entering the job market (Alternative Learning Pathway programme). This report presents evidence on the achievements of the three programmes, highlighting key policy recommendations. The findings draw on analysis of programme monitoring data, qualitative case studies, focus group discussions and interviews. This paper is one of a series of research reports presenting emerging evidence on programmes supported by the LUL initiative, which aims to expand quality learning opportunities for disadvantaged children in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal.

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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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