This paper reviews some of the recent qualitative literature on children's perspectives on economic disadvantage. The idea of asking people who experience disadvantage about their own situations is still a relatively new one in the social sciences, and the idea of asking children about their own perceptions of economic and social disadvantage is even more recent. Nine analyses, all published since 1998, and all of them involving in-depth interviews or group work with children aged between 5 and 17, are examined in detail. Most of these studies develop frameworks based on the 'new sociology of childhood', which emphasises the social construction of childhood and children's agency in the context of child-adult relations. The nine studies cover a number of issues related to economic disadvantage, including exclusion from activities and peer groups at school and in the community; perceptions of 'poor' and 'affluent' children; participation in organized activities outside of school hours; methods of coping with financial hardship; support for parents in coping and in seeking and keeping employment, and aspirations for future careers and lives.
Ethical Considerations When Applying Behavioural Science in Projects Focused on Children
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.
Impact Evaluation in Settings of Fragility and Humanitarian Emergency
Despite the challenges involved in fragile and humanitarian settings, effective interventions demand rigorous impact evaluation and research. Such work in these settings is increasing, both in quality and quantity, and being used for programme implementation and decision-making.
This paper seeks to contribute to and catalyse efforts to implement rigorous impact evaluations and other rigorous empirical research in fragile and humanitarian settings. It describes what sets apart this type of research; identifies common challenges, opportunities, best practices, innovations and priorities; and shares some lessons that can improve practice, research implementation and uptake. Finally, it provides some reflections and recommendations on areas of agreement (and disagreement) between researchers and their commissioners and funding counterparts.
Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes
Children’s lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies. Yet, when it comes to understanding the long-term effects of internet use and online experiences on their well-being, mental health or resilience, the best we can do is make an educated guess. Our need for this knowledge has become even more acute as internet use rises during COVID-19.
This report explores what has been learned from the latest research about children’s experiences and outcomes relating to the internet and digital technologies. It aims to inform policy-makers, educators, child-protection specialists, industry and parents on the best evidence, and it proposes a future research agenda.
COVID-19 and Children, in the North and in the South
This paper aims to document the likely direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in developed and developing countries. It also aims to identify potential urgent measures to alleviate such impacts on children. Thirty-three years after the UNICEF report, 'Adjustment with a Human Face', the authors warn of the effects of the pandemic which are likely to be considerable and comparable to the recession and debt crisis of the 1980s. The heavy costs for children can only be avoided with systematic and concerted efforts on the part of governments and the international community, to provide extensive financial and social support for the poor, and to invest in the health and education systems, in order to offset the negative impact of the virus-induced recession.