Children living in urban slums in Dhaka, Bangladesh, often have poor access to school and attend different types of school than students from middle class households. This paper asks whether their experiences in school also disadvantage them further in terms of their learning outcomes and the likelihood of dropping out. It is based on interviews with 36 students aged 11-16 from both slum and middle-class backgrounds, in 2012. The paper discusses how these experiences in school are likely to heighten the risk of dropping out for slum students, analyses the results in terms of de-facto privatization and school accountability, and recommends better regulation of private tuition, and teaching styles that are less obsessed with examination results.
Non-contributory Social Protection and Adolescents in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries: A review of government programming and impacts
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.
Evidence matters – now more than ever: Results from a review of UNICEF’s evidence on COVID-19 and child protection
There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting the lives and rights of children. Early on, the pandemic rapidly sparked research on child protection across the globe. In the barrage of information on COVID-19, evidence is key to understanding children’s situations and to developing the best solutions.
This review takes stock of UNICEF’s rapidly evolving evidence base on COVID-19 and child protection and describes what has been learned so far from this evidence base on the impacts of COVID-19 on child protection and the response measures put in place since the pandemic.
Bringing up children requires care, time and resources. Yet, too often, all over the world, parents and other primary caregivers are left to struggle with this fundamental task without enough support. The burden of responsibility tends to fall disproportionately on women. Often parents have to make impossible choices between earning enough money for their family and giving children the care that they need.
The concept of ‘family-friendly policies’ has emerged as a way of thinking about and addressing these issues. There is no agreed definition of the concept, but it is generally conceived as a set of policies that help parents/caregivers to reconcile various aspects of work and family life. Such policies may differ from one region and location to another depending on, amongst other things: demographics, including the definition of what a family is, and its function; the characteristics of the labour market and the workplace; the social and cultural context, including attitudes, expectations and norms; and the economic context.
This paper addresses the issue of what family-friendly policies could look like in the South Asian context, where female labor force participation is very low and more than 90 per cent of workers are in the informal sector or under informal employment. It considers how these policies can be responsive to the particular characteristics and circumstances of countries in the region – including multi-generation families, family units built around adolescent mothers (and sometimes fathers), and migration for work both within and outside countries. It also tackles the question of how family-friendly policies might need to evolve in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
By taking an equity approach to family friendly policies, we provide recommendations on how to reach families in different situations and facing different degrees of vulnerabilities, including those not working or working under very difficult circumstances.
Rapid Review Protocol - Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
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?