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Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
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Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning

Emerging evidence shows a positive association between women school leaders and student performance. Some studies suggest women school leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to adopt effective management practices that may contribute to improved outcomes. However, women remain largely underrepresented in school leadership positions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This brief presents emerging insights on the association between women school leaders and education outcomes and draws attention to women’s underrepresentation in school leadership roles. It highlights the need for further research on gender and school leadership to identify policies and practices that can be implemented to increase women’s representation and scale high-quality management practices adopted by women leaders to more schools to improve education outcomes for all children.
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Annual Report 2021
Publication

Annual Report 2021

The UNICEF Innocenti Annual Report 2021 highlights the key results achieved in research and evidence to inform policymaking and programming.
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Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest Issue 4: Marginalized girls’ learning and COVID-19
Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest Issue 4: Marginalized girls’ learning and COVID-19
Published: 2022 Innocenti Digest

Progress towards SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – was already in jeopardy before COVID-19. The world was facing a learning crisis, with 48% of children unable to read and understand a simple text by the age of 10.

For the most marginalized children, the learning crisis was even more severe. In low-income countries, 94% of girls (and 93% of boys) were not able to read by the age of 10, compared with 7% of girls (and 8% of boys) in high-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing disparities to the detriment of the girls and boys who were already being left behind.

This digest spotlights 13 research papers, and summarizes lessons and evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 on marginalized girls’ learning, drawing from UNICEF Innocenti’s Children and COVID-19 Research Library launched in 2020.

Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest Issue 3: Children with Disabilities
Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest Issue 3: Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Innocenti Digest

Research and data on children with disabilities around the globe remains critical as these children continue to be left behind. This is despite near-universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the extensive ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Evidence is growing that the COVID-19 pandemic, through both the virus itself and the measures implemented by governments to contain its spread, have disproportionately impacted children with disabilities and their families.

This digest focuses on the emerging evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 on children with disabilities, drawing from UNICEF Innocenti’s Children and COVID-19 Research Library, launched in 2020.

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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.

Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (Russian version)
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (Russian version)
Published: 2008 Innocenti Digest
This Innocenti Digest examines the situation of approximately 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to support the realization of their rights. Children with disabilities constantly face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights and inclusion in society. But the tide is changing, as many countries have begun to reform their laws and structures in the past two decades to promote the participation of children with disabilities as full members of society. The Digest promotes such participation, and discusses all aspects of their development, including access to education, health services and rehabilitation, social and legal assistance, play and cultural activities, vocational and life-skills training. It focuses on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which, building on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, opens a new era in securing the rights of children with disabilities.
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2007 Innocenti Digest
This Innocenti Digest on 'Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities' examines the situation of approximately 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to support the realization of their rights. Children with disabilities constantly face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights and inclusion in society. But the tide is changing, as many countries have begun to reform their laws and structures in the past two decades to promote the participation of children with disabilities as full members of society. The Digest promotes such participation, and discusses all aspects of their development, including access to education, health services and rehabilitation, social and legal assistance, play and cultural activities, vocational and life-skills training. It focuses on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which, building on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, opens a new era in securing the rights of children with disabilities.
Pobreza y exclusión entre niños urbanos
Pobreza y exclusión entre niños urbanos
Published: 2005 Innocenti Digest
Las ciudades del mundo a menudo son consideradas como centros privilegiados y de riqueza pero también acogen a cientos de millones de niños para quienes la pobreza y la exclusión son una realidad cotidiana. Algunos de estos niños viven en la calle; muchos más viven en casas peligrosas e insana que a veces carecen de las necesidades más básicas, como el agua potable y el saneamiento. Estos niños urbanos raras veces tienen acceso a servicios adecuados como alfabetización o espacios seguros para jugar. El imperativo de la supervivencia económica puede suponer no sólo que los padres sean incapaces de dedicar tiempo suficiente para el cuidado de los niños, sino que también los niños se vean obligados a tabajar, a menudo en condiciones peligrosas. Esto no debería ser así: este Digest examina el potencial del buen gobierno urbano fundado en los principios de uno derechos humanos que promuevan un cambio positivo para y con la infancia.
Changing a Harmful Social Convention: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
Changing a Harmful Social Convention: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
Published: 2005 Innocenti Digest
Every year, three million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation/cutting, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure that causes unspeakable pain and suffering. Not only is it practiced among communities in Africa and the Middle East, but also in immigrant communities throughout the world. Moreover, recent data reveal that it occurs on a much larger scale than previously thought. It continues to be one of the most persistent, pervasive and silently endured human rights violations. This Innocenti Digest examines the prevalence of FGM/C and its social dynamics. It provides an explanation as to why the practice persists and of the elements necessary for its abandonment. It also takes stock of progress to date, identifies what works and what does not, and provides direction regarding the most successful strategies to promote the abandonment of FGM/C. Combining concrete field experience with tested academic theory, the Digest provides a practical tool to bring about positive change for girls and women.
Changer une convention sociale nefaste: la pratique de l'excision/mutilation genitale feminine
Changer une convention sociale nefaste: la pratique de l'excision/mutilation genitale feminine
Published: 2005 Innocenti Digest
La pratique de l’excision/mutilation génitale féminine (E/MGF) viole chaque année les droits humains d’environ trois millions de filles et de femmes rien qu’en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient. De plus, du fait des migrations croissantes, le problème est apparu de plus en plus au-delà des pays où l’E/MGF fait partie de la tradition. Malgré les efforts déployés au cours des dernières décennies pour lutter de façon concertée contre la pratique, les communautés sont réticentes à l’abandonner – avec quelques exceptions significatives. Ce Digest Innocenti répond à la pressante nécessité d’évaluer les progrès accomplis, de déterminer les mesures les plus efficaces, et de fournir des informations sur les meilleures stratégies pour mettre fin à l’E/MGF. Alliant les connaissances tirées de l’expérience de terrain à des théories scientifiques éprouvées, le Digest constitue un instrument pratique pour changer de façon positive la vie des filles et des femmes.
Cambiare una convenzione sociale dannosa: la pratica della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile
Cambiare una convenzione sociale dannosa: la pratica della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile
Published: 2005 Innocenti Digest
Si stima che ogni anno solamente in Africa e in Medio Oriente, la pratica della escissione / mutilazione genitale femminile (E/MGF) violi i diritti umani di tre milioni di ragazze e di donne. Negli ultimi anni, l'aumento delle migrazioni ha reso la E/MGF un problema di crescenti dimensioni anche al di fuori dei confini dei paesi in cui è tradizionalmente praticata. Nonostante la coordinata opera di mobilitazione degli ultimi decenni, le comunità si sono mostrate riluttanti nell’abbandonare questa usanza tradizionale, con alcune significative eccezioni. Questo Innocenti Digest risponde alla pressante esigenza di fare un bilancio dei progressi realizzati fino ad oggi, identificare le soluzioni riuscite e quelle che non funzionano, e fornire indicazioni sulle migliori strategie per l’abbandono della E/MGF. Integrando concrete esperienze sul terreno con sperimentate teorie accademiche, il Digest si propone come strumento pratico a sostegno di un cambiamento positivo per le bambine e le donne.
Changing a Harmful Social Convention: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (Arabic version)
Changing a Harmful Social Convention: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (Arabic version)
Published: 2005 Innocenti Digest
Every year, three million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation/cutting, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure that causes unspeakable pain and suffering. Not only is it practiced among communities in Africa and the Middle East, but also in immigrant communities throughout the world. Moreover, recent data reveal that it occurs on a much larger scale than previously thought. It continues to be one of the most persistent, pervasive and silently endured human rights violations. This Innocenti Digest examines the prevalence of FGM/C and its social dynamics. It provides an explanation as to why the practice persists and of the elements necessary for its abandonment. It also takes stock of progress to date, identifies what works and what does not, and provides direction regarding the most successful strategies to promote the abandonment of FGM/C. Combining concrete field experience with tested academic theory, the Digest provides a practical tool to bring about positive change for girls and women.
Cambiar una Convención Social Perjudicial: La Ablación o Mutilación Genital Femenina
Cambiar una Convención Social Perjudicial: La Ablación o Mutilación Genital Femenina
Published: 2005 Innocenti Digest
Sólo en África y Oriente Medio, la práctica de la ablación / mutilación genital femenina (A/MGF) viola los derechos humanos de unos tres millones de niñas y mujeres cada año. Mientras tanto, el aumento de la emigración ha hecho recer la preocupación acerca de la A/MGF más allá de los países en los que se practicaba tradicionalmente. A pesar el trabajo de promoción coordinado durante las últimas décadas, las comunidades se han mostrado renuentes a abandonar la práctica, con algunas excepciones importantes. Este Innocenti Digest aborda la necesidad apremiante de valuar los progresos realizados hasta la fecha, identificar qué funciona y qué no funciona, y encaminar el trabajo futuro eniendo en cuenta las estrategias más exitosas para abandonar la práctica de la A/MGF. Al combinar experiencias concretas en el terreno con la teoría académica testada, este Digest proporciona una herramienta práctica para provocar un cambio positivo para las niñas y las mujeres.
Ensuring the rights of indigenous children
Ensuring the rights of indigenous children

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Miller

Published: 2004 Innocenti Digest
Around the world, in rural and urban areas alike, indigenous chilldren frequently constitute one of the most disadvantaged groups, and their rights - including those to survival and development, to the highest standards of health, to education that respects their cultural identity, and to protection from abuse, violence and exploitation - are often compromised. At the same time, however, indigenous children possess very special resources: they are the custodians of a multitude of cultures, languages, beliefs and knowledge systems, each of which is a precious element of our collective heritage. As this Digest discusses, the most effective initiatives to promote the rights of indigenous children build upon these very elements. Such initiatives recognize the inherent strength of indigenous communities, families and children, respect their dignity and give them full voice in all matters that affect them.
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Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being
Publication

Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being

Digital experiences can have significant negative impact on children, exposing them to risks or failing to nurture them adequately. Nevertheless, digital experiences also potentially yield enormous benefits for children, enabling them to learn, to create, to develop friendships, and to build worlds. While global efforts to deepen our understanding of the prevalence and impact of digital risks of harm are burgeoning – a development that is both welcome and necessary – less attention has been paid to understanding and optimizing the benefits that digital technology can provide in supporting children’s rights and their well-being. Benefits here refer not only to the absence of harm, but also to creating additional positive value. How should we recognize the opportunities and benefits of digital technology for children’s well-being? What is the relationship between the design of digital experiences – in particular, play-centred design – and the well-being of children? What guidance and measures can we use to strengthen the design of digital environments to promote positive outcomes for children? And how can we make sure that children’s insights and needs form the foundation of our work in this space? These questions matter for all those who design and promote digital experiences, to keep children safe and happy, and enable positive development and learning. These questions are particularly relevant as the world shifts its attention to emerging digital technologies and experiences, from artificial intelligence (AI) to the metaverse, and seeks to understand their impact on people and society. To begin to tackle these questions, UNICEF and the LEGO Group initiated the Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC) project in partnership with the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University; the CREATE Lab at New York University; the Graduate Center, City University of New York; the University of Sheffield; the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child; and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. The research is funded by the LEGO Foundation. The partnership is an international, multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration between organizations that believe the design and development of digital technology should support the rights and well-being of children as a primary objective – and that children should have a prominent voice in making this a reality. This project’s primary objective is to develop, with children from around the world, a framework that maps how the design of children’s digital experiences affects their well-being, and to provide guidance as to how informed design choices can promote positive well-being outcomes.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Publication

Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

Support from caregivers is critical for children’s learning both at home and at school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of education systems globally created additional expectations for parents to support their children’s learning at home. This particularly affected the most marginalized children as the crises exacerbated already existing inequalities in education. This document introduces the approach and purpose of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. It presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia

When schools started closing their doors due to COVID-19, countries in Europe and Central Asia quickly provided alternative learning solutions for children to continue learning. More than 90 per cent of countries offered digital solutions to ensure that education activities could continue. However, lack of access to digital devices and a reliable internet connection excluded a significant amount of already marginalized children and threatened to widen the existing learning disparities. This report builds on existing evidence highlighting key lessons learned during the pandemic to promote learning for all during school closure and provides actionable policy recommendations on how to bridge the digital divide and build resilient education systems in Europe and Central Asia.

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