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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
SPOTLIGHT

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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School-related Economic Incentives in Latin America:  Reducing drop-out and repetition and combating child labour
School-related Economic Incentives in Latin America: Reducing drop-out and repetition and combating child labour

AUTHOR(S)
Ernesto Schiefelbein

This paper examines the barriers to educational achievement presented by child labour and the formal education systems of Latin America. Parents put pressure on children to work rather than study, and historically the formal education systems have had no safeguards to remedy the resulting knowledge gaps. Knowledge gaps lead to repeated failure in academic courses, which in turn prompts parents to view education as irrelevant. The paper examines the various economic-incentive programmes that have tried to break this vicious circle and identifies four strategies for educational improvement in the region: involving communities, increasing time available for learning, providing bilingual education to serve minorities and indigenous groups, and introducing computers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: child labour, child workers, education, educational systems, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Exploring Alternative Approaches to Combating Child Labour: Case studies from developing countries
Exploring Alternative Approaches to Combating Child Labour: Case studies from developing countries

AUTHOR(S)
Jo Boyden; William Myers

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: case studies, child labour, child workers, developing countries, education, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
A Child Belongs to Everyone: Law, family and the construction of the best interests of the child in Zimbabwe
A Child Belongs to Everyone: Law, family and the construction of the best interests of the child in Zimbabwe

AUTHOR(S)
Alice Armstrong

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: best interests of the child, children's rights | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Relationship between Education and Child Work
The Relationship between Education and Child Work

AUTHOR(S)
Jo Boyden

Millions of children throughout the developing world work. Not all child work should be cause for concern. Some work activities develop practical knowledge and skills and reinforce children's sense of self-esteem and unity with their families. It is children's work that is exploitative and dangerous ('child labour') that poses a major human rights and socio-economic challenge. Universal primary education may be the single most effective instrument for meeting this challenge, but because of research inadequacies and the multiplicity of factors involved, a neat causal relationship cannot be established. Drawing on case studies from different countries and exploring the many different ways child work and education are interconnected, this paper seeks to pinpoint concerns that need to be addressed in order to eliminate child labour.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: Child Work and Labour | Tags: child workers, education, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Resources and Child Rights: An economic perspective
Resources and Child Rights: An economic perspective

AUTHOR(S)
David Parker

This paper first examines the use of human, economic and organizational resources in producing social outputs, in terms of the two main forms that resources take: 'stocks' and 'flows'. Based on this framework, several key measures are identified for increasing the availability of resources for the implementation of child rights, including changes in technologies and processes, and the expanded use of 'non-traditional' resources for children.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: children's rights, national budget, obligations of states parties | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Double Jeopardy: The children of ethnic minorities
Double Jeopardy: The children of ethnic minorities

AUTHOR(S)
Rodolfo Stavenhagen

Though the relationships between ethnic minorities and dominant societies are multi-faceted and complex, the interrelated but distinct dimensions of marginalization and discrimination provide a useful framework for studying minority groups. Poor children the world over are vulnerable to abuses and violence, exploitation and human rights violations. When, in addition, they belong to disadvantaged minorities, their plight warrants special attention and requires special policies. The paper concludes by exploring several areas relating to minority children which call for further research, not only with the aim of developing the most effective policies for improving the situtation of minority children but also in order to contribute to the creation of a world in which cultural diversity can lead to more, rather than less, tolerance and to the equal enjoyment of human rights by all.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Minorities | Tags: children's rights, discrimination, minority children, minority groups, rights of minority children | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Right to Child Health: The development of primary health services in Chile and Thailand
The Right to Child Health: The development of primary health services in Chile and Thailand

AUTHOR(S)
Claudio Sepùlveda

Upon what criteria should the international human rights community base its assessment of how successful nations have been in meeting the obligations they signed up to at the CRC? Traditional methods of assessment have centred upon an analysis of comparative ‘social indicator’ statistics. This paper showcases an attempt at a more ad hoc approach in its analysis of the development of health care systems in Chile and Thailand. This ‘historical’ method - with its emphasis upon the unique experience of the individual country - reveals that despite adverse economic circumstances both countries have shown an impressive level of commitment to child rights.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 68 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: child health, children's rights, implementation of the crc, right to health and health services | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Education and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: The challenge of implementation
Education and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: The challenge of implementation

AUTHOR(S)
Frank Dall

Home-Based Community Day Care and Children's Rights: The Colombian case
Home-Based Community Day Care and Children's Rights: The Colombian case

AUTHOR(S)
Carlos Castillo Cardona; Nelson Ortiz Pinilla; Alejandra Gonzales Rossetti

Over recent years demographic trends in Columbia (such as the increased participation of women in the workforce) have led to an increased demand for a viable day care system for 3-6 year olds. This has largely been met by an innovative programme set up by the Colombian Family Welfare Institute. The idea at the basis of their initiative is simple yet effective: mothers are given the training and support to enable them to offer day care within their homes to the children of other families from their own communities. This paper describes in detail the design and implementation of this programme. It is hoped international organisations and other countries will draw inspiration from this Colombian success story.
Nutrition and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Nutrition and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

AUTHOR(S)
Urban Jonsson

Nutrition is mentioned specifically only three times in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, through its emphasis upon food, health, and care, the Convention makes it clear that good nutrition should be regarded as a fundamental human right. This study reviews the progress that governments have made in implementing this aspect of the Convention, providing ‘status reports’ on the inclusion of nutrition goals in individual ‘National Programmes of Action’. The paper includes a background overview of the development of human nutrition as a science, together with a survey of current trends in thinking on the subject.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: child nutrition, children's rights, implementation of the crc, nutrition, right to food | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Los hogares comunitarios de bienestar y los derechos del niño: el caso Colombiano
Los hogares comunitarios de bienestar y los derechos del niño: el caso Colombiano

AUTHOR(S)
Nelson Ortiz Pinilla; Carlos Castillo Cardona; Alejandra Gonzales Rossetti

Implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Resource mobilization and the obligations of the States Parties
Implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Resource mobilization and the obligations of the States Parties

AUTHOR(S)
James R. Himes

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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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