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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Best of UNICEF Research 2021
SPOTLIGHT

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners to improve children’s lives. This ninth edition brings together 11 powerful studies from around the world and across the five Strategic Goal Areas. How do South Asian youth feel about entering the world of work? What is the effect of climate-related hazards on access to healthcare? How has COVID-19 affected children and their families in the Republic of Moldova? With social and economic inequalities increasing and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals lagging, rigorous research – answers to these questions – has never mattered more.
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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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Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes
Investigating Risks and Opportunities for Children in a Digital World: A rapid review of the evidence on children’s internet use and outcomes
Published: 2021 Innocenti Discussion Papers

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.

What is encryption and why does it matter for children?
What is encryption and why does it matter for children?
Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

Encryption encodes information so that it can only be read by certain people. ‘End-to-end’ is a robust form of encryption where only the users communicating can read the information. In other words, third parties – such as service providers – cannot decrypt the information.

It matters for children because while it protects their data and right to privacy and freedom of expression, it also impedes efforts to monitor and remove child sexual abuse materials and to identify offenders attempting to exploit children online.

UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival. Growing up. Stories from all over the world
UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival. Growing up. Stories from all over the world
Published: 2019 Miscellanea
2019 is a year of three important anniversaries for children. The world is marking the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the  child (1989 – 2019) - the global human rights treaty which guides all nations’ actions for children. The city of Florence is commemorating the 600th  anniversary of the founding of the Ospedale Degli Innocenti (1419 – 2019), the world’s oldest centre of care for vulnerable children. And UNICEF is marking the 30th year since it established its global research centre in Florence, known today as the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti. In celebration of these three anniversaries, UNICEF Innocenti has decided to expand upon its traditional role generating evidence for advocacy and  action for children, to inaugurate an international film festival focusing on narratives of childhood from all regions of the world. We are delighted to have forged a partnership with Fondazione Sistema Toscana, Cinema La Compagnia, the Region of Tuscany, the Municipality of Florence and Istituto Degli Innocenti, bringing you the first UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: children's rights
Care Work and Children: An Expert Roundtable
Care Work and Children: An Expert Roundtable
Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

A first roundtable to explore the issues regarding care work and children was hosted in Florence by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti from 6 to 7 December 2016. Unpaid care and domestic work have often been neglected in both research and policymaking, being viewed as lying within the domestic sphere of decisions and responsibilities, rather than as a public issue. However, over recent decades, researchers across a range of disciplines have strived to fill the evidence, data and research gaps by exploring the unpaid care and domestic work provided particularly by women within the household, and uncovering the entrenched social and gender norms and inequalities.

Towards Inclusive Education: The impact of disability on school attendance in developing countries
Towards Inclusive Education: The impact of disability on school attendance in developing countries
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper aims to reduce the global knowledge gap pertaining to the impact of disability on school attendance, using cross-nationally comparable and nationally representative data from 18 surveys in 15 countries that are selected among 2,500 surveys and censuses. These selected surveys administered the Washington Group Short Set (WGSS) of disability-screening questions, covering five functional domains of seeing, hearing, mobility, self-care, and remembering, and collected information on educational status. The paper finds that (i) the average disability gap in school attendance stands at 30% in primary and secondary schools in 15 countries; (ii) more than 85% of disabled primary-age children who are out of school have never attended school; (iii) the average marginal effect of disability on primary and secondary school attendance is negative and significant (-30%), and (iv) countries that have reached close to universal primary education report high ratios of disabled to non-disabled out-of-school children and (v) disabled children confront the same difficulties in participating in education, regardless of their individual and socio-economic characteristics.
Global Kids Online Research Synthesis, 2015-2016
Global Kids Online Research Synthesis, 2015-2016
Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Report

With children making up an estimated one third of internet users worldwide, living in the ‘digital age’ can have important implications for children’s lives. Currently, close to 80 per cent of people in Europe, North America and Australia have internet access, compared with less than 25 per cent in some parts of Africa and South Asia. The international community has recognized the importance of internet access for development, economic growth and the realization of civil rights and is actively seeking ways to ensure universal internet access to all segments of society. Children should be an important part of this process, not only because they represent a substantial percentage of internet users but also because they play an important part in shaping the internet. The internet in turn plays an important part in shaping children’s lives, culture and identities.

2014 Results Report
2014 Results Report
Published: 2015 Innocenti Publications
2014 marked a successful year for the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and included the development of key research outputs, active advocacy for research, successful growth in the research portfolio, and expansion of outreach, tools and products. The Office actively engaged in: generating high-quality research to inform programmes and knowledge about children; strengthening the capacity to improve the quality and use of evidence; convening international events by acting as a catalyst for research globally. In 2014, research activities ranged from multi-disciplinary initiatives to large-scale international collaborative projects. High-calibre, policy-relevant research was conducted in the areas of: equity, poverty and well-being; child rights and governance; child protection and violence against children; social protection systems and cash transfers, among others.
The Best Interests of the Child in Intercountry Adoption
The Best Interests of the Child in Intercountry Adoption

AUTHOR(S)
Nigel Cantwell

Published: 2014 Innocenti Insights
Publications produced by the Office are contributions to a global debate on children and child rights issues and include a wide range of opinions. The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect UNICEF policies or approaches. There is universal agreement, embedded in international human rights law, that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in any decisions made about a child’s future. In the case of adoption, which represents one of the most far-reaching and definitive decisions that could be made about the future of any child - the selection of their parents - international law qualifies the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration. This study responds, in particular, to one key question: what is it that enables a policy, process, decision or practice to be qualified as either respectful or in violation of the best interests of the child in intercountry adoption?
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Las instituciones independientes aportan un enfoque claro hacia la infancia en unos sistemas de gobernanza que tradicionalmente se centran en los adultos. Suelen ofrecer mecanismos directos para mejorar la rendición de cuentas del Estado y otros garantes de la protección del menor, palian deficiencias en los mecanismos de control y equilibrio y trabajan para que se comprenda y se reconozca la relevancia de las políticas y prácticas en favor de los derechos de los niños. Cuando las cosas salen mal, o cuando los resultados son insuficientes, apoyan medidas para poner remedio a la situación y reformar el sistema.
Child Well-being in  Rich Countries: Comparing Japan
Child Well-being in Rich Countries: Comparing Japan
Published: 2013 Innocenti Report Card
Using national data sources from Japan and matching them carefully with the data used in the original Report Card 11, this report manages to include Japan in the league table and subsequent ranking in each of five dimensions in order to assess Japan’s performance in child well-being among developed countries. Maintaining as much as possible the original framework of the RC11, the analysis is based on indicators that are strictly comparable between Japan and the other countries.
Approaches towards Inequality and Inequity: Concepts, measures and policies
Approaches towards Inequality and Inequity: Concepts, measures and policies

AUTHOR(S)
Frances Stewart

Published: 2013 Innocenti Discussion Papers
The paper discusses what a fair, or equitable, distribution is, drawing on some contributions of Western philosophers and economists. After reviewing different approaches, it argues that inequality among groups is particularly unjust. The paper argues for a plural perspective on the space in which inequality is assessed, following Sen’s capability approach. It is argued that the assessment should relate to functionings (or outcomes) rather than capabilities (or possibilities), especially for children whose choices are severely constrained.
Tackling Structural and Social Issues to Reduce Inequities in Children’s Outcomes in Low- to Middle-income Countries
Tackling Structural and Social Issues to Reduce Inequities in Children’s Outcomes in Low- to Middle-income Countries
Published: 2013 Innocenti Discussion Papers
Tackling inequities in children’s outcomes matters both from a moral perspective, and because of persuasive social and economic arguments. Reducing inequity in children’s outcomes requires tackling structural and social issues. The paper provides evidence about how social, economic and environmental conditions shape inequities in children’s outcomes. Building on insights generated through studies on the social determinants of health, the paper provides a framework to inform research and policy to reduce inequities in children’s outcomes, with a specific focus on low- and middle-income countries.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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.
Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia
Publication Publication

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Il rapporto Vite a Colori racconta le esperienze, percezioni ed opinioni di un gruppo di adolescenti sul primo anno di pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia cercando di comprendere le loro esperienze e punti di vista, attraverso le loro parole. La raccolta dati si è svolta tra febbraio e giugno 2021 con 114 partecipanti tra i 10 e i 19 anni, frequentanti le scuole superiori del primo e del secondo ciclo di 16 regioni italiane. Bambinɘ e ragazzɘ che si identificano come LGBTQI+, minori stranieri non accompagnati (MSNA) e adolescenti con background socioeconomico svantaggiato sono stati deliberatamente inclusi nel campione interessato dalla ricerca

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