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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
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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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Comparing Inequality in the Well-being of Children in Economically Advanced Countries: A methodology
Comparing Inequality in the Well-being of Children in Economically Advanced Countries: A methodology
Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
Socio-economic research on child well-being and the debate around child indicators has evolved quite rapidly in recent decades. An important contribution to this trend is represented by international comparative research based on multi-dimensional child well-being frameworks: most of this research is based on the comparison of average levels of well-being across countries. This paper tries to respond to the complex challenge of going beyond an approach based on averages and proposes a complementary approach to compare inequality in child well-being in economically advanced countries. In particular, it focuses on the disparities at the bottom-end of the child well-being distribution, by comparing the situation of the ‘median’ child and the situation of the children at the bottom of the well-being scale for nine indicators of material conditions, education and health.
Защита уязвимых семей в Центральной Азии: бедность, уязвимость и воздействие экономического кризиса
Защита уязвимых семей в Центральной Азии: бедность, уязвимость и воздействие экономического кризиса

AUTHOR(S)
Franziska Gassmann

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
С конца 2007 года страны Центральной Азии перенесли два мощных потрясения, следовавших одно за другим: рост цен на продукты питания и топливо в 2007–2008 годах и мировой экономический и финансовый кризис, начавшийся в конце 2008 года. Кризис оказал непосредственное неблагоприятное воздействие на домохозяйства – как бедные, так и состоятельные. Многоаспектность кризиса и постоянно меняющаяся экономическая ситуация ставят под угрозу способность уязвимых домохозяйств справляться с ситуацией и поддерживать свой уровень жизни. Важную роль в реагировании на кризис играют программы социальной защиты.
Institutions,  Inequality and Growth: A review of theory and evidence on the institutional determinants of growth and inequality
Institutions, Inequality and Growth: A review of theory and evidence on the institutional determinants of growth and inequality
Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
The difference in the development experiences between the most developed countries and the least developed countries of today is vast. Luxembourg’s per capita income is 200 times larger than Liberia’s. Even within the developing world, growth is very unequal. East Asia and parts of Latin America are growing at impressive rates, while many other countries - especially in Sub-Saharan Africa - struggle with sluggish and volatile growth. This study discusses the theoretical challenge posed in identifying the mechanisms that link institutions and equitable economic growth at various levels of aggregation. The relationship between governance modes and institutions on the one hand, and economic growth and development on the other hand, may take very different forms. This relates to the question of whether a single and unique combination of institutions and governance modes is optimal for (equitable) growth, or whether different governance modes and institutions may lead to good or equitable growth performance in different locations and historical contexts.
Simulation of the Effects of the Economic Crisis and Response Policies on Children in West and Central Africa: The Case of Burkina Faso
Simulation of the Effects of the Economic Crisis and Response Policies on Children in West and Central Africa: The Case of Burkina Faso
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
Burkina Faso’s hard earned economic gains in recent years have been eroded by the 2008-09 world financial and economic crisis. The country will particularly feel the effects of the world economic crisis due to its close links with the world economy. Most of the adverse effects are transmitted to households then passed onto children. The situation of children principally depends on the monetary and non-monetary wellbeing of their household. This, together with their greater vulnerability, means that children are at risk of suffering more, and for longer, from the impacts of the crisis. It is therefore crucial to understand and anticipate the effects that the crisis may have on children in Burkina Faso and to propose options for social protection to counter these effects. To this end, we propose a macro-micro economic approach. Macro-micro economic analysis uses a general calculable equilibrium (CGE) model to simulate the impacts of various transmission channels of the crisis to the Burkinabe economy. The results of these simulations are then used for the micro-econometric analysis, which integrates individual and household economic behaviour to evaluate the impact of the crisis on child welfare. A monetary transfer policy targeting poor children appears to be the most effective at reversing the negative effects of the crisis and returning to the trend that would have existed without the crisis. Such a policy, financed by external aid and with a budget of 1% of GDP, re-establishes the trend that monetary poverty would have followed in the absence of a crisis and even leads to a reduction in hunger. It also limits the crisis’ adverse effects on school enrolment, child labour and sick children’s access to modern health care services. A universal (non-targeted) variant of this transfer policy for 0-5 year-olds has similar results and is easier to enact. Policies which subsidize food and cereals, as well as monetary transfer policies for the Centre and Mouhoun regions (the areas most affected by the August-September 2009 floods) were also analyzed.
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
UNICEF has long recognized that there is great value in children’s sport and play, and has been a consistent proponent of these activities in its international development and child protection work. Health, educational achievement and social benefits are just some of the many desirable outcomes associated with organized physical activity. During recent years, however, it has become evident that sport is not always a safe space for children and that the same types of violence and abuse sometimes found in families and communities can also occur in sport and play programmes. The research presented in this publication shows a lack of data collection and knowledge about violence to children in sport, a need to develop the structures and systems for eliminating and preventing this form of violence, and that ethical guidelines and codes of conduct must be established and promoted as part of the prevention system. By addressing these gaps, significant improvements will be realized for the promotion and protection of the rights of children in sport.
Piattaforma d'azione. Verso l'abbandono della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile (E/MGF)
Piattaforma d'azione. Verso l'abbandono della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile (E/MGF)
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
L’UNICEF ha stimato che, in un arco temporale di 10 anni, con un costo annuale di circa 24 milioni di dollari, i programmi rivolti alle comunità locali potranno portare a riduzioni sostanziali nella pratica della E/MGF in 16 paesi dell’Africa subsahariana, dove la prevalenza attuale raggiunge livelli elevati o medi. La Piattaforma d’azione sintetizza gli elementi principali di un approccio programmatico comune per promuovere l’abbandono di tale pratica e per suscitare un drastico cambiamento nella vita di donne e bambine in tutto il mondo.
Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis on Child Poverty in Cameroon and Options for a Policy Response
Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis on Child Poverty in Cameroon and Options for a Policy Response
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This study aims to evaluate the potential impacts of the 2008/09 global economic crisis on child poverty in Cameroon. It also explores the potential effects that policy responses to such a crisis could have on children. In order to do this, the study uses a macro-micro methodology. A dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is used to simulate various scenarios of the economic crisis together with policies which respond to the crisis, taking into account the different transmission channels of the global crisis to the Cameroonian economy. The results of the CGE model are then used in a micro-econometric module in order to evaluate the impacts of the simulated shocks on households in general and children in particular. Five dimensions of child poverty are examined: monetary poverty, caloric poverty, child school participation and child labour, and children’s access to health care services. The study shows that the crisis is projected to lower the real GDP growth rate by 1.3 percentage points in 2009, 0.9 in 2010 and 0.8 in 2011. Four alternative policy responses to the crisis are simulated: a reduction in the VAT levied on the sale of food products; elimination of customs tariffs applied on imports of food products; free access to school canteens for children under the age of 15 in districts where monetary poverty is higher than the national average; and granting cash transfers to poor children.
AIDS, Public Policy and Child Well-being
AIDS, Public Policy and Child Well-being
Published: 2007 Innocenti Publications
This study addresses one of the greatest challenges of our time: the damage caused by HIV and AIDS to the well-being of children and families. With 38.6 million people affected by HIV in 2006, with HIV prevalence at antenatal clinics exceeding 40 per cent in areas of Botswana and KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), with nationwide adult prevalence in excess of the critical threshold of 20 per cent in several countries, and with the prospect of a rapid spread of the disease in large swathes of India, China and the Russian Federation, the future of child well-being is seriously threatened. Certainly, in the 50 or so countries affected by the disease, the Millennium Development Goals in the field of child survival, education, poverty and basic rights will be missed, often by a large margin.
The 'Family-in-Focus' Approach: Developing policy-oriented monitoring and analysis of human development in Indonesia
The 'Family-in-Focus' Approach: Developing policy-oriented monitoring and analysis of human development in Indonesia

AUTHOR(S)
Friedhelm Betke

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
Socio-economic and political turmoil in Indonesia has had an impact on the country's thirty years of progress in social development. However, it has also opened up new avenues for participation and region-specific policy formulation alongside growing demand for new approaches to the monitoring and analysis of social change. This paper examines the Family-in-Focus Approach - a comprehensive lifespan-based concept of human development. This joint initiative from UNICEF, the Government of Indonesia and others, sees families as participants in development rather than passive recipients of programmes. A family focus in the planning of multi-sectoral interventions could ensure better targeting, while building capacity for analysis at Governmental and institutional levels.
A League Table of Teenage Births in Rich Nations
A League Table of Teenage Births in Rich Nations
Published: 2001 Innocenti Report Card
The third Innocenti Report Card presents the most up-to-date and comprehensive survey so far of teenage birth rates in the industrialized world. And it attempts at least a partial analysis of why some countries have teenage birth rates that are ten or even fifteen times higher than others. Approximately 1.25 million teenagers become pregnant each year in the 28 OECD nations under review. Of those, approximately half a million will seek an abortion and approximately three quarters of a million will become teenage mothers. The five countries with the lowest teenage birth rates are Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden - all with teen birth rates of fewer than 10 per 1,000. The United States teenage birth rate of 52.1 is the highest in the developed world – and more than twice the European average. The United Kingdom has the highest teenage birth rate in Europe.
Basic Services for All?
Basic Services for All?
Published: 2000 Innocenti Publications
There is a shortfall of up to $80 billion per year between what is spent and what should be spent to ensure universal access to basic social services such as primary health care, basic education and clean water. Drawing on case studies from over 30 developing countries, Basic Services for All? highlights the human cost of this shortfall in terms of lives lost, children out of school, the millions undernourished, and the billions without safe water and sanitation. The report concludes with a Ten Point Agenda for Action - urgently needed measures to close the $80 billion gap.
Des services de base pour tous?
Des services de base pour tous?
Published: 2000 Innocenti Publications
Il y a un déséquilibre de 80 milliards de dollars par an entre ce qui est dépensé et ce qui devrait l'être pour garantir l'accès universel aux services sociaux de base comme les soins de santé primaire, l'éducation de base et l'eau salubre. S'appuyant sur des enquêtes menées dans plus de 30 pays en développement, Des services de base pour tous? souligne le coût humain de ce déséquilibre en termes de vies perdues, d'enfants non scolarisés, de millions de personnes sous-alimentées, et de milliards d'autres sans eau salubre ni assainissement. Le rapport se termine sur un Programme d'action en dix points, à savoir les mesures à prendre d'urgence pour combler l'écart de 80 milliards de dollars.
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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.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publication Publication

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa

There is a learning crisis. Fifty-three per cent of children in low- and middle-income countries are in ‘learning poverty’, i.e. they cannot read and understand a simple text by the end of primary school age. In sub- Saharan Africa, the learning poverty rate is 87 per cent overall, and ranges from 40 per cent to as high as 99 per cent in the 21 countries with available data. Teachers attending lessons and spending quality time on task is a critical prerequisite to learning. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, teacher absenteeism ranges from 15 to 45 per cent. Teacher absenteeism and reduced time on task wastes valuable financial resources, short-changes students and is one of the most cumbersome obstacles on the path toward the education Sustainable Development Goal and to the related vision of the new UNICEF education strategy: Every Child Learns. Whilst the stark numbers are available to study, and despite teacher absenteeism being a foremost challenge for education systems in Africa, the evidence base on how policies and practices can influence teacher attendance remains scant. Time to Teach (TTT) is a research initiative that looks at primary school teacher attendance in eight countries and territories in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region: the Comoros; Kenya; Rwanda, Puntland, State of Somalia; South Sudan; the United Republic of Tanzania, mainland; the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar; and Uganda. Its primary objective is to identify factors affecting the various forms of teacher attendance, which include being at school, being punctual, being in the classroom, and teaching when in the classroom, and use this evidence to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies.

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