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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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Principles and Practicalities in Measuring Child Poverty for the Rich Countries
Principles and Practicalities in Measuring Child Poverty for the Rich Countries

AUTHOR(S)
Miles Corak

Published: 2005 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper has three objectives. The first is to discuss the major issues involved in defining and measuring child poverty. The choices that must be made are clarified and a set of six principles to serve as a guide for public policy is proposed. The second objective is to take stock of child poverty and changes in child poverty in the majority of OECD countries since about 1990 when the Convention on the Rights of the Child came into force. Finally, the third objective is to formulate a number of suggestions for setting credible targets for the elimination of child poverty in the rich countries. This involves the development of appropriate and timely information sources as well as the clarification of feasible targets that may vary across the OECD.
Child Poverty and Changes in Child Poverty in Rich Countries since 1990
Child Poverty and Changes in Child Poverty in Rich Countries since 1990
Published: 2005 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper documents levels and changes in child poverty rates in 12 OECD countries using data from the Luxembourg Income Study project, and focusing upon an analysis of the reasons for changes over the 1990s. The objective is to uncover the relative role of income transfers from the state in determining the magnitude and direction of change in child poverty rates, holding other demographic and labour market factors constant. As such the paper offers a cross-country overview of child poverty, changes in child poverty and the impact of public policy in North America and Europe. The paper offers a set of country specific results, and also attempts to draw general lessons. First, family and demographic forces play only a limited role in determining changes in child poverty rates. These forces change only gradually and are limited in their ability to cushion children from detrimental shocks originating in the labour market or in the government sector, which are the sources of the major forces determining the direction of change in child poverty. Second, in countries facing severe economic crises it does not appear that the amount of social transfers available were increased in a way to cushion children from these changes and put a backstop on their risk of low income. Third, there is no single road to lower child poverty rates. Changes in income transfers need to be thought through in conjunction with the nature of labour markets.
A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany
A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany
Published: 2005 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper offers a descriptive portrait of income poverty among children in Germany between the early 1980s and 2001, with a focus on developments since unification in 1991. Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel are used to estimate poverty rates, rates of entry to and exit from poverty, and the duration of time spent in and out of poverty. The analysis focuses upon comparisons between East and West Germany, by family structure, and citizenship status. Child poverty rates have drifted upward since 1991, and have been increasing more than the rates for the overall population since the mid-1990s. In part these changes are due to increasing poverty among children from households headed by non-citizens. Children in single parent households are by all measures at considerable risk of living in poverty. There are also substantial differences in the incidence of child poverty and its dynamics between East and West Germany.
The Impact of Tax and  Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union
The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union
Published: 2005 Innocenti Working Papers
The objective of this paper is to analyse the impact of fiscal policy on the economic resources available to children, and on the child poverty rate. A static microsimulation model specifically designed for the purposes of comparative fiscal analysis in the European Union, EUROMOD, is used to study the age incidence of government taxes and transfers in 2001 in 15 EU countries. Three related questions are addressed. First, what priorities are currently embodied in government budgets across age groups, and in particular to what degree do cash transfer and tax systems benefit children relative to older groups?; what fraction of the needs of children are supported by elements of the tax and transfer systems directed explicitly to them?; what impact do measures of public resources for children have on child poverty rates?
Children of International Migrants in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines: A review of evidence and policies
Children of International Migrants in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines: A review of evidence and policies

AUTHOR(S)
John Bryant

Published: 2005 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper considers three groups of children affected by international migration: (i) children left behind by international labour migrants from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand; (ii) children of Thai nationals in Japan; and (iii) children brought along by irregular migrants in Malaysia and Thailand. Based on the limited data available from published sources, the paper constructs preliminary estimates of numbers of children involved. It then synthesizes available evidence on problems and opportunities faced by the children, and on policies towards them. There are, however, important gaps in the available evidence. The paper identifies these gaps and suggests ways in which they might be filled.
Child Poverty in English-Speaking Countries
Child Poverty in English-Speaking Countries

AUTHOR(S)
John Micklewright

Published: 2003 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper considers child poverty in rich English-speaking countries - the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and Ireland. It is sometimes assumed that these countries stand out from other OECD countries for their levels of child poverty. The paper looks at the policies they have adopted to address the problem. 'Poverty' is interpreted broadly and hence the available cross-national evidence on edicational disadvantage and teenage births is considered alongside that on low household income. Discussion of policy initiatives ranges across a number of areas of government activity.
A League Table of Child Poverty in Rich Nations
A League Table of Child Poverty in Rich Nations
Published: 2000 Innocenti Report Card
This new report on child poverty in the world’s wealthiest nations concludes that one in six of the rich world’s children is poor - a total of 47 million. The new research, published in the first UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, provides the most comprehensive estimates so far of child poverty across the member countries of the OECD. Despite a doubling and redoubling of national incomes in most OECD nations since 1950, a significant percentage of their children are still living in families so materially poor that normal health and growth are at risk. A far larger proportion remain in relative poverty. Their physical needs may be catered for, but they are painfully excluded from the activities and advantages that are considered normal by their peers. The report reveals a wide range of child poverty rates in countries at broadly similar levels of economic development – from under 3 per cent in Sweden to a high of over 22 per cent in the USA. By comparing data from different countries, the new research asks what can be learned about the causes of child poverty and examines the policies that have contributed to the success of lower rates in some countries. In particular, it seeks to explain the situation by exploring the impact on poverty rates of lone parenthood, unemployment, low wages and levels of social expenditures. The Report Card calls for a new commitment to ending child poverty in the world’s richest nations.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, children's rights violation, comparative analysis, industrialized countries | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Tabla clasificatoria de la situación de los niños pobres en las naciones ricas
Tabla clasificatoria de la situación de los niños pobres en las naciones ricas
Published: 2000 Innocenti Report Card
Las tablas clasificatorias de la pobreza infantil presentadas en este primer número de las Innocenti Report Cards (Boletines de Clasificaciones Innocenti) constituyen la evaluación más exhaustiva que se haya realizado hasta ahora de la pobreza infantil en todo el mundo industrializado. Las estadísticas contenidas en estas páginas ponen al descubierto una amenaza real para todos los ciudadanos de las naciones que tienen una tasa elevada de pobreza infantil. Porque si bien es cierto que muchas familias pobres se sacrifican para ayudar a sus hijos a comenzar la vida del mejor modo posible, la visión de conjunto del problema revela que para las personas que crecen en la indigencia son mayores las probabilidades de tener dificultades de aprendizaje, de abandonar los estudios, de refugiarse en el abuso de drogas, de cometer delitos, de encontrarse sin empleo, de quedar embarazadas en edad excesivamente precoz y de llevar adelante una vida que no hace más que perpetuar la pobreza y la marginación en las generaciones por venir.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, children's rights violation, comparative analysis, industrialized countries | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Tableau de classement de la pauvreté des enfants parmi les nations riches
Tableau de classement de la pauvreté des enfants parmi les nations riches
Published: 2000 Innocenti Report Card
Les classements des résultats sur la pauvreté des enfants que contient ce premier Bilan Innocenti constituent les estimations les plus détaillées à ce jour sur ce sujet à travers le monde industrialisé. Les statistiques présentées dans ce document trahissent la menace qui pèse sur la qualité de vie de tout citoyen des pays don’t les taux de pauvreté des enfants sont élevés. S’il est vrai que de nombreuses familles pauvres n’hésitent pas à faire des sacrifices afin d’offrir à leurs enfants le meilleur départ possible dans la vie, l’image d’ensemble révèle cependant que les individus qui grandissent dans la pauvreté sont plus susceptibles de rencontrer des difficultés scolaires, d’abandonner l’école, de recourir aux drogues, de commettre des crimes, de ne pas trouver de travail, d’avoir trop jeune un enfant et de mener une vie perpétuant sur de nombreuses générations la pauvreté et autres conditions désavantageuses.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, children's rights violation, comparative analysis, industrialized countries | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Child Poverty Dynamics in Seven Nations
Child Poverty Dynamics in Seven Nations
Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper compares child poverty dynamics cross-nationally using panel data from seven nations: the USA, Britain, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, and Russia. As well as using standard relative poverty definitions the paper examines flows into and out of the poorest fifth of the children's income distribution. Significant (but not total) uniformity in patterns of income mobility and poverty dynamics across the seven countries is found. The key exception is Russia, where the economic transition has led to a much higher degree of mobility. Interestingly, the USA which has the highest level of relative poverty among the rich nations, has a mobility rate which, if anything, is less than that of the other nations.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, comparative analysis, income distribution, industrialized countries | Publisher: UNICEF IRC
Child Poverty in Spain: What can be said?
Child Poverty in Spain: What can be said?
During the last three decades Spain has undergone a major political and socio-economic transformation. Over the same period, indicators such as average welfare levels as measured by real disposable per capita income or expenditure on social protection have shown a signifiant net rise; this growth has occurred in parallel with both an increasing flexibility in the labour market and a dramatic jump in unemployment. In contrast with many other European countries in which relative poverty has been tending to increase in recent decades, poverty in Spain has been slightly reduced. The effect of these changes on the economic welfare situation of children has not been explored. The aim of this paper is therefore to provide evidence on the static and dynamic aspects of relative poverty among children, namely, its extent, evolution and persistence.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, child welfare, economic reform, industrialized countries | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Child Poverty and Deprivation in Portugal: A national case study
Child Poverty and Deprivation in Portugal: A national case study

AUTHOR(S)
Manuela Silva

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, economic and social conditions | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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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