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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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As crianças que ficam para trás: Uma tabela classificativa da desigualdade no bem-estar das crianças nos países ricos
As crianças que ficam para trás: Uma tabela classificativa da desigualdade no bem-estar das crianças nos países ricos

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Report Card
O presente Report Card apresenta uma primeira visão global das desigualdades no bem-estar das crianças em 24 dos países mais ricos do mundo. São examinadas três dimensões da desigualdade: bem-estar material, educação e saúde. Em cada um dos casos e para cada país, a questão que se coloca é "até que ponto estão as crianças a ser deixadas para trás?" O presente relatório defende a ideia de que as crianças merecem ter o melhor começo possível, que as primeiras experiências podem lançar uma longa sombra sobre as suas vidas e que as crianças não podem ser responsabilizadas pelas circunstâncias em que nascem. Neste sentido, o parâmetro utilizado - o grau de desigualdade na base da pirâmide ao nível do bem-estar das crianças - mede os progressos que estão a ser feitos no sentido de uma sociedade mais justa. Reunindo dados relativos à maioria dos países da OCDE, o relatório tenta demonstrar quais destes países estão a deixar que as crianças fiquem para trás mais do que o necessário na educação, saúde e bem-estar material (utilizando os países com melhores desempenhos como padrão mínimo para o que pode ser alcançado). Chamando a atenção para a profundidade das disparidades reveladas, e resumindo o que se sabe sobre as suas consequências, defende-se que o "ficar para trás" é uma questão fundamental, não só para milhões de crianças na actualidade, mas também para o futuro económico e social dos seus países.
The Children Left Behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world's rich countries
The Children Left Behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world's rich countries

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Report Card
This Report Card presents a first overview of inequalities in child well-being for 24 of the world’s richest countries. Three dimensions of inequality are examined: material well-being, education, and health. In each case and for each country, the question asked is ‘how far behind are children being allowed to fall?’ The report argues that children deserve the best possible start, that early experience can cast a long shadow, and that children are not to be held responsible for the circumstances into which they are born. In this sense the metric used - the degree of bottom-end inequality in child well-being - is a measure of the progress being made towards a fairer society. Bringing in data from the majority of OECD countries, the report attempts to show which of them are allowing children to fall behind by more than is necessary in education, health and material well-being (using the best performing countries as a minimum standard for what can be achieved). In drawing attention to the depth of disparities revealed, and in summarizing what is known about the consequences, it argues that ‘falling behind’ is a critical issue not only for millions of individual children today but for the economic and social future of their nations tomorrow.
Les enfants laissés pour compte : tableau de classement des inégalités de bien-être entre les enfants des pays riches
Les enfants laissés pour compte : tableau de classement des inégalités de bien-être entre les enfants des pays riches

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Report Card
Le présent Bilan présente un premier aperçu des inégalités en termes de bien-être infantile dans vingt-quatre des pays les plus riches du monde. Trois dimensions de l’inégalité sont examinées : le bien-être matériel, l’éducation et la santé. Dans chaque cas et pour chaque pays, la question posée est la suivante : ‘Dans quelle mesure les pays autorisent-ils que le bien-être infantile soit mis à mal ?’ Le rapport souligne que les enfants méritent le meilleur départ possible, qu’une expérience à un jeune âge peut avoir des répercussions durables et que les enfants ne doivent pas être tenus pour responsables des conditions de leur naissance. En ce sens, les paramètres utilisés - le niveau d’inégalité criant en termes de bien-être infantile - sont une mesure des progrès enregistrés vers une société plus juste. Ce rapport, qui collationne des données de la majorité des pays de l’OCDE, tente de stigmatiser les pays qui autorisent une dégradation inacceptable du bien-être des enfants en termes d’éducation, de santé et de bien-être matériel (les pays les plus en pointe servant d’étalon pour l’établissement d’une norme minimale quant aux résultats à atteindre). En attirant l’attention sur l’ampleur des disparités mises en exergue et en faisant la synthèse des conséquences connues, ce rapport souligne que cette ‘mise au ban’ est une question critique non seulement pour des millions d’enfants aujourd'hui, mais aussi pour l’avenir socio-économique de leurs pays.
Los niños dejados atrás: una tabla clasificatoria de la desigualdad respecto al bienestar infantil en las naciones ricas del mundo
Los niños dejados atrás: una tabla clasificatoria de la desigualdad respecto al bienestar infantil en las naciones ricas del mundo

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Report Card
Esta Report Card presenta un primer panorama general de las desigualdades respecto al bienestar infantil en 24 de los países más ricos del mundo. Se examinan tres dimensiones de la desigualdad: el bienestar material, la educación y la salud. En cada uno de los casos y para cada uno de los países, el interrogante planteado es "¿hasta qué punto se deja que los niños se queden atrás?" El informe sostiene que la infancia se merece el mejor comienzo posible, que la experiencia temprana puede proyectar una larga sombra en la vida y que los niños no pueden considerarse responsables de las circunstancias en que han nacido. En este sentido, el parámetro utilizado -el grado de desigualdad en el extremo inferior de la escala respecto al bienestar infantil- es una medida del progreso que se está haciendo hacia una sociedad más justa. Al aportar datos sobre la mayoría de los países de la OCDE, el informe ha tratado de mostrar cuáles de ellos están permitiendo que los niños se queden atrás más de lo necesario en lo que respecta a la educación, la salud y el bienestar infantil (utilizando los países con mejor desempeño como nivel mínimo de lo que puede lograrse). Al llamar la atención sobre la profundidad de las disparidades reveladas y al resumir lo que sabemos acerca de las consecuencias, el informe sostiene que el fenómeno de "quedarse atrás" es una cuestión decisiva no sólo para los millones de niños de hoy sino también para el futuro económico y social de sus países el día de mañana.
Bambini e adolescenti ai margini. Un quadro comparativo sulla disuguaglianza nel benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi
Bambini e adolescenti ai margini. Un quadro comparativo sulla disuguaglianza nel benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Report Card
Questa Report Card presenta una prima panoramica sulle disuguaglianze nel benessere dei bambini in 24 dei paesi più ricchi del mondo. Vi si prendono in esame tre dimensioni di disuguaglianza: il benessere materiale, l'istruzione e la salute. In ciascun caso e per ogni paese, la domanda posta è: "fino a che punto si permette che i bambini più svantaggiati rimangano indietro?" Il rapporto sostiene l’argomento che i bambini meritano il miglior inizio possibile nella loro esistenza, che le prime esperienze possono gettare una lunga ombra sul loro futuro, e che i bambini non devono essere ritenuti responsabili per le circostanze in cui nascono. In questo senso, il metro utilizzato in questo studio, ossia il grado di disuguaglianza nella parte inferiore della distribuzione del benessere dei bambini, è una misura dei progressi compiuti verso una società più giusta.
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.
Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy Responses on Children in West and Central Africa
Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy Responses on Children in West and Central Africa
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
The current global financial and economic crisis, which exacerbates the impacts of the energy and food crises that immediately preceded it, has spread to the developing countries endangering recent gains in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction. The effects of the crisis are likely to vary substantially between countries and between individuals within the same country. Children are among the most vulnerable population, particularly in a period of crisis. Especially in least developed countries, where social safety nets programmes are missing or poorly performing and public fiscal space is extremely limited, households with few economic opportunities are at a higher risk of falling into (monetary) poverty, suffering from hunger, removing children from school and into work, and losing access to health services. This study simulates the impacts of the global economic crisis and alternative policy responses on different dimensions of child welfare in Western and Central Africa (WCA) over the period 2009-2011. It is based on country studies for Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Ghana, which broadly represent the diversity of economic conditions in WCA countries. In order to capture the complex macro-economic effects of the crisis and the various policy responses - on trade, investment, remittances, aid flows, goods and factor markets - and to then trace their consequences in terms of child welfare - monetary poverty, hunger (caloric poverty), school participation, child labour, and access to health services - a combination of macro- and micro-analysis was adopted. The simulations suggest that the strongest effects are registered in terms of monetary poverty and hunger, although large differences between countries emerge.
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.
Simulation des effets de la crise économique et des politiques de reponse sur les enfants en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre: le cas du Burkina Faso
Simulation des effets de la crise économique et des politiques de reponse sur les enfants en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre: le cas du Burkina Faso
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
Le Burkina Faso à vu ses gains économiques, durement acquis ces dernières années, rongés par la crise financière et économique mondiale du 2008-09. Il subit particulièrement les conséquences de la crise économique mondiale vu le lien étroit qu’il entretient avec l’économie globale. La plupart des effets néfastes sont d’abord transmis aux ménages, puis répercutés aux enfants. Ainsi, la situation des enfants dépend principalement du bien-être monétaire et non monétaire de leurs ménages. Par conséquent et étant donné leur plus grande vulnérabilité, les enfants risquent de souffrir davantage et plus longtemps des impacts de la crise. Il est nécessaire et urgent de comprendre et anticiper les effets potentiels de la crise sur les enfants au Burkina Faso, et ensuite de proposer des options de protection sociale pour les contrer. A cette fin, nous proposons une approche macro-micro économique. L’analyse macro-économique fait recours à un modèle d’équilibre général calculable (MEGC) pour simuler l’impact des divers canaux de transmission du choc de crise à l’économie Burkinabé. Les résultats de ces simulations nourrissent ensuite une analyse micro-économétrique qui intègre les comportements microéconomiques des individus et des ménages pour évaluer l'impact de la crise sur le bien-être des enfants.
Incidences de la crise economique mondiale de 2008/09 et des options de la politique de reponse sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun
Incidences de la crise economique mondiale de 2008/09 et des options de la politique de reponse sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
Cette étude vise, d’une part, à explorer les effets potentiels de la crise économique mondiale de 2008/09 sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun. D’autre part, elle a pour but d’explorer les effets potentiels, sur cette même population-cible, des politiques qui seraient prises en réponse à ladite crise. Pour ce faire l’étude utilise une approche méthodologique top/down où, dans un premier temps, un modèle d’équilibre général calculable (EGC) de dynamique récursive est employé pour simuler les divers scénarios de crise économique et de politiques de réponse à la crise, en prenant en compte les différents canaux de transmission de la crise mondiale à l’économie camerounaise. Par la suite, les résultats produits par le modèle EGC sont utilisés dans un module micro-économétrique afin d'évaluer l’incidence des chocs simulés, sur les ménages en général et les enfants en particulier. Cinque dimensions de pauvreté des enfants sont examinées: la pauvreté monétaire; la pauvreté calorique; le taux de scolarité et/ou de participation des enfants au travail; enfin, l’accès des enfants aux soins de santé. Quatre politiques alternatives de réponse à cette crise sont simulées: une réduction de la TVA prélevée sur la vente des produits alimentaires; une suppression des droits de douane appliqués sur les importations de produits alimentaires; la gratuité de l’inscription des enfants de moins de 15 ans aux cantines scolaires dans les districts où le taux de pauvreté monétaire est supérieur au taux national; l’octroi de transferts en espèces aux ménages don’t les enfants sont pauvres. L’octroi des transferts en espèces se révèle comme étant la plus efficace des quatre politiques de réponse susmentionnées, bien que cette politique soit la plus inefficace de toutes pour améliorer le taux de croissance du PIB réel. Par ailleurs, les effets des transferts sur le plan de la scolarité, de la participation des enfants au travail et sur l’accès de ces derniers aux soins de santé sont globalement meilleurs bien que légers. Derrière la politique des transferts en espèces, celle de la subvention des cantines scolaires, avec pourtant un coût relativement bas, donne aussi une réponse considérablement bénéfique face à la crise, surtout sur le plan de la pauvreté calorique; tandis que les deux autres politiques s’avèrent inefficaces, quelle que soit la dimension de la pauvreté considérée.
Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy Responses on Children in Ghana
Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy Responses on Children in Ghana
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana is experiencing the impact of the global crisis and the uncertain economic outlook. Indeed, as Ghana’s economy is among the most open in Africa, it is expected that the country has been and will continue to be severely affected by the crisis, although strong export prices of its main exports (gold and cocoa) may at least partially counteract the effects associated with the crisis. The main goal of this paper is to understand the potential impacts of the 2008/9 global crisis on different dimensions of child poverty (monetary, hunger, school participation, child labour and access to health services) in Ghana and to support the policy-maker in designing the most appropriate policy response to counteract the negative effects of the crisis. As timely data are not available, a combined macro-micro economic model to predict the impact of the global crisis on children was developed. Simulations suggest that the financial crisis would increase monetary poverty and hunger across all regions of Ghana, eroding many of the gains made over the past few years. Indeed, in comparison with the year preceding the crisis, instead of a reduction of four percentage points in child monetary poverty in 2011 predicted in the absence of crisis, the simulations indicate a 6.6 percentage point increase, with a continuous increasing pattern over the period of study.
Impacts of the Global Crisis and Policy Responses on Child Well-being: A macro-micro simulation framework
Impacts of the Global Crisis and Policy Responses on Child Well-being: A macro-micro simulation framework
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper outlines the methodology of a UNICEF research project on the impact of the global economic crisis on children in Western and Central Africa, which can also be applied to study the effects of other socio-economic shocks on households and particularly on children in developing countries. To understand the nature and the extent of the effects of a crisis in developing countries requires a rigorous analysis of the transmission mechanisms at both the macro and micro levels. This paper provides a tool to attempt to predict ex ante the impacts of the crisis, and possible policy responses, on households and their children. As timely data monitoring child well-being are not readily available to guide the rapid implementation of policies to protect children, a predictive model was developed that anticipates the impacts of the crisis on various essential dimensions of child wellbeing. Specifically, this paper proposes and discusses a combined macro-micro model following a top-down approach.
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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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