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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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L'impact de la hausse des prix des produits alimentaires sur la pauvreté des enfants et les reponses politiques au Mali
L'impact de la hausse des prix des produits alimentaires sur la pauvreté des enfants et les reponses politiques au Mali
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Depuis 2006, le Mali subit de plein fouet les effets de la crise alimentaire mondiale avec des augmentations de prix allant jusqu'à 67%. Cette étude propose des simulations des impacts de cette crise et de diverses politiques de réponse sur le bien-être des enfants. Les impacts analysés se situent au niveau de la pauvreté monétaire (alimentaire), la nutrition, l'éducation, le travail et l'accès aux services de santé des enfants. Selon les simulations, chez les enfants la pauvreté alimentaire aura augmenté de 41 à 51% et le taux d'insuffisance calorique de 32 à 40%, alors que les impacts sur leur participation scolaire, leur travail et leur accès aux services de santé auront été assez faibles. Pour préparer une réponse adéquate, le gouvernement doit tout d'abord identifier les individus pauvres à protéger sur la base d'un nombre restreint de caractéristiques sociodémographiques facilement observables. Dans cette étude, une méthode de ciblage est proposée. Toutefois, les simulations du modèle de ciblage montrent qu’environ un quart des enfants pauvres sont exclus par erreur (souscouverture), alors que plus du tiers des enfants non-pauvres sont inclus par erreur (fuites). Ces erreurs de ciblage, qui augmentent proportionnellement lorsqu'on vise les pauvres extrêmes, réduisent l'impact et augmentent les coûts de toute intervention politique. Cela dit, il est à noter que les fuites peuvent quand même agir au niveau de l'insuffisance calorique, de la participation scolaire, du travail des enfants et de l'accès aux services de santé où les besoins ne se trouvent pas exclusivement du côté des enfants pauvres. Le ciblage des enfants ou même des sous-groupes, par âge, d'enfants se bute au problème de la diffusion probable des bénéfices aux autres membres du ménage. De plus, pour des décisions concernant le travail, l'éducation et l'accès aux services de santé, c'est le revenu total du ménage qui est déterminant. La politique de cantines scolaires se révèle particulièrement efficace du fait qu'elle concentre tous les fonds publics consentis exclusivement sur la consommation alimentaire hautement nutritive, alors que des transferts en espèces aux ménages peuvent servir à diverses fins. De plus, il est probable qu'elle ait des impacts souhaitables sur la scolarisation et le travail des enfants. Toutefois, certaines mises en garde s'imposent sur l'exclusion des enfants qui ne participent pas à l'école, la difficulté de cibler uniquement les enfants pauvres et la possibilité que l'enfant se voit réduire proportionnellement ses rations alimentaires à l’intérieur du ménage.
Independent Child Migrants in Developing Countries: Unexplored links in migration and development
Independent Child Migrants in Developing Countries: Unexplored links in migration and development

AUTHOR(S)
Shahin Yaqub

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper focuses on independent migrant children, defined as below 18 years old, who choose to move from home and live at destinations without a parent or adult guardian. It summarises quantitative and qualitative research, and uses this to reflect on research agendas and global debates towards linking migration and development. The paper surveys historical evidence on linkages between children’s migration and societal development in earlier periods of modernisation, and identifies parallels to contemporary developing countries. The contemporary situation in developing countries is described in terms of: (1) numerical scale; (2) individual and family characteristics of the children involved; (3) decision-makers and decision-making processes in children’s movements; (4) why it happens, including from children’s viewpoints; (5) modes of movements; and (6) situations of children at destinations. The paper considers the extent to which children may demand migration opportunities, and how this demand may be met partly with forms of movement specific to children. Research strategies are discussed to provide a bridge to development issues, including conceptualization of children’s independent movements, children’s labour migration, migration statistics and selection of who migrates. A final section draws on the review to reflect on global debates in child development and societal development.
Positive Indicators of Child Well-being: A conceptual framework, measures and methodological issues
Positive Indicators of Child Well-being: A conceptual framework, measures and methodological issues
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper highlights a number of frameworks for positive indicator development which examine the positive well-being of children. Based upon this review, it suggests a new comprehensive framework which identifies constructs for positive well-being as well as potential indicators and extant measures that fit with those constructs. In addition, the paper reviews existing data sources for examples of positive measures that are found in the proposed framework as well as research studies that have been successful in measuring these indicators. The paper then notes the data and measurement gaps that exist in comprehensively measuring the positive in children and youth. Finally, it identifies a number of conceptual and methodological issues that need consideration as efforts to define and measure positive indicators of well-being and well-becoming go forward.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 100 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child development, child well-being, indicators
Children's Perspectives on Economic Adversity: A review of the literature
Children's Perspectives on Economic Adversity: A review of the literature

AUTHOR(S)
Gerry Redmond

Published: 2008 Innocenti Discussion Papers
This paper reviews some of the recent qualitative literature on children's perspectives on economic disadvantage. The idea of asking people who experience disadvantage about their own situations is still a relatively new one in the social sciences, and the idea of asking children about their own perceptions of economic and social disadvantage is even more recent. Nine analyses, all published since 1998, and all of them involving in-depth interviews or group work with children aged between 5 and 17, are examined in detail. Most of these studies develop frameworks based on the 'new sociology of childhood', which emphasises the social construction of childhood and children's agency in the context of child-adult relations. The nine studies cover a number of issues related to economic disadvantage, including exclusion from activities and peer groups at school and in the community; perceptions of 'poor' and 'affluent' children; participation in organized activities outside of school hours; methods of coping with financial hardship; support for parents in coping and in seeking and keeping employment, and aspirations for future careers and lives.
A transição dos cuidados na primeira infância. Uma tabela classificativa dos serviços de educação e cuidados na primeira infância nos países economicamente desenvolvidos
A transição dos cuidados na primeira infância. Uma tabela classificativa dos serviços de educação e cuidados na primeira infância nos países economicamente desenvolvidos

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2008 Innocenti Report Card
A geração actualmente em formação é a primeira em que uma maioria passa grande parte da primeira infância em alguma estrutura de cuidados for a de casa. Ao mesmo tempo, as investigações da neurociência estão a demonstrar que as relações afectuosas, estáveis, seguras e estimulantes com as pessoas que cuidam da criança nos primeiros meses e anos de vida são cruciais para todos os aspectos do seu desenvolvimento. Considerados em conjunto, estes dois desenvolvimentos confrontam o público e os autores das políticas dos países da OCDE com questões urgentes. Saber se a transição para os cuidados for a de casa irá representar um avanço ou um recuo – para as crianças de hoje em dia e para o mundo de amanhã – dependerá das respostas a essas questões.
Comparing Child Well-Being in OECD Countries: Concepts and methods
Comparing Child Well-Being in OECD Countries: Concepts and methods
Published: 2007 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper is produced alongside Innocenti Report Card 7 "Child Well-being in Rich Countries". It provides more detail on how the indicators were chosen for the Report Card, and how they were combined into components and then into dimensions. It also provides additional analysis to complement the Report Card.
Overview of Child Well-Being in Germany: Policy towards a supportive environment for children
Overview of Child Well-Being in Germany: Policy towards a supportive environment for children

AUTHOR(S)
Hans Bertram

Published: 2007 Innocenti Working Papers
Children’s opportunities to develop according to their talents and competencies and to establish trust in the adults with whom they live, their neighbourhoods, kindergardens, schools and municipalities crucially influence the future of the society in which they grow up. Yet, international comparisons have until recently centred on resource availability, material well-being and health outcomes. However, initiatives such as the OECD/PISA and WHO surveys of ‘healthy lifestyles among school-aged children’ have explored child well-being along several dimensions. In the case of Germany child well-being appears to be more advanced in the western than the eastern regions of the country, and in the south compared to the north. On the basis of the analysis a series of policy recommendations may be identified for the federal states and the municipalities concerning dimensions of child well-being which deserve special attention in their particular regional context.
Zur Lage der Kinder in Deutschland: Politik für Kinder als Zukunftsgestaltung
Zur Lage der Kinder in Deutschland: Politik für Kinder als Zukunftsgestaltung

AUTHOR(S)
Hans Bertram

Published: 2007 Innocenti Working Papers
Die Chancen von Kindern, sich in ihrer Lebensumwelt entsprechend ihren Fähigkeiten und Kompetenzen entwickeln zu können und Vertrauen zu den Erwachsenen aufzubauen, mit denen sie in Elternhaus, Nachbarschaft, Kindergarten, Schule und Gemeinde zusammenleben oder zusammen sind, entscheiden auch über die Zukunft der Gesellschaft, in der sie aufwachsen. Internationale Vergleiche stellten lange fast ausschließlich das materielle Risiko von Kindern in den Mittelpunkt. Die Bildungsvergleiche der OECD/PISA und die Übersichten der WHO zu gesundheitsbezogenen Verhaltensweisen von Schulkindern haben die Perspektive erweitert. Darauf aufbauend vergleicht die Innocenti Report Card 7 (2007) ‘Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child-wellbeing in Rich Countries’ die Situation von Kindern anhand der sechs Dimensionen: Materielle Lage, Gesundheit und Sicherheit, Bildung, die Beziehungen zu Eltern und Freunden, die Risiken im Alltag und das subjektive Wohlbefinden von Kindern.
Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries
Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries
Published: 2007 Innocenti Report Card
This report builds and expands upon the analyses of Report Card No. 6 which considered relative income poverty affecting children and policies to mitigate it. Report Card 7 provides a pioneering, comprehensive picture of child well being through the consideration of six dimensions: material well-being, health and safety, education, family and peer relationships, subjective well-being, behaviours and lifestyles informed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and relevant academic literature.
Prospettiva sulla povertà infantile: un quadro comparativo sul benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi
Prospettiva sulla povertà infantile: un quadro comparativo sul benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi
Published: 2007 Innocenti Report Card
Questo rapporto presenta un'estesa analisi della condizione e del benessere dei bambini e dei giovani in 21 paesi del mondo industrializzato. Si pone l'obiettivo di favorire il monitoraggio, di consentire la comparazione e di stimolare il dibattito e lo sviluppo di politiche volte a migliorare la vita dei bambini. Lo studio si pone l'obiettivo di misurare e comparare il benessere dei bambini e dei giovani esaminandolo alla luce di sei parametri diversi: il benessere materiale, la salute e la sicurezza, l'istruzione, i rapporti con la famiglia ed i coetanei, i comportamenti e rischi, e la auto-percezione che essi hanno del proprio benessere.
Pobreza infantil en perspectiva: un panorama del bienestar infantil en los países ricos
Pobreza infantil en perspectiva: un panorama del bienestar infantil en los países ricos
Published: 2007 Innocenti Report Card
Este Report Card proporciona un amplio análisis de la vida y el bienestar de niños y jóvenes de 21 naciones del mundo industrializado. Su objetivo es promover la supervisión, permitir comparaciones y estimular la discusión y el desarrollo de políticas que permitan mejorar la vida e los niños, niñas y adolescentes. El informe representa un avance significativo con respecto a títulos anteriores de esta serie que han usado la pobreza de ingresos como una medida indirecta del bienestar infantil general en los países de la OCDE. Específicamente, intenta medir y comparar el bienestar infantil según seis epígrafes o dimensiones diferentes: bienestar material, salud y seguridad, educación, relaciones familiares y entre iguales, conductas y riesgos y percepción subjetiva de bienestar entre los adolescentes.
La pauvreté des enfants en perspective : vue d’ensemble du bien-être des enfants dans les pays riches
La pauvreté des enfants en perspective : vue d’ensemble du bien-être des enfants dans les pays riches
Published: 2007 Innocenti Report Card
Ce rapport à la fois exploite et développe les analyses contenues dans le Bilan 6 qui traitait de la pauvreté de revenu relative des enfants ainsi que des politiques en mesure d’y remédier. Le Bilan 7, qui s’appuie sur la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant ainsi que sur les résultats de la recherche universitaire en la matière, fournit une vue d’ensemble innovatrice du bien-être de l’enfant à travers l’examen de six dimensions: bien-être matériel, santé et sécurité, éducation, relations avec la famille et les pairs, bien-être subjectif, comportements et styles de vie.
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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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