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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being
SPOTLIGHT

Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being

Report Card 17 explores how 43 OECD/EU countries are faring in providing healthy environments for children. Do children have clean water to drink? Do they have good-quality air to breathe? Are their homes free of lead and mould? How many children live in overcrowded homes? How many have access to green play spaces, safe from road traffic? Data show that a nation’s wealth does not guarantee a healthy environment. Far too many children are deprived of a healthy home, irreversibly damaging their current and future well-being. Beyond children’s immediate environments, over-consumption in some of the world’s richest countries is destroying children’s environments globally. This threatens both children worldwide and future generations. To provide all children with safe and healthy environments, governments, policymakers, businesses and all stakeholders are called to act on a set of policy recommendations.
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Key Findings on Families, Family Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals: Synthesis Report
Key Findings on Families, Family Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals: Synthesis Report

AUTHOR(S)
Dominic Richardson

Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Report
This synthesis report, ‘Families, Family Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Key Findings’ explores how the role of families, and family policies from around the world, can contribute to meeting the SDG targets. Given the key role families and family policies play in determining social progress, and in view of the national and international focus on meeting the SDGs by 2030, the timing of this publication is opportune. The report summarizes evidence across the six SDGs that cover poverty, health, education, gender equality, youth unemployment, and ending violence. It highlights important issues that policy makers may wish to consider when making future policies work for families, and family policies work for the future. Given the broad scope of the SDG ambitions, a key contribution of this work is to map how the successes of family-focused policies and programmes in one SDG have been successful in contributing to positive outcomes in other SDG goal areas.
Protected on Paper? An analysis of Nordic country responses to asylum-seeking children
Protected on Paper? An analysis of Nordic country responses to asylum-seeking children
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Report

This research, commissioned by the Nordic National Committees for UNICEF, examines to what extent the rights of asylum-seeking children are respected and protected in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The report reviews relevant national legislative and policy frameworks; examines how these are implemented; documents good practices; and highlights gaps in national standards and their compliance to international standards. It makes some broad recommendations on how to strengthen and extend legal, policy and practice frameworks to ensure the full realization and protection of child asylum seekers’ rights and entitlements in the Nordic region. It further provides country-specific detailed, practical recommendations on how to ensure protection and welfare for asylum-seeking children. It makes country-specific recommendations on how legal, policy and practice frameworks can be strengthened to ensure full protection of children’s rights and entitlements.

Realizing an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Well-being: An inventory of laws and policies for adolescents in South Asia
Realizing an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Well-being: An inventory of laws and policies for adolescents in South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti

Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Report

This paper takes stock of legal and policy frameworks for adolescents in the eight countries of South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The eight countries display a rich diversity of cultural, historical, political, social and economic institutions, which is reflected in their national legal and policy frameworks for adolescents. This paper sheds light on the similarities and differences among South Asian countries regarding the translation of international human rights law into their national normative frameworks, and aims to provide a nuanced understanding of how ‘adolescent-sensitive’ their legal and policy frameworks are.

The paper reviews the legal coverage across  nine sets of rights: the right to political participation; the right to protection; the right to education; the right to health; the right to marriage; the right to decent work and protection from child labour; the right to social protection; digital rights; the right to equality and non-discrimination. It compares the legal and policy frameworks for adolescents of the eight South Asian countries against the requirements of the international standards signed and ratified by each country.
Delivering a Parenting Programme in Rural South Africa: The Local Child and Youth Care Worker Experience
Delivering a Parenting Programme in Rural South Africa: The Local Child and Youth Care Worker Experience

AUTHOR(S)
Jenny Doubt; Heidi Loening-Voysey; Daphnée Blanc; Lucie Cluver; Jasmina Byrne; Tshiamo Petersen

Published: 2018 Innocenti Working Papers

A pre-post study examining the effectiveness of a parenting support programme in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, showed reductions in child abuse, child delinquency, parent and child depression, parenting stress and substance use. It also showed improvements in parental supervision, positive parenting and social support. In addition to the pre-post study, a qualitative enquiry was conducted with the programme facilitators. This paper explores the experiences and perception of local child and youth care workers, who were trained to deliver the parenting programme in vulnerable, semi-rural communities. The purpose of this publication is to make recommendations on how to improve the programme for scale-up, in South Africa and beyond.

Child Privacy in the Age of Web 2.0 and 3.0: Challenges and opportunities for policy
Child Privacy in the Age of Web 2.0 and 3.0: Challenges and opportunities for policy

AUTHOR(S)
Mario Viola de Azevedo Cunha

Published: 2017 Innocenti Discussion Papers

We live in an information society, where the flow of information in the virtual environment is unprecedented. Web 2.0 platforms – and recently Web 3.0 platforms and the Internet of Things (IoT) – represent an important step forward in enhancing the lives of both adults and children everywhere, by combining greater efficiencies with a wide availability of new tools that can boost individual creativity and collective production. This new environment has exposed adults and children to fresh challenges that deserve special attention, especially those surrounding privacy. The main objective of this paper is to address the challenges posed to child privacy online and the impact that these challenges might have on other rights such as freedom of expression, access to information and public participation. To do this, the paper first analyses the current (and foreseen) threats to child privacy online and the various approaches adopted by government and/or the private sector to tackle this issue. The paper also examines whether children’s perspectives and needs are considered in international debates on technology regulation, including in regard to the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’. It then contextualizes the protection of privacy (and data protection) in relation to other fundamental rights in the online environment, arguing that in most cases this interaction is rather positive, with the enforcement of the right to privacy serving to protect other rights. The paper concludes by proposing some policy recommendations on how to better address the protection of children’s online privacy. These objectives are achieved through literature review and analysis of legal instruments.

Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries
Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries
Published: 2017 Innocenti Report Card

This Report Card offers an assessment of child well-being in the context of sustainable development across 41 countries of the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Specifically, this report seeks to bring the SDG targets for children in high-income countries into meaningful operation (while staying true to the ambitions of the global agenda) and to establish a point of departure for reviewing the SDG framework in these contexts. It focuses on those goals and targets with most direct relevance to the well-being of children in high-income settings. Where appropriate, it adapts the agreed SDG indicator, the better to reflect the problems facing children in such countries. The results therefore highlight the new challenges set by the SDGs.

2016 Results Report
2016 Results Report

AUTHOR(S)
Prerna Banati; Michelle Godwin

Published: 2017 Innocenti Publications

The 2016 UNICEF Innocenti Results Report presents the activities and key results of the Office of Research achieved in 2016. Research continues to influence policy and practice by addressing inequalities in child well-being and expanding the international evidence base in social protection, child poverty, child protection and education. New and emerging areas of research are beginning to address critical gaps for children, including migration and displacement, children in care work and gender inequality. Enhanced reach, improved dissemination platforms and growing influence are creating positive impacts on social policy for children in various countries. Over 140 research products were published in a range of print and electronic media, including peer-reviewed journal articles, contributions to edited volumes, working papers, research reports and resources, digests, briefs, blogs, podcasts and videos.

Gobernanza y coordinación de las políticas: el caso del registro del nacimiento en el Perú
Gobernanza y coordinación de las políticas: el caso del registro del nacimiento en el Perú

AUTHOR(S)
B. Guy Peters; Andrew Mawson

Published: 2017 Innocenti Working Papers

Esta investigación, el segundo de dos estudios de caso, explora la coordinación desde el punto de vista del registro civil y las estadísticas vitales, con especial referencia al registro de los nacimientos en el Perú. Se centra en el papel que puede desempeñar la coordinación para lograr que el registro del nacimiento funcione con eficacia. Aunque la cuestión principal de la que se ocupa este trabajo es la capacidad de las administraciones para prestar el servicio de registro del nacimiento, también se examina la importancia que reside en la comprensión de la coordinación para la mejora de los servicios públicos, especialmente los dirigidos a los niños.

Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-experimental Evidence from East and Southern Africa
Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-experimental Evidence from East and Southern Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Tia Palermo; Michelle Mills

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

Sexual violence against women and girls is widespread globally. In their lifetime, one in three women will experience intimate partner physical or sexual violence and 7 per cent will experience forced sex by someone other than an intimate partner. This study finds protective effects of educational attainment against lifetime experience of sexual violence among women in Uganda, but not in Malawi. Further, in our pathway analyses, we find large impacts on delaying marriage in both countries. These results suggest that policies aimed at increasing educational attainment among girls may have broad-ranging long-term benefits.

The multi-country study on the drivers of violence affecting children. A cross-country snapshot of findings
The multi-country study on the drivers of violence affecting children. A cross-country snapshot of findings

AUTHOR(S)
Mary Catherine Maternowska; Alina Potts; Deborah Fry

Published: 2016 Miscellanea
Vulnerability to violence evolves in complex socio-economic and cultural contexts. This locally driven research analyses how institutional, community, interpersonal and individual factors interact to affect violence in children’s lives. It also begins to identify pathways to better inform national prevention strategies. The study places age and gender at its center, focusing on girls and boys at different stages of the life course, from the very young to older adolescents. A cornerstone of the study is to link quality research, translating it into evidence, and turning evidence into effective and meaningful interventions. This snapshot provides insights to the complexities that surround violence. Understanding and responding to the political as well as community contexts in which violence occurs builds more meaningful responses. Country teams are now preparing to move to the field and test best approaches to violence prevention based on evidence and using data to drive change.
One in Three: Internet Governance and Children’s Rights
One in Three: Internet Governance and Children’s Rights

AUTHOR(S)
Sonia Livingstone; Jasmina Byrne; John Carr

Published: 2016 Innocenti Discussion Papers
Typically, in the discussions around the use of the Internet, children are acknowledged only in the context of child protection while their rights to provision and participation are overlooked. This paper specifically argues against an age-generic (or ‘age-blind’) approach to ‘users’, because children have specific needs and rights that are not met by governance regimes designed for ‘everyone’. Policy and governance should now ensure children’s rights to access and use digital media and consider how the deployment of the Internet by wider society can enhance children’s rights across the board. The paper ends with six conclusions and recommendations about how to embed recognition of children’s rights in the activities and policies of international Internet governance institutions.
Undermining Learning: Multi-Country Longitudinal Evidence on Corporal Punishment in Schools
Undermining Learning: Multi-Country Longitudinal Evidence on Corporal Punishment in Schools

AUTHOR(S)
Hayley Jones; Kirrily Pells

Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

Although it is often legally prohibited, the use of physical violence for discipline is a well-established norm in many communities, both at home and at school. Corporal punishment is often part of a wider problem of violence in schools, which includes other forms of humiliating punishment from teachers, peer bullying and gender-based violence. Violence in schools, including physical and verbal abuse by teachers and peers, is the foremost reason children aged 8 give for disliking school.

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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence
Publication

Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence

Effective collaboration around knowledge management and organizational learning is a key contributor to improving the impact of international development work for the world’s most vulnerable people. But how can it be proven? With only 10 years from the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, nine of the world’s most influential agencies set out to show to the connection between the use of evidence, knowledge and learning and a better quality of human life. This book – a synthesis of stories, examples and insights that demonstrate where and how these practices have made a positive impact on development programming – is the result of the Multi-Donor Learning Partnership (MDLP), a collective effort to record the ways each of these organizations have leveraged intentional, systematic and resourced approaches to knowledge management and organizational learning in their work.
Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)
Publication

Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)

UNICEF has undertaken hundreds of gender evidence generation activities, supporting programmatic action, advocacy work and policymaking. The Gender Solutions project aims to draw together the knowledge, innovations and impacts of gender evidence work conducted by UNICEF offices since the first UNICEF Gender Action Plan was launched in 2014. A desk review identified over 700 gender-related UNICEF research, evaluation and data evidence generation activities since 2014. Twenty-five outputs were shortlisted because of their high quality and (potential for) impact and three were selected as Gender Evidence Award winners by an external review panel. By capturing the impact of this broad body of work, Gender Solutions aims to showcase UNICEF’s evidence investments, reward excellence and inform the rollout of the UNICEF Gender Policy 2021–2030 and Action Plan 2022–2025.
Annual Report 2021
Publication

Annual Report 2021

The UNICEF Innocenti Annual Report 2021 highlights the key results achieved in research and evidence to inform policymaking and programming.
Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being
Publication

Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children: Digital technology, play and child well-being

Digital experiences can have significant negative impact on children, exposing them to risks or failing to nurture them adequately. Nevertheless, digital experiences also potentially yield enormous benefits for children, enabling them to learn, to create, to develop friendships, and to build worlds. While global efforts to deepen our understanding of the prevalence and impact of digital risks of harm are burgeoning – a development that is both welcome and necessary – less attention has been paid to understanding and optimizing the benefits that digital technology can provide in supporting children’s rights and their well-being. Benefits here refer not only to the absence of harm, but also to creating additional positive value. How should we recognize the opportunities and benefits of digital technology for children’s well-being? What is the relationship between the design of digital experiences – in particular, play-centred design – and the well-being of children? What guidance and measures can we use to strengthen the design of digital environments to promote positive outcomes for children? And how can we make sure that children’s insights and needs form the foundation of our work in this space? These questions matter for all those who design and promote digital experiences, to keep children safe and happy, and enable positive development and learning. These questions are particularly relevant as the world shifts its attention to emerging digital technologies and experiences, from artificial intelligence (AI) to the metaverse, and seeks to understand their impact on people and society. To begin to tackle these questions, UNICEF and the LEGO Group initiated the Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC) project in partnership with the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University; the CREATE Lab at New York University; the Graduate Center, City University of New York; the University of Sheffield; the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child; and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. The research is funded by the LEGO Foundation. The partnership is an international, multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration between organizations that believe the design and development of digital technology should support the rights and well-being of children as a primary objective – and that children should have a prominent voice in making this a reality. This project’s primary objective is to develop, with children from around the world, a framework that maps how the design of children’s digital experiences affects their well-being, and to provide guidance as to how informed design choices can promote positive well-being outcomes.

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