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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
SPOTLIGHT

Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
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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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Social Protection and Childhood Violence: Expert Roundtable
Social Protection and Childhood Violence: Expert Roundtable
Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

This Brief summarizes the proceedings of the Know Violence Roundtable examining the evidence on the role of social protection in reducing childhood violence hosted by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, 12-13 May, 2016.

Governance and Policy Coordination: The case of birth registration in Peru
Governance and Policy Coordination: The case of birth registration in Peru
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

The Paper explores coordination through the lens of civil registration and vital statistics, with particular reference to birth registration in Peru. It focuses on the role that coordination can play in making birth registration function effectively. While the capacity of governments to deliver the function of birth registration is central to this paper, the role that understanding coordination can play in improving public services is examined, especially services for children. The capacity to register the births of children is a long-standing function of governments, and can be seen as a test of government effectiveness. In Peru, backward mapping showed that the trails from local and district registrars to the government registration organization (RENIEC) stopped almost immediately. This seems to point towards the centralized structure and top-down approach of RENIEC; to sustain its achievements to date and to reach the final three per cent of unregistered births it should consider incentivizing and empowering local and community administrations.

Experiences of Peer Bullying among Adolescents and Associated Effects on Young Adult Outcomes: Longitudinal Evidence from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Viet Nam
Experiences of Peer Bullying among Adolescents and Associated Effects on Young Adult Outcomes: Longitudinal Evidence from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Viet Nam
Published: 2016 Innocenti Discussion Papers

Being bullied has been found to have a significant impact on children’s physical and mental health, psychosocial well-being and educational performance, with lasting effects into adulthood on health, well-being and lifetime earnings. Little is known about bullying in low- and middle-income countries, however. This study uses a mixed methods approach combining survey analysis of the predictors and associations with being bullied, with qualitative data to explore the context in which bullying occurs and the social processes that underpin it. Findings show that better data collection and increased resource allocation to bullying prevention are needed. The development and evaluation of different types of effective, sustainable and scalable bullying prevention models in low- and middle-income country contexts are priorities for programming and research.

Global Kids Online, Research Synthesis 2015–2016: Summary
Global Kids Online, Research Synthesis 2015–2016: Summary
Published: 2016 Miscellanea

The many stakeholders responsible for children’s safe and positive use of the internet (governments, civil society and the private sector alike) have an important task to formulate policies that are inclusive, balanced and based on solid evidence. But at present, the evidence on which such policies can rely is very scarce, especially in the global South. Research is also invaluable for contextualising online experiences in relation to children’s and families’ lives and the wider cultural or national circumstances. At the global level, evidence is needed to help build a consensus among international actors on international standards, agreements, protocols and investments in order to make the internet a safer and better place for children. Responding to evidence gaps, the GKO research project (www.globalkidsonline.net) was developed as a collaborative initiative between the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and EU Kids Online. Global Kids Online (GKO) follows a child rights framework, as this offers a unifying approach to children’s everyday experiences online, as well as offline, while also recognising the diverse contexts in which children live. The project aims to connect evidence with the ongoing international dialogue regarding policy and practical solutions for children’s well-being and rights in the digital age, especially in countries where the internet is only recently reaching the mass market.

Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Peru: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Peru: Evidence from Young Lives
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

This paper describes children’s experiences of violence at home in Peru, using a lifecourse approach. Violence against children at home tended to increase with age, as children took on more chores (especially in rural areas), and spent more time away from home (in some cases, in urban areas). The chances of being hit by parents increased when children failed in their responsibilities; spending more time away from home also presented potential dangers for children (e.g., being robbed in the community, joining a gang, etc.), and so violence was used as a means to protect them and to prevent them from being led astray. We discuss how living in poverty affects relationships between parents and children. Meeting the basic economic needs of a family is the priority for parents, who then have limited time, energy and resources to devote to their children. We also found that children exposed to violence in the home are also frequently exposed to corporal punishment at school.

Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India: Evidence from Young Lives
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper explores children’s accounts of violence in Andhra Pradesh, India, and the ways in which factors at the individual, family, community, institutional and society levels affect children’s experiences of violence. The paper analyses cross-sectional survey data and case studies from longitudinal qualitative data gathered over a seven-year period, from Young Lives. The paper is divided into four sections – a brief background section, study design and methods, findings from the survey, and findings from case studies. Large proportions of children experience violence (mostly physical punishment and emotional abuse) within their families, at school and, to some extent, within their communities. The findings demonstrate how children’s experiences of violence change with age and that gender differences within this dynamic process are very distinct. The paper reveals that a child’s disapproval of violence does not necessarily influence behaviour in later life, confirming the need for interventions to prevent and tackle violence as children grow up.
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Ethiopia: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Ethiopia: Evidence from Young Lives
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

This research report explores children’s accounts of everyday violence in Ethiopia, and the ways in which factors at individual, family, community, institutional and society levels affect children’s experiences of violence. The report primarily draws on analysis of four rounds of longitudinal qualitative data gathered over seven years, complemented with analysis of cross-sectional survey data from Young Lives. Findings show that violence affecting children – mostly physical punishment and emotional abuse – is widespread, accepted, and normalized. Differing economic activities affect family dynamics and the likelihood of children experiencing violence, which is often linked to the challenges of poverty and the expectation that children will contribute to the household economy.

Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Viet Nam: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Viet Nam: Evidence from Young Lives

AUTHOR(S)
Thi Thanh Huong Vu

Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

This paper explores children’s accounts of violence at home in Viet Nam, and the ways in which factors at the individual, family, community and society levels affect their experiences of violence. The paper analyses cross-sectional survey data and qualitative data gathered from Young Lives; it explores what children know about violence, how they experience it, what they think drives violence at home, what they perceive the consequences to be, and finally, the support they find effective in addressing violence. High proportions of children experience violence (mostly physical punishment and emotional abuse). The paper contributes to knowledge about the nature and experience of violence affecting children in resource-poor settings, and concludes with some suggestions for policy, programming and practice.

Best of UNICEF Research 2015
Best of UNICEF Research 2015
Published: 2015 Innocenti Publications
In addition to recognizing high quality research, the Best of UNICEF Research process aims to share findings with UNICEF colleagues and with the wider community concerned with achieving child rights. This year the competition received 99 applications With global reach, the 12 projects in the final selection cover many of the ‘traditional’ areas of UNICEF work (health, nutrition, sanitation and education), while also highlighting issues that have more recently gained prominence within the global policy agenda, such as social transfers, violence against children and school bullying, and various forms of inequality or exclusion. This publication provides summaries of these research projects, including methodology and results.
Best of UNICEF Research 2014
Best of UNICEF Research 2014
Published: 2014 Innocenti Publications
Each year the Office of Research-Innocenti reviews submissions for the best research being published across all UNICEF offices: country programmes, National Committees, Regional Offices and headquarters divisions. The purpose of this activity is to showcase and recognize high-quality, high-impact research being done in the organization. At the end of the process each year the Office of Research-Innocenti issues a publication containing summaries of the papers considered to be of particular merit. In 2014, the summaries cover issues concerning child protection, cash transfers, ECD, maternal health, inclusive education, and WASH.
The Best Interests of the Child in Intercountry Adoption
The Best Interests of the Child in Intercountry Adoption

AUTHOR(S)
Nigel Cantwell

Published: 2014 Innocenti Insights
Publications produced by the Office are contributions to a global debate on children and child rights issues and include a wide range of opinions. The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect UNICEF policies or approaches. There is universal agreement, embedded in international human rights law, that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in any decisions made about a child’s future. In the case of adoption, which represents one of the most far-reaching and definitive decisions that could be made about the future of any child - the selection of their parents - international law qualifies the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration. This study responds, in particular, to one key question: what is it that enables a policy, process, decision or practice to be qualified as either respectful or in violation of the best interests of the child in intercountry adoption?
The Challenges of Climate Change: Children on the front line
The Challenges of Climate Change: Children on the front line

AUTHOR(S)
Patrizia Faustini

Published: 2014 Innocenti Insights
Children and young people represent 30 per cent of the world’s population. Not only do they represent the largest group of people currently affected by climate change, but they are also more vulnerable than adults to its harmful effects. Children and young people also constitute the generation that will be required to deal with the future impacts of climate change and that will have to deliver the very deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that will be essential in the coming decades. This book is an attempt to redress the balance. It brings together the knowledge and opinions of 40 contributors - scientists, development workers, and experts in health, nutrition and children’s rights - in an attempt to build up a clear picture of what climate change means for the children of today and tomorrow.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic
Publication Publication

Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Italy was the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown. Children and their families lived in nearly complete isolation for almost two months. Students missed 65 days of school compared to an average of 27 missed days among high-income countries worldwide. This prolonged break is of concern, as even short breaks in schooling can cause significant loss of learning for children and lead to educational inequalities over time. At least 3 million Italian students may not have been reached by remote learning due to a lack of internet connectivity or devices at home. This report explores children’s and parents’ experiences of remote learning during the lockdown in Italy, drawing on data collected from 11 European countries (and coordinated by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center). It explores how children's access and use of digital technologies changed during the pandemic; highlights how existing inequalities might undermine remote learning opportunities, even among those with internet access; and provides insights on how to support children’s remote learning in the future. *** L'Italia e’ stata il primo paese in Europa ad aver applicato la misura del lockdown su tutto il territorio. I bambini e le loro famiglie hanno vissuto in quasi completo isolamento per circa due mesi. Gli studenti hanno perduto 65 giorni di scuola rispetto ad una media di 27 negli altri paesi ad alto reddito del mondo. Questa interruzione prolungata rappresenta motivo di preoccupazione, in quanto persino interruzioni piu’ brevi nella didattica possono causare significative perdite nel livello di istruzione dei ragazzi e portare col tempo a diseguaglianze educative. Almeno 3 milioni di studenti in Italia non sono stati coinvolti nella didattica a distanza a causa d una mancanza di connessione ad internet o di dispositivi adeguati a casa. Questo rapporto analizza l’esperienza della didattica a distanza di ragazzi e genitori in Italia durante il lockdown, sulla base dei dati raccolti in 11 paesi europei (e coordinati dal Centro comune di ricerca della Commissione Europea). Studia il cambiamento nell’accesso e nell’uso delle tecnologie digitali dei bambini e ragazzi durante la pandemia; mette in evidenza come le diseguaglianze esistenti possano diminuire le opportunità offerte dalla didattica a distanza, anche tra coloro che hanno accesso ad internet; e fornisce approfondimenti su come sostenere la didattica a distanza di bambini e ragazzi in futuro.
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa
Publication Publication

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

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

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