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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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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 Publications

There is universal agreement 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. The implications of this obligation are all the greater in the context of the intercountry form of adoption, since this involves in addition the removal of a child to a new country and, usually, a new culture.

However, there is no universal agreement on who is ultimately responsible for determining what is in a child’s ‘best interests’, nor on what basis the decision should be made 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?

La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Las instituciones independientes aportan un enfoque claro hacia la infancia en unos sistemas de gobernanza que tradicionalmente se centran en los adultos. Suelen ofrecer mecanismos directos para mejorar la rendición de cuentas del Estado y otros garantes de la protección del menor, palian deficiencias en los mecanismos de control y equilibrio y trabajan para que se comprenda y se reconozca la relevancia de las políticas y prácticas en favor de los derechos de los niños. Cuando las cosas salen mal, o cuando los resultados son insuficientes, apoyan medidas para poner remedio a la situación y reformar el sistema.
La sicurezza dei bambini online: sfide globali e strategie
La sicurezza dei bambini online: sfide globali e strategie
Published: 2013 Innocenti Insights
Negli ultimi vent'anni, Internet è diventata parte integrante della nostra vita. Abbiamo abbracciato con entusiasmo il suo potenziale in termini di comunicazione, intrattenimento e ricerca di informazioni. Per molti bambini di oggi, Internet, telefoni cellulari e tecnologie affini costituiscono una presenza familiare e costante: si muovono agevolmente tra ambiente online e offline, tanto che ai loro occhi la distinzione risulta sempre più irrilevante. La ricerca analizza il comportamento, I rischi e le vulnerabilità dei bambini in Internet e documenta le misure preventive e protettive contro lo sfruttamento e l'abuso di minori online attualmente in vigore.
Child-responsive Accountability: Lessons from social accountability
Child-responsive Accountability: Lessons from social accountability

AUTHOR(S)
Lena Thu Phuong Nguyen

Published: 2013 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper links the concept and practice of accountability with child rights, by asking: (1) What accountability means when children are the rights holders, and whose role is it to exact that accountability? (2) What are the assumptions underpinning social accountability, and how can they be revised from the child-rights perspective? (3) How do social and political dynamics at community and national levels, often not linked to child rights issues, shape accountability outcomes? The paper is addressed to child rights practitioners, while drawing from political economy and political science as well as the women’s rights movement. In doing so, it seeks to link the various lessons learnt in order to lay the ground for thinking about child-responsive accountability.
المستقلة الخاصة بالأطفال – تقرير موجز دراسة عالمية حول منظمات حقوق الإنسان حقوق الأطفال مُناصَرة
المستقلة الخاصة بالأطفال – تقرير موجز دراسة عالمية حول منظمات حقوق الإنسان حقوق الأطفال مُناصَرة

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Independent institutions bring an explicit children’s focus to traditional adult-oriented governance systems. Acting as direct mechanisms for accountability, they fill gaps in checks and balances and make sure that the impact of policy and practice on children’s rights is understood and recognized. At a time of global economic uncertainty, a period in which inequities between rich and poor are widening, and a period of reflection on progress towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals and in defining what sustainable and equitable goals should come after, these institutions are key players in promoting systems that are effective in delivering results for children.
Защита и поддержка прав детей
Защита и поддержка прав детей

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Independent institutions bring an explicit children’s focus to traditional adult-oriented governance systems. Acting as direct mechanisms for accountability, they fill gaps in checks and balances and make sure that the impact of policy and practice on children’s rights is understood and recognized. At a time of global economic uncertainty, a period in which inequities between rich and poor are widening, and a period of reflection on progress towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals and in defining what sustainable and equitable goals should come after, these institutions are key players in promoting systems that are effective in delivering results for children.
Défendre les droits de l’enfant: Rapport de synthèse de l’étude mondiale sur les institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant
Défendre les droits de l’enfant: Rapport de synthèse de l’étude mondiale sur les institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
Les institutions indépendantes placent explicitement les enfants au centre des systèmes de gouvernance traditionnellement axés sur les adultes. Fournissant souvent des mécanismes directs assurant une responsabilisation accrue de l’État et des autres protecteurs de l’enfance, elles comblent les lacunes entre les pouvoirs et les contrepouvoirs et veillent à ce que les répercussions des politiques et des pratiques sur les droits de l’enfant soient comprises et reconnues. Lorsque les choses vont mal ou que les résultats ne sont pas à la hauteur des attentes, elles soutiennent les voies de recours et les réformes qui s’imposent.
The Structural Determinants of Child Well-being: An expert consultation hosted by the UNICEF Office of Research 22-23 June 2012
The Structural Determinants of Child Well-being: An expert consultation hosted by the UNICEF Office of Research 22-23 June 2012
Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
In response to persistent inequities, there is a global imperative to address the underlying causes of child wellbeing. While remarkable achievements have been made in the last decades in progress in health and survival of children, progress is still lagging in other key dimensions of child wellbeing, a number of which are now recognised as needing fresh attention in both rich and poor countries.
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
Independent institutions bring an explicit children’s focus to traditional adult-oriented governance systems. Acting as direct mechanisms for accountability, they fill gaps in checks and balances and make sure that the impact of policy and practice on children’s rights is understood and recognized. At a time of global economic uncertainty, a period in which inequities between rich and poor are widening, and a period of reflection on progress towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals and in defining what sustainable and equitable goals should come after, these institutions are key players in promoting systems that are effective in delivering results for children.
Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring
Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring

AUTHOR(S)
B. Guy Peters

Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Ensuring the proper functioning of public institutions is integral to good governance, yet ensuring and monitoring the requirements of human rights instruments is difficult and measurement of children’s rights even more so. This paper explores some of the factors which impede and promote public sector responsibilities towards children. The purpose of this analysis is to seek methods of assessing the performance of governments in their roles as protectors of the rights of children according to their international commitments. The multiplicity of actors involved in the process is described and the related problems for cooperation and effective implementation considered.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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.
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Publication

Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning

Emerging evidence shows a positive association between women school leaders and student performance. Some studies suggest women school leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to adopt effective management practices that may contribute to improved outcomes. However, women remain largely underrepresented in school leadership positions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This brief presents emerging insights on the association between women school leaders and education outcomes and draws attention to women’s underrepresentation in school leadership roles. It highlights the need for further research on gender and school leadership to identify policies and practices that can be implemented to increase women’s representation and scale high-quality management practices adopted by women leaders to more schools to improve education outcomes for all children.
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.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia

When schools started closing their doors due to COVID-19, countries in Europe and Central Asia quickly provided alternative learning solutions for children to continue learning. More than 90 per cent of countries offered digital solutions to ensure that education activities could continue. However, lack of access to digital devices and a reliable internet connection excluded a significant amount of already marginalized children and threatened to widen the existing learning disparities. This report builds on existing evidence highlighting key lessons learned during the pandemic to promote learning for all during school closure and provides actionable policy recommendations on how to bridge the digital divide and build resilient education systems in Europe and Central Asia.

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