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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Playing the Game: A framework and toolkit for successful child focused sport for development programmes
SPOTLIGHT

Playing the Game: A framework and toolkit for successful child focused sport for development programmes

To identify best practices in S4D programming and achieve a stronger evidence base on how S4D interventions can work effectively, the Playing the Game report and Toolkit draw on ten qualitative in-depth case studies undertaken with S4D organizations operating in different world regions and across various contexts, programme goals and issue areas. Findings from these ten case studies and the existing literature are brought together to develop an evidence-based guiding framework and Toolkit for S4D programming targeting children and youth.
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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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Modélisation
Modélisation
Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs

Un modèle est une représentation verbale, graphique ou mathématique de relations sociales ou économiques. Les modèles fournissent un cadre simplifié en privilégiant les liens essentiels et en ignorant certains facteurs considérés comme moins importants. Les modèles mathématiques décrivent les relations sociales et économiques sous forme de notation algébrique. Les plus simples sont les modèles à équation unique.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
Elaboración de modelos
Elaboración de modelos
Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs

Un modelo es una representación verbal, gráfica o matemática de las relaciones sociales o económicas. Los modelos proporcionan un marco simplificado ya que se centran en las relaciones de interés fundamentales y omiten los factores que se consideran más marginales. Los modelos matemáticos describen las relaciones sociales y económicas en una notación algebraica. Los modelos más simples son modelos con una sola ecuación. Por ejemplo, la función de producción de salud en la economía expresa un resultado directo en materia de salud, por ejemplo, la tasa de mortalidad infantil en función de los ingresos, la educación femenina, la inmunización, los aportes nutricionales, etcétera.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
Ghana LEAP 1000 Impact Evaluation: Overview of Study Design
Ghana LEAP 1000 Impact Evaluation: Overview of Study Design

AUTHOR(S)
Richard de Groot

Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

Sharing of good, practical research practices and lessons learned from development and humanitarian contexts is in high demand not only within UNICEF, but also in the broader international development and humanitarian community, ‘Impact Evaluation in the Field’ complements other methodological briefs by discussing how textbook approaches are applied in often challenging, under-resourced development contexts as well as the innovative solutions that are needed to ensure that practical demands do not compromise methodological rigour. The series will grow over time, allowing UNICEF staff and partners to share new experiences and approaches as they emerge from applied research. The overarching aim is to contribute to strengthening capacity in research and evaluation, improving UNICEF and partners’ ability to provide evidence-based, strategic, long-term solutions for children. This brief documents the impact evaluation design of the Ghana Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) 1000 programme which is being piloted in ten districts in two regions and targets about 6,000 households initially.

Utilizing Qualitative Methods in the Ghana LEAP 1000 Impact Evaluation
Utilizing Qualitative Methods in the Ghana LEAP 1000 Impact Evaluation
Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

Sharing of good, practical research practices and lessons learned from development and humanitarian contexts is in high demand not only within UNICEF, but also in the broader international development and humanitarian community, ‘Impact Evaluation in the Field’ complements other methodological briefs by discussing how textbook approaches are applied in often challenging, under-resourced development contexts as well as the innovative solutions that are needed to ensure that practical demands do not compromise methodological rigour. The series will grow over time, allowing UNICEF staff and partners to share new experiences and approaches as they emerge from applied research. The overarching aim is to contribute to strengthening capacity in research and evaluation, improving UNICEF and partners’ ability to provide evidence-based, strategic, long-term solutions for children. This methodological brief focuses on the qualitative component of the evaluation of the Ghana Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) 1000. Quantitative measures will indicate if LEAP 1000 reduces child poverty, stunting and other measures of well-being, while qualitative research explores in more depth the reasons why and how this may or may not be happening.

Best of UNICEF Research 2016
Best of UNICEF Research 2016
Published: 2016 Miscellanea

The Best of UNICEF competition identifies a number of studies that are assessed to be of particular merit on a number of criteria: in terms of the relevance and interest of the topic and findings; the rigour of their methodology; and the potential for impact, including lessons that could inform programmes elsewhere, or the capacity for replication or scaling up. Issues covered include health, education, WASH, child protection and social inclusion. There was also a strong emphasis on qualitative and mixed methods research, demonstrating the value of rigorous qualitative studies. A number of studies selected as of special merit in 2016 involved research directly with children and there is an increasing recognition that children’s perspectives are of primary importance. There was also a welcome attention to gender in some of the studies, including research with both adolescent boys and girls.

Overview of Impact Evaluation: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 1
Overview of Impact Evaluation: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 1

AUTHOR(S)
Patricia Rogers

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Impact evaluation provides information about the impacts produced by an intervention. It can be undertaken of a programme or a policy, or upstream work – such as capacity building, policy advocacy and support for an enabling environment. This goes beyond looking only at goals and objectives to also examine unintended impacts. This brief provides an overview of the different elements of impact evaluation and options for planning and managing its various stages.
Theory of Change: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 2
Theory of Change: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 2

AUTHOR(S)
Patricia Rogers

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
A theory of change explains how activities are understood to produce a series of results that contribute to achieving the final intended impacts. It can be developed for any level of intervention – an event, a project, a programme, a policy, a strategy or an organization. In an impact evaluation, a theory of change is useful for identifying the data that need to be collected and how they should be analysed. It can also provide a framework for reporting.
Evaluative Criteria: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 3
Evaluative Criteria: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 3

AUTHOR(S)
Greet Peersman

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Evaluation relies on a combination of facts and values to judge the merit of an intervention. Evaluative criteria specify the values that will be used in an evaluation. While evaluative criteria can be used in different types of evaluations, this brief specifically addresses their use in impact evaluations.
Evaluative Reasoning: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 4
Evaluative Reasoning: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 4

AUTHOR(S)
E. Jane Davidson

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Decision makers frequently need evaluation to help them work out what to do to build on strengths and address weaknesses. To do so, they must know not only what the strengths and weaknesses are, but also which are the most important or serious, and how well or poorly the programme or policy is performing on them. Evaluative reasoning is the process of synthesizing the answers to lower- and mid-level evaluation questions into defensible judgements that directly answer the key evaluation questions.
Participatory Approaches: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 5
Participatory Approaches: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 5

AUTHOR(S)
Irene Guijt

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Using participatory approaches in impact evaluation means involving stakeholders, particularly the participants in a programme or those affected by a given policy, in specific aspects of the evaluation process. The term covers a wide range of different types of participation and stakeholders can be involved at any stage of the impact evaluation process, including: its design, data collection, analysis, reporting and managing the study.
Overview: Strategies for Causal Attribution: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 6
Overview: Strategies for Causal Attribution: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 6

AUTHOR(S)
Patricia Rogers

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
One of the essential elements of an impact evaluation is that it not only measures or describes changes that have occurred but also seeks to understand the role of particular interventions (i.e., programmes or policies) in producing these changes. This process is known as causal attribution. In impact evaluation, there are three broad strategies for causal attribution: 1) estimating the counterfactual; 2) checking the consistency of evidence for the causal relationships made explicit in the theory of change; and 3) ruling out alternative explanations, through a logical, evidence-based process. The ‘best fit’ strategy for causal attribution depends on the evaluation context as well as what is being evaluated.
Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs): Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 7
Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs): Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 7
Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is an experimental form of impact evaluation in which the population receiving the programme or policy intervention is chosen at random from the eligible population, and a control group is also chosen at random from the same eligible population. It tests the extent to which specific, planned impacts are being achieved. The distinguishing feature of an RCT is the random assignment of units (e.g. people, schools, villages, etc.) to the intervention or control groups. One of its strengths is that it provides a very powerful response to questions of causality, helping evaluators and programme implementers to know that what is being achieved is as a result of the intervention and not anything else.
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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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