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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Best of UNICEF Research 2021
SPOTLIGHT

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners to improve children’s lives. This ninth edition brings together 11 powerful studies from around the world and across the five Strategic Goal Areas. How do South Asian youth feel about entering the world of work? What is the effect of climate-related hazards on access to healthcare? How has COVID-19 affected children and their families in the Republic of Moldova? With social and economic inequalities increasing and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals lagging, rigorous research – answers to these questions – has never mattered more.
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COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition
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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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Childhood Poverty and Education in Bangladesh: Policy implications for disadvantaged children
Childhood Poverty and Education in Bangladesh: Policy implications for disadvantaged children
Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper demonstrates a better understanding of childhood poverty and education in relation to the theoretical perspective through drawing together empirical evidence, summarising and interpreting it, in a more integrated manner and context. On the basis of this examination of the phenomenon, research findings have translated into recommendations for policy and practice to improve formal secondary schooling for socio-economically disadvantaged children in Bangladesh.
Защита уязвимых семей в Центральной Азии: бедность, уязвимость и воздействие экономического кризиса
Защита уязвимых семей в Центральной Азии: бедность, уязвимость и воздействие экономического кризиса

AUTHOR(S)
Franziska Gassmann

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
С конца 2007 года страны Центральной Азии перенесли два мощных потрясения, следовавших одно за другим: рост цен на продукты питания и топливо в 2007–2008 годах и мировой экономический и финансовый кризис, начавшийся в конце 2008 года. Кризис оказал непосредственное неблагоприятное воздействие на домохозяйства – как бедные, так и состоятельные. Многоаспектность кризиса и постоянно меняющаяся экономическая ситуация ставят под угрозу способность уязвимых домохозяйств справляться с ситуацией и поддерживать свой уровень жизни. Важную роль в реагировании на кризис играют программы социальной защиты.
Simulation of the Effects of the Economic Crisis and Response Policies on Children in West and Central Africa: The Case of Burkina Faso
Simulation of the Effects of the Economic Crisis and Response Policies on Children in West and Central Africa: The Case of Burkina Faso
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
Burkina Faso’s hard earned economic gains in recent years have been eroded by the 2008-09 world financial and economic crisis. The country will particularly feel the effects of the world economic crisis due to its close links with the world economy. Most of the adverse effects are transmitted to households then passed onto children. The situation of children principally depends on the monetary and non-monetary wellbeing of their household. This, together with their greater vulnerability, means that children are at risk of suffering more, and for longer, from the impacts of the crisis. It is therefore crucial to understand and anticipate the effects that the crisis may have on children in Burkina Faso and to propose options for social protection to counter these effects. To this end, we propose a macro-micro economic approach. Macro-micro economic analysis uses a general calculable equilibrium (CGE) model to simulate the impacts of various transmission channels of the crisis to the Burkinabe economy. The results of these simulations are then used for the micro-econometric analysis, which integrates individual and household economic behaviour to evaluate the impact of the crisis on child welfare. A monetary transfer policy targeting poor children appears to be the most effective at reversing the negative effects of the crisis and returning to the trend that would have existed without the crisis. Such a policy, financed by external aid and with a budget of 1% of GDP, re-establishes the trend that monetary poverty would have followed in the absence of a crisis and even leads to a reduction in hunger. It also limits the crisis’ adverse effects on school enrolment, child labour and sick children’s access to modern health care services. A universal (non-targeted) variant of this transfer policy for 0-5 year-olds has similar results and is easier to enact. Policies which subsidize food and cereals, as well as monetary transfer policies for the Centre and Mouhoun regions (the areas most affected by the August-September 2009 floods) were also analyzed.
Millet Prices, Public Policy and Child Malnutrition: The case of Niger in 2005
Millet Prices, Public Policy and Child Malnutrition: The case of Niger in 2005
Published: 2008 Innocenti Working Papers
Severe food crises were common until the middle 1980s. Since then, they have been less frequent and until the sharp rise of food prices in 2007-8 the dominant perception was that, except in areas suffering from political instability, famines were slowly becoming a problem of the past. Niger’s 2005 events suggest it is too soon to claim victory. Indeed, between March and August 2005 the country was hit by a doubling of millet prices, and a sharp rise in the number of severely malnourished children admitted to feeding centres. The extent and causes of such crisis remain controversial. Some argue that these extreme events are part of a normal seasonal cycle while others suggest that in 2005 Niger’s chronic food insecurity turned into a nutritional crisis that in some areas reached near-famine conditions. This paper reviews the evidence in this regard in the light of the main famine theories and against the background of the chronic food insecurity and high child malnutrition characterizing Niger. This study concludes that the decline in food production invoked by many to explain the crisis does not help comprehending a complex crisis that can only be understood by examining the entitlement failures of several socio-economic groups, the malfunctioning of domestic and regional food markets, and policy mistakes in the fields of food security, health financing, and international aid.
Overcoming Disparities and Expanding Access to Early Childhood Services in Germany: Policy consideration and funding options
Overcoming Disparities and Expanding Access to Early Childhood Services in Germany: Policy consideration and funding options
Published: 2008 Innocenti Working Papers
In comparison to the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) systems of many other advanced economies the German system can be characterised as relative uniform, when looking at programmes and providers. But in other ways, there are considerable variations. There are considerate regional differences in governance, funding, and attendance rates, in particular with respect to certain socio-economic groups. This paper describes and evaluates these differences, mainly from an economic perspective and also taking child well-being into account.
International Support for the Realisation of Children's Rights: Aid modalities and accountability in reporting, and a review of aid for basic social services
International Support for the Realisation of Children's Rights: Aid modalities and accountability in reporting, and a review of aid for basic social services
Published: 2007 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper reflects on the potential of the OECD DAC creditor reporting system to systematically capture flows of official development assistance (ODA) in support of realising children’s rights. The growth in modalities for delivering aid - including sector programmes, SWAP’s, dedicated funds which encompass public-private partnerships such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as the OECD-DAC commitment to promote harmonization and simplification in provision of ODA and promote government ownership through general budget support - raises challenges to assessing ODA for children. The question 'Is it meaningful to single out and measure direct assistance to children?' also must be raised. The paper goes on to analyse ODA trends for basic social services. The analysis further confirms that social sector programmes and sector wide approaches (SWAP’s) are on the rise but still account only for a small portion of total ODA to basic social services although a number of such programmes are targeted specifically to basic services.
Beyond Krismon: The social legacy of Indonesia's financial crisis
Beyond Krismon: The social legacy of Indonesia's financial crisis

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Stalker

Published: 2001 Innocenti Insights
Most of the countries caught up in the Asian financial crisis appear to have weathered the storm. But Indonesia's prospects are far more uncertain. In this Innocenti Insight, development journalist and writer Peter Stalker describes how the financial turbulence of the Krisis Moneter, or Krismon, set off a dramatic social and political chain reaction, with effects on children that could reverberate for years to come. Beyond Krismon examines the legacy of Soeharto's New Order regime in terms of child well-being, the impact of the financial crisis on areas essential to their survival and development and the crippling burden of debt that may jeopardize the nation's hopes for the future.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: child survival and development, economic crisis, financial policy | Publisher: UNICEF IRC
The Impact of the Indonesian Financial Crisis on Children: An analysis using the 100 villages data
The Impact of the Indonesian Financial Crisis on Children: An analysis using the 100 villages data

AUTHOR(S)
Lisa A. Cameron

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper examines the impact of the Asian crisis on children in Indonesia. School attendance dropped slightly after the onset of the crisis but has since rebounded to higher than pre-crisis levels. Fewer children are now working, although the older children who are working and are not attending school seem to be working longer hours. Several studies have examined the social impacts of the crisis. The findings can largely be summarized as showing that rather than being uniformly negative and severe, the crisis impact has been quite heterogeneous, depending on geographic location and household socio-economic status. Overwhelmingly, households have been shown to be very resilient in the face of hardship.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: child workers, economic development, economic monitoring, education, health | Publisher: IRC
An Analysis of the Role of Social Safety Net Scholarships in Reducing School Drop-Out during the Indonesian Economic Crisis
An Analysis of the Role of Social Safety Net Scholarships in Reducing School Drop-Out during the Indonesian Economic Crisis

AUTHOR(S)
Lisa A. Cameron

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper uses regression and matching techniques to evaluate Indonesia’s Social Safety Net Scholarships Programme. The scholarships programme was developed to try to prevent large numbers of children from dropping out of school as a result of the Asian crisis. The expectation was that many families would find it difficult to keep their children in school and drop out rates would be high as they were during the 1980's recession. Drop-outs, however, have not increased markedly and enrolment rates have remained relatively steady. This paper examines the role played by the scholarship programme in producing this result.
The 'Family-in-Focus' Approach: Developing policy-oriented monitoring and analysis of human development in Indonesia
The 'Family-in-Focus' Approach: Developing policy-oriented monitoring and analysis of human development in Indonesia

AUTHOR(S)
Friedhelm Betke

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
Socio-economic and political turmoil in Indonesia has had an impact on the country's thirty years of progress in social development. However, it has also opened up new avenues for participation and region-specific policy formulation alongside growing demand for new approaches to the monitoring and analysis of social change. This paper examines the Family-in-Focus Approach - a comprehensive lifespan-based concept of human development. This joint initiative from UNICEF, the Government of Indonesia and others, sees families as participants in development rather than passive recipients of programmes. A family focus in the planning of multi-sectoral interventions could ensure better targeting, while building capacity for analysis at Governmental and institutional levels.
The Rhetoric of International Development Targets and the Reality of Official Development Assistance
The Rhetoric of International Development Targets and the Reality of Official Development Assistance

AUTHOR(S)
Santosh Mehrotra

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
Within the last decade governments of donors and developing countries have committed themselves to achieving a number of International Development Targets (IDTs) to be reached by 2015. These include halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and ensuring universal primary education. While the bulk of the resources for this task will come from the national budgets of developing countries, without additional official development assistance (ODA) the task is daunting for most of the low-income countries. This paper examines the extent to which poverty alleviation through support for basic social services has become part of the official development assistance strategy of donors. It finds an alarming gap between the rethoric of poverty reduction on the one hand, and the feature of ODA, especially to basic services, on the other.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 62 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: basic services, development aid, economic development, poverty alleviation, poverty reduction | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Macroeconomics and Data on Children
Macroeconomics and Data on Children

AUTHOR(S)
John Micklewright

Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
Putting data on children into macroeconomic debate can be achieved in a variety of ways. Economic policy is about improving the lives of people and the most basic data of all concerning children - demographic data - can be used to underline this fact. The key economic variables on which economic policy operates can all be given a child dimension. And direct measures of various dimensions of child well-being must also be brought into the picture.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 18 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: child welfare, demographic indicators, economic policy | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
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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.
Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia
Publication Publication

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Il rapporto Vite a Colori racconta le esperienze, percezioni ed opinioni di un gruppo di adolescenti sul primo anno di pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia cercando di comprendere le loro esperienze e punti di vista, attraverso le loro parole. La raccolta dati si è svolta tra febbraio e giugno 2021 con 114 partecipanti tra i 10 e i 19 anni, frequentanti le scuole superiori del primo e del secondo ciclo di 16 regioni italiane. Bambinɘ e ragazzɘ che si identificano come LGBTQI+, minori stranieri non accompagnati (MSNA) e adolescenti con background socioeconomico svantaggiato sono stati deliberatamente inclusi nel campione interessato dalla ricerca

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