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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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Drivers of Primary School Dropout in Mozambique: Longitudinal assessment of school dropout in 2019
Drivers of Primary School Dropout in Mozambique: Longitudinal assessment of school dropout in 2019
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

The Avaliação Longitudinal da Desistência Escolar (ALDE, Longitudinal Assessment of School Dropout) is the first nationally representative mixed-method longitudinal survey in Mozambique. Since 2018, the ALDE survey has annually collected longitudinal, nationally representative data from around 5,400 primary school students (from grades 1 to 7) in 60 schools across all eleven provinces in the country.

This report presents the results of the quantitative data collected in 2019 and focuses on the determinants of school dropouts in the country. When children leave school prematurely, not only is their learning interrupted, but the trajectories of their future opportunities and lives are forever altered. This report explores the multidimensional process of school dropouts, investigating how individual, household, community and school-level factors interact to lead children in Mozambique to dropout of education. Through this analysis, the report provides important and actionable recommendations to improve education policy in Mozambique towards its journey to achieve learning for every child.

A Methodological Review for the Data Must Speak Positive Deviance Research: Insights from Positive Deviance, Behavioural Sciences, Implementation Research and Scaling Science
A Methodological Review for the Data Must Speak Positive Deviance Research: Insights from Positive Deviance, Behavioural Sciences, Implementation Research and Scaling Science

AUTHOR(S)
Lorena Levano Gavidia; Cirenia Chavez; Alvaro Fortin; Luca Maria Pesando; Renaud Comba

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

The pandemic has aggravated a learning crisis and put global goals in jeopardy. And yet, even in the most challenging educational contexts, some schools outperform others located in similar contexts and with an equivalent level of resources. Why do these exceptional schools, known as ‘positive deviant’ schools, achieve improved outcomes in learning, retention, equity and gender equality?

Data Must Speak (DMS) – a global initiative implemented since 2014 – aims to address the evidence gaps to mitigate the learning crisis using existing data. DMS’s research component is co-created with ministries of education. It relies on mixed methods to generate knowledge, alongside practical lessons about ‘what works’, ‘why’ and ‘how to’ scale grassroots solutions for national policymakers and the broader international community of education stakeholders.

The research utilizes innovative and complementary approaches of positive deviance, behavioural sciences, implementation research and scaling science to identify and scale up behaviours and practices of ‘positive deviant’ schools. This methodological review presents key definitions, concepts and methodologies of those approaches to guide and inform the development and implementation of the DMS research at country level. By drawing on existing examples from research on education and other fields, this review also offers best practices and lessons learned from those approaches that can be used as a common reference and standard language for future application.

Augmenter la Représentation des Femmes Dans la Direction des Écoles: Une voie prometteuse pour améliorer l’apprentissage
Augmenter la Représentation des Femmes Dans la Direction des Écoles: Une voie prometteuse pour améliorer l’apprentissage
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs

De nouvelles études montrent une association positive entre les femmes dirigeantes d'école et les résultats des élèves. Certaines études suggèrent que les femmes dirigeantes scolaires sont plus susceptibles que leurs homologues masculins d'adopter des pratiques de gestion efficaces pouvant contribuer à l'amélioration des résultats. Cependant, les femmes restent largement sous-représentées aux postes de direction des écoles, en particulier dans les pays à revenu faible ou intermédiaire.

Cette publication présente de nouvelles connaissances sur l'association entre les femmes dirigeantes d'école et les résultats scolaires, et attire l'attention sur la sous-représentation des femmes dans les postes de direction d'école. Elle souligne la nécessité de poursuivre les recherches sur le genre et la direction des écoles afin d'identifier les politiques et les pratiques qui peuvent être mises en œuvre pour augmenter la représentation des femmes et étendre les pratiques de gestion de haute qualité adoptées par les femmes dirigeantes à un plus grand nombre d'écoles afin d'améliorer les résultats scolaires de tous les enfants.

Let Us Learn: Making education work for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal
Let Us Learn: Making education work for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Learning remains largely out of reach for many of the most vulnerable children around the world. In low- and middle-income countries, an estimated 56% of children cannot read a simple text by the age of 10. This share is projected to rise to 70% after the pandemic. The school closures imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, coupled with an enduring tendency in low-income countries to allocate a limited share of the national education budget to the most vulnerable, are further widening inequalities in the global learning crisis landscape.

The Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative implements innovative education programmes to improve learning for the most vulnerable children in five countries with high levels of out-of-school children: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal. This report documents the outcomes, lessons learned and recommendations based on the experience of the initiative across four types of learning programmes spanning the education lifecycle: (1) pre-primary education; (2) accelerated learning pathways; (3) programmes to reduce barriers to access and stay in formal school; and (4) vocational training.

Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Briefs

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.

Caregivers’ Guide to Inclusive Education
Caregivers’ Guide to Inclusive Education
Published: 2022 Miscellanea
Parents or caregivers of children with disabilities play a crucial role in supporting their child’s learning. This includes navigating the education system and supporting their child’s participation in an inclusive school. They may face various challenges, which have been amplified even more due to the remote learning and other COVID-19 restrictions. This guide for caregivers aims to (1) help them understand their rights and national inclusive education laws; (2) identify challenges and barriers they are facing in supporting their child’s learning needs and (3) find solutions that can help them to overcome these challenges. It is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

AUTHOR(S)
Bella Baghdasaryan; Natasha Graham; Malin Ljunggren Elisson; Dita Nugroho

Published: 2022 Miscellanea

Support from caregivers is critical for children’s learning both at home and at school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of education systems globally created additional expectations for parents to support their children’s learning at home. This particularly affected the most marginalized children as the crises exacerbated already existing inequalities in education. This document introduces the approach and purpose of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. It presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system.

The Directory of Associations and Organizations to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities is a template to develop a directory of local associations, organizations and networks that exist to connect and support parents and caregivers of children with disabilities.

 

Teachers’ Guide to Supporting Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Teachers’ Guide to Supporting Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Miscellanea

Teachers play an important role in making sure that all children feel safe, supported and included at school. Marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities face various challenges in navigating newly-emerging inclusive education settings. Teachers can learn about the specific needs of children from their caregivers and help caregivers to identify the best ways and materials to support their child’s learning. This guide for teachers aims supports them to engage with caregivers in (1) identifying their children’s individualized learning needs; (2) identifying the challenges in meeting these needs and (3) identifying solutions in to address these challenges. It is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education.

School Guide to Supporting Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
School Guide to Supporting Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Miscellanea
Inclusion is most effective when schools create a culture that celebrates diversity and builds on the strengths of each student. Family engagement may look different from school to school, and it is important for schools to support families in a variety of ways, not just relying on one method. This guide aims to help schools to (1) identify specific needs faced by marginalized families of children with disabilities; (2) identify challenges they face to meeting these needs and (3) identify solutions in the form of resources that address these challenges. It is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education.
Directory of Resources to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Directory of Resources to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Miscellanea
This document is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education, which also includes guides for caregivers, teachers and schools, a workbook containing tools to support the activities, and a template for a directory of associations and organizations to be adapted for different systems. An initial set of helpful materials, information and links from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan have been included, with templates to add more local resources within each system. It is designed to be  a useful first place for caregivers, teachers and school staff to search for solutions to challenges they have identified while using guides. 
Workbook: Tools to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Workbook: Tools to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Miscellanea
This document is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education, which also includes guides for caregivers, teachers and schools, as well as templates for directories of resources and organizations to be adapted for specific systems. This workbook contains tools to be used by caregivers, teachers and other school staff to apply and work through the steps presented in the guides. Based on proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, the tools work best when they are used in collaboration between these different stakeholders. Completing the activities in the workbook will help to identify the specific challenges caregivers face as well as to identify solutions to address them. 
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

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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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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