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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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The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery
The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report
The global disruption to education caused by the COVD-19 pandemic is without parallel and the effects on learning are severe. The crisis brought education systems across the world to a halt, with school closures affecting more than 1.6 billion learners. While nearly every country in the world offered remote learning opportunities for students, the quality and reach of such initiatives varied greatly and were at best partial substitutes for in-person learning. Now, 21 months later, schools remain closed for millions of children and youth, and millions more are at risk of never returning to education. Evidence of the detrimental impacts of school closures on children’s learning offer a harrowing reality: learning losses are substantial, with the most marginalized children and youth often disproportionately affected.

The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery charts a path out of the global education crisis and towards building more effective, equitable and resilient education systems.
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Guinée
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Guinée
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L'absentéisme des enseignants est un défi particulier qui affecte les progrès éducatifs et l'apprentissage des enfants en Guinée. Des études antérieures suggèrent que 15 pour cent des élèves considèrent l'absentéisme des enseignants comme l'une des principales raisons de leur insatisfaction à l'égard de l'école. Bien que le défi de l'absentéisme soit reconnu par les acteurs politiques nationaux, les études sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui influencent l’assiduité des enseignants en Guinée restent rares. La pandémie de COVID-19 ne fera qu'exacerber les défis existants. L'étude Time to Teach (TTT) vise à combler ce manque de connaissances et à renforcer la base de preuves sur les différents types d'assiduité des enseignants du primaire et les facteurs qui y contribuent.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 50 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: primary education, primary schools, teachers
Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 in West and Central Africa
Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 in West and Central Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Marco Valenza; Yacouba Dijbo Abdou; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Countries in West and Central Africa strived to implement national responses to continue learning activities during school closures. These responses relied on a mix of channels, including online platforms, broadcast media, mobile phones and printed learning packs. Several barriers, however, still prevented many children and adolescents in the region from taking advantage of these opportunities, resulting in learning loss in a region where almost 50 per cent of children do not achieve minimum reading skills at the end of the primary cycle. This report builds on existing evidence to highlight key lessons learned in continuing education for all at times of mass school closures and provides actionable recommendations to build resilience into national education systems in view of potential future crises. 

Time to Teach: Understanding teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Liberia
Time to Teach: Understanding teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Liberia

AUTHOR(S)
Silvia Peirolo; Ximena Jativa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

In Liberia, recurring school absenteeism and post abandonment are considered critical obstacles to quality education. Although national political actors recognize absenteeism as a major impediment to quality education, studies on the factors influencing teacher attendance in the country, including national policies and practices at the community and school levels, remain scarce. Also, there is a lack of knowledge on the direct and indirect ways the coronavirus pandemic and the measures adopted to contain it impact primary school teachers. This Time to Teach study seeks to fill these knowledge gaps.

The report provides valuable insights into how the COVID-19 crisis may exacerbate existing education system challenges that affect teacher attendance and time on task. It also collects and strengthens the evidence base on the factors affecting the various dimensions of primary school teacher attendance to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies. 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: education, liberia, primary schools, schools, teachers
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Nigeria
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Nigeria

AUTHOR(S)
Spogmai Akseer; Ximena Jativa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Prior to COVID-19 lockdowns, the Federal Republic of Nigeria had taken measures to improve the quality of education and of teachers’ working conditions such as by improving school infrastructure and accelerating teacher training programs, and providing incentive schemes for teachers. While education is free and compulsory, Nigeria reports the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. Economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of school closures, and the shift towards remote learning are anticipated to pose further constraints and push even more vulnerable children out of the education system. Teacher absenteeism and the poor use of instructional time are also significant problems for the Nigerian education system, negatively affect students’ academic performance and learning. This Time to Teach study seeks to support both federal and state governments by providing a comprehensive understanding of teacher attendance in the country’s primary schools. It also aims to provide insights into how attendance challenges may be similar or different across the types of schools (public/Quranic/private) and settings (urban/rural) and more importantly, how these can inform teacher policy design and implementation. Though data were collected prior to COVID-19 school closures, this study also aims to provide insights on how the pandemic may further exacerbate existing challenges. 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 68 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: education, nigeria, primary schools, teachers
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires au Togo
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires au Togo

AUTHOR(S)
Silvia Peirolo; Ximena Jativa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L'absentéisme des enseignants est un défi particulier affectant la qualité de l'éducation au Togo. Des études précédentes suggèrent qu'une fois dans la salle de classe, les enseignants n'enseignaient que 79 pour cent du temps, ce qui signifie que près d'un cinquième du temps était consacré à d'autres activités. Cette réduction du temps d'enseignement était exacerbée par l'absentéisme des enseignants. Bien que le défi de l’absentéisme soit reconnu par les acteurs politiques nationaux, les études sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui influencent l’assiduité des enseignants et enseignantes au Togo restent rares. La pandémie de COVID-19 ne fera qu’aggraver les défis existants au sein du système éducatif togolais. L’étude Time to Teach (TTT) vise à combler ce manque de connaissances et à renforcer la base de données factuelles sur les différents types d’assiduité des enseignants du primaire, et les facteurs qui y contribuent.

 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 47 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: primary schools, teachers
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Côte d’Ivoire
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Côte d’Ivoire
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Côte d’Ivoire has made great strides in improving access and quality in its education system, but significant gaps in student learning and achievement remain. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 Ivorian children are not proficient in reading by the age of 10, and do not have enough math skills at the end of primary school. In Côte d’Ivoire, teacher absenteeism is estimated to responsible for the loss of approximately 25 per cent of teaching time. In the specific case of primary education, it is estimated that teacher absenteeism and other calendar delays are responsible for the loss of two months of courses per year on average. This Time to Teach study seeks to contribute to a better understanding of teacher attendance in Côte d’Ivoire’s primary schools. The study adapts a broad concept of teacher absenteeism which includes: absence from school, lack of teacher punctuality, absence from the classroom and reduction in the time dedicated to teaching. 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: education, primary education, primary schools, teachers
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Mauritanie
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Mauritanie

AUTHOR(S)
Silvia Peirolo; Ximena Jativa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L'absentéisme des enseignants et le non-respect du temps scolaire constituent un obstacle persistant à l'apprentissage universel de qualité en République Islamique de Mauritanie. Cependant, les données vérifiées sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques relatives à l'assiduité des enseignants en Mauritanie restent rares.  Dans l'environnement post-COVID-19, il y a raison de s'inquiéter du fait que l'ampleur des répercussions sociales et économiques de la pandémie aggrave davantage les défis existants au sein du système éducatif mauritanien.  L'étude Time to Teach cherche à combler ce manque de connaissances.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 42 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: primary education, schools, teachers
Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre
Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

En Afrique subsaharienne, la perte d'heures d'enseignement due à l'absentéisme des enseignants correspond à un gaspillage d'environ 46 centimes pour chaque euro investi dans l'éducation, soit un gaspillage annuel de 1 à 3 % du PIB. Cette note résume les résultats de recherches menées dans 11 pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre dans le cadre de l'étude Time to Teach, un projet de l'UNICEF qui étudie les raisons des différentes formes d'absentéisme des enseignants du primaire. Il analyse la fréquence de l'absentéisme des enseignants sous quatre formes – absence de l'école, retard ou départ prématuré, absence de la classe et temps d´enseignement en classe réduit – et les raisons invoquées par les enseignants pour leur absence. Mais les enseignants sont également motivés par des facteurs tels que la formation, la disponibilité des ressources d'apprentissage et d'autres facteurs positifs. Plus de détails sont disponibles dans les rapports pays.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 8 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: central africa, primary schools, teachers, west africa
Playing the Game: A framework and toolkit for successful child focused sport for development programmes
Playing the Game: A framework and toolkit for successful child focused sport for development programmes
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

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.

 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 134 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: child protection, empowerment, social development, sport
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures around the world, affecting almost 1.6 billion students. The effects of even short disruptions in a child’s schooling on their learning and well-being have been shown to be acute and long lasting. The capacities of education systems to respond to the crisis by delivering remote learning and support to children and families have been diverse yet uneven.

This report reviews the emerging evidence on remote learning throughout the global school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic to help guide decision-makers to build more effective, sustainable, and resilient education systems for current and future crises.

School Principals in Highly Effective Schools – Who are they and which good practices do they adopt?
School Principals in Highly Effective Schools – Who are they and which good practices do they adopt?

AUTHOR(S)
Renaud Comba

Published: 2021 Policy Brief

While the Government of Lao PDR, through the Ministry of Education and Sports and its development partners, has made steady progress in expanding access to quality education, many children still leave primary school with difficulties in reading and writing for their age. Despite this, there are ‘positive deviant’ schools that outperform other schools located in similar contexts and with an equivalent level of resources.

Data Must Speak (DMS) Positive Deviance research is a multi-staged mixed-method approach, co-created and co-implemented with Ministries of Education. It aims to generate knowledge about the positive deviant practices and behaviours of high performing schools. It also seeks to unravel practical lessons about ‘what works’ and how to scale grassroots solutions for national policymakers and the broader international community of education stakeholders.

This policy brief – focused on school principals in highly effective schools – is part of a series that presents key research findings of the DMS research quantitative stage in Lao PDR. More importantly, it aims to inform policy dialogue and decision-making in Lao PDR and other interested countries.

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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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