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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
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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.
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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.
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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.

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.

Being intentional about gender-transformative strategies: Reflections and Lessons for UNICEF's Gender and Policy Action Plan (2022-2025)
Being intentional about gender-transformative strategies: Reflections and Lessons for UNICEF's Gender and Policy Action Plan (2022-2025)
Published: 2021 Miscellanea

This compendium brings together six papers on new and emerging gender-related priorities developed by UNICEF staff and external partners, which engage with deepening understanding of the pressing gender challenges children and young people are facing today, and call for more ambitious actions to achieve gender-transformative change and accelerate progress towards gender equality for all children and adults. These papers inform the development of the UNICEF’s new Gender Policy 2021-2030 and Gender Action Plan (GAP) 2022-2025.

Social Protection and Its Effects on Gender Equality: A literature review
Social Protection and Its Effects on Gender Equality: A literature review

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti

Published: 2020 Innocenti Working Papers

Globally, progress has been made in the fight against both poverty and gender inequality, including through the expansion of social protection programmes. Yet significant gaps remain. Many women and girls remain in poverty and often face different structural constraints and risks across their life course, related to their biological sex as well as entrenched gender norms that discriminate against them in many aspects of their lives. As poverty, risks and vulnerabilities – which social protection aims to minimize, reduce or tackle – are gendered, if the root causes of gender inequality are not investigated in evidence generation and addressed in policy and practice, poverty will not be sustainably eradicated, nor gender equality achieved.

This paper provides an overview of the latest evidence on the effects of social protection on gender equality. It starts by considering how risks and vulnerabilities are gendered, and the implications of their gendered nature for boys’ and girls’, and men’s and women’s well-being throughout the life course. It then reviews and discusses the evidence on the design features of four types of social protection programmes – non-contributory programmes, contributory programmes, labour market programmes, and social care services – and their effects on gender equality, unpacking which design features matter the most to achieve gender equality. Finally, the paper concludes with implications for a future research agenda on gender and social protection.

Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection: A conceptual framework
Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection: A conceptual framework
Published: 2020 Innocenti Working Papers

There is significant potential for social protection systems (including policies, programmes and institutions) to promote gender equality and transformative change as a core pre-condition for long-term and sustainable poverty reduction. There is also the potential of poverty reduction to promote long-term and sustained gender equality and transformative change. Recognising this, the Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP) research programme, led by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti (hereafter UNICEF Innocenti) seeks to strengthen the gender-responsiveness of social protection systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and support shifts long-term towards gender-transformational social protection work, by building a robust evidence base focused on ‘what works’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ to contribute to enhanced gender equality outcomes across the life course.

This working paper provides a concise narrative behind the graphic representation of the GRASSP conceptual framework. The framework delineates the conceptual linkages between gender (including gender risks, vulnerabilities, discrimination and inequalities, multidimensional deprivations affecting women and girls), and social protection. It proposes a systematic, holistic and integrated approach for conceptualising the intersections between gender and social protection, to achieve SDG1 (‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere’) and SDG5 (‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’)1 through careful planning, design, implementation and evaluation of a gender-responsive social protection system.

The GRASSP conceptual framework builds on and expands existing conceptual and theoretical efforts focused on integrating a gender lens into public policy (see for instance Holmes and Jones 2013, GAGE Consortium 2017). Building on these earlier efforts, the GRASSP conceptual framework brings together several integrated aspects related to gender, social protection, and the life course.

Adolescent girls’ potential to disrupt the gender socialization process: Evidence from Plan International UK’s longitudinal cohort study, ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’
Adolescent girls’ potential to disrupt the gender socialization process: Evidence from Plan International UK’s longitudinal cohort study, ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’

AUTHOR(S)
Lilli Loveday; Jenny Rivett; Prerna Banati

Published: 2019 Innocenti Research Briefs
This brief discusses findings from Plan International UK’s ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’ report, which explores factors in adolescent girls’ lives across Benin, Togo and Uganda that may influence them  to ‘accept’ or ‘disrupt’ the gender socialization process. The brief focuses on one of a handful of qualitative longitudinal studies addressing the challenges of gender norms in low- and middle-income country settings, providing crucial evidence in these countries to address Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equality.
Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Conceptualization, influences and outcomes
Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Conceptualization, influences and outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
John A. Neetu; Kirsten Stoebenau; Samantha Ritter; Jeffrey Edmeades; Nikola Balvin

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

This brief summarizes the key insights and conclusions from a discussion paper on gender socialization during adolescence, with a focus on low- and middle-income settings. By reviewing theories from psychology, sociology and biology, significant societal changes and effective programme interventions, the paper sets out to provide a more holistic picture of the influences and outcomes of gender socialization for adolescent programming and policy.

Is University Education More Important for a Boy than for a Girl? Social approval of unequal educational opportunity across 21 countries
Is University Education More Important for a Boy than for a Girl? Social approval of unequal educational opportunity across 21 countries

AUTHOR(S)
Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

The attitudes that we hold are shaped and nurtured by society, institutions, religion and family; they involve feelings, beliefs and behaviours and represent a form of judgement. These attitudes and values define the power relations, dynamics, opportunities and choices between men and women, boys and girls. Societies vary significantly in the scale of egalitarian attitudes and beliefs related to gender roles and opportunities in  education, politics, the family, and the workforce. Progress towards more egalitarian gender values is crucial for achieving gender equality among children and young people, which in turn is a pre-condition for sustainable development.

Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Conceptualization, influences and outcomes
Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Conceptualization, influences and outcomes

AUTHOR(S)
Neetu A. John; Kirsten Stoebenau; Samantha Ritter; Jeffrey Edmeades; Nikola Balvin

Published: 2017 Innocenti Discussion Papers

The rapid changes that take place during adolescence provide opportunities for the development and implementation of policies and programmes, which can influence the gender socialization process, in order to maximize positive outcomes. This paper sets out to provide a conceptual understanding of the gender socialization process during adolescence, its influences and outcomes, and practical suggestions on how to use this knowledge in the design of policies and programmes to improve gender equality. First, theoretical contributions from psychology, sociology and biology were reviewed to situate the gender socialization process during adolescence in a broader context of multi-level influences. Second, a socio-ecological framework was introduced to bring together the main factors that influence the gender socialization process and its outcomes. Third, knowledge on how to influence the gender socialization process and its outcomes was summarized in order to provide practical recommendations for policies and programmes. This included: a) reviewing changes in demographics, the global media and gendered economic opportunities, to understand how the gender socialization process, gender norms and identities have been transformed at the macro level; and b) conducting a literature review of small-scale programmes designed to impact the gender socialization process. The paper concludes with recommendations for more holistic policy and programming efforts around gender socialization in adolescence.

Care Work and Children: An Expert Roundtable
Care Work and Children: An Expert Roundtable

AUTHOR(S)
Prerna Banati; Elena Camilletti; Sarah Cook

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

A first roundtable to explore the issues regarding care work and children was hosted in Florence by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti from 6 to 7 December 2016. Unpaid care and domestic work have often been neglected in both research and policymaking, being viewed as lying within the domestic sphere of decisions and responsibilities, rather than as a public issue. However, over recent decades, researchers across a range of disciplines have strived to fill the evidence, data and research gaps by exploring the unpaid care and domestic work provided particularly by women within the household, and uncovering the entrenched social and gender norms and inequalities.

Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-experimental Evidence from East and Southern Africa
Does Keeping Adolescent Girls in School Protect against Sexual Violence? Quasi-experimental Evidence from East and Southern Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Tia Palermo; Michelle Mills

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

Sexual violence against women and girls is widespread globally. In their lifetime, one in three women will experience intimate partner physical or sexual violence and 7 per cent will experience forced sex by someone other than an intimate partner. This study finds protective effects of educational attainment against lifetime experience of sexual violence among women in Uganda, but not in Malawi. Further, in our pathway analyses, we find large impacts on delaying marriage in both countries. These results suggest that policies aimed at increasing educational attainment among girls may have broad-ranging long-term benefits.

Innocenti Adolescence Research Digest 4
Innocenti Adolescence Research Digest 4

AUTHOR(S)
Emanuela Bianchera

Published: 2016 Miscellanea

This quarterly digest synthesizes the latest research findings in adolescent well-being over the previous three months. Key themes in this latest edition include adolescents in humanitarian contexts. The sections cover News, Upcoming Events, Resources and Latest Research to help practitioners keep informed and up-to-date in the field of working with young people.

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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.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Publication

Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

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.
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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