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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
SPOTLIGHT

Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
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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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Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Peru: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Peru: Evidence from Young Lives
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

This paper describes children’s experiences of violence at home in Peru, using a lifecourse approach. Violence against children at home tended to increase with age, as children took on more chores (especially in rural areas), and spent more time away from home (in some cases, in urban areas). The chances of being hit by parents increased when children failed in their responsibilities; spending more time away from home also presented potential dangers for children (e.g., being robbed in the community, joining a gang, etc.), and so violence was used as a means to protect them and to prevent them from being led astray. We discuss how living in poverty affects relationships between parents and children. Meeting the basic economic needs of a family is the priority for parents, who then have limited time, energy and resources to devote to their children. We also found that children exposed to violence in the home are also frequently exposed to corporal punishment at school.

Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India: Evidence from Young Lives
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper explores children’s accounts of violence in Andhra Pradesh, India, and the ways in which factors at the individual, family, community, institutional and society levels affect children’s experiences of violence. The paper analyses cross-sectional survey data and case studies from longitudinal qualitative data gathered over a seven-year period, from Young Lives. The paper is divided into four sections – a brief background section, study design and methods, findings from the survey, and findings from case studies. Large proportions of children experience violence (mostly physical punishment and emotional abuse) within their families, at school and, to some extent, within their communities. The findings demonstrate how children’s experiences of violence change with age and that gender differences within this dynamic process are very distinct. The paper reveals that a child’s disapproval of violence does not necessarily influence behaviour in later life, confirming the need for interventions to prevent and tackle violence as children grow up.
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Ethiopia: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Ethiopia: Evidence from Young Lives
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

This research report explores children’s accounts of everyday violence in Ethiopia, and the ways in which factors at individual, family, community, institutional and society levels affect children’s experiences of violence. The report primarily draws on analysis of four rounds of longitudinal qualitative data gathered over seven years, complemented with analysis of cross-sectional survey data from Young Lives. Findings show that violence affecting children – mostly physical punishment and emotional abuse – is widespread, accepted, and normalized. Differing economic activities affect family dynamics and the likelihood of children experiencing violence, which is often linked to the challenges of poverty and the expectation that children will contribute to the household economy.

Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Viet Nam: Evidence from Young Lives
Understanding Children’s Experiences of Violence in Viet Nam: Evidence from Young Lives

AUTHOR(S)
Thi Thanh Huong Vu

Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

This paper explores children’s accounts of violence at home in Viet Nam, and the ways in which factors at the individual, family, community and society levels affect their experiences of violence. The paper analyses cross-sectional survey data and qualitative data gathered from Young Lives; it explores what children know about violence, how they experience it, what they think drives violence at home, what they perceive the consequences to be, and finally, the support they find effective in addressing violence. High proportions of children experience violence (mostly physical punishment and emotional abuse). The paper contributes to knowledge about the nature and experience of violence affecting children in resource-poor settings, and concludes with some suggestions for policy, programming and practice.

Le dinamiche del cambiamento sociale: verso l'abbandono dell'escissione/mutilazione dei genitali femminili in cinque paesi africani
Le dinamiche del cambiamento sociale: verso l'abbandono dell'escissione/mutilazione dei genitali femminili in cinque paesi africani
Published: 2011 Innocenti Insights
La pratica dell'E/MGF è a tutti gli effetti un atto di violenza, anche quando non è intesa come tale; è una manifestazione di disuguaglianze di genere profondamente radicate e ha natura discriminatoria. Essa si fonda su concezioni culturali della differenza di genere, della sessualità, del matrimonio e della famiglia che influenzano il modo in cui viene percepita e tollerata in contesti diversi. Nonostante le notevoli differenze riscontrate tra i cinque paesi analizzati come pure al loro interno, le esperienze confermano che, nelle comunità in cui viene perpetrata, l’E/MGF è vista come un passo necessario per crescere e proteggere una bambina e, spesso, per renderla adatta al matrimonio. L’escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile opera come una convenzione e una norma sociale perpetuata dalle aspettative reciproche all’interno di queste comunità.
The Dynamics of Social Change: Towards the abandonment of FGM/C in five African countries
The Dynamics of Social Change: Towards the abandonment of FGM/C in five African countries
Published: 2010 Innocenti Insights
This Innocenti Insight examines the social dynamics of the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in five countries - Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and the Sudan - and seeks to inform policies and programmes aimed at ending the practice. The experiences from the five countries documented in this Innocenti Insight provide evidence that the abandonment of FGM/C is possible when programmes and policies address the complex social dynamics associated with the practice and challenge established gender relationships and existing assumptions and stereotypes. This publication concludes with reflections on the remaining challenges of FGM/C abandonment and offers recommendations for future research and programme interventions.
La dynamique du changement social: vers l'abandon de l'excision/mutilation génitale fémine dans cinq pays africains
La dynamique du changement social: vers l'abandon de l'excision/mutilation génitale fémine dans cinq pays africains
Published: 2010 Innocenti Insights
Après avoir procédé à l’analyse de la dynamique sociale qui sous-tend l’éradication de l’excision et mutilation génitale féminine (E/MGF) dans cinq pays - l’Égypte, l’Éthiopie, le Kenya, le Sénégal et le Soudan - cet Innocenti Insight se propose de promouvoir l’élaboration de mesures politiques et de programmes de lutte contre ces coutumes. Les expériences menées dans ces cinq pays et rapportées dans cet Innocenti Insight apportent la preuve qu’il est possible de mettre fin à l’E/MGF si les programmes et les politiques s’intéressent à la dynamique sociale complexe associée à ces pratiques et remettent en question les relations hommes/femmes, les stéréotypes et les préjugés existants. Dans ses conclusions, la publication propose des réflexions sur les derniers obstacles à l’abandon de l’E/MGF et formule des recommandations pour les futurs programmes de recherche et d’intervention.
Piattaforma d'azione. Verso l'abbandono della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile (E/MGF)
Piattaforma d'azione. Verso l'abbandono della escissione/mutilazione genitale femminile (E/MGF)
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
L’UNICEF ha stimato che, in un arco temporale di 10 anni, con un costo annuale di circa 24 milioni di dollari, i programmi rivolti alle comunità locali potranno portare a riduzioni sostanziali nella pratica della E/MGF in 16 paesi dell’Africa subsahariana, dove la prevalenza attuale raggiunge livelli elevati o medi. La Piattaforma d’azione sintetizza gli elementi principali di un approccio programmatico comune per promuovere l’abbandono di tale pratica e per suscitare un drastico cambiamento nella vita di donne e bambine in tutto il mondo.
Plate-forme d'action pour l'abandon de l'excision/mutilation génitale féminine (E/MGF)
Plate-forme d'action pour l'abandon de l'excision/mutilation génitale féminine (E/MGF)
Published: 2009 Innocenti Publications
L’UNICEF a estimé que des programmes visant à sensibiliser les communautés, pour un coût de 24 millions de dollars des États-Unis par an sur une période de 10 ans, peuvent conduire à une réduction importante de la prévalence de l’E/MGF dans 16 pays d’Afrique subsaharienne à taux de prévalence moyen ou élevé. Cette plate-forme d’action en résume les éléments constitutifs un consensus sur une approche programmatique commune pour appuyer l’abandon de cette pratique et changer substantiellement la vie des filles et des femmes à travers le monde.
A Study on Violence against Girls: Report on the International Girl Child Conference March 9-10, The Hague
A Study on Violence against Girls: Report on the International Girl Child Conference March 9-10, The Hague
Published: 2009 Innocenti Publications
This publication was jointly developed by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) and the Government of the Netherlands. It includes a background document prepared by IRC and summarizes the discussions and outcomes of the International Conference on Violence against the Girl Child held in The Hague from 9-10 March 2009. The conference addressed gaps in knowledge, research and responses to violence against girls in the home and family, and was a follow-up to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children.
Ethiopia: Social dynamics of abandonment of harmful practices. Experiences in four locations
Ethiopia: Social dynamics of abandonment of harmful practices. Experiences in four locations
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is still a widespread practice in Ethiopia, although important declines in prevalence rates can be observed in some areas of the country. Attitudes towards the practice have drastically changed, evidenced by the fact that overall support for FGM/C has declined and younger mothers are less likely than older mothers to have their daughters cut. This paper provides an analysis of the social dynamics of change in four geographic locations with different ethnic populations in Ethiopia, where interventions were undertaken to support the abandonment of FGM/C and other harmful practices. Each experience used community conversation and dialogue as a tool to promote the abandonment process, although their overall strategies and impact differed. The four experiences together provide a greater understanding of the process of change within communities and the role played by key actors within and outside the community. The study demonstrates that by addressing FGM/C within a human rights context, community members are able to consider not cutting as a possible alternative to the existing convention of cutting. The human rights perspective also encourages reflection on gender roles, generating interest and dialogue about other social practices that harm women and girls, such as marriage by abduction and early marriage.
Social Dynamics of Abandonment of Harmful Practices: A new look at the theory
Social Dynamics of Abandonment of Harmful Practices: A new look at the theory

AUTHOR(S)
Gerry Mackie

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

The essay refines the application of the social convention theory to the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The theory compares footbinding in China to FGM/C in Africa, explains each practice in terms of simple game theory, and recommends that the methods used to end footbinding be adapted to end FGM/C. It hypothesizes that each practice originated in highly stratified ancient empires, and became an ongoing requirement of marriageability, general and persistent within the intramarrying community because no one family can give it up on its own.
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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.
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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