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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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Promoting Gender-Transformative Change through Social Protection: An analytical approach
Promoting Gender-Transformative Change through Social Protection: An analytical approach
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Social protection can reduce income poverty and food and economic insecurity, address financial barriers to accessing social services, and promote positive development outcomes throughout the life course – particularly for women and girls. But can it address preexisting gender inequalities through the design, implementation and financing of its programmes?

To strengthen the evidence base ‘what works’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ for social protection to contribute to gender equality, this report proposes and presents an analytical approach to evidence generation on gender-responsive social protection for gender-transformative change. It builds on the Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP) conceptual framework, and on the theoretical, conceptual and empirical literature on gender and social protection. Structured as a socio-ecological framework, our approach presents three interconnected change pathways – at the individual, household and societal level – through which gender-responsive social protection can contribute to gender-transformative results, along with tailored design and implementation features, and underpinned by a set of change levers that existing evidence suggests can strengthen the gender-responsiveness of social protection systems.

Shortfalls in Social Spending in Low- and Middle-income Countries: COVID-19 and Shrinking Finance for Social Spending
Shortfalls in Social Spending in Low- and Middle-income Countries: COVID-19 and Shrinking Finance for Social Spending
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Financing quality social services will require increased public investment and greater mobilization of both domestic and international resources in the post-COVID era. Currently, low- and middle-income countries invest, on average, just one third of their total government expenditure in social spending on education, health and social protection. However, the fiscal space to enhance social spending remains constrained in many parts of the world. Given the scale of the challenge facing many countries, a renewed focus on financing social spending is needed to address widening inequalities.

This policy brief is the second in a series that assesses key issues affecting social spending as part of UNICEF’s work on Public Finance for Children. The brief examines how recent trends are impacting on the financing available for, and directed to, social spending in low- and middle-income countries in different regions, using secondary analysis of public expenditure data collected by international organizations. It calculates median spending figures by region and income group, using World Bank regional aggregates for domestic spending.

 

Cash transfers – Past, present and future: Evidence and lessons learned from the Transfer Project
Cash transfers – Past, present and future: Evidence and lessons learned from the Transfer Project
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs

Since 2009, the Transfer Project has generated rigorous evidence on the impacts of cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa and has supported their expansion. The Transfer Project is a collaborative network comprising UNICEF (Innocenti, Regional and Country Offices), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, national governments and researchers. It aims to “provide evidence on the effectiveness of cash transfer programmes, inform the development and design of cash transfer policy and programmes, and promote learning across SSA on the design and implementation of research and evaluations on cash transfers”.

This brief summarizes the current evidence and lessons learned from the Transfer Project after more than a decade of research. It also introduces new frontiers of research.

Non-contributory Social Protection and Adolescents in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries: A review of government programming and impacts
Non-contributory Social Protection and Adolescents in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries: A review of government programming and impacts

AUTHOR(S)
Cristina Cirillo; Tia Palermo; Francesca Viola

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

Adolescents face unique vulnerabilities related to their health, schooling and the intensification of gender socialization. As the next generation next in line to become adults, their transition has major implications for the future health, economic growth and well-being of nations. Yet, children and adolescents have low rates of social protection coverage globally – a missed opportunity for investment.

This report examines how social protection can promote adolescent well-being and facilitate safe and productive transitions to adulthood in lower- and middle-income countries. Focusing on government, non-contributory programmes, the following questions are examined: 1) whether and how current non-contributory social  protection programmes are adolescent-sensitive and 2) what is the impact of non-contributory social protection programmes on adolescents.

The Difference a Dollar a Day Makes: A Study of UNICEF Jordan’s Hajati Programme
The Difference a Dollar a Day Makes: A Study of UNICEF Jordan’s Hajati Programme
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report
What difference does a dollar a day make? For the poorest households in Jordan, many of whom escaped conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, UNICEF Jordan’s Hajati humanitarian cash transfer programme helps them keep their children in school, fed and clothed – all for less than one dollar per day. In fact, cash transfers have the potential to touch on myriad of child and household well-being outcomes beyond food security and schooling.
Economic Crisis and Child Well-being in the West and Central Africa Region
Economic Crisis and Child Well-being in the West and Central Africa Region
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report
The COVID-19 pandemic that swept over the world from early 2020 has triggered both health and economic shocks of unprecedented proportions in recent memory. Some estimates suggest that the consequences of these shocks will likely erase most of the progress made in global development over the past two decades. Many countries now risk falling further behind the attainment of national and international development goals, including the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of these shocks due to their persistent higher levels of vulnerability, and the reality that school closures and other COVID-19 containment measures can be more damaging to children. 

This report examines the effect of previous economic crises on children’s well-being in UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Region (WCAR) and makes projections regarding the potential impacts of COVID-19-induced economic crises on priority indicators for the region. 
Ujana Salama: Mpango wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana  - Matokeo ya mzunguko wa3 tathimini
Ujana Salama: Mpango wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya mzunguko wa3 tathimini
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs

Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha “Cash plus’ wa majaribio unaohusu Ustawi na Mabadiliko Salama kwa Vijana unaotekelezwa Tanzania, kwa kifupi “Ujana Salama”, unalenga kuimarisha maisha ya vijana wa vijijini. Vijana hawa kutoka kaya maskini wanakabiliwa na changamoto nyingi za kiafya na kiuchumi, zikiwemo kukatisha masomo shuleni, mimba za utotoni, maradhi yaambukizwayo kwa njia ya ngono, ukatili, unyanyasaji na unyonyaji.

Ujana Salama: Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya tatihimini ya kati
Ujana Salama: Mradi wa nyongeza ya fedha (cash plus) unaohusu ustawi na mabadiliko salama kwa vijana - Matokeo ya tatihimini ya kati
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs
Mradi huu wa majaribio wa ‘Cash Plus’ unaohusu Ustawi na Mabadiliko Salama na Yenye Afya kwa Vijana nchini Tanzania, kwa ufupi “Ujana Salama”, unalenga kuimarisha maisha ya vijana wa vijijini. Vijana hawa wa umri wa balehe wanatoka katika kaya maskini na wanakabiliwa na hatari nyingi za kiafya na kiuchumi. Mradi huu unatekelezwa na Mfuko wa Maendeleo ya Jamii Tanzania (Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)) na kuendeshwa kupitia Mpango wa Kunusuru Kaya Maskini (Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN)). Mpango huo unawalenga vijana wa umri wa balehe katika kaya zinazonufaika na Mpango wa Kunusuru Kaya Maskini (ruzuku inayojumuisha uhawilishaji pesa, Ujenzi au ukarabati wa miundombinu na kuimarisha njia za kujiingizia kipato katika kaya). Msaada wa kiufundi unatolewa na UNICEF Tanzania na Tume ya Kudhibiti UKIMWI Tanzania (TACAIDS).
COVID-19 and the Looming Debt Crisis: Protecting and Transforming Social Spending for Inclusive Recoveries
COVID-19 and the Looming Debt Crisis: Protecting and Transforming Social Spending for Inclusive Recoveries
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Compounding the COVID-19 pandemic is a looming debt crisis for low- and middle-income countries where a growing debt burden threatens to crowd out social spending for children.

This policy brief explores whether the current support from the international community is enough to maintain spending on basic services during COVID-19. It highlights countries that are most at risk due to high levels of poverty, as well as those less likely to benefit from the G20 Debt Standstill (DSSI). It concludes that a new international debt restructuring architecture, which encompasses the needs of poorer countries, is crucial to protecting children’s rights in the wake of COVID-19. 

A Cash Plus Model for Safe Transitions to a Healthy and Productive Adulthood Round 3 Report
A Cash Plus Model for Safe Transitions to a Healthy and Productive Adulthood Round 3 Report
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

“Ujana Salama” (‘Safe Youth’ in Swahili) is a cash plus programme targeting adolescents in households receiving the United Republic of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN). Implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), with technical assistance of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and UNICEF Tanzania, the ‘plus’ component includes in-person training, mentoring, grants and health services. The impact evaluation studies the differential impact of the integrated programme (cash plus intervention targeting adolescents) with respect to the PSSN only. It is a mixed methods study, including baseline (2017), Round 2 (2018), Round 3 (2019) and Round 4 (2021) surveys. This report provides findings from the Round 3 survey, which was conducted one year after the training, three months after the mentorship period, and one to two months after grant disbursement. The previous report (Round 2) is available here.

Ujana Salama: Cash Plus Model on Youth Well-Being and Safe, Healthy Transitions – Midline Findings
Ujana Salama: Cash Plus Model on Youth Well-Being and Safe, Healthy Transitions – Midline Findings
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs
This brief provides midline findings from the impact evaluation of a cash plus model targeting youth in households receiving the United Republic of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN). Implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), with technical assistance of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and UNICEF Tanzania, the programme aims to improve livelihood opportunities and facilitate a safe transition to adulthood. The 'plus' component included training on livelihoods and sexual and reproductive health (SRH)-HIV, mentoring and productive grants, as well as linkages to youth-friendly health services. The impact evaluation is a longitudinal, mixed methods study. The midline analysis was conducted immediately after training (before mentoring, disbursement of productive grants and health facility strengthening).
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 4 | Thematic area: Social protection | Tags: cash transfers, social protection
Ujana Salama: Cash Plus Model on Youth Well-Being and Safe, Healthy Transitions – Round 3 Findings
Ujana Salama: Cash Plus Model on Youth Well-Being and Safe, Healthy Transitions – Round 3 Findings
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Briefs

“Ujana Salama” (‘Safe Youth’ in Swahili) is a cash plus programme targeting adolescents in households receiving the United Republic of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN). Implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), with technical assistance of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and UNICEF Tanzania, the ‘plus’ component includes in-person training, mentoring, grants and health services. The impact evaluation studies the differential impact of the integrated programme (cash plus intervention targeting adolescents) with respect to the PSSN only. It is a mixed methods study, including baseline (2017), Round 2 (2018), Round 3 (2019) and Round 4 (2021) surveys. This brief summarizes findings from the Round 3 survey, which was conducted one year after the training, three months after the mentorship period, and one to two months after grant disbursement. The full report is available here.


 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 6 | Thematic area: Social protection | Tags: cash transfers, social protection
1 - 12 of 42
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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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