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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
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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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Incidences de la crise economique mondiale de 2008/09 et des options de la politique de reponse sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun
Incidences de la crise economique mondiale de 2008/09 et des options de la politique de reponse sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
Cette étude vise, d’une part, à explorer les effets potentiels de la crise économique mondiale de 2008/09 sur la pauvreté des enfants au Cameroun. D’autre part, elle a pour but d’explorer les effets potentiels, sur cette même population-cible, des politiques qui seraient prises en réponse à ladite crise. Pour ce faire l’étude utilise une approche méthodologique top/down où, dans un premier temps, un modèle d’équilibre général calculable (EGC) de dynamique récursive est employé pour simuler les divers scénarios de crise économique et de politiques de réponse à la crise, en prenant en compte les différents canaux de transmission de la crise mondiale à l’économie camerounaise. Par la suite, les résultats produits par le modèle EGC sont utilisés dans un module micro-économétrique afin d'évaluer l’incidence des chocs simulés, sur les ménages en général et les enfants en particulier. Cinque dimensions de pauvreté des enfants sont examinées: la pauvreté monétaire; la pauvreté calorique; le taux de scolarité et/ou de participation des enfants au travail; enfin, l’accès des enfants aux soins de santé. Quatre politiques alternatives de réponse à cette crise sont simulées: une réduction de la TVA prélevée sur la vente des produits alimentaires; une suppression des droits de douane appliqués sur les importations de produits alimentaires; la gratuité de l’inscription des enfants de moins de 15 ans aux cantines scolaires dans les districts où le taux de pauvreté monétaire est supérieur au taux national; l’octroi de transferts en espèces aux ménages don’t les enfants sont pauvres. L’octroi des transferts en espèces se révèle comme étant la plus efficace des quatre politiques de réponse susmentionnées, bien que cette politique soit la plus inefficace de toutes pour améliorer le taux de croissance du PIB réel. Par ailleurs, les effets des transferts sur le plan de la scolarité, de la participation des enfants au travail et sur l’accès de ces derniers aux soins de santé sont globalement meilleurs bien que légers. Derrière la politique des transferts en espèces, celle de la subvention des cantines scolaires, avec pourtant un coût relativement bas, donne aussi une réponse considérablement bénéfique face à la crise, surtout sur le plan de la pauvreté calorique; tandis que les deux autres politiques s’avèrent inefficaces, quelle que soit la dimension de la pauvreté considérée.
Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy Responses on Children in Ghana
Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy Responses on Children in Ghana
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana is experiencing the impact of the global crisis and the uncertain economic outlook. Indeed, as Ghana’s economy is among the most open in Africa, it is expected that the country has been and will continue to be severely affected by the crisis, although strong export prices of its main exports (gold and cocoa) may at least partially counteract the effects associated with the crisis. The main goal of this paper is to understand the potential impacts of the 2008/9 global crisis on different dimensions of child poverty (monetary, hunger, school participation, child labour and access to health services) in Ghana and to support the policy-maker in designing the most appropriate policy response to counteract the negative effects of the crisis. As timely data are not available, a combined macro-micro economic model to predict the impact of the global crisis on children was developed. Simulations suggest that the financial crisis would increase monetary poverty and hunger across all regions of Ghana, eroding many of the gains made over the past few years. Indeed, in comparison with the year preceding the crisis, instead of a reduction of four percentage points in child monetary poverty in 2011 predicted in the absence of crisis, the simulations indicate a 6.6 percentage point increase, with a continuous increasing pattern over the period of study.
Impacts of the Global Crisis and Policy Responses on Child Well-being: A macro-micro simulation framework
Impacts of the Global Crisis and Policy Responses on Child Well-being: A macro-micro simulation framework
Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper outlines the methodology of a UNICEF research project on the impact of the global economic crisis on children in Western and Central Africa, which can also be applied to study the effects of other socio-economic shocks on households and particularly on children in developing countries. To understand the nature and the extent of the effects of a crisis in developing countries requires a rigorous analysis of the transmission mechanisms at both the macro and micro levels. This paper provides a tool to attempt to predict ex ante the impacts of the crisis, and possible policy responses, on households and their children. As timely data monitoring child well-being are not readily available to guide the rapid implementation of policies to protect children, a predictive model was developed that anticipates the impacts of the crisis on various essential dimensions of child wellbeing. Specifically, this paper proposes and discusses a combined macro-micro model following a top-down approach.
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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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