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Best of UNICEF Research 2021
SPOTLIGHT

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners to improve children’s lives. This ninth edition brings together 11 powerful studies from around the world and across the five Strategic Goal Areas. How do South Asian youth feel about entering the world of work? What is the effect of climate-related hazards on access to healthcare? How has COVID-19 affected children and their families in the Republic of Moldova? With social and economic inequalities increasing and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals lagging, rigorous research – answers to these questions – has never mattered more.
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COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition
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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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Innocenti Social Monitor 2006: Understanding child poverty in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Overview
Innocenti Social Monitor 2006: Understanding child poverty in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Overview
Published: 2006 Innocenti Social Monitor
This is an overview to the Innnocenti Social Monitor 2006 which studies child poverty in a fast-changing region. Since 1998 almost all countries of the South-Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region have shown signs of economic recovery. The numbers of people living in income poverty has fallen, living standards have generally improved and opportunities for many children in the region have expanded. This signals a turning point in the dramatic decline in social and economic conditions experienced by most children in the region in the early 1990s. Yet there is a serious risk that a part of the new generations of children born since the start of the transition is being left behind. The study shows that not all children are benefiting from the economic growth and that Governments in the region need to give higher policy priority to tackling disadvantage and deprivation endured by children. Pursuing a child rights perspective, the study set outs to measure and understand better the nature and scale of child poverty, as distinct from adult poverty; it highlights the large disparities in child well-being which have emerged in this period of economic expansion, between countries, between regions within countries, and between families; it points to ways in which governments in the region could more effectively address marginalisation and disparities among children. The Innocenti Social Monitor 2006 provides practical examples of ways in which children can be given distinct attention and visibility in the analysis of poverty and in policy priorities, while also stressing that data collection has to be improved and made more accessible in order to allow the impact of policies on children to be effectively assessed and addressed.
Innocenti Social Monitor 2006: Understanding child poverty in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Overview
Innocenti Social Monitor 2006: Understanding child poverty in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Overview
Published: 2006 Innocenti Publications
This is an overview to the Innnocenti Social Monitor 2006 which studies child poverty in a fast-changing region. Since 1998 almost all countries of the South-Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States region have shown signs of economic recovery. The numbers of people living in income poverty has fallen, living standards have generally improved and opportunities for many children in the region have expanded. This signals a turning point in the dramatic decline in social and economic conditions experienced by most children in the region in the early 1990s. Yet there is a serious risk that a part of the new generations of children born since the start of the transition is being left behind. The study shows that not all children are benefiting from the economic growth and that Governments in the region need to give higher policy priority to tackling disadvantage and deprivation endured by children. Pursuing a child rights perspective, the study set outs to measure and understand better the nature and scale of child poverty, as distinct from adult poverty; it highlights the large disparities in child well-being which have emerged in this period of economic expansion, between countries, between regions within countries, and between families; it points to ways in which governments in the region could more effectively address marginalisation and disparities among children. The Innocenti Social Monitor 2006 provides practical examples of ways in which children can be given distinct attention and visibility in the analysis of poverty and in policy priorities, while also stressing that data collection has to be improved and made more accessible in order to allow the impact of policies on children to be effectively assessed and addressed.
Child Well-Being in the EU and Enlargement to the East
Child Well-Being in the EU and Enlargement to the East
Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
The accession of up to 13 new members in the next decade is the most important development now facing the European Union. This paper analyses measurable differences in the well-being of children between current club members, the EU Member States, and the 10 Central and Eastern European applicants seeking admission. Two themes are used as a framework for the paper. First, the importance of economic, social and cultural rights in the human rights dimension of the 'Copenhagen criteria' laid down for EU accession. Second, the need for a wider approach to measuring differences in living standards and 'economic and social cohesion' within the Union than that currently taken by the European Commission. In both cases the necessity for considering the position of children is emphasised. The empirical sections of the paper then consider in turn three dimensions of well-being of European children in Member States and the applicant countries: their economic welfare, their health, and their education.
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises
Published: 1997 Regional Monitoring Report
This Report looks at the changes in risks facing the 100 million children in the 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Eight types of risk are considered in turn: poverty; war and dislocation; environmental degradation; health and health service deterioration; changes in family formation including rising family-breakdown rates; falling access to education and rising truancy; youth lifestyle and health including an increase in drug abuse and the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases; juvenile crime. The Report also indicates that institutional care, fostering and adoption remain in need of sweeping reform, examines the failure of substitute care and emphasizes the preventive role of family support policies.
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises  - a Summary
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises - a Summary
Published: 1997 Regional Monitoring Report
This Report looks at the changes in risks facing the 100 million children in the 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Eight types of risk are considered in turn: poverty; war and dislocation; environmental degradation; health and health service deterioration; changes in family formation including rising family-breakdown rates; falling access to education and rising truancy; youth lifestyle and health including an increase in drug abuse and the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases; juvenile crime. The Report also indicates that institutional care, fostering and adoption remain in need of sweeping reform, examines the failure of substitute care and emphasizes the preventive role of family support policies.
Decline of Infant and Child Mortality: The European experience 1750-1990
Published: 1997 Innocenti Publications
Of the many changes that have taken place in Western society during the past two centuries, few have been more significant than the steep fall in infant and child mortality. However, the timing and causes of the decline are still poorly understood. While some scholars attribute it to general improvements in living standards, others emphasize the role of social intervention and public health reforms. Written by specialists from several disciplinary fields, the twelve essays in this book break entirely new ground by providing a long-term perspective that challenges some deep-rooted ideas about the European experience of mortality decline and may help explain the forces and causal relationships behind the still tragic incidence of preventable infant and child deaths in many parts of the world today.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 258 | Thematic area: Early Childhood | Tags: child mortality, early childhood development, infant mortality, public health, standard of living | Publisher: Kluwer Law International, The Hague; UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Bambini a rischio in Europa centrale ed orientale: pericoli e prospettive - sintesi
Bambini a rischio in Europa centrale ed orientale: pericoli e prospettive - sintesi
Published: 1997 Regional Monitoring Report
Questa pubblicazione è una sintesi del quarto Regional Monitoring Report che copre 18 paesi dell'Europa Centrale ed Orientale e dell'ex Unione Sovietica. Il quarto rapporto contiene: un aggiornamento sui cambiamenti nelle condizioni di vita delle famiglie e dell'infanzia; un indagine sui fattori di rischio per l'infanzia durante la transizione; un'analisi speciale sui bambini affidati alle cure pubbliche.
Enfants au risque en Europe centrale et orientale: périls et promesses - résumé
Enfants au risque en Europe centrale et orientale: périls et promesses - résumé
Published: 1997 Regional Monitoring Report
Le rapport prend en considération un éventail d'indicateurs non économiques parmi lesquels diverses mesures de transformations démographiques, telles que les tendances de la mortalité, de la fécondité, du mariage et du divorce. Ces changements peuvent présenter de l'intérêt par eux-mêmes, mais aussi être un indicateur de tendances économiques et sociales sous-jacentes difficiles à mesurer directement.
Living Standards and Public Policy in Central Asia: What can be learned from child anthropometry?
Living Standards and Public Policy in Central Asia: What can be learned from child anthropometry?
Data on the weight and height of children are used to assess living standards and public policy in Uzbekistan, the most populous of the Central Asian republics. The paper begins by making the case for the use of such data, contrasting them with monetized measures of welfare based on household incomes or expenditures, before going on to review the problems of interpretation that anthropometry presents for the economist. The prevalence of stunting and wasting in three regions of Uzbekistan is compared with that in neighbouring Kazakhstan and with other countries from outside the region. Multivariate analysis is then used to test three hypotheses concerning rural-urban differences in living standards, the impact of kindergartens on nutritional status, and the targeting of means-tested social assistance.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic transition, rural-urban disparity, standard of living | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR
East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR

AUTHOR(S)
Magdalena Joos

The collapse of communism in East Germany took place alongside unification with its democratic neighbour, West Germany. This made the East German experience of the ‘transition’ - from the planned to the free-market economy - unique among that of the post-socialist states. On the one hand, unification allowed East Germans to benefit from the resource and human capital of one of the world’s richest countries. On the other, the sudden bringing-together of two populations geared to different standards of living had a negative psychological impact among the poorer Easterners. This paper looks at how such specifics of the East German experience have influenced the development of policies and services for the country’s children.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition, standard of living | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Italia: più tempo e spazio ai bambini
Italia: più tempo e spazio ai bambini

AUTHOR(S)
Ray Lorenzo

Published: 1992 Innocenti Studies
Il progetto "Bambino urbano" ha promosso attività di ricerca nelle Filippine, in Brasile, India e Kenya. L'Italia, invece, costituisce una sfida particolare che introduce nel progetto la dimensione Nord-Sud. I bambini italiani vivono sicuramente meglio per la rapida industrializzazione e la crescita economica nel periodo 1950-1980. Nello stesso tempo, tuttavia, emergono fra le giovani generazioni forme anche gravi di disagio e di emarginazione, non sempre adeguatamente compresi e fronteggiati dalla società.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 46 | Thematic area: Urban Child | Tags: child-friendly cities, right to adequate standard of living, standard of living, urban children | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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.
Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia
Publication Publication

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Il rapporto Vite a Colori racconta le esperienze, percezioni ed opinioni di un gruppo di adolescenti sul primo anno di pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia cercando di comprendere le loro esperienze e punti di vista, attraverso le loro parole. La raccolta dati si è svolta tra febbraio e giugno 2021 con 114 partecipanti tra i 10 e i 19 anni, frequentanti le scuole superiori del primo e del secondo ciclo di 16 regioni italiane. Bambinɘ e ragazzɘ che si identificano come LGBTQI+, minori stranieri non accompagnati (MSNA) e adolescenti con background socioeconomico svantaggiato sono stati deliberatamente inclusi nel campione interessato dalla ricerca

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