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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
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
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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Child Well-being in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: A multidimensional approach
Child Well-being in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: A multidimensional approach
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
After two decades of transition the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States face an increasingly diverse mix of old and new policy challenges to improving child well-being and realizing children’s rights. While attempts have been made to reflect these challenges and diversities by constructing indices of child well-being which measure and rank overall performance by individual countries, this paper proposes a simplified approach which examines five different dimensions of child well-being separately, using several indicators for each dimension that allow cross-country comparison. The dimensions included in the analysis are income, health, education, housing and deprivation of parental up-bringing. The results highlight a divergence of child well-being priorities in the selected dimensions for the different countries and for different age groups of children. The analysis shows that in the 2000-2008 period the situation of children improved in absolute terms in almost all dimensions in all countries, but that government interventions still face difficulties in reaching all children, and that across the region there are increasing differences in the character of problems facing the more vulnerable sections of the child population. The discussion shows that it is difficult to rank countries according to an overall level of child well-being, since performance varies significantly according to the choice of dimension or indicator considered. An overall index cannot therefore capture the open challenges, and indeed may distract policy attention away from them.
The Transition Generation: Young people in school and work in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
The Transition Generation: Young people in school and work in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States
Published: 2007 Innocenti Discussion Papers
This paper focuses on the transition from school to labour market for the generation of young people in CEE/CIS who experienced the most turbulent years of the transition in their formative years. Using administrative data on school enrolment, as well as data from labour force surveys, the paper tracks the main trends in education enrollments in primary, lower and upper secondary, showing that the impact of the economic difficulties of the early 1990s was greater in the poorest countries of the region, and was reflected in particular in falling enrollments for the non-compulsory levels of education. The post-1998 period of economic recovery brought with it a marked divergence between upper secondary education enrollments in the Central and Eastern European countries, and the rest of the region. However, data on enrollments give only a partial picture of what happened to the school system during the transition; statistics on attendance and achievements from other data sources suggest that inequality in school access and quality increased both across the region and within countries. Education trends (using indicators measuring both quantity and quality) influence outcomes in the labour market, but can also be influenced by them: labour force surveys’ results show that young people in CEE/CIS face a high risk of unemployment or underemployment. At the same time, in particular in CEE, lack of employment opportunities encourages young people to stay longer in the education system. Mismatches between the outcomes of the education systems and labour market demand, as well as the character of recent economic growth, have resulted in significant imbalances in the labour market.
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.
Reinvesting in Children? Policies for the very young in South Eastern Europe and the CIS
Reinvesting in Children? Policies for the very young in South Eastern Europe and the CIS
Published: 2006 Innocenti Working Papers
Economic collapse in the former Communist bloc led to soaring levels of child poverty in the 1990s. The effects of rising unemployment, underemployment and wage arrears were exacerbated by the erosion of state support for families with children as governments responded to a collapse in revenue. Since 1998, even the poorer countries of the bloc - those in South Eastern Europe and the CIS - have seen a return to economic growth. But have the benefits of growth been felt by children? Are child support policies being restored or restructured as economic conditions improve, and to what effect? This paper examines three aspects of government support for the youngest children – maternity leave policy, child and family allowances and pre-school/nursery provision. The paper calls for governments and donors to pay greater attention to the needs of very young children. It calls for a substantial increase in public spending on each of these policy areas, and it further recommends that governments (a) introduce proxy means tests to improve the targeting of family allowances; (b) make maternity benefit available on a social assistance as well as a social insurance basis; and (c) make a commitment to ensuring that all 3-5 year olds have free access to some early years education each week, albeit on a part-time basis.
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.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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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