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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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Research with Disadvantaged, Vulnerable and/or Marginalized Adolescents
Research with Disadvantaged, Vulnerable and/or Marginalized Adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Colette L. Auerswald; Amber Akemi Piatt; Ali Mirzazadeh

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

Disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized adolescents (DVMAs) are individuals aged 10–19, who are excluded from social, economic and/or educational opportunities enjoyed by other adolescents in their community due to numerous factors beyond their control. This brief summarizes the health and well-being inequities experienced by DVMAs and the need for research with this group. It reviews the challenges and barriers to their inclusion in research; shares practical implications and best practices for their inclusion in research; and addresses ethical challenges and approaches to research with DVMAs.

The brief is one of seven on research methodologies designed to expand and improve the conduct and interpretation of research on adolescent health and well-being in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Building on the recent Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, these briefs provide an overview of the methodological quality of research on adolescents. They cover topics including: indicators and data sources; research ethics; research with disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized populations; participatory research; measuring enabling and protective systems for adolescent health; and economic strengthening interventions for improving adolescent well-being.

Cash Transfers Improve the Mental Health and Well-being of Youth: Evidence from the Kenyan Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Cash Transfers Improve the Mental Health and Well-being of Youth: Evidence from the Kenyan Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children

AUTHOR(S)
Audrey Pereira

Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

Approximately half of all mental health disorders begin by age 14, and three-quarters by age 24. Among adolescents, depression is one of the leading contributors to morbidity, while suicide and interpersonal violence are among the leading causes of mortality. Mental ill-health also reinforces poverty through decreased productivity and loss of earnings, increased health expenditures, and social stigma. Since the evidence on the effects of poverty-alleviation programmes on mental health have been inconclusive, there is a need for research on specific poverty-alleviation interventions for vulnerable groups who are more at risk for poor mental well-being.

The Effect of Cash Transfers and Household Vulnerability on Food Insecurity in Zimbabwe
The Effect of Cash Transfers and Household Vulnerability on Food Insecurity in Zimbabwe

AUTHOR(S)
Garima Bhalla; Sudhanshu Handa; Gustavo Angeles; David Seidenfeld

Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

We study the impact of the Zimbabwe Harmonized Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) on household food security after 12 months of implementation. The programme has had a strong impact on a well-known food security scale – the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) – but muted impacts on food consumption expenditure. However aggregate food consumption hides dynamic activity taking place within the household where the cash is used to obtain more food from the market and rely less on food received as gifts. The cash in turn gives them greater choice in their food basket which improves diet diversity. Further investigation of the determinants of food consumption and the HFIAS shows that several dimensions of household vulnerability correlate more strongly with the HFIAS than food consumption. Labour constraints, which is a key vulnerability criterion used by the HSCT to target households, is an important predictor of the HFIAS but not food expenditure, and its effect on food security is even larger during the lean season.

Making the Investment Case for Social Protection: Methodological challenges with lessons learnt from a recent study in Cambodia
Making the Investment Case for Social Protection: Methodological challenges with lessons learnt from a recent study in Cambodia

AUTHOR(S)
Franziska Gassmann; Cecile Cherrier; Andrés Mideros Mora

Published: 2013 Innocenti Working Papers
Social protection can be defined as the ‘set of public and private policies and programmes aimed at preventing, reducing and eliminating economic and social vulnerabilities to poverty and deprivation’. It comprises various types of instruments, and includes social insurance systems, labour market policies, and other social transfers. The focus in this paper is on non-contributory social transfers which are considered to be the main social protection instruments targeted specifically at poor and vulnerable households, and which are financed from general government revenues.
Income Inequality and Mobility in Hungary 1992-96
Income Inequality and Mobility in Hungary 1992-96

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Galasi

The first half of the 1990s brought major changes to Hungary. The positive sides of the transformation in the Hungarian economy and society were accompanied by less welcome aspects - a sharp fall in GDP, double-digit unemployment and falling real incomes. How have children fared in these circumstances? This paper considers the changing position of children in the Hungarian income distribution, comparing it to that of the elderly - another potentially vulnerable group whose incomes, like those of households with children, are a concern for policymakers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 34 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition, income distribution, vulnerable groups | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition
Published: 1994 Regional Monitoring Report
After the collapse of the communist system in 1989, most Eastern European countries experienced a mortality and health crisis. However, this did not hit the traditionally most vulnerable groups - children, adolescents, women and the elderly - but male adults in the 20-59 age group. The Report indicates that the surge is largely dependent on three transition-related factors: widespread impoverishment, erosion of preventive health services, sanitary and medical services and social stress. Although infants, children and young adolescents have not been greatly or directly affected by the mortality crisis, the Report points out that their situation has been severely threatened by more frequent sickness and greater nutritional imbalances, while the upturn in adult deaths is leading to a considerably heightened risk of poverty, abandonment or orphanhood.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 110 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child health, child mortality, child nutrition, economic transition, social services, vulnerable groups | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition (Russian version)
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition (Russian version)
Published: 1994 Regional Monitoring Report
After the collapse of the communist system in 1989, most Eastern European countries experienced a mortality and health crisis. However, this did not hit the traditionally most vulnerable groups - children, adolescents, women and the elderly - but male adults in the 20-59 age group. The Report indicates that the surge is largely dependent on three transition-related factors: widespread impoverishment, erosion of preventive health services, sanitary and medical services and social stress. Although infants, children and young adolescents have not been greatly or directly affected by the mortality crisis, the Report points out that their situation has been severely threatened by more frequent sickness and greater nutritional imbalances, while the upturn in adult deaths is leading to a considerably heightened risk of poverty, abandonment or orphanhood.
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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.
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Publication

Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning

Emerging evidence shows a positive association between women school leaders and student performance. Some studies suggest women school leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to adopt effective management practices that may contribute to improved outcomes. However, women remain largely underrepresented in school leadership positions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This brief presents emerging insights on the association between women school leaders and education outcomes and draws attention to women’s underrepresentation in school leadership roles. It highlights the need for further research on gender and school leadership to identify policies and practices that can be implemented to increase women’s representation and scale high-quality management practices adopted by women leaders to more schools to improve education outcomes for all children.
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.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia

When schools started closing their doors due to COVID-19, countries in Europe and Central Asia quickly provided alternative learning solutions for children to continue learning. More than 90 per cent of countries offered digital solutions to ensure that education activities could continue. However, lack of access to digital devices and a reliable internet connection excluded a significant amount of already marginalized children and threatened to widen the existing learning disparities. This report builds on existing evidence highlighting key lessons learned during the pandemic to promote learning for all during school closure and provides actionable policy recommendations on how to bridge the digital divide and build resilient education systems in Europe and Central Asia.

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