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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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Cross-Sectoral Learning in Implementation Research: Harnessing the potential to accelerate results for children
Cross-Sectoral Learning in Implementation Research: Harnessing the potential to accelerate results for children

AUTHOR(S)
Jane Lewis; Robyn Mildon; Tom Steele

Published: 2022 Innocenti Working Papers

By illuminating why and how interventions work in real world settings, Implementation Research (IR) is a powerful tool for increasing the likelihood that evidence-based interventions, programmes and policies are successfully implemented. The insights that IR generates help bridge the 'know-do gap' – the gap between what we know works and what actually happens on the ground when we try to put a policy or intervention into place. IR is a means for increasing the likelihood of successful outcomes, reducing the risk of wastage and failure and accelerating programme and system improvements to reduce inequities and achieve desired results.

This paper, prepared by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation in collaboration with UNICEF, aims to promote a shared understanding of IR and its relevance to UNICEF's work.

Developing and Selecting Measures of Child Well-Being: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 11
Developing and Selecting Measures of Child Well-Being: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 11

AUTHOR(S)
Howard White; Shagun Sabarwal

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Indicators provide a signal to decision makers by indicating whether, and to what extent, a variable of interest has changed. They can be used at all levels of the results framework from inputs to impacts, and should be linked to the programme’s theory of change. Most important at the lower levels of the causal chain are monitoring indicators such as inputs (e.g., immunization kits supplied), activities (e.g., immunization days held) and outputs (e.g., clinics built). For higher-level indicators of outcomes and impact, however, monitoring tells us what has happened but not why it happened. To understand this, impact evaluation must be used to increase our understanding of the factors behind achieving or not achieving the goal.
Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring
Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring

AUTHOR(S)
B. Guy Peters

Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Ensuring the proper functioning of public institutions is integral to good governance, yet ensuring and monitoring the requirements of human rights instruments is difficult and measurement of children’s rights even more so. This paper explores some of the factors which impede and promote public sector responsibilities towards children. The purpose of this analysis is to seek methods of assessing the performance of governments in their roles as protectors of the rights of children according to their international commitments. The multiplicity of actors involved in the process is described and the related problems for cooperation and effective implementation considered.
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children

AUTHOR(S)
Jaap Doek

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
This working paper addresses the role, contribution and impact of independent human rights institutions for children (IHRICs), also referred to as children’s ombudspersons or children’s commissioners. It looks at these institutions from the perspective and jurisprudence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) and the global perspective on the perception of the child and childhood resulting from contributions of these institutions to the process of implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children and the Committee on the Rights of the Child Reporting Process
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children and the Committee on the Rights of the Child Reporting Process

AUTHOR(S)
Rébecca Steward

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
The Committee on the Rights of the Child has been one of the main instigators for the development of independent human rights institutions for the promotion and protection of children’s rights. Relying on article 4 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it adopted a general comment on this issue in 2002, and now consistently encourages State parties to establish or strengthen such institutions in its concluding observations. Efforts have been made recently with human rights treaty bodies to enhance the involvement of independent institutions at each stage of the reporting process. For independent institutions specifically in charge of monitoring children’s rights, this implies an important contribution to the work of the Committee. Their status of independence from their government in the reporting process has been emphasized and some institutions submit a separate report to the Committee.
The Establishment Process for a Separate Child Ombudsman in Turkey: A case study
The Establishment Process for a Separate Child Ombudsman in Turkey: A case study

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper provides an overview and analysis of the initial steps for the establishment process of a separate children’s ombudsman in Turkey. It examines the legal, political and social reasons why an ombudsman for children would be needed in the country. Specifically, it analyses Turkey’s legal framework and international obligations, concluding that lack of implementation of the law and monitoring of children’s rights are the main challenges. Children have disproportionately high rates of poverty, and are often victims of various forms of violence, in particular girls. The political structure of the country is affected by significant tensions, especially with regard to the place of religion in the public sphere. The paper analyses the possible reasons for the stalemate and looks at the text of the law from a child rights perspective.
La mise en place d'un mécanisme de recours et de suivi des droits de l'enfant au Maroc
La mise en place d'un mécanisme de recours et de suivi des droits de l'enfant au Maroc

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki; Hynd Ayoubi Idrissi

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
La présente étude a pour objet de préparer une base de travail pour soutenir le processus de réflexion en vue de Maroc d’un mécanisme indépendant de recours et de suivi des droits de l’enfant, conformément aux recommandations du séminaire international organisé, le 10 décembre 2009 sur ce thème. La revue des expériences étrangères montre qu’il n’existe pas un modèle unique. Le mécanisme de recours peut revêtir différentes formes, dont le choix doit résulter d’une large consultation prenant en considération l’environnement politique, social et les possibilités offertes au niveau national et au niveau local. Deux modèles sont proposés : le modèle intégré et le modèle séparé. Les avantages et les inconvénients sont décrits et mis en comparaison.
Good Governance of Early Childhood Development Programmes in Developing Countries: The need for a comprehensive monitoring system
Good Governance of Early Childhood Development Programmes in Developing Countries: The need for a comprehensive monitoring system

AUTHOR(S)
Marco Kools; Virginia E. Vitiello

Published: 2010 Innocenti Discussion Papers
There is need for a holistic, comprehensive ECD monitoring system that covers the multiple facets (i.e. education, health, social protection and the social and economical context in which the child is born) of public and private ECD interventions in a country. Such a system is essential for ensuring that all children can reap the benefits of ECD. It serves as a means of support and oversight for monitoring the performance and planning of ECD policies and programmes in developing countries. The paper highlights the importance of comprehensive ECD monitoring for making evidence-based decisions, and discusses practical issues to take into consideration when developing such a system. One of the first steps is deciding what to monitor through the selection of a limited number of valid and measurable indicators that are aligned to policy and programme goals. In this respect the capacity of the government system should be thoroughly assessed, including 1) the identification and evaluation of existing administrative and other data sources; 2) a training needs analysis of the administrators who will operate the monitoring system to allow for strengthening their skills and prepare them for their future duties; and 3) consideration of the long-term costs of operating a monitoring system in relation to the (projected) available funds, in order to ensure the sustainability of the system.
Routine Data Collection and Monitoring of Health Services Relating to Early Childhood Development: A two-nation review study
Routine Data Collection and Monitoring of Health Services Relating to Early Childhood Development: A two-nation review study
Published: 2009 Innocenti Discussion Papers
Monitoring of health services can serve two major functions: providing information for performance management as well as for evidence-based policy-making. The means by which monitoring is carried out and the balance that is struck between these functions vary according to the situation of different countries. This paper reviews monitoring processes and the availability of data relating to early childhood development in the cases of Germany and the United Kingdom. The discussion centres on pre-requisites for successful routine data collection: a national framework, a national database and making data available publicly.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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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