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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
COVID-19 and the Looming Debt Crisis: Protecting and Transforming Social Spending for Inclusive Recoveries
SPOTLIGHT

COVID-19 and the Looming Debt Crisis: Protecting and Transforming Social Spending for Inclusive Recoveries

Compounding the COVID-19 pandemic is a looming debt crisis for low- and middle-income countries where a growing debt burden threatens to crowd out social spending for children. This policy brief explores whether the current support from the international community is enough to maintain spending on basic services during COVID-19. It highlights countries that are most at risk due to high levels of poverty, as well as those less likely to benefit from the G20 Debt Standstill (DSSI). It concludes that a new international debt restructuring architecture, which encompasses the needs of poorer countries, is crucial to protecting children’s rights in the wake of COVID-19.
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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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Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 1: Overview
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 1: Overview

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy.

This brief provides an overview of a series of eight briefs that cover a range of evidence synthesis products that can contribute to different parts of the policy and programming cycle and strengthen evidence informed decision-making at UNICEF.

Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 2: Introduction
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 2: Introduction

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy.

This brief considers three different types of evidence synthesis products – namely, systematic reviews (SRs), rapid evidence assessments (REAs) and evidence gap maps (EGMs) – and how they differ and compare in terms of their uses and the time and resources needed for their application. It also provides guidance on how evidence synthesis can contribute to evidence informed decision-making, which is particularly important in the context of UNICEF’s evidence infrastructure and for ensuring that appropriate evidence is considered when making policy and programming decisions.

Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 3: Developing and designing an evidence synthesis product
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 3: Developing and designing an evidence synthesis product

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy.

This brief covers the development and design stages of producing an evidence synthesis product (including the activities that contribute to drafting and refining the research question and scope), how externally contracted research teams are engaged in these stages, the type of consultation and feedback that should occur during these stages, and the development of inclusion criteria and a search strategy. All of these activities lead to the development and publication of a research protocol, which helps to ensure that all important decisions are made in advance and helps to avoid the introduction of bias.

Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 4: Collating and analysing studies for synthesis
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 4: Collating and analysing studies for synthesis

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy. 

This brief addresses the actual process of collating studies and the synthesis and analysis of these. It also includes an overview of tools and applications that can be used to help manage the process.

Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 5: Commissioning and managing an evidence synthesis project
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 5: Commissioning and managing an evidence synthesis project

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy. 

This brief focuses on the key activities for commissioning and managing an evidence synthesis project.

Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 6: The future of evidence synthesis and knowledge brokering
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 6: The future of evidence synthesis and knowledge brokering

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy. 

This brief focuses on emerging innovations and cutting-edge debates amongst the evidence synthesis community of practice. Unlike the other briefs, it does not give practical guidance, but, instead, highlights some of the new and critical thinking and tools employed by UNICEF Innocenti and others that are likely to influence the research commissioning or knowledge brokering process in the future.

Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 7: Resources and tools for evidence synthesis
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 7: Resources and tools for evidence synthesis

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs

This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy.

This brief provides a list of key tools, resources, websites and organizations for evidence synthesis.

Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 8: Glossary
Methodological Briefs on Evidence Synthesis. Brief 8: Glossary

AUTHOR(S)
Shivit Bakrania

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs
This series of eight briefs, produced by the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, is intended to provide guidance on how to undertake, commission and manage evidence synthesis products such as systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence gap maps. Evidence synthesis can play an important role in UNICEF’s knowledge management and evidence translation efforts by collating knowledge from multiple studies on what interventions work, and why and how they work. It makes research more accessible and therefore can contribute to evidence-informed programming and policy decisions. The primary audience for these briefs is professionals, including UNICEF staff, who conduct, commission or interpret research and evaluation findings in development contexts to make decisions about policy, programming and advocacy.

 

This brief contains a glossary of terms used in evidence synthesis.

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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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