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Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
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Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
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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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Measuring Inequality in Children’s Education in Rich Countries
Measuring Inequality in Children’s Education in Rich Countries
Published: 2018 Innocenti Working Papers
There is growing recognition among international organizations, scholars and policymakers that education systems must produce equitable outcomes, but there is far less consensus on what this means in practice. This paper analyses differences in inequality of outcome and inequality of opportunity in educational achievement among primary and secondary schoolchildren across 38 countries of the European Union (EU) and/or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The analysis focuses on reading achievement, drawing on data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). We use several measures to operationalize the two concepts of inequality in education. Our results show that inequality of outcome does not necessarily go hand in hand with inequality of opportunity. These two concepts lead to measures that produce very different country rankings. We argue that information on both inequality of outcome and inequality of opportunity is necessary for a better understanding of equity in children’s education.
Growing Inequality and Unequal Opportunities in Rich Countries
Growing Inequality and Unequal Opportunities in Rich Countries
Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs
Inequality can have wide-ranging effects on communities, families and children. Income inequality (measured through the Gini index) was found to have an association with higher levels of peer violence in 35 countries (Elgar et al. 2009) and to influence the use of alcohol and drunkenness among 11- and 13-year olds (Elgar et al. 2005). On a macro level, countries with greater income inequality among children have lower levels of child well-being and higher levels of child poverty (Toczydlowska et al. 2016). More worrying still is that growing inequality reinforces the impact of socio-economic status (SES) on children’s outcomes, limiting social mobility. Concern about growing inequality features prominently on the current international development agenda. Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls specifically to reduce inequality within and among countries, while the concept of ‘leaving no one behind’ reflects the spirit of greater fairness in society. But with a myriad of measures and definitions of inequality used in literature, the focus on children is often diluted. This brief contributes to this debate by presenting child-relevant distributional measures that reflect inequality of outcomes as well as opportunity for children in society, over time.
Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries
Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries
Published: 2017 Innocenti Report Card

This Report Card offers an assessment of child well-being in the context of sustainable development across 41 countries of the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Specifically, this report seeks to bring the SDG targets for children in high-income countries into meaningful operation (while staying true to the ambitions of the global agenda) and to establish a point of departure for reviewing the SDG framework in these contexts. It focuses on those goals and targets with most direct relevance to the well-being of children in high-income settings. Where appropriate, it adapts the agreed SDG indicator, the better to reflect the problems facing children in such countries. The results therefore highlight the new challenges set by the SDGs.

Growing Inequality and Unequal Opportunities in Rich Countries
Growing Inequality and Unequal Opportunities in Rich Countries
Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs
Forthcoming
Fairness for Children. A league table of inequality in child well-being in rich countries
Fairness for Children. A league table of inequality in child well-being in rich countries
Published: 2016 Innocenti Report Card

This Report Card presents an overview of inequalities in child well-being in 41 countries of the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It focuses on ‘bottom-end inequality’ – the gap between children at the bottom and those in the middle – and addresses the question ‘how far behind are children being allowed to fall?’ in income, education, health and life satisfaction.
Across the OECD, he risks of poverty have been shifting from the elderly towards youth since the 1980s. These developments accentuate the need to monitor the well-being of the most disadvantaged children, but income inequality also has far-reaching consequences for society, harming educational attainment, key health outcomes and even economic growth. A concern with fairness and social justice requires us to consider whether some members of society are being left so far behind that it unfairly affects their lives both now and in the future.This Report Card asks the same underlying question as Report Card 9, which focused on inequality in child well-being, but uses the most recent data available and includes more countries.

Equità per i bambini. Una classifica della disuguaglianza nel benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi
Equità per i bambini. Una classifica della disuguaglianza nel benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi
Published: 2016 Innocenti Report Card
Questa Report Card presenta una panoramica delle disuguaglianze nel benessere dei bambini in 41 paesi dell'Unione Europea (UE) e dell'Organizzazione per la cooperazione e lo sviluppo economico (OCSE). Essa verte principalmente sulla “disuguaglianza nella fascia più bassa”, ossia il divario fra i bambini nella fascia più bassa della distribuzione e quelli nella fascia media, e affronta la questione “fino a che punto si permette che i bambini restino indietro?” in termini di reddito, istruzione, salute e soddisfazione nei confronti della vita.
In tutta l'area OCSE, a partire dagli anni ottanta del secolo scorso il rischio povertà si è progressivamente trasferito dagli anziani ai giovani. Tali sviluppi rendono ancora più urgente la necessità di monitorare il  benessere dei bambini più svantaggiati, ma la disuguaglianza reddituale comporta anche conseguenze a lungo termine per la società, andando a colpire il livello di istruzione, condizioni di salute chiave e persino la crescita economica. L’interesse per l'equità e la giustizia sociale ci impone di valutare se alcuni membri della società vengano lasciati così indietro da comprometterne la qualità della vita, sia attuale che futura. Questa Report Card si pone lo stesso interrogativo alla base della Report Card 9, dedicata alla disuguaglianza nel benessere dei bambini, ma utilizza i dati più recenti disponibili e comprende un maggior numero di paesi.
Equidad para los niños. Una tabla clasificatoria de la desigualdad respecto al bienestar infantil en los países ricos
Equidad para los niños. Una tabla clasificatoria de la desigualdad respecto al bienestar infantil en los países ricos
Published: 2016 Innocenti Report Card
En este Report Card se describen las desigualdades en el bienestar infantil en 41 países de la Unión Europea (UE) y la Organización de Cooperación y Desarrollo Económicos (OCDE). Se examina la desigualdad en el extremo inferior de la distribución, es decir, la brecha entre los niños que se sitúan en la parte baja y los que ocupan la posición media. Al mismo tiempo, se estudia hasta qué punto se deja que los niños se queden atrás en  términos de ingresos, educación, salud y satisfacción en la vida. En todos los países de la OCDE, el riesgo de caer en la pobreza era mayor para los ancianos, pero desde la década de 1980, el riesgo amenaza principalmente a los jóvenes. Esa evolución acentúa la necesidad de supervisar el bienestar de los niños más desfavorecidos —aunque la desigualdad de ingresos también tiene consecuencias de amplio alcance para la sociedad—, puesto que socava los logros académicos, los resultados sanitarios clave e incluso el crecimiento económico. El interés por instaurar la equidad y la justicia social obliga a determinar si la desigualdad que sufren algunos miembros de la sociedad es tal que afecta injustamente a su vida presente y futura. En este Report Card se plantea la misma pregunta básica que en el Report Card n.° 9, el cual se centraba en la desigualdad en el bienestar infantil, pero se emplean los datos disponibles más recientes y se abarca un mayor número de países.
Équité entre les enfants. Tableau de classement des inégalités de bien-être entre les enfants des pays riches
Équité entre les enfants. Tableau de classement des inégalités de bien-être entre les enfants des pays riches
Published: 2016 Innocenti Report Card
Ce Bilan présente une vue d’ensemble des inégalités de bien-être entre les enfants de 41 pays de l’Union européenne (UE) et de l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE). Il se concentre sur les « inégalités dans la partie inférieure de la distribution », c’est-àdire l’écart entre les enfants du bas et ceux du milieu de la distribution, et cherche à savoir jusqu’où la société laisse se creuser le fossé entre les enfants en matière de revenus, d’éducation, de santé et de satisfaction dans la vie. Dans toute l’OCDE, la tendance a évolué depuis les années 1980 : ce sont désormais les jeunes, et non plus les personnes âgées, qui  risquent le plus de tomber dans la pauvreté. Ces évolutions accentuent la nécessité de surveiller le bien-être des enfants les plus défavorisés ; en outre, les inégalités en matière de revenus ont des répercussions considérables sur la société, puisqu’elles ont un impact négatif sur la réussite scolaire, les principaux indicateurs dans le domaine de la santé, voire la croissance économique. Se soucier de l’équité et de la justice sociale implique de déterminer si l’écart entre les membres de la société est tel que certains s’en trouvent pénalisés, non seulement dans leur vie actuelle, mais aussi pour leur avenir3. Le présent Bilan pose les mêmes questions sous-jacentes que le Bilan 9 sur les inégalités de bienêtre entre les enfants, mais repose sur les données disponibles les plus récentes et inclut davantage de pays.
Why Income Inequalities Matter for Young People’s Health: A look at the evidence
Why Income Inequalities Matter for Young People’s Health: A look at the evidence
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

Although child and adolescent inequalities are still less understood than those of adults, we have made progress in understanding the pathways that lead to negative outcomes and the limitations of some ‘adult-specific’ indicators as proxies of young people’s health and well-being. Nonetheless, the academic literature has been able to establish a clear negative relationship between a person’s material circumstances and their health outcomes and behaviours such as being overweight, lack of physical activity, higher levels of smoking and mental health problems, all of which persist throughout a person’s life. The personal and societal toll of these effects is clear, yet policies are still lagging behind, tackling proximal causes rather than ‘the causes of the causes’ of these health inequalities. This paper aims to summarise relevant knowledge on the socio-economic causes of health inequalities in children. It will not only provide a foundation to the Innocenti Report Card 13 in terms of outlining our knowledge regarding the drivers of health inequality but it will also help us shed light on its consequences.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 24 | Thematic area: Adolescents, Health | Tags: adolescent health, income, inequality
Inequalities in Adolescent Health and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study
Inequalities in Adolescent Health and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers

International studies of inequalities in adolescent health tend to focus on the socio-economic gradient in average outcomes rather than their dispersion within countries. Although understanding the extent to which differences in health are related to socio-economic disadvantage is important, focusing exclusively on socio-economic status risks neglecting differences in the distribution of health outcomes within and between countries. To fill this research gap, this study analyses variation in the extent of inequality in the lower half of the distribution in five indicators of adolescent health and well-being – health symptoms, physical activity, healthy eating, unhealthy eating, and life satisfaction – across EU and/or OECD countries that took part in the latest cycle of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study.

Education for All? Measuring inequality of educational outcomes among 15-year-olds across 39 industrialized nations
Education for All? Measuring inequality of educational outcomes among 15-year-olds across 39 industrialized nations
Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers
Measuring inequality of learning outcomes in a way that provides meaningful benchmarks for national policy while retaining a focus on those students who are ‘hard to reach’ and ‘hard to teach’ is a challenging but vital task in the light of the global post-2015 education agenda. Drawing on PISA 2012 data and its earlier rounds, this paper explores alternative approaches to measuring educational inequality at the ‘bottom-end’ of educational distribution within the cross-national context. Its main aim is to understand how far behind children are allowed to fall in their academic achievement compared to what is considered a standard performance in their country. Under the framework of relative (measured as achievement gap between the median and 10th percentile) and absolute (measured by the percentage of students achieving at a given benchmark) educational disadvantage it examines cross-country rankings as well as national trajectories with reference to overall academic progress. We find that on average across OECD countries around 11% of 15- year-olds lacked skills in solving basic reading, mathematical, as well as science, tasks in 2012, but variation across countries was large.
The Consequences of the Recent Economic Crisis and Government Reactions for Children
The Consequences of the Recent Economic Crisis and Government Reactions for Children

AUTHOR(S)
Bruno Martorano

Published: 2014 Innocenti Working Papers
The aim of this paper is to analyse the impact of the different policy reactions of European governments to the recent economic crisis on income distribution and poverty, giving special attention to children. Almost all the governments introduced fiscal stimulus packages in the first phase of the crisis. Nonetheless, the persistence of bad economic conditions led to a drop in the countries’ revenues with a deterioration of their fiscal conditions. In addition, the pressure coming from the financial markets and the resurgence of an orthodox policy approach pushed many governments to introduce austerity measures since 2010. In particular, there was a growing consensus about the necessity of fiscal consolidation despite awareness of the possible negative impact on economic performance and social outcomes. Some governments preferred to increase taxes while others preferred to reduce public expenditure, also cutting benefits and services for children and their families.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 24 | Thematic area: Child Poverty, Social Policies | Tags: crisis, europe, income, inequality, poverty
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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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