Best of UNICEF Research 2022

Best of UNICEF Research 2022

Published: 2022 Miscellanea

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 year, Best of UNICEF Research celebrates its 10th edition. It features 12 research projects that the selection panel concurred deserved special recognition for delivering results for children in 2022. How? By informing decision-making, shaping policy, raising public awareness, driving social change, and giving children and young people a voice on the issues that affect them most through participatory research.

These endeavours showcase both the power of innovation in the face of emergency and crisis, and the virtues of agility, endurance and scalability. They also offer solutions and ways to learn from each other. Each piece of research offers a set of adaptable tools: validated methodologies; templates for emergency response plans; methods of monitoring and measuring progress; and examples of successful collaboration between stakeholders. 

 

Promoting Gender-Transformative Change through Social Protection: An analytical approach

Promoting Gender-Transformative Change through Social Protection: An analytical approach

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Social protection can reduce income poverty and food and economic insecurity, address financial barriers to accessing social services, and promote positive development outcomes throughout the life course – particularly for women and girls. But can it address preexisting gender inequalities through the design, implementation and financing of its programmes?

To strengthen the evidence base ‘what works’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ for social protection to contribute to gender equality, this report proposes and presents an analytical approach to evidence generation on gender-responsive social protection for gender-transformative change. It builds on the Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP) conceptual framework, and on the theoretical, conceptual and empirical literature on gender and social protection. Structured as a socio-ecological framework, our approach presents three interconnected change pathways – at the individual, household and societal level – through which gender-responsive social protection can contribute to gender-transformative results, along with tailored design and implementation features, and underpinned by a set of change levers that existing evidence suggests can strengthen the gender-responsiveness of social protection systems.

Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)

Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)

Published: 2022 Miscellanea

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.

Foundational literacy and numeracy in rural Afghanistan: Findings from a baseline learning assessment of accelerated learning centres

Foundational literacy and numeracy in rural Afghanistan: Findings from a baseline learning assessment of accelerated learning centres

AUTHOR(S)
Sophia Kan; Mirwais Fahez; Marco Valenza

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

In Afghanistan, 93% of children cannot read a simple text by the age of 10. Education is not available to everyone, especially for girls and children in remote areas. A form of community-based education, called Accelerated Learning Centers (ALCs), can help close the distance barrier and meet the needs of out-of-school children and girls. In May 2021, an assessment of foundational literacy and numeracy skills of ALC students and nearby government school students was conducted. Results show that children at ALCs are learning at similar levels or better compared with children who attend government schools. This report provides insight into practices to improve education in rural areas in Afghanistan. 

Being intentional about gender-transformative strategies: Reflections and Lessons for UNICEF's Gender and Policy Action Plan (2022-2025)

Being intentional about gender-transformative strategies: Reflections and Lessons for UNICEF's Gender and Policy Action Plan (2022-2025)

Published: 2021 Miscellanea

This compendium brings together six papers on new and emerging gender-related priorities developed by UNICEF staff and external partners, which engage with deepening understanding of the pressing gender challenges children and young people are facing today, and call for more ambitious actions to achieve gender-transformative change and accelerate progress towards gender equality for all children and adults. These papers inform the development of the UNICEF’s new Gender Policy 2021-2030 and Gender Action Plan (GAP) 2022-2025.

Mainstreaming gender into social protection strategies and programmes: Evidence from 74 low- and middle-income countries

Mainstreaming gender into social protection strategies and programmes: Evidence from 74 low- and middle-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti; Tara Patricia Cookson; Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed; Rita Sandoval; Silke Staab; Constanza Tabbush

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The importance of mainstreaming gender into social protection policies and programmes is increasingly recognized. However, evidence on the extent to which this is actually happening remains limited. This report contributes to filling this evidence gap by drawing on the findings of two complementary research projects undertaken by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and UN Women in 2019.

Using a specifically developed analytical framework, these two projects reviewed 50 national social protection strategies and 40 social protection programmes across a total of 74 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to assess the extent to which they incorporate gender equality concerns.

Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection: A conceptual framework

Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection: A conceptual framework

Published: 2020 Innocenti Working Papers

There is significant potential for social protection systems (including policies, programmes and institutions) to promote gender equality and transformative change as a core pre-condition for long-term and sustainable poverty reduction. There is also the potential of poverty reduction to promote long-term and sustained gender equality and transformative change. Recognising this, the Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP) research programme, led by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti (hereafter UNICEF Innocenti) seeks to strengthen the gender-responsiveness of social protection systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and support shifts long-term towards gender-transformational social protection work, by building a robust evidence base focused on ‘what works’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ to contribute to enhanced gender equality outcomes across the life course.

This working paper provides a concise narrative behind the graphic representation of the GRASSP conceptual framework. The framework delineates the conceptual linkages between gender (including gender risks, vulnerabilities, discrimination and inequalities, multidimensional deprivations affecting women and girls), and social protection. It proposes a systematic, holistic and integrated approach for conceptualising the intersections between gender and social protection, to achieve SDG1 (‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere’) and SDG5 (‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’)1 through careful planning, design, implementation and evaluation of a gender-responsive social protection system.

The GRASSP conceptual framework builds on and expands existing conceptual and theoretical efforts focused on integrating a gender lens into public policy (see for instance Holmes and Jones 2013, GAGE Consortium 2017). Building on these earlier efforts, the GRASSP conceptual framework brings together several integrated aspects related to gender, social protection, and the life course.

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