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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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Drivers of Primary School Dropout in Mozambique: Longitudinal assessment of school dropout in 2019
Drivers of Primary School Dropout in Mozambique: Longitudinal assessment of school dropout in 2019
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

The Avaliação Longitudinal da Desistência Escolar (ALDE, Longitudinal Assessment of School Dropout) is the first nationally representative mixed-method longitudinal survey in Mozambique. Since 2018, the ALDE survey has annually collected longitudinal, nationally representative data from around 5,400 primary school students (from grades 1 to 7) in 60 schools across all eleven provinces in the country.

This report presents the results of the quantitative data collected in 2019 and focuses on the determinants of school dropouts in the country. When children leave school prematurely, not only is their learning interrupted, but the trajectories of their future opportunities and lives are forever altered. This report explores the multidimensional process of school dropouts, investigating how individual, household, community and school-level factors interact to lead children in Mozambique to dropout of education. Through this analysis, the report provides important and actionable recommendations to improve education policy in Mozambique towards its journey to achieve learning for every child.

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 – Eastern and Southern Africa
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 – Eastern and Southern Africa
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

The widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the learning crisis for children living in Eastern and Southern Africa. The crisis has also shown the great need to develop resilient education systems that can provide learning when schools are forced to close. Understanding how to provide remote learning equitably utilizing multiple modalities and emphasizing low-tech solutions in Eastern and Southern Africa is critical given the great challenges facing the region in terms of electricity and connectivity access. This report provides a summary of lessons learned in the East and Southern Africa region from remote learning during COVID-19 and provides concrete recommendations on how to increase the resilience of education systems.

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

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.

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Ghana
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Spogmai Akseer; Ximena Jativa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Education has been a priority for Ghana since its independence, with current expenditures representing double the average for Africa and other developing nations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government aimed to enhance the quality of education and teacher attendance, including improving school infrastructure and providing textbooks and incentive packages to attract more teachers to rural and remote areas. However, the disruption of the pandemic forced school closures and economic consequences, threatening to push millions of vulnerable children out of the education system, widen inequalities and impede progress on the country’s development goals. The Ghana Time to Teach research project set out to capture teachers’ voices and provide a comprehensive understanding of teacher attendance in pre-tertiary schools in the country. Although data collection for this study was completed before the onset of COVID-19, it provides valuable insights into how the national education system can be strengthened to improve teacher motivation, attendance, and time on task. Detailed findings, analysis and policy implications can be found in the report.

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. 

Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Côte d’Ivoire
Time to Teach: L’assiduité des enseignants et le temps consacré à l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires en Côte d’Ivoire
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Si la Côte d’Ivoire a accompli de grands progrès pour faciliter l’accès à son système éducatif et en améliorer la qualité, d’importantes lacunes subsistent en matière d’apprentissage et de réussite des élèves. On estime que huit enfants sur dix en Côte d’Ivoire ne maîtrisent pas la lecture à l’âge de 10 ans et disposent de compétences insuffisantes en mathématiques à la sortie du primaire. Les données probantes existantes suggèrent que l'absentéisme des enseignants serait responsable de la perte d'environ 25 pour cent du temps d'enseignement dans les écoles primaires du pays. Si l’on tient compte de l’absentéisme des élèves et des retards dans le calendrier scolaire, la perte moyenne s’élève à deux mois par année scolaire. La présente étude « Time to Teach » vise à contribuer à une meilleure compréhension de l’assiduité des enseignants dans les écoles primaires en Côte d’Ivoire. Pour ce faire, l’étude adopte un concept large de l’absentéisme des enseignants, qui comprend :  l’absence de l’école, le manque de ponctualité, l’absence de la salle de classe et la réduction du temps d’enseignement.

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in secondary schools in Rwanda
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in secondary schools in Rwanda

AUTHOR(S)
Spogmai Akseer; Ximena Jativa

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

In Rwanda, over 3.5 million children were estimated to be out of school in 2020 when the country closed all schools as a safety measure against the spread of COVID-19. The government quickly developed a national response plan and started the process of hiring teachers, constructing classrooms and training in-service teachers in remote-learning pedagogies. Prior to the lockdown, schools were already experiencing challenges, including low attendance rates. In the post-COVID-19 environment, learning losses are expected to be significant, especially on the acquisition of foundational skills, and will hinder the ministry's efforts to achieve the learning outcomes of its new competence-based curriculum. 

A Time to Teach study in 2020 in Rwanda found that low teacher attendance was a common problem in primary schools. This study seeks to support the Ministry of Education by providing a comprehensive understanding of secondary school teacher attendance in the country. It builds on findings from the primary schools' study, to understand how attendance challenges may be similar or different across education levels, and more importantly, how these can help inform teacher policy design and implementation. 

Non-State Education in South Asia: Understanding the effect of non-state actors on the quality, equity and safety of education service delivery
Non-State Education in South Asia: Understanding the effect of non-state actors on the quality, equity and safety of education service delivery

AUTHOR(S)
Artur Borkowski; Bindu Sunny; Juliana Zapata

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Education systems in South Asia are complex and fragmented. Despite high engagement and involvement of Non-State Actors (NSA) in education, there is a lack of comprehensive policy to govern them. Achieving better learning outcomes for children in South Asia requires understanding the wide variety of NSA providers and unpacking how these different actors engage with and influence education provision. Through a meta-analysis of existing evidence, this report presents findings on learning outcomes in public and non-state schools and the implications on quality, equity and safety of education delivery in the region. It also uncovers critical gaps in evidence that need to be addressed to show what is really working, for whom, where and at what cost.


Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Mozambique
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Mozambique

AUTHOR(S)
Dita Nugroho; Despina Karamperidou

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Teacher attendance is one of the prerequisites on the path toward universal learning in developing countries. Over the past decades, however, studies from across the developing world have found national rates of teacher absenteeism that range from 3 to 27 per cent. Therefore, enhancing teachers’ presence in the classroom and ensuring that class time is spent teaching, can contribute significantly to the productivity and inclusive prosperity of a country.

This Time to Teach study collates and strengthens the evidence base on primary school teacher absenteeism in Mozambique. The study uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods to provide critical insights into the factors that underpin the multiple forms of teacher absenteeism and time on task. It also examines how factors vary across countries, school types, gender of teacher and other teacher characteristics. Despite high levels of teacher absenteeism, the study shows that teachers are generally committed and that what is needed is education system strengthening. It is hoped that findings will inform workable solutions and policies that will ensure a motivated teaching force, increase opportunities for children to learn at school and, ultimately, improve their life and work opportunities.

Hora de ensinar: Assiduidade dos Professores e Tempo de Trabalho nas Escolas Primárias de Moçambique
Hora de ensinar: Assiduidade dos Professores e Tempo de Trabalho nas Escolas Primárias de Moçambique

AUTHOR(S)
Despina Karamperidou; Dita Nugroho

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Este estudo “Hora de Ensinar” combina e reforça a base de evidências sobre o absentismo dos professores do ensino primário em Moçambique.

A assiduidade dos professores é um dos pré-requisitos indispensáveis à aprendizagem universal nos países em desenvolvimento. Nas últimas décadas, contudo, estudos realizados em todo o mundo em desenvolvimento constataram taxas nacionais de absentismo dos professores que variam entre 3 e 27%. Por conseguinte, reforçar a presença dos professores na sala de aula e assegurar que o tempo de aula é dedicado ao ensino, pode contribuir significativamente para a produtividade e prosperidade inclusiva de um país.  

O estudo utiliza uma mistura de métodos de pesquisa qualitativa e quantitativa para fornecer uma visão crítica dos factores que sustentam as várias formas de absentismo dos professores e o tempo de trabalho. Também examina como os factores variam entre países, tipos de escolas, género do professor e outras características do professor. Apesar dos elevados níveis de absentismo dos professores, o estudo mostra que estes estão geralmente empenhados e que o que é necessário é o reforço do sistema educativo. Espera-se que os resultados informem soluções e políticas viáveis que assegurem uma mão-de-obra docente motivada, aumentem as oportunidades para as crianças aprenderem na escola e, em última análise, melhorem as suas vidas e oportunidades de trabalho.

Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools South Sudan
Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools South Sudan

AUTHOR(S)
Silvana Târlea; Christine Han Yue; Dita Nugroho; Despina Karamperidou

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The Government of South Sudan, through the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) and its development partners, has made efforts over the past decade to rebuild South Sudan’s primary education system. Challenges to the delivery of education have persisted, both within the education system and external to it.

The Time to Teach study focuses specifically on the issue of teacher attendance. It distinguishes between four types of interruptions to teacher attendance: absence from school; lack of punctuality; absence from class; and loss of teaching time in class.

The study aims to identify the specific determinants at each level of the education system of South Sudan. In doing so, it highlights the role of various education stakeholders, from the central and decentralized levels, to the community level and as school level actors in monitoring and addressing the challenges to teacher attendance. 

The study seeks to contribute a better understanding of the various challenges faced by teachers and especially, the system deficits that affect teachers’ attendance and motivation, with a view to providing evidence-based policy recommendations to relevant education stakeholders in the country.

Time to Teach: Assiduité des enseignants et temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires aux Comores
Time to Teach: Assiduité des enseignants et temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires aux Comores

AUTHOR(S)
Despina Karamperidou; Brianna Guidorzi

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L’absentéisme des enseignants constitue un obstacle important à la réalisation d’une éducation universelle de qualité. Il est de plus en plus évident que l’absentéisme des enseignants constitue un problème particulier dans les pays à faible et moyen revenu du monde entier, les taux d’absentéisme scolaire des enseignants variant entre 15 et 45 % en Afrique subsaharienne.

Aux Comores, les études existantes suggèrent que l’absentéisme des enseignants est une préoccupation latente depuis des années. Cependant, la recherchesur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui affectent la présence des enseignants restent rares. L’étude « Time to Teach » (TTT) vise à combler ce fossé de connaissance. 

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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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