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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
SPOTLIGHT

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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Integration and the Well-being of Children in the Transition Economies
Integration and the Well-being of Children in the Transition Economies
Published: 2005 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper looks at the well-being of children in transition economies in the light of greater economic integration. The different stages of integration of the transition economies into the world economy are marked by substantial variations in trade and capital flows. International labour mobility remains limited, and unemployment has been high since the beginning of transition. Because employment is the main determinant of household income, this has had a negative effect on the well-being of children. At the national level, a high degree of variation in regional unemployment rates has emerged which is symptomatic of the lack of integration of labour markets. High regional unemployment rates are further associated with increases in non-participation, while adjustments via wages and migration have been largely absent, or insufficient. Indicators of child well-being – such as infant mortality rates – are positively correlated with unemployment rates, suggesting that public service provision is, in general, not sufficient to offset the negative effect of unemployment on child well-being. A closer look at unemployment benefit schemes reveals not only large differences between countries but also scope for broader coverage and better targeting of programmes in order to reduce the risk of families falling into poverty when parents become unemployed.
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Gatekeeping services for vulnerable children and families
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Gatekeeping services for vulnerable children and families
Published: 2003 Innocenti Publications
After more than a decade of coping with transition challenges in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the need for the reform of family and child welfare systems has been widely acknowledged. The mindset is changing, policies are increasingly embracing new directions, reform efforts are underway, but the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor families with children have yet to improve. Every year a large number of children are still at risk of being separated from their families and being placed in institutional care. Through 'Changing Minds, Policies and Lives', UNICEF and the World Bank have teamed up in an effort to increase the understanding of the essential challenges of the system changes, and to propose strategies to advance the reform of child and family services. The results of the joint work are the concept papers and corresponding tools that suggest how to change three important system regulators, decision making, standards and financing.
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Improving standards of child protection services
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Improving standards of child protection services
Published: 2003 Innocenti Publications
The quality of care children receive, their learning experiences and relationships, are critical in shaping their future. This is particularly true in their first years of life. Quality child protection services play an important role in enhancing learning and achievement throughout children’s lives, in providing more positive lifelong opportunities and outcomes, and in reducing poor health in adult life. The key to a high-quality child protection system is to have clear, agreed standards based on evidence of best practice and effective systems to implement and monitor them. Given the importance of promoting quality, this paper provides a framework for designing tools to specify and use standards as part of the reform of the child protection system. This is to ensure that, wherever possible, families are supported to care for their children themselves.
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Redirecting resources to community-based services
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Redirecting resources to community-based services
Published: 2003 Innocenti Publications
One of the legacies of the command economy in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has been a system of social protection for vulnerable individuals which focuses on institutional care.This paper provides a framework to help countries re-orient their financing systems for social care, so that they can implement a change programme for the social care system. The ultimate objective is for countries to use more family-based and inclusive care programmes, and use institutional care as a last resort, thus supporting families to care for their vulnerable members rather than place them in residential care. Family-based and inclusive care are generally more effective in meeting social needs and are, at least on a unit cost basis, less expensive. Changing the financing system will not automatically reduce institutionalization.
Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate
Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate

AUTHOR(S)
John Micklewright

Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
The concept of social exclusion has been widely debated in Europe but its application to children has seen relatively little discussion. What the social exclusion of children can lead to is the first main theme of the paper, where among other things, the choice of reference group, the geographical dimension of exclusion, and the issue of who is responsible for any exclusion of children are considered. The second main theme is the use of the concept of exclusion in the USA, where in contrast to Europe it has achieved little penetration to date. To assess whether there is fertile ground for discussion of social exclusion as it relates to children in the US, various features of US society and institutions including the measurement of poverty, analysis of children's living standards, state versus federal responsibilities, welfare reform and the emphasis on 'personal responsibility', are all considered.
When the Invisible Hand Rocks the Cradle: New Zealand children in a time of change
When the Invisible Hand Rocks the Cradle: New Zealand children in a time of change
Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper investigates the impact of economic and social reforms on the well-being of children in New Zealand. These reforms were among the most sweeping in scope and scale in any industrialized democracy, but have not led to an overall improvement in the well-being of children. There has been widening inequality between ethnic and income groups which has left many Maori and Pacific children, and children from one parent and poorer families, relatively worse off. The New Zealand experience illustrates the vulnerability of children during periods of social upheaval and change and the importance of having effective mechanisms to monitor, protect and promote the interests of children.
A League Table of Child Deaths by Injury in Rich Nations
A League Table of Child Deaths by Injury in Rich Nations
Published: 2001 Innocenti Report Card
In every single industrialized country, injury has now become the leading killer of children between the ages of 1 and 14. Taken together, traffic accidents, intentional injuries, drownings, falls, fires, poisonings and other accidents kill more than 20,000 children every year throughout the OECD. Despite these statistics, and the rising worries of parents everywhere, the likelihood of a child dying from intentional or unintentional injury is small and becoming smaller. For a child born into the developed world today, the chances of death by injury before the age of 15 are approximately 1 in 750 - less than half the level of 30 years ago. The likelihood of death from abuse or intentional harm is smaller still - less than 1 in 5,000. On the roads of the industrialized world, child deaths have been declining steadily for more than two decades.
Single Parents and Child Welfare in the New Russia
Single Parents and Child Welfare in the New Russia
Published: 2001 Innocenti Publications
With the transition to a market economy, a rising number of single-parent families in Russia are being placed under an intensified threat of poverty. Single Parents and Child Welfare in the New Russia provides new evidence and analysis of the effects of this phenomenon of child welfare and assesses the social policy responses of the Russian government. The authors emphasize the urgent need for detailed country-level analysis of the situation at a time of great change and increased risk.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 248 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, family allowances, single parent families, social monitoring | Publisher: Palgrave
Children in Bulgaria: Growing impoverishment and unequal opportunities
Children in Bulgaria: Growing impoverishment and unequal opportunities

AUTHOR(S)
Roumiana Gantcheva

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
The social and economic changes in Bulgaria since the beginning of transition naturally raise concern about their impact on child well-being. This paper investigates the changes that occurred over the last decade in three dimensions of child welfare recognised as fundamental child rights economic well-being, health and education. Then it concentrates on particularly vulnerable groups of children those born of teenage and single mothers and those living in institutions. The data show that the human cost of economic transition has been high and children have been among the most vulnerable groups of the society.
Child Well-Being in the EU and Enlargement to the East
Child Well-Being in the EU and Enlargement to the East
Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
The accession of up to 13 new members in the next decade is the most important development now facing the European Union. This paper analyses measurable differences in the well-being of children between current club members, the EU Member States, and the 10 Central and Eastern European applicants seeking admission. Two themes are used as a framework for the paper. First, the importance of economic, social and cultural rights in the human rights dimension of the 'Copenhagen criteria' laid down for EU accession. Second, the need for a wider approach to measuring differences in living standards and 'economic and social cohesion' within the Union than that currently taken by the European Commission. In both cases the necessity for considering the position of children is emphasised. The empirical sections of the paper then consider in turn three dimensions of well-being of European children in Member States and the applicant countries: their economic welfare, their health, and their education.
From Security to Uncertainty: The impact of economic change on child welfare in central Asia
From Security to Uncertainty: The impact of economic change on child welfare in central Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Jane Falkingham

Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper discusses the possible pathways between macroeconomic change and child welfare and develops a typology of the risks that children may face at different stages of the lifecycle. Adopting a multi-dimensional view of child well-being, trends in both economic measures of poverty, based on incomes and expenditures, and in selected capability-based indicators are then examined. The indicators selected reflect the health and survival, education and personal development of children and their social inclusion/exclusion. Not all the news is bad but the data show that the human cost of economic transition has been high and children, far from being protected from its impact, have been amongst those who have suffered the most.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 42 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child education, child survival and development, child welfare, economic development, poverty reduction | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
The Welfare of Europe's Children
The Welfare of Europe's Children
Published: 2000 Innocenti Publications
This book analyses the living standards of the nearly 80 million children in the European Union, who represent over a fifth of its total population. By analysing the trends of child well-being in Europe over the last two decades, this book asks: Is the well-being of children in the EU becoming more similar across member states? Or are countries diverging while their economies converge?
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 168 | Thematic area: Industrialized Countries | Tags: child welfare, industrialized countries | Publisher: IRC
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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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