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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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Macroeconomics and Data on Children
Macroeconomics and Data on Children

AUTHOR(S)
John Micklewright

Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
Putting data on children into macroeconomic debate can be achieved in a variety of ways. Economic policy is about improving the lives of people and the most basic data of all concerning children - demographic data - can be used to underline this fact. The key economic variables on which economic policy operates can all be given a child dimension. And direct measures of various dimensions of child well-being must also be brought into the picture.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 18 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: child welfare, demographic indicators, economic policy | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Regional Monitoring of Child and Family Well-Being: UNICEF's MONEE Project
Regional Monitoring of Child and Family Well-Being: UNICEF's MONEE Project

AUTHOR(S)
Gaspar Fajth

Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
The project, through a series of reports on child and family well-being, has had a remarkable impact on policy makers, academics, politicians and members of the public. One of the keys to its success has been the comprehensive set of demographic and social indicators and related policy and institutional information collected via a wide network of experts. By drawing a comparison with similar analytical efforts, this paper highlights the distinctive features of the project, including a holistic and regional perspective based on a systematic mix of statistical and analytical investigations. This approach offers some comparative advantages relative to UNICEF's global surveys and national situation analyses in terms of its capacity to grasp key patterns of change and the role of institutional factors.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 42 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, demographic indicators, economic transition, family policy, family welfare, social indicators | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Child Poverty in Spain: What can be said?
Child Poverty in Spain: What can be said?
During the last three decades Spain has undergone a major political and socio-economic transformation. Over the same period, indicators such as average welfare levels as measured by real disposable per capita income or expenditure on social protection have shown a signifiant net rise; this growth has occurred in parallel with both an increasing flexibility in the labour market and a dramatic jump in unemployment. In contrast with many other European countries in which relative poverty has been tending to increase in recent decades, poverty in Spain has been slightly reduced. The effect of these changes on the economic welfare situation of children has not been explored. The aim of this paper is therefore to provide evidence on the static and dynamic aspects of relative poverty among children, namely, its extent, evolution and persistence.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, child welfare, economic reform, industrialized countries | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
EMU, Macroeconomics and Children
EMU, Macroeconomics and Children
How can EMU be expected to affect the children of Europe? Macroeconomics in OECD countries has tended to become a remote and abstract subject, discussed in aggregate terms which seem far removed from the everyday experience of families. Much of this paper is concerned with making the link between macroeconomic analysis and family welfare, a link which is important for all age groups, but particularly so for children. Childhood is a vulnerable stage of the life-cycle, and children may be especially sensitive to macroeconomic shocks yet the public debate about EMU has been largely divorced from the concerns of families and children. Several proposals emerge from the analysis for improvements in our monitoring of economic performance to make them more family orientated.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 24 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: child welfare, economic development, european communities, family income, family welfare | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Income Inequality and Mobility in Hungary 1992-96
Income Inequality and Mobility in Hungary 1992-96

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Galasi

The first half of the 1990s brought major changes to Hungary. The positive sides of the transformation in the Hungarian economy and society were accompanied by less welcome aspects - a sharp fall in GDP, double-digit unemployment and falling real incomes. How have children fared in these circumstances? This paper considers the changing position of children in the Hungarian income distribution, comparing it to that of the elderly - another potentially vulnerable group whose incomes, like those of households with children, are a concern for policymakers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 34 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition, income distribution, vulnerable groups | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Decentralization: A survey from a child welfare perspective
Decentralization: A survey from a child welfare perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Jeni Klugman

This paper develops a framework by which the impact of decentralization of government on child welfare can be assessed. Consistent with the child welfare perspective, it is suggested that equity should be given greatest weight, in terms of both equality of opportunity and progress in reducing disparities in access. Allocative efficiency, a notion that has figured prominently in the economics literature about the merits of decentralization, is shown to have limited value once we accept the existence of externalities and public goods in the provision of basic services. The review of available evidence for Asian and transition countries suggests that there is a significant risk that equity can be adversely affected by the decentralization of education and the associated financing arrangements.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 52 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: access to basic services, child welfare, decentralization, economic transition, equal opportunities | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Child Poverty and Deprivation in the Industrialized Countries 1945-1995
Published: 1997 Innocenti Publications
The contributors to this volume use a common analytical framework to evaluate how economic, family structure and public policy changes affected the well-being of children in the industrialized countries in the West and the East from the end of the Second World War to the mid-1990s. Throughout the industrialized world, the living standards and social well-being of children improved remarkably over these five decades. But the quarter-century golden age that followed the war gave way to a period of stagnation after the early 1970s. Many of the negative developments of the past two decades could not have been easily prevented. Nonetheless, adverse or neglectful social policies share some of the blame for recent unfavourable changes in child well-being. The evidence presented suggests that, given current economic prospects and family structures, further weakening of social policies targeted at children could erode much of the progress of the past fifty years.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 444 | Thematic area: Industrialized Countries | Tags: child welfare, family structure, industrialized countries, public policy | Publisher: Oxford University Press, UK; UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Economic Transition in the Baltics: Independence, market reforms and child well-being in Lithuania
Economic Transition in the Baltics: Independence, market reforms and child well-being in Lithuania
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 50 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic reform, economic transition, market economy | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Winding Road to the Market Transition and the Situation of Children in Bulgaria
The Winding Road to the Market Transition and the Situation of Children in Bulgaria
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR
East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR

AUTHOR(S)
Magdalena Joos

The collapse of communism in East Germany took place alongside unification with its democratic neighbour, West Germany. This made the East German experience of the ‘transition’ - from the planned to the free-market economy - unique among that of the post-socialist states. On the one hand, unification allowed East Germans to benefit from the resource and human capital of one of the world’s richest countries. On the other, the sudden bringing-together of two populations geared to different standards of living had a negative psychological impact among the poorer Easterners. This paper looks at how such specifics of the East German experience have influenced the development of policies and services for the country’s children.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition, standard of living | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Child Well-being in Japan: The high cost of economic success
Child Well-being in Japan: The high cost of economic success
This Innocenti Occasional Paper examines the counter-intuitive relationship between Japan’s continuing economic achievement and the good of its child population. Although child physical health and school attainment statistics have never looked better, changes in the structure of the family are having a worrying impact upon the collective psychological well-being of young Japanese. Adults and the elderly are harvesting the greater share of the benefits of economic success; the country’s children are missing out.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Industrialized Countries | Tags: child welfare, family structure, health statistics, school attendance | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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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