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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
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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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Digital Contact Tracing and Surveillance During COVID-19: General and child-specific ethical issues
Digital Contact Tracing and Surveillance During COVID-19: General and child-specific ethical issues
Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Briefs
The response to COVID-19 has seen an unprecedented rapid scaling up of technologies to support digital contact tracing and surveillance. The consequent collation and use of personally identifiable data may however pose significant risks to children’s rights. This is compounded by the greater number and more varied players making decisions about how data, including children’s data, are used and how related risks are assessed and handled. This means that we need to establish clear governance processes for these tools and the data collection process and engage with a broader set of government and industry partners to ensure that children’s rights are not overlooked.
Digital Contact Tracing and Surveillance During COVID-19. General and child-specific ethical issues
Digital Contact Tracing and Surveillance During COVID-19. General and child-specific ethical issues
Published: 2020 Innocenti Working Papers

Balancing the need to collect data to support good decision-making versus the need to protect children from harm created through the collection of the data has never been more challenging than in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The response to the pandemic has seen an unprecedented rapid scaling up of technologies to support digital contact tracing and surveillance. As the pandemic progresses, we are also likely to see the emergence of more applications that link datasets as we seek to better understand the secondary impacts of the pandemic on children and their families.

This working paper explores the implications for privacy as the linking of datasets increases the likelihood that children will be identifiable and consequently, the opportunities for (sensitive) data profiling. It also frequently involves making data available to a broader set of users or data managers.

While it is recognized that reuse of unidentifiable data could potentially serve future public health responses and research, the nature of, access to and use of the data now and in future necessitate accountability, transparency and clear governance processes. It requires that these be in place from the outset. These are needed to ensure that data privacy is protected to the greatest degree possible and that the limitations to the use of these data are clearly articulated.

UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival. Growing up. Stories from all over the world
UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival. Growing up. Stories from all over the world
Published: 2019 Miscellanea
2019 is a year of three important anniversaries for children. The world is marking the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the  child (1989 – 2019) - the global human rights treaty which guides all nations’ actions for children. The city of Florence is commemorating the 600th  anniversary of the founding of the Ospedale Degli Innocenti (1419 – 2019), the world’s oldest centre of care for vulnerable children. And UNICEF is marking the 30th year since it established its global research centre in Florence, known today as the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti. In celebration of these three anniversaries, UNICEF Innocenti has decided to expand upon its traditional role generating evidence for advocacy and  action for children, to inaugurate an international film festival focusing on narratives of childhood from all regions of the world. We are delighted to have forged a partnership with Fondazione Sistema Toscana, Cinema La Compagnia, the Region of Tuscany, the Municipality of Florence and Istituto Degli Innocenti, bringing you the first UNICEF Innocenti Film Festival.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: children's rights
Realizing an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Well-being: An inventory of laws and policies for adolescents in South Asia
Realizing an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Well-being: An inventory of laws and policies for adolescents in South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti

Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Report

This paper takes stock of legal and policy frameworks for adolescents in the eight countries of South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The eight countries display a rich diversity of cultural, historical, political, social and economic institutions, which is reflected in their national legal and policy frameworks for adolescents. This paper sheds light on the similarities and differences among South Asian countries regarding the translation of international human rights law into their national normative frameworks, and aims to provide a nuanced understanding of how ‘adolescent-sensitive’ their legal and policy frameworks are.

The paper reviews the legal coverage across  nine sets of rights: the right to political participation; the right to protection; the right to education; the right to health; the right to marriage; the right to decent work and protection from child labour; the right to social protection; digital rights; the right to equality and non-discrimination. It compares the legal and policy frameworks for adolescents of the eight South Asian countries against the requirements of the international standards signed and ratified by each country.
One in Three: Internet Governance and Children’s Rights
One in Three: Internet Governance and Children’s Rights
Published: 2016 Innocenti Discussion Papers
Typically, in the discussions around the use of the Internet, children are acknowledged only in the context of child protection while their rights to provision and participation are overlooked. This paper specifically argues against an age-generic (or ‘age-blind’) approach to ‘users’, because children have specific needs and rights that are not met by governance regimes designed for ‘everyone’. Policy and governance should now ensure children’s rights to access and use digital media and consider how the deployment of the Internet by wider society can enhance children’s rights across the board. The paper ends with six conclusions and recommendations about how to embed recognition of children’s rights in the activities and policies of international Internet governance institutions.
2015 Results Report
2015 Results Report
Published: 2016 Innocenti Publications

 

2014 Results Report
2014 Results Report
Published: 2015 Innocenti Publications
2014 marked a successful year for the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and included the development of key research outputs, active advocacy for research, successful growth in the research portfolio, and expansion of outreach, tools and products. The Office actively engaged in: generating high-quality research to inform programmes and knowledge about children; strengthening the capacity to improve the quality and use of evidence; convening international events by acting as a catalyst for research globally. In 2014, research activities ranged from multi-disciplinary initiatives to large-scale international collaborative projects. High-calibre, policy-relevant research was conducted in the areas of: equity, poverty and well-being; child rights and governance; child protection and violence against children; social protection systems and cash transfers, among others.
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Las instituciones independientes aportan un enfoque claro hacia la infancia en unos sistemas de gobernanza que tradicionalmente se centran en los adultos. Suelen ofrecer mecanismos directos para mejorar la rendición de cuentas del Estado y otros garantes de la protección del menor, palian deficiencias en los mecanismos de control y equilibrio y trabajan para que se comprenda y se reconozca la relevancia de las políticas y prácticas en favor de los derechos de los niños. Cuando las cosas salen mal, o cuando los resultados son insuficientes, apoyan medidas para poner remedio a la situación y reformar el sistema.
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
This study, globally the first comprehensive review of independent human rights institutions for children, takes stock of more than 20 years of their experience.The report provides practitioners with an extensive discussion of the issues as well as a series of regional analyses from around the world. The aim is to help readers understand the purpose and potential of independent human rights institutions for children, what it is they do and how they operate. This review covers institutions created by law or decree that are independent at least in principle. It includes institutions performing activities related to children’s rights operating at the national or local level. The report is organized into two major parts: a series of thematic chapters, drawing out lessons from practice on the distinctive principles and features underlying the function of child rights institutions; and an overview of their international development, looking at the work of institutions by region.
UNICEF Research for Children: From evidence to action
UNICEF Research for Children: From evidence to action
Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
This volume represents the first systematic attempt to showcase the breadth and depth of UNICEF's research work. At the end of 2012, the Office of Research invited UNICEF's country and regional offices, national committees and headquarters to submit recent examples of research for children. Some 91 submissions of research were received and ten were selected to illustrate the best of UNICEF research. The result is a compilation of research activities that covers themes as diverse as the scaling up of early child development and the impact of repatriation on children's lives, and covers geographical areas from latin America to to Asia and from Africa to Europe.
Bienestar infantil en los países ricos: un panorama comparativo
Bienestar infantil en los países ricos: un panorama comparativo

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2013 Innocenti Report Card
La primera parte del Report Card presenta una tabla clasificatoria del bienestar infantil en 29 de las economías más avanzadas del mundo. La segunda parte se centra en lo que los niños dicen sobre su propio bienestar (e incluye una tabla clasificatoria de la satisfacción de los niños con su vida). La tercera parte examina los cambios en el bienestar infantil en las economías avanzadas durante la primera década del siglo XXI y analiza el progreso de cada país en logros educativos, tasas de embarazos en adolescentes, niveles de obesidad infantil, prevalencia de casos de acoso escolar y consumo de tabaco, alcohol y drogas.
In difesa dei diritti dell'infanzia: Uno studio globale sulle istituzioni indipendenti dei diritti umani per l'infanzia - relazione di sintesi
In difesa dei diritti dell'infanzia: Uno studio globale sulle istituzioni indipendenti dei diritti umani per l'infanzia - relazione di sintesi

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Il ruolo di queste istituzioni è quello di monitorare le azioni dei governi e di altri enti, promuovere la realizzazione dei diritti dell’infanzia, raccogliere reclami, fornire rimedi a eventuali violazioni e offrire uno spazio per il dialogo su bambini e adolescenti all’interno della società e fra I minorenni e lo Stato. Difendere gli interessi superiori dei bambini e dar voce a questi ultimi sono compiti centrali per la loro missione.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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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