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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
SPOTLIGHT

Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning

Emerging evidence shows a positive association between women school leaders and student performance. Some studies suggest women school leaders are more likely than their male counterparts to adopt effective management practices that may contribute to improved outcomes. However, women remain largely underrepresented in school leadership positions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This brief presents emerging insights on the association between women school leaders and education outcomes and draws attention to women’s underrepresentation in school leadership roles. It highlights the need for further research on gender and school leadership to identify policies and practices that can be implemented to increase women’s representation and scale high-quality management practices adopted by women leaders to more schools to improve education outcomes for all children.
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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.
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Undermining Learning: Multi-Country Longitudinal Evidence on Corporal Punishment in Schools
Undermining Learning: Multi-Country Longitudinal Evidence on Corporal Punishment in Schools

AUTHOR(S)
Hayley Jones; Kirrily Pells

Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

Although it is often legally prohibited, the use of physical violence for discipline is a well-established norm in many communities, both at home and at school. Corporal punishment is often part of a wider problem of violence in schools, which includes other forms of humiliating punishment from teachers, peer bullying and gender-based violence. Violence in schools, including physical and verbal abuse by teachers and peers, is the foremost reason children aged 8 give for disliking school.

Entraver l’apprentissage : Preuves longitudinales multinationales sur les châtiments corporels dans les écoles
Entraver l’apprentissage : Preuves longitudinales multinationales sur les châtiments corporels dans les écoles

AUTHOR(S)
Hayley Jones; Kirrily Pells

Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

Bien qu’elle soit souvent légalement interdite, l’utilisation de la violence physique pour faire régner la discipline est une norme bien établie dans de nombreuses communautés, tant à la maison qu’à l’école. Les châtiments corporels font souvent partie d’un problème plus large de violence scolaire, qui comprend d’autres formes de châtiments humiliants infligés par les enseignants, le harcèlement entre condisciples et la violence sexuelle. La violence à l’école, y compris la violence physique et verbale des enseignants et des pairs, constitue la principale raison pour laquelle les enfants âgés de 8 ans n’aiment pas l’école.

Debilitamiento de la educación: evidencia longitudinal multinacional sobre el castigo corporal en las escuelas
Debilitamiento de la educación: evidencia longitudinal multinacional sobre el castigo corporal en las escuelas

AUTHOR(S)
Hayley Jones; Kirrily Pells

Published: 2016 Innocenti Research Briefs

Aunque a menudo está legalmente prohibido, el uso de la violencia física para inculcar la disciplina es una norma sólidamente establecida en muchas comunidades, tanto en el hogar como en la escuela. A menudo el castigo corporal forma parte de un problema general de violencia en las escuelas, que incluye otras formas de castigos humillantes por parte de los profesores, acoso escolar y violencia por razón de género. La violencia en las escuelas, incluyendo los abusos verbales y físicos por parte de profesores y compañeros, es el motivo principal por el que los niños de 8 años manifiestan no querer asistir a la escuela.

Children and Research at Innocenti: 25 Years of UNICEF Commitment
Children and Research at Innocenti: 25 Years of UNICEF Commitment
Published: 2015 Innocenti Publications
The UNICEF research programmes at Innocenti were established in 1989 with funding from the Government of Italy, a contribution and commitment that continues today. Two broad areas of research were established early on: the impact of socio-economic change on children, and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which had recently come into force. The Centre’s most significant contributions to date have continued to be in these fields, but programmes, projects and plans have grown, developed, evolved and been re-dimensioned over the 25 years of the Centre’s existence, according to global needs and resources. This publication offers a brief history of both the Florentine Ospedale where the UNICEF Office of Research is house and with contributions from former directors and staff members, an overview of successes, opportunities and a look towards the future.
Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring
Governance and the Rights of Children: Policy, implementation and monitoring

AUTHOR(S)
B. Guy Peters

Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Ensuring the proper functioning of public institutions is integral to good governance, yet ensuring and monitoring the requirements of human rights instruments is difficult and measurement of children’s rights even more so. This paper explores some of the factors which impede and promote public sector responsibilities towards children. The purpose of this analysis is to seek methods of assessing the performance of governments in their roles as protectors of the rights of children according to their international commitments. The multiplicity of actors involved in the process is described and the related problems for cooperation and effective implementation considered.
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses. Technical report
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses. Technical report
Published: 2012 Innocenti Insights
The study was initiated with twin aims: improving understanding of child trafficking and responses in the region; and contributing to the international discourse on child trafficking by examining the linkages between anti-trafficking responses and child protection systems. Although the study was conceived with a primary focus on trafficking, its scope is much broader. It analyses how the general principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child are applied in relation to those children vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The study confirms that the Nordic countries have indeed made significant − and continuously evolving − attempts to address the issue of child trafficking, including through setting up relevant institutions, developing action plans and allocating budgets. However, while this has meant that specialized expertise is available for specific groups of children, it has sometimes also led to fragmentation of services, leaving some children unprotected. The research also finds that many existing gaps may be bridged by consistent and strengthened implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the same time, the study highlights that there is a way to achieve a fuller realization of rights for children who are vulnerable.
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses
Child Trafficking in the Nordic Countries: Rethinking strategies and national responses
Published: 2012 Innocenti Insights
The study was initiated with twin aims: improving understanding of child trafficking and responses in the region; and contributing to the international discourse on child trafficking by examining the linkages between anti-trafficking responses and child protection systems. Although the study was conceived with a primary focus on trafficking, its scope is much broader. It analyses how the general principles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child are applied in relation to those children vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The study confirms that the Nordic countries have indeed made significant − and continuously evolving − attempts to address the issue of child trafficking, including through setting up relevant institutions, developing action plans and allocating budgets. However, while this has meant that specialized expertise is available for specific groups of children, it has sometimes also led to fragmentation of services, leaving some children unprotected. The research also finds that many existing gaps may be bridged by consistent and strengthened implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the same time, the study highlights that there is a way to achieve a fuller realization of rights for children who are vulnerable.
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children

AUTHOR(S)
Jaap Doek

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
This working paper addresses the role, contribution and impact of independent human rights institutions for children (IHRICs), also referred to as children’s ombudspersons or children’s commissioners. It looks at these institutions from the perspective and jurisprudence of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) and the global perspective on the perception of the child and childhood resulting from contributions of these institutions to the process of implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Les institutions independantes des droits de l'homme pour les enfants en Afrique francophone : la situation au Mali, au Burkina Faso et au Sénégal
Les institutions independantes des droits de l'homme pour les enfants en Afrique francophone : la situation au Mali, au Burkina Faso et au Sénégal

AUTHOR(S)
Rébecca Steward; Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
Tous les Etats francophones de l’Afrique de l’Ouest sont parties à la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant (CDE) ainsi qu’à la Charte africaine des droits et du bien-être de l’enfant (CADBE) et ont donc l’obligation de les mettre en œuvre, en particulier en suivant les indications des organes chargés du contrôle de leur application. Le Comité des droits de l’enfant a identifié les mesures générales essentielles à la mise en œuvre de la CDE. Parmi elles, figure l’établissement d’institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant. Ces institutions ont généralement pour mandat de contrôler les activités de divers acteurs – publics et privés – au regard des droits des enfants, de promouvoir les droits des enfants en émettant des recommandations et en éduquant le public, et d’examiner des plaintes individuelles concernant des violations de ces droits. Le présent document fait l’état des avancées pour l’établissement d’institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant à la lumière des standards internationaux et africains, en particulier au Burkina Faso, Mali et Sénégal.
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children and the Committee on the Rights of the Child Reporting Process
Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children and the Committee on the Rights of the Child Reporting Process

AUTHOR(S)
Rébecca Steward

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
The Committee on the Rights of the Child has been one of the main instigators for the development of independent human rights institutions for the promotion and protection of children’s rights. Relying on article 4 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it adopted a general comment on this issue in 2002, and now consistently encourages State parties to establish or strengthen such institutions in its concluding observations. Efforts have been made recently with human rights treaty bodies to enhance the involvement of independent institutions at each stage of the reporting process. For independent institutions specifically in charge of monitoring children’s rights, this implies an important contribution to the work of the Committee. Their status of independence from their government in the reporting process has been emphasized and some institutions submit a separate report to the Committee.
Child Participation and Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children in Europe
Child Participation and Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children in Europe

AUTHOR(S)
Rébecca Steward

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
Child participation is closely linked and interdependent with civil and political rights and with the fundamental perceived concepts of childhood, evolving capacity and autonomy. The right of children to express their views freely and to have them taken into account is both a substantive right and a general principle relevant to all aspects of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The degree of children’s participation within a society and the ways of involving children and adolescents in all matters affecting them depend on various factors, including the perceptions of childhood and adults’ views about children’s capacity to participate. Independent human rights institutions for children promote, protect and monitor progress in the realization of children’s rights.
The Establishment Process for a Separate Child Ombudsman in Turkey: A case study
The Establishment Process for a Separate Child Ombudsman in Turkey: A case study

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper provides an overview and analysis of the initial steps for the establishment process of a separate children’s ombudsman in Turkey. It examines the legal, political and social reasons why an ombudsman for children would be needed in the country. Specifically, it analyses Turkey’s legal framework and international obligations, concluding that lack of implementation of the law and monitoring of children’s rights are the main challenges. Children have disproportionately high rates of poverty, and are often victims of various forms of violence, in particular girls. The political structure of the country is affected by significant tensions, especially with regard to the place of religion in the public sphere. The paper analyses the possible reasons for the stalemate and looks at the text of the law from a child rights perspective.
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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.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Publication

Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

Support from caregivers is critical for children’s learning both at home and at school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of education systems globally created additional expectations for parents to support their children’s learning at home. This particularly affected the most marginalized children as the crises exacerbated already existing inequalities in education. This document introduces the approach and purpose of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. It presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system.
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning during COVID-19: Europe and Central Asia

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.

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