MIND THE GAP: Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions – An evidence and gap map of low and middle-income countries

MIND THE GAP: Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions – An evidence and gap map of low and middle-income countries

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Mental disorders affect about 1 in 7 children and adolescents worldwide, with 50% arising before the age of 14. Despite the high burden and early onset, most conditions remain unrecognized and untreated. We mapped evidence on the effectiveness of child and adolescent (ages 0-19) mental health and psychosocial support interventions in low- and middle-income countries within the last 12 years and identified 697 records from 78 countries.

The field is reactive rather than proactive, with most interventions focusing on treatment rather than promotion or prevention. Most mental health research is conducted in educational settings and focuses on early and late adolescence. Research on early childhood interventions as well as evidence to address the mental health and psychosocial needs of children in humanitarian settings are scarce.

Mental health intervention research lacks diversity: less than one third of studies and reviews focused on specific population groups. Despite the known potential for digital interventions to overcome a range of barriers, the field is understudied with very limited evidence across all outcomes. In 60 countries, no research was identified. There were also important geographical disparities and research gaps in West and Central Africa.

Best of UNICEF Research 2022

Best of UNICEF Research 2022

Published: 2022 Miscellanea

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners, to improve children's lives.

This year, Best of UNICEF Research celebrates its 10th edition. It features 12 research projects that the selection panel concurred deserved special recognition for delivering results for children in 2022. How? By informing decision-making, shaping policy, raising public awareness, driving social change, and giving children and young people a voice on the issues that affect them most through participatory research.

These endeavours showcase both the power of innovation in the face of emergency and crisis, and the virtues of agility, endurance and scalability. They also offer solutions and ways to learn from each other. Each piece of research offers a set of adaptable tools: validated methodologies; templates for emergency response plans; methods of monitoring and measuring progress; and examples of successful collaboration between stakeholders. 

 

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

AUTHOR(S)
Gabrielle Berman; Karen Carter; Manuel Garcia Herranz; Vedran Sekara

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.

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

AUTHOR(S)
Karen Carter; Gabrielle Berman; Manuel Garcia Herranz; Vedran Sekara

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.
Children and the Data Cycle:Rights and Ethics in a Big Data World

Children and the Data Cycle:Rights and Ethics in a Big Data World

AUTHOR(S)
Gabrielle Berman; Kerry Albright

Published: 2017 Innocenti Working Papers

In an era of increasing dependence on data science and big data, the voices of one set of major stakeholders – the world’s children and those who advocate on their behalf – have been largely absent. A recent paper estimates one in three global internet users is a child, yet there has been little rigorous debate or understanding of how to adapt traditional, offline ethical standards for research involving data collection from children, to a big data, online environment (Livingstone et al., 2015). This paper argues that due to the potential for severe, long-lasting and differential impacts on children, child rights need to be firmly integrated onto the agendas of global debates about ethics and data science. The authors outline their rationale for a greater focus on child rights and ethics in data science and suggest steps to move forward, focusing on the various actors within the data chain including data generators, collectors, analysts and end-users. It concludes by calling for a much stronger appreciation of the links between child rights, ethics and data science disciplines and for enhanced discourse between stakeholders in the data chain, and those responsible for upholding the rights of children, globally.

Overview: Data Collection and Analysis Methods in Impact Evaluation: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 10

Overview: Data Collection and Analysis Methods in Impact Evaluation: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 10

AUTHOR(S)
Greet Peersman

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Impact evaluations need to go beyond assessing the size of the effects (i.e., the average impact) to identify for whom and in what ways a programme or policy has been successful. What constitutes ‘success’ and how the data will be analysed and synthesized to answer the specific key evaluation questions (KEQs) must be considered up front as data collection should be geared towards the mix of evidence needed to make appropriate judgements about the programme or policy. This brief provides an overview of the issues involved in choosing and using data collection and analysis methods for impact evaluations.
Interviewing: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 12

Interviewing: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 12

AUTHOR(S)
Bronwen McDonald; Patricia Rogers

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Interviews are easy to do badly and hard to do well - good planning, adequate time and appropriate skills are required. The type of interview should be carefully chosen to suit the situation rather than choosing a type of interview (such as focus groups) simply because it is commonly used. Interviews with children raise particular ethical issues that need to be carefully considered and fully addressed. This brief outlines key issues to consider in planning interviews for impact evaluation, taking into account the purpose of the evaluation, how interview data aim to complement other data for assessing impact, and the availability of resources.
Sinopsis: Métodos de recolección y análisis de datos en la evaluación de impacto: Síntesis metodológica - Sinopsis de la evaluación de impacto n° 10

Sinopsis: Métodos de recolección y análisis de datos en la evaluación de impacto: Síntesis metodológica - Sinopsis de la evaluación de impacto n° 10

AUTHOR(S)
Greet Peersman

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Las evaluaciones de impacto deben ir más allá de la simple evaluación de la magnitud de los efectos (el impacto medio) para determinar con quién ha tenido éxito un programa o política y de qué forma. Lo que constituye «éxito» y la forma de analizar y sintetizar los datos para responder a las preguntas clave de evaluación específicas debe examinarse por anticipado, puesto que la recolección de datos debe orientarse a la combinación de pruebas empíricas necesarias para tomar decisiones adecuadas sobre el programa o política.
Routine Data Collection and Monitoring of Health Services Relating to Early Childhood Development: A two-nation review study

Routine Data Collection and Monitoring of Health Services Relating to Early Childhood Development: A two-nation review study

Published: 2009 Innocenti Discussion Papers
Monitoring of health services can serve two major functions: providing information for performance management as well as for evidence-based policy-making. The means by which monitoring is carried out and the balance that is struck between these functions vary according to the situation of different countries. This paper reviews monitoring processes and the availability of data relating to early childhood development in the cases of Germany and the United Kingdom. The discussion centres on pre-requisites for successful routine data collection: a national framework, a national database and making data available publicly.
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