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Learning at a Distance: Children’s remote learning experiences in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic
SPOTLIGHT

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.
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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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Exploring the potential of cash transfers to delay early marriage and pregnancy among youth in Malawi and Zambia
Exploring the potential of cash transfers to delay early marriage and pregnancy among youth in Malawi and Zambia
Published: 2019 Innocenti Research Briefs
There is increasing interest in the potential of cash transfers to facilitate safe transitions to adulthood among vulnerable youth in low-income settings. However, little evidence exists that analyses these linkages from at-scale government-run programmes. This brief summarizes the impacts of two government-run large-scale unconditional cash transfers on outcomes of early marriage and pregnancy among youth in Malawi and Zambia after approximately three years. Results indicate limited impacts on safe transitions for both males and females. However, the programmes were successful in reducing poverty and improving schooling outcomes—two main pathways for safe transitions as reported in the literature. Research implications include the need to study transitions over longer time periods, including tracking of youth as they transition out of study households. If reducing early marriage and pregnancy is among policy makers’ primary priorities, then dedicated programming via cash plus or services specifically targeted at addressing the needs of adolescents and youth should be considered.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 3 | Thematic area: Social Policies | Tags: cash transfers, early marriage, pregnancy, youth
Recueil Innocenti de Recherches sur l'Adolescence
Recueil Innocenti de Recherches sur l'Adolescence
Published: 2017 Miscellanea

Ce bulletin trimestriel présente une synthèse des résultats des recherches les plus récentes  menées au cours des trois derniers mois dans le domaine du bien - être des adolescents. Cette édition inclut des recherches intéressantes, des ressources, des nouvelles et des évènements qui s’occupent sous plusieurs perspectives des questions liées au genre.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 14 | Thematic area: Adolescents | Tags: adolescent health, adolescents, early marriage
Resumen Innocenti de Investigación sobre la Adolescencia No. 08
Resumen Innocenti de Investigación sobre la Adolescencia No. 08
Published: 2017 Miscellanea

Este boletín trimestral resume los hallazgos más relevantes de la investigación sobre el bienestar de los adolescentes durante los tres últimos meses.  La presente edición incluye información sobre investigación concluyente, recursos, noticias y eventos sobre el tema del género bajo múltiples enfoques.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 12 | Thematic area: Adolescents | Tags: adolescent health, adolescents, early marriage
Ethiopia: Social dynamics of abandonment of harmful practices. Experiences in four locations
Ethiopia: Social dynamics of abandonment of harmful practices. Experiences in four locations
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is still a widespread practice in Ethiopia, although important declines in prevalence rates can be observed in some areas of the country. Attitudes towards the practice have drastically changed, evidenced by the fact that overall support for FGM/C has declined and younger mothers are less likely than older mothers to have their daughters cut. This paper provides an analysis of the social dynamics of change in four geographic locations with different ethnic populations in Ethiopia, where interventions were undertaken to support the abandonment of FGM/C and other harmful practices. Each experience used community conversation and dialogue as a tool to promote the abandonment process, although their overall strategies and impact differed. The four experiences together provide a greater understanding of the process of change within communities and the role played by key actors within and outside the community. The study demonstrates that by addressing FGM/C within a human rights context, community members are able to consider not cutting as a possible alternative to the existing convention of cutting. The human rights perspective also encourages reflection on gender roles, generating interest and dialogue about other social practices that harm women and girls, such as marriage by abduction and early marriage.
Sudan: An in-depth analysis of the social dynamics of abandonment of FGM/C
Sudan: An in-depth analysis of the social dynamics of abandonment of FGM/C
Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

This paper examines the experience of Sudan by analysing the factors that promote and support the abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and other harmful social practices. FGM/C is still widely practiced in all regions of northern Sudan but today actors are mobilizing across the country to end the practice. This paper analyses programmes that support ending FGM/C in Sudan and highlights the key factors that promote collective abandonment of the practice, including the roles of community dialogue, human rights deliberation, community-led activities, and the powerful force of local rewards and punishment. The Sudan experience demonstrates that social norms can change when a new understanding and appreciation of communities’ traditions and values is introduced. At policy level, the paper describes the adoption of laws and policies that prohibit or criminalize all forms of FGM/C and the introduction of integrated communication campaigns that have mobilized multiple actors to adopt and voice a consistent and clear stance against FGM/C.
Social Dynamics of Abandonment of Harmful Practices: A new look at the theory
Social Dynamics of Abandonment of Harmful Practices: A new look at the theory

AUTHOR(S)
Gerry Mackie

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices

The essay refines the application of the social convention theory to the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The theory compares footbinding in China to FGM/C in Africa, explains each practice in terms of simple game theory, and recommends that the methods used to end footbinding be adapted to end FGM/C. It hypothesizes that each practice originated in highly stratified ancient empires, and became an ongoing requirement of marriageability, general and persistent within the intramarrying community because no one family can give it up on its own.
A Study on Violence against Girls: Report on the International Girl Child Conference March 9-10, The Hague
A Study on Violence against Girls: Report on the International Girl Child Conference March 9-10, The Hague
Published: 2009 Innocenti Publications
This publication was jointly developed by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) and the Government of the Netherlands. It includes a background document prepared by IRC and summarizes the discussions and outcomes of the International Conference on Violence against the Girl Child held in The Hague from 9-10 March 2009. The conference addressed gaps in knowledge, research and responses to violence against girls in the home and family, and was a follow-up to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children.
Early Marriage: Child Spouses
Early Marriage: Child Spouses
Published: 2001 Innocenti Digest
This Digest focuses on early marriage - the marriage of children and young people under the age of 18 - from a human rights perspective. Research into early marriage has tended to concentrate on its impact on reproductive health, school drop-out and rising population figures, and there has been little examination of the practice as a human rights violation in itself. The Digest examines the scale of early marriage, its context, causes and its impact on every aspect of the lives of those affected - particularly young girls - and on wider society. It outlines strategies to help those who have been married at an early age, and for the prevention of early marriage through education, advocacy and alliance-building. The Digest concludes with a call for more rights-based research on an issue that has far-reaching consequences.
Matrimonios prematuros
Matrimonios prematuros
Published: 2001 Innocenti Digest
Este número del Innocenti Digest se ocupa de los matrimonios prematuros, es decir de los matrimonios de niños y jóvenes menores de 18 años, desde un punto de vista que se basa en el respeto de los derechos humanos. Las investigaciones llevadas a cabo hasta el momento han tendido a concentrarse solamente en ciertos puntos específicos del impacto de los matrimonios prematuros, como los efectos que tienen en la salud reproductiva y en el abandono de la escuela. Se ha prestado poca atención al enfoque que considera dicha práctica de por sí como una violación de los derechos del niño. El presente Digest analiza las dimensiones del fenómeno, su contexto, sus causas y las consecuencias que tiene en todos los aspectos de la vida de las personas afectadas (especialmente en el caso de las niñas pequeñas) y en la sociedad en general. Traza un perfil de las estrategias a seguir para ayudar a quienes se han tenido que casar a edad temprana y para prevenir los matrimonios prematuros mediante la educación, la sensibilización y la construcción de alianzas. El Digest se concluye con una invitación a realizar, desde una perspectiva basada en el respeto de los derechos humanos, más investigaciones sobre la cuestión, que tiene consecuencias de vasta repercusión.
Le mariage précoce
Le mariage précoce
Published: 2001 Innocenti Digest
Ce Digest se penche sur le mariage précoce - le mariage d’enfants et d’adolescents de moins de 18 ans - dans une perspective de droits humains. Les recherches sur le mariage précoce n’ont le plus souvent considéré que certains aspects spécifiques de l’impact du phénomène, comme ses répercussions sur la santé génésique ou l’abandon scolaire, et non sa portée en tant que violation des droits de l’enfant en soi. Le Digest examine l’étendue du mariage précoce, son contexte, ses causes, et ses conséquences sur tous les aspects de la vie de ceux qui le subissent - des filles en particulier - ainsi que sur la société dans son ensemble. Il définit des lignes de conduite pour aider ceux qui ont été mariés trop tôt, et pour prévenir le mariage précoce à travers l’éducation, l’engagement, et l’établissement d’alliances. Il conclut en appelant à une recherche qui tienne beaucoup plus compte de la perspective des droits sur une question qui a de vastes retombées.
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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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