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Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being
SPOTLIGHT

Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being

Report Card 17 explores how 43 OECD/EU countries are faring in providing healthy environments for children. Do children have clean water to drink? Do they have good-quality air to breathe? Are their homes free of lead and mould? How many children live in overcrowded homes? How many have access to green play spaces, safe from road traffic? Data show that a nation’s wealth does not guarantee a healthy environment. Far too many children are deprived of a healthy home, irreversibly damaging their current and future well-being. Beyond children’s immediate environments, over-consumption in some of the world’s richest countries is destroying children’s environments globally. This threatens both children worldwide and future generations. To provide all children with safe and healthy environments, governments, policymakers, businesses and all stakeholders are called to act on a set of policy recommendations.
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Unconditional Government Social Cash Transfer in Africa Does not Increase Fertility
Unconditional Government Social Cash Transfer in Africa Does not Increase Fertility

AUTHOR(S)
Tia Palermo; Sudhanshu Handa; Amber Peterman; Leah Prencipe; David Seidenfeld

Published: 2015 Innocenti Working Papers
In Africa, one of the key barriers to the scale-up of unconditional cash transfer programmes is the notion held by politicians, and even the general public, that such programmes will induce the poor to have more children. The hard evidence on this question is scanty. The current study uses evaluation data from the Zambian Child Grant Programme (CGP), a large-scale UCT targeted to households with a child under the age of five at programme initiation and evaluates the impact of transfers on fertility and child-fostering decisions. The overall goal of the CGP is to reduce extreme poverty and break the intergenerational transmission of poverty. The results contribute to the small literature that rigorously documents the fertility impacts of unconditional cash transfer programmes in developing countries.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40 | Thematic area: Social Policies | Tags: cash transfers, economic policy, fertility
Poverty in the Transition: Social expenditures and the working-age poor
Poverty in the Transition: Social expenditures and the working-age poor

AUTHOR(S)
Jeni Klugman; John Micklewright; Gerry Redmond

Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
A combination of economic growth and committed revenue-raising should give most governments in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union considerable scope to devote increased resources to tackling poverty. We review the extent and nature of poverty across the transition countries, emphasising the phenomenon of the working-age poor. We consider governments' fiscal positions and revenue raising tools, including the issue of whether some countries now have levels of external debt servicing that are so high as to hamper social sector expenditures. We analyse whether the introduction of credible unemployment benefit schemes in the CIS would aid labour market reform and hence help solve the problem there of in-work poverty (we first review experience in Central and Eastern Europe). We focus on the case of Russia, and simulate a simple scheme with 2000 household survey data. The paper concludes by considering the role of improved wages for public service workers and the targeting of categorical benefits.
Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate
Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate

AUTHOR(S)
John Micklewright

Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
The concept of social exclusion has been widely debated in Europe but its application to children has seen relatively little discussion. What the social exclusion of children can lead to is the first main theme of the paper, where among other things, the choice of reference group, the geographical dimension of exclusion, and the issue of who is responsible for any exclusion of children are considered. The second main theme is the use of the concept of exclusion in the USA, where in contrast to Europe it has achieved little penetration to date. To assess whether there is fertile ground for discussion of social exclusion as it relates to children in the US, various features of US society and institutions including the measurement of poverty, analysis of children's living standards, state versus federal responsibilities, welfare reform and the emphasis on 'personal responsibility', are all considered.
When the Invisible Hand Rocks the Cradle: New Zealand children in a time of change
When the Invisible Hand Rocks the Cradle: New Zealand children in a time of change

AUTHOR(S)
Alison J. Blaiklock; Cynthia A. Kiro; Michael Belgrave; Will Low; Eileen Davenport; Ian B. Hassall

Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper investigates the impact of economic and social reforms on the well-being of children in New Zealand. These reforms were among the most sweeping in scope and scale in any industrialized democracy, but have not led to an overall improvement in the well-being of children. There has been widening inequality between ethnic and income groups which has left many Maori and Pacific children, and children from one parent and poorer families, relatively worse off. The New Zealand experience illustrates the vulnerability of children during periods of social upheaval and change and the importance of having effective mechanisms to monitor, protect and promote the interests of children.
Children in Bulgaria: Growing impoverishment and unequal opportunities
Children in Bulgaria: Growing impoverishment and unequal opportunities

AUTHOR(S)
Roumiana Gantcheva

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
The social and economic changes in Bulgaria since the beginning of transition naturally raise concern about their impact on child well-being. This paper investigates the changes that occurred over the last decade in three dimensions of child welfare recognised as fundamental child rights economic well-being, health and education. Then it concentrates on particularly vulnerable groups of children those born of teenage and single mothers and those living in institutions. The data show that the human cost of economic transition has been high and children have been among the most vulnerable groups of the society.
Is EFA Affordable? Estimating the global minimum cost of 'Education for All'
Is EFA Affordable? Estimating the global minimum cost of 'Education for All'

AUTHOR(S)
Enrique Delamonica; Santosh Mehrotra; Jan Vandemoortele

Published: 2001 Innocenti Working Papers
Progress towards the target of universal access to basic education by the year 2000, set by two global conferences in 1990, has been too slow in many countries. Most of the reasons for this inadequate progress are country-specific. However, in virtually all countries one explanation stands out: inadequate public finance for primary education. This paper updates the global and regional cost estimates for achieving 'education for all' by 2015 the new target date set by the Social Summit in 1995. The estimates are based on the most recent country-by-country data on budgetary expenditure, population and enrolment trends, and unit cost.
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries

AUTHOR(S)
John Micklewright; Bruce Bradbury; Stephen P. Jenkins

Published: 2001 Innocenti Publications
A child poverty rate of ten percent could mean that every tenth child is always poor, or that all children are in poverty for one month in every ten. Knowing where reality lies between these extremes is vital to understanding the problem facing many countries of poverty among the young. This unique study goes beyond the standard analysis of child poverty based on poverty rates at one point in time and documents how much movement into and out of poverty by children there actually is, covering a range of industrialised countries - the USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Russia. Five main topics are addressed: conceptual and measurement issues associated with a dynamic view of child poverty; cross-national comparisons of child poverty rates and trends; cross-national comparisons of children’s movements into and out of poverty; country-specific studies of child poverty dynamics; and the policy implications of taking a dynamic perspective.
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
How Effective is the British Government's Attempt to Reduce Child Poverty?
How Effective is the British Government's Attempt to Reduce Child Poverty?

AUTHOR(S)
Holly Sutherland; David Piachaud

Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
The Labour Government elected in 1997 in Britain made the reduction of child poverty one of its central objectives. This paper describes the specific initiatives involved in Labour’s approach and weighs them up in terms of their potential impact. After setting out the extent of the problem of child poverty, the causes are discussed and Britain's problem is set in international perspective. The impact on child poverty of policies designed to raise incomes directly is analysed using micro-simulation modelling. A major emphasis of the policy was the promotion of paid work, and the potential for poverty reduction of increasing the employment of parents is explored.
Market Reforms and Social Welfare in the Czech Republic: A true success story?
Market Reforms and Social Welfare in the Czech Republic: A true success story?

AUTHOR(S)
Miroslav Hirsl; Jiri Rusnok; Martin Fassmann

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic policy, economic transition, social welfare | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Réformes fiscales, génération de ressources et équit en Afrique subsaharienne durant les années 1980

AUTHOR(S)
Kiari Liman-Tinguiri

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: economic policy, fiscal policy, social inequality | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Economics of Disarmament: Prospects, problems and policies for the disarmament dividend
The Economics of Disarmament: Prospects, problems and policies for the disarmament dividend

AUTHOR(S)
Saadet Deger

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: disarmament, economic policy | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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.
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Publication

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.
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.
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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