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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa
SPOTLIGHT

Reimagining Migration Responses: Learning from children and young people who move in the Horn of Africa

The number of international migrants under 18 is rising, accelerated by complex and fast-evolving economic, demographic, security and environmental drivers. Based on interviews carried out with 1,290 migrant children and young people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, this report helps address the evidence gap on children and young people migrating in the Horn of Africa by providing a better understanding of their protective environments; their access to services and resources; and their perceptions of safety, well-being and trust in authorities and other providers. It concludes by offering policy and programme recommendations to rethink child protection approaches for migrants in the region.
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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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Income Distribution, Economic Systems and Transition
Income Distribution, Economic Systems and Transition
The differences in income distribution between market and planned economies are considered in two ways. First, using benchmarks from the OECD area, evidence from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the socialist period is reviewed. Second, the authors consider the transitions currently being made by the latter countries. Three factors are then considered: (i) the distribution of earnings of full-time employees, (ii) the distribution of individuals’ per capita household incomes, and (iii) the ways in which non-wage benefits from work, price subsidies and social incomes in kind change the picture. For the socialist period long series of data, often covering several decades, are available and thus changes in distribution under the socialist system can be tracked and diversity between the countries shown. For the period of transition, the series of data are inevitably shorter, however, it is possible to avoid basing conclusions on evidence drawn from single years. During transition, as under socialism, the picture is varied. Russia has experienced very sharp increases in measured inequality to well above the top of the OECD range. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have seen more modest rises. However, a satisfactory analytic framework encompassing enough features of the transition to help interpretation of the data is lacking.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 100 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: comparative analysis, economic transition, income distribution | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Women in Transition (Russian version)
Women in Transition (Russian version)
Published: 1999 Regional Monitoring Report
This Report investigates an important yet largely unexplored topic: the relationship between women's rights and welfare and the democratization and market-oriented transformation of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Through its Regional Monitoring Reports, UNICEF has been examining the ways in which the collapse of the communist governments has affected the lives of children. The Report asks: Did gender equality exist behind the egalitarian rhetoric of communism? How have women fared under the emerging market democracies? Is the actual and potential contribution of women to healthy change fully recognized and realized?
Education for All?
Education for All?
Published: 1998 Regional Monitoring Report
The fifth Regional Monitoring Report continues the Centre's pioneering work of emphasizing the social side of the transition in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, in particular the needs and rights of children. The Report presents detailed information on changes to educational systems and analysis of key issues relating to equity and rights in schooling. Trends are shown in enrolment, in the costs of schooling faced by families, and in the social support given by schools. Other topics covered include education for the disabled child, decentralization of education and its implications for equity in access, and the future of programmes for early childhood development. The Report includes an update of welfare trends in the region, an introduction to the theme of education and an overview of the main findings. The purpose of the Report is to provide factual information and fresh ideas for policy-makers and their advisors both inside and outside the region, and for all those involved in educational policy, including UNICEF, other international organizations, NGOs and the media. It also provides an invaluable source of information for economists, statisticians, social policy experts and other researchers.
Income Inequality and Mobility in Hungary 1992-96
Income Inequality and Mobility in Hungary 1992-96

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Galasi

The first half of the 1990s brought major changes to Hungary. The positive sides of the transformation in the Hungarian economy and society were accompanied by less welcome aspects - a sharp fall in GDP, double-digit unemployment and falling real incomes. How have children fared in these circumstances? This paper considers the changing position of children in the Hungarian income distribution, comparing it to that of the elderly - another potentially vulnerable group whose incomes, like those of households with children, are a concern for policymakers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 34 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition, income distribution, vulnerable groups | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Targeting Social Assistance in a Transition Economy: the Mahallas in Uzbekistan
Targeting Social Assistance in a Transition Economy: the Mahallas in Uzbekistan
Falling output and living standards have pushed countries in transition from the socialist system to re-consider how best to target public resources on those in need. The paper investigates the workings of a new social assistance benefit in Uzbekistan, the largest of the former Soviet Central Asian republics, administered by community organizations, the Mahallas. Data used from a 1995 household survey to assess the scheme's success in targeting the most vulnerable households, using a variety of indicators including income, durable goods ownership, agricultural assets, employment status, and the anthropometric status of children. The separate probabilities of knowledge of the scheme, of application for benefit, and of award are modelled.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic transition, living standards, social indicators, social policy | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Living Standards and Public Policy in Central Asia: What can be learned from child anthropometry?
Living Standards and Public Policy in Central Asia: What can be learned from child anthropometry?
Data on the weight and height of children are used to assess living standards and public policy in Uzbekistan, the most populous of the Central Asian republics. The paper begins by making the case for the use of such data, contrasting them with monetized measures of welfare based on household incomes or expenditures, before going on to review the problems of interpretation that anthropometry presents for the economist. The prevalence of stunting and wasting in three regions of Uzbekistan is compared with that in neighbouring Kazakhstan and with other countries from outside the region. Multivariate analysis is then used to test three hypotheses concerning rural-urban differences in living standards, the impact of kindergartens on nutritional status, and the targeting of means-tested social assistance.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic transition, rural-urban disparity, standard of living | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Decentralization: A survey from a child welfare perspective
Decentralization: A survey from a child welfare perspective

AUTHOR(S)
Jeni Klugman

This paper develops a framework by which the impact of decentralization of government on child welfare can be assessed. Consistent with the child welfare perspective, it is suggested that equity should be given greatest weight, in terms of both equality of opportunity and progress in reducing disparities in access. Allocative efficiency, a notion that has figured prominently in the economics literature about the merits of decentralization, is shown to have limited value once we accept the existence of externalities and public goods in the provision of basic services. The review of available evidence for Asian and transition countries suggests that there is a significant risk that equity can be adversely affected by the decentralization of education and the associated financing arrangements.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 52 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: access to basic services, child welfare, decentralization, economic transition, equal opportunities | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Are Intergovernmental Transfers in Russia Equalizing?
Are Intergovernmental Transfers in Russia Equalizing?

AUTHOR(S)
Kitty Stewart

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 88 regions of the Russian Federation have enjoyed increasing autonomy, and by 1994 almost half of all budgetary expenditure in Russia was spent at the regional level. This paper examines the system of transfers which has developed in Russia over the last few years and asks how far it has succeeded in making up for regional revenue disparities. Transfers seem to be directed in broadly the right direction before and after the introduction of the formula mechanism: transfers are higher to regions with greater needs. The bad news, however, is that the impact of the transfers has been minimal. Lower revenue regions may have received more in transfers than higher revenue regions, but not nearly enough to offset the difference in revenue.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 46 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic and social development, economic transition, public expenditures, tax revenues | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
The Implications of Exhausting Unemployment Insurance Entitlement in Hungary
The Implications of Exhausting Unemployment Insurance Entitlement in Hungary
The single most likely way to leave the unemployment insurance (UI) register in Hungary is not by getting a job but by running out of benefit. This situation raises two questions. First, what are the implications of the cessation of UI for living standards? Second, does UI exhaustion have much effect on the probability of getting a job through increasing incentives to work? The authors investigate these issues with a survey of persons exhausting entitlement to UI in summer 1995, paying special attention to the household circumstances of the unemployed and the probabilities of claiming and being awarded means-tested assistance benefit.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic transition | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises
Published: 1997 Regional Monitoring Report
This Report looks at the changes in risks facing the 100 million children in the 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Eight types of risk are considered in turn: poverty; war and dislocation; environmental degradation; health and health service deterioration; changes in family formation including rising family-breakdown rates; falling access to education and rising truancy; youth lifestyle and health including an increase in drug abuse and the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases; juvenile crime. The Report also indicates that institutional care, fostering and adoption remain in need of sweeping reform, examines the failure of substitute care and emphasizes the preventive role of family support policies.
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises  - a Summary
Children at Risk in Central and Eastern Europe: Perils and Promises - a Summary
Published: 1997 Regional Monitoring Report
This Report looks at the changes in risks facing the 100 million children in the 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Eight types of risk are considered in turn: poverty; war and dislocation; environmental degradation; health and health service deterioration; changes in family formation including rising family-breakdown rates; falling access to education and rising truancy; youth lifestyle and health including an increase in drug abuse and the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases; juvenile crime. The Report also indicates that institutional care, fostering and adoption remain in need of sweeping reform, examines the failure of substitute care and emphasizes the preventive role of family support policies.
Enfants au risque en Europe centrale et orientale: périls et promesses - résumé
Enfants au risque en Europe centrale et orientale: périls et promesses - résumé
Published: 1997 Regional Monitoring Report
Le rapport prend en considération un éventail d'indicateurs non économiques parmi lesquels diverses mesures de transformations démographiques, telles que les tendances de la mortalité, de la fécondité, du mariage et du divorce. Ces changements peuvent présenter de l'intérêt par eux-mêmes, mais aussi être un indicateur de tendances économiques et sociales sous-jacentes difficiles à mesurer directement.
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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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