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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
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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.
61 - 72 of 79
East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR
East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR

AUTHOR(S)
Magdalena Joos

The collapse of communism in East Germany took place alongside unification with its democratic neighbour, West Germany. This made the East German experience of the ‘transition’ - from the planned to the free-market economy - unique among that of the post-socialist states. On the one hand, unification allowed East Germans to benefit from the resource and human capital of one of the world’s richest countries. On the other, the sudden bringing-together of two populations geared to different standards of living had a negative psychological impact among the poorer Easterners. This paper looks at how such specifics of the East German experience have influenced the development of policies and services for the country’s children.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 56 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition, standard of living | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Ugly Facts and Fancy Theories: Children and youth during the transition
Ugly Facts and Fancy Theories: Children and youth during the transition
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 52 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child related policies, economic transition | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Poverty, Children and Policy: Responses for a brighter future (Russian version)
Poverty, Children and Policy: Responses for a brighter future (Russian version)
Published: 1995 Regional Monitoring Report
Despite improved economic performance in Central and Eastern Europe in 1994 and 1995, there was still no clear and comprehensive evidence that the welfare crisis was ending. This third Regional Monitoring Report confirms the social trends observed since 1989, showing in particular that children have suffered disproportionately in the fields of child care, education, adolescent protection and poverty. The Report maintains that untimely, partial, or clearly erroneous policies have contributed to this deterioration in child welfare and proposes a series of policy guidelines for a "transition with a human face". These include the promotion of an employment and self-employment based anti-poverty strategy and some important measures in the fields of health, education and child care.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 164 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic development, economic transition, poverty | Publisher: ICDC
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition
Published: 1994 Regional Monitoring Report
After the collapse of the communist system in 1989, most Eastern European countries experienced a mortality and health crisis. However, this did not hit the traditionally most vulnerable groups - children, adolescents, women and the elderly - but male adults in the 20-59 age group. The Report indicates that the surge is largely dependent on three transition-related factors: widespread impoverishment, erosion of preventive health services, sanitary and medical services and social stress. Although infants, children and young adolescents have not been greatly or directly affected by the mortality crisis, the Report points out that their situation has been severely threatened by more frequent sickness and greater nutritional imbalances, while the upturn in adult deaths is leading to a considerably heightened risk of poverty, abandonment or orphanhood.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 110 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child health, child mortality, child nutrition, economic transition, social services, vulnerable groups | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Death in Transition: The rise in the death rate in Russia since 1992
Death in Transition: The rise in the death rate in Russia since 1992
From January 1992 to the first half of 1994 the death rate in Russia rose by over 30 per cent, a rise of a magnitude never before seen in an industrialized country without a war or famine. In 1993 alone the life expectancy of a Russian man fell from 62 to 59. This paper examines the nature and causes of this unprecedented and disastrous increase.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 72 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: demography, economic transition, mortality rate | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Income Distribution, Poverty and Welfare in Transitional Economies: A comparison between Eastern Europe and China
Income Distribution, Poverty and Welfare in Transitional Economies: A comparison between Eastern Europe and China
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: comparative analysis, economic transition, income distribution, poverty, welfare economics | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Family Support Policies in Transitional Economies: Challenges and constraints
Family Support Policies in Transitional Economies: Challenges and constraints

AUTHOR(S)
Gaspar Fajth

The propagandists of ancien regime Russia and Eastern Europe portrayed state family support policies as models of care and efficiency. The collapse of communism revealed that this was a much distorted picture of the reality. But the positive work of these schemes should not be forgotten. Help available from the state did indeed do much to offset the financial strain that child-rearing inevitably imposes upon poorer families. This paper looks at how such policies have fared in nine of the countries that have undergone the transition to the free-market economy. It asks whether such positives as did exist prior to 1989 have survived to benefit the children of today. It concludes with a discussion of what can be done to improve matters for families of the region, arguing for an approach that would utilise the already existent infrastructure of care that remains as a relic of the old regimes.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 72 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child poverty, economic transition, family policy, family welfare | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition (Russian version)
Crisis in Mortality, Health and Nutrition (Russian version)
Published: 1994 Regional Monitoring Report
After the collapse of the communist system in 1989, most Eastern European countries experienced a mortality and health crisis. However, this did not hit the traditionally most vulnerable groups - children, adolescents, women and the elderly - but male adults in the 20-59 age group. The Report indicates that the surge is largely dependent on three transition-related factors: widespread impoverishment, erosion of preventive health services, sanitary and medical services and social stress. Although infants, children and young adolescents have not been greatly or directly affected by the mortality crisis, the Report points out that their situation has been severely threatened by more frequent sickness and greater nutritional imbalances, while the upturn in adult deaths is leading to a considerably heightened risk of poverty, abandonment or orphanhood.
Public Policy and Social Conditions
Public Policy and Social Conditions
Published: 1993 Regional Monitoring Report
In the early 1990s considerable attention was given to the issues of stabilization, privatization, taxation and labour market adjustment in the Eastern Europe transition, but demographic and welfare issues received less attention. While the economic and social reforms undertaken were desirable they faced severe problems of implementation and involved economic, social and political costs far greater than anticipated. This first Report highlights the fact that initial hopes for rapid transformation and economic prosperity were quickly tempered by a considerable decline in output, employment and incomes, a worsening of some social indicators, and the appearance of new welfare problems. The Report warns against neglecting the social costs of transition which affect children and adults, but also threaten the entire reform process.
Public Policy and Social Conditions (Russian version)
Public Policy and Social Conditions (Russian version)
Published: 1993 Regional Monitoring Report
In the early 1990s considerable attention was given to the issues of stabilization, privatization, taxation and labour market adjustment in the Eastern Europe transition, but demographic and welfare issues received less attention. While the economic and social reforms undertaken were desirable they faced severe problems of implementation and involved economic, social and political costs far greater than anticipated. This first Report highlights the fact that initial hopes for rapid transformation and economic prosperity were quickly tempered by a considerable decline in output, employment and incomes, a worsening of some social indicators, and the appearance of new welfare problems. The Report warns against neglecting the social costs of transition which affect children and adults, but also threaten the entire reform process.
Poverty Measurement in Central and Eastern Europe before the Transition to the Market Economy
Poverty Measurement in Central and Eastern Europe before the Transition to the Market Economy

AUTHOR(S)
Sandor Sipos

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 68 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic transition, measurement, poverty reduction | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Child Welfare and the Socialist Experiment: Social and economic trends in the USSR 1960-90
Child Welfare and the Socialist Experiment: Social and economic trends in the USSR 1960-90
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 58 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, economic transition, socialism | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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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