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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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Let Us Learn: Making education work for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal
Let Us Learn: Making education work for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

Learning remains largely out of reach for many of the most vulnerable children around the world. In low- and middle-income countries, an estimated 56% of children cannot read a simple text by the age of 10. This share is projected to rise to 70% after the pandemic. The school closures imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, coupled with an enduring tendency in low-income countries to allocate a limited share of the national education budget to the most vulnerable, are further widening inequalities in the global learning crisis landscape.

The Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative implements innovative education programmes to improve learning for the most vulnerable children in five countries with high levels of out-of-school children: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal. This report documents the outcomes, lessons learned and recommendations based on the experience of the initiative across four types of learning programmes spanning the education lifecycle: (1) pre-primary education; (2) accelerated learning pathways; (3) programmes to reduce barriers to access and stay in formal school; and (4) vocational training.

Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 – Eastern and Southern Africa
Reopening with Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 – Eastern and Southern Africa
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

The widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the learning crisis for children living in Eastern and Southern Africa. The crisis has also shown the great need to develop resilient education systems that can provide learning when schools are forced to close. Understanding how to provide remote learning equitably utilizing multiple modalities and emphasizing low-tech solutions in Eastern and Southern Africa is critical given the great challenges facing the region in terms of electricity and connectivity access. This report provides a summary of lessons learned in the East and Southern Africa region from remote learning during COVID-19 and provides concrete recommendations on how to increase the resilience of education systems.

How discerning patterns develops and affects well-being throughout childhood
How discerning patterns develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Sabbiana Cunsolo; Marloes Vrolijk; Dominic Richardson

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

Drawing from a multidisciplinary evidence base, what is the empirical and theoretical knowledge of children’s discerning patterns and how does it interact with overall child well-being throughout childhood?

This review is a first attempt to map the existing theoretical and empirical literature about a possible core capacity for well-being: discerning patterns. The review of the literature will contribute to the understanding of discerning patterns as a core capacity for well-being within the Learning for Well-Being framework.

The Impact of Educational Policies and Programmes on Child Work and Child Labour in Low- and-Middle-Income Countries: A rapid evidence assessment (Study Protocol)
The Impact of Educational Policies and Programmes on Child Work and Child Labour in Low- and-Middle-Income Countries: A rapid evidence assessment (Study Protocol)

AUTHOR(S)
Chuka Emezue; Cristina Pozneanscaia; Greg Sheaf; Valeria Groppo; Shivit Bakrania; Josiah Kaplan

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

There is increasing evidence on the importance of education access and quality for the abolition of child labour. However, to date, only a few evidence assessments have documented the effectiveness of educational policies and programmes with respect to child labour. This Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive review of the effects of educational policies and programmes on child labour. With the objective to provide policy and programmatic recommendations, the review will focus on quantitative and mixed methods studies that identify causal effects. The REA will be complemented by an evidence gap map.

Towards Inclusive Education: The impact of disability on school attendance in developing countries
Towards Inclusive Education: The impact of disability on school attendance in developing countries

AUTHOR(S)
Suguru Mizunoya; Sophie Mitra; Izumi Yamasaki

Published: 2016 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper aims to reduce the global knowledge gap pertaining to the impact of disability on school attendance, using cross-nationally comparable and nationally representative data from 18 surveys in 15 countries that are selected among 2,500 surveys and censuses. These selected surveys administered the Washington Group Short Set (WGSS) of disability-screening questions, covering five functional domains of seeing, hearing, mobility, self-care, and remembering, and collected information on educational status. The paper finds that (i) the average disability gap in school attendance stands at 30% in primary and secondary schools in 15 countries; (ii) more than 85% of disabled primary-age children who are out of school have never attended school; (iii) the average marginal effect of disability on primary and secondary school attendance is negative and significant (-30%), and (iv) countries that have reached close to universal primary education report high ratios of disabled to non-disabled out-of-school children and (v) disabled children confront the same difficulties in participating in education, regardless of their individual and socio-economic characteristics.
Child Poverty in English-Speaking Countries
Child Poverty in English-Speaking Countries

AUTHOR(S)
John Micklewright

Published: 2003 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper considers child poverty in rich English-speaking countries - the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and Ireland. It is sometimes assumed that these countries stand out from other OECD countries for their levels of child poverty. The paper looks at the policies they have adopted to address the problem. 'Poverty' is interpreted broadly and hence the available cross-national evidence on edicational disadvantage and teenage births is considered alongside that on low household income. Discussion of policy initiatives ranges across a number of areas of government activity.
A League Table of Educational Disadvantage in Rich Nations
A League Table of Educational Disadvantage in Rich Nations
Published: 2002 Innocenti Report Card
This new report from the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre considers the effectiveness of public education systems across the rich nations of the industrialised world. The Report Card takes an overview of several well-respected cross-national surveys into educational performance in an effort to present a “big picture” of the extent of educational disadvantage in OECD member countries. Although enrolment rates in lower secondary schooling throughout the OECD are almost 100 per cent, children in their early teens nevertheless differ greatly in what they successfully manage to learn while at school. With the importance of knowledge and of “human capital” in the global economy, the differences between high and low achievers become ever more critical if a part of each generation is not to be excluded from the benefits of economic progress.
A Sorting Hat that Fails? The transition from primary to secondary school in Germany
A Sorting Hat that Fails? The transition from primary to secondary school in Germany

AUTHOR(S)
Sylke Schnepf

Published: 2002 Innocenti Working Papers
Germany ranks lowest regarding educational equalities among OECD countries, as the recently published PISA ‘Programme of International Student Assessment’ data revealed (ref. PISA 2000). This might be due to the remarkable German transition process from primary to secondary school where children are selected into diversely prestigious school environments at an early stage of their intellectual development. This paper aims at examining whether sorting of children is leading to educational inequalities. Based on the two different surveys of learning achievement TIMSS (‘Third International Math and Science Study’) and PISA 2000 we find consistently that although ability is a main criterion of the sorting process, pupils' socio-economic background, their gender and the region they live in also exert a significant influence on the selection results. Since sorting is difficult to correct and school choice determines career options, these educational inequalities in secondary schooling very probably have an impact on pupils’ life even long after they have finished school.
Una classifica comparata dello svantaggio educativo nei paesi industrializzati
Una classifica comparata dello svantaggio educativo nei paesi industrializzati
Published: 2002 Innocenti Report Card
Questo nuovo rapporto del Centro di Ricerca Innocenti dell'UNICEF riguarda l'efficenza del sistema di istruzione pubblica nei paesi economicamente avanzati. Il rapporto utilizza dati tratti da indagini sul rendimento scolastico degli studenti nel tentativo di elaborare un quadro generale sullo svantaggio educativo nei paesi dell'OCSE. Sebbene il tasso di iscrizione alla istruzione secondaria inferiore nell'OCSE sia del 100 percento, i giovani nei primi anni dellla loro adolescenza differiscono notevolmente in termini di apprendimento scolastico. Data l'importanza della conoscenza e del capitale umano in un'economia globalizzata, le disuguaglianze nell'apprendimento scolastico diventano decisive se non si vuole correre il rischio che una parte della popolazione venga esclusa dai benefici del progresso economico.
A Decade of Transition
A Decade of Transition
Published: 2001 Regional Monitoring Report
The MONEE project Regional Monitoring Report of the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre is a unique source of information on the social side of the transition taking place in the 27 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Each year’s Report contains an update on the social and economic changes affecting people in the region and includes a wealth of data in a detailed Statistical Annex. The present Report provides a review of the first 10 years of transition, exploiting the fact that data are now available on many issues that cover the entire 1990s. The core chapters examine the record of the decade in four key areas affecting human welfare: income inequality and child poverty, health, education, and child protection. An introductory chapter analyses key economic and demographic trends. In each case, the Report summarizes developments to the end of the decade, discussing both the outcomes measured with statistical data and the policy options.
Basic Education: A vision for the 21st century. Global Seminar Report, 1998
Basic Education: A vision for the 21st century. Global Seminar Report, 1998

AUTHOR(S)
Maggie Black

Published: 1999 Innocenti Global Seminar
The ninth Innocenti Global Seminar took as its theme: Basic Education: A Vision for the 21st Century. The Seminar addressed the urgent need for improved strategies to achieve Education for All; at the same time the Seminar deliberations and recommendations were expected to contribute directly to UNICEF’s broader 'Vision for the 21st Century' in which basic eduation will receive a strong emphasis. In addition to the final statement on basic education for the 21st century drawn up by the participants, actions, emphases and follow-up at Regional and HQ levels were identified.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 32 | Thematic area: Education, Rights of the Child | Tags: basic education, education, educational policy, right to education | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
A School for Children with Rights: The significance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for modern education policy
A School for Children with Rights: The significance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for modern education policy

AUTHOR(S)
Thomas Hammarberg

Published: 1998 Innocenti Lectures
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that every child has a right to education. The purpose of education is to enable the child to develop to his or her fullest possible potential and to learn respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The general principles of the Convention which are relevant to education cover non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the child’s right to life, survival and development, and the child’s right to express opinions. These principles can serve as a useful instrument in discussions on how to reform schools. This paper analyses, in the light of the Convention, eight areas for progressive reform: universal access, equal opportunities, the appropriate content of education, cultural roots and global values, new methods of learning, mutual respect, pupil participation, and the role of teachers, parents and the community. It also examines the problems both of implementing and of paying for such reform. The author concludes that the Convention constitutes a useful agenda for creatng a school which is child friendly and which provides the most effective learning.
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Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence
Publication

Return on Knowledge: How international development agencies are collaborating to deliver impact through knowledge, learning, research and evidence

Effective collaboration around knowledge management and organizational learning is a key contributor to improving the impact of international development work for the world’s most vulnerable people. But how can it be proven? With only 10 years from the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, nine of the world’s most influential agencies set out to show to the connection between the use of evidence, knowledge and learning and a better quality of human life. This book – a synthesis of stories, examples and insights that demonstrate where and how these practices have made a positive impact on development programming – is the result of the Multi-Donor Learning Partnership (MDLP), a collective effort to record the ways each of these organizations have leveraged intentional, systematic and resourced approaches to knowledge management and organizational learning in their work.
Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)
Publication

Gender Solutions: Capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021)

UNICEF has undertaken hundreds of gender evidence generation activities, supporting programmatic action, advocacy work and policymaking. The Gender Solutions project aims to draw together the knowledge, innovations and impacts of gender evidence work conducted by UNICEF offices since the first UNICEF Gender Action Plan was launched in 2014. A desk review identified over 700 gender-related UNICEF research, evaluation and data evidence generation activities since 2014. Twenty-five outputs were shortlisted because of their high quality and (potential for) impact and three were selected as Gender Evidence Award winners by an external review panel. By capturing the impact of this broad body of work, Gender Solutions aims to showcase UNICEF’s evidence investments, reward excellence and inform the rollout of the UNICEF Gender Policy 2021–2030 and Action Plan 2022–2025.
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.
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.

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