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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
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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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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
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.
Une école pour des enfants qui ont des droits
Une école pour des enfants qui ont des droits

AUTHOR(S)
Thomas Hammarberg

Published: 1998 Innocenti Lectures
Tout enfant a droit à l'éducation. Cela est affirmé dans la Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant proclamée par les Nations Unies. Le but de l'éducation est de permettre à l'enfant de développer au maximum ses possibilités et d'apprendre le respect des droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales. Les principes généraux de la Convention se rapportant à l'éducation couvrent la non-discrimination, les intérêts de l'enfant, le droit de l'enfant à la vie, à la survie et au développement, et le droit de l'enfant à exprimer ses opinions. Ces principes peuvent constituer un instrument utile dans les débats sur la réforme des écoles. Ce document analyse, à la lumière de la Convention, huit thèmes au service d'une réforme progressive: accès universel, égalité des chances, contenu adéquat de l'éducation, racines culturelles et valeurs globales, nouvelles méthodes d'apprentissage, respect mutuel, participation des élèves, et rôle des enseignants, des parents et de la communauté. Il examine également les problèmes de mise en oeuvre et de financement d'une telle réforme. L'analyse dans son ensemble s'appuie sur l'expérience pratique d'Etats contractants en ce qui concerne l'application de la Convention dans leurs écoles.
La escuela y los derechos del niño
La escuela y los derechos del niño

AUTHOR(S)
Thomas Hammarberg

Published: 1998 Innocenti Lectures
Todo niño tiene derecho a la educación. Esto es lo que establece la Convención de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos del Niño. El objetivo de la educación es permitir al niño desarrollar su potencial en la mayor medida posible y aprender a respetar los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales. Los principios generales de la Convención relacionados con la educación comprenden la no discriminación, el interés superior del niño, el derecho del niño a la vida, a la sobrevivencia y al desarrollo y el derecho del niño a expresar libremente sus opiniones. Estos principios pueden ser un instrumento de gran utilidad en el debate sobre los métodos a seguir para llevar a cabo reformas en el sistema escolar. Esta conferencia estudia, a la luz de la Convención, ocho de las áreas que exigen una reforma progresiva: el acceso generalizado, la igualdad de oportunidades, el contenido adecuado de la educación, las raíces culturales y los valores globales, los nuevos métodos de aprendizaje, el respeto mutuo, la participación de los alumnos y el papel de los maestros, los padres y la comunidad. La conclusión del autor es que la Convención, al presentar un resumen útil de los asuntos a tratar, sirve de marco de referencia para poder crear escuelas que sean realmente a la medida del niño y que brinden una enseñanza eficaz.
Fiscal Shock, Wage Compression and Structural Reform: Mexican adjustment and educational policy in the 1980s
Fiscal Shock, Wage Compression and Structural Reform: Mexican adjustment and educational policy in the 1980s

AUTHOR(S)
Fernando Valerio

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: adjustment policies, economic policy, educational policy, fiscal policy | 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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