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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
SPOTLIGHT

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.
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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.
1 - 11 of 11
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Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Gatekeeping services for vulnerable children and families
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Gatekeeping services for vulnerable children and families
Published: 2003 Innocenti Publications
After more than a decade of coping with transition challenges in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the need for the reform of family and child welfare systems has been widely acknowledged. The mindset is changing, policies are increasingly embracing new directions, reform efforts are underway, but the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor families with children have yet to improve. Every year a large number of children are still at risk of being separated from their families and being placed in institutional care. Through 'Changing Minds, Policies and Lives', UNICEF and the World Bank have teamed up in an effort to increase the understanding of the essential challenges of the system changes, and to propose strategies to advance the reform of child and family services. The results of the joint work are the concept papers and corresponding tools that suggest how to change three important system regulators, decision making, standards and financing.
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Improving standards of child protection services
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Improving standards of child protection services
Published: 2003 Innocenti Publications
The quality of care children receive, their learning experiences and relationships, are critical in shaping their future. This is particularly true in their first years of life. Quality child protection services play an important role in enhancing learning and achievement throughout children’s lives, in providing more positive lifelong opportunities and outcomes, and in reducing poor health in adult life. The key to a high-quality child protection system is to have clear, agreed standards based on evidence of best practice and effective systems to implement and monitor them. Given the importance of promoting quality, this paper provides a framework for designing tools to specify and use standards as part of the reform of the child protection system. This is to ensure that, wherever possible, families are supported to care for their children themselves.
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Redirecting resources to community-based services
Changing Minds, Policies and Lives: Improving protection of children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Redirecting resources to community-based services
Published: 2003 Innocenti Publications
One of the legacies of the command economy in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has been a system of social protection for vulnerable individuals which focuses on institutional care.This paper provides a framework to help countries re-orient their financing systems for social care, so that they can implement a change programme for the social care system. The ultimate objective is for countries to use more family-based and inclusive care programmes, and use institutional care as a last resort, thus supporting families to care for their vulnerable members rather than place them in residential care. Family-based and inclusive care are generally more effective in meeting social needs and are, at least on a unit cost basis, less expensive. Changing the financing system will not automatically reduce institutionalization.
Regional Monitoring of Child and Family Well-Being: UNICEF's MONEE Project
Regional Monitoring of Child and Family Well-Being: UNICEF's MONEE Project

AUTHOR(S)
Gaspar Fajth

Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
The project, through a series of reports on child and family well-being, has had a remarkable impact on policy makers, academics, politicians and members of the public. One of the keys to its success has been the comprehensive set of demographic and social indicators and related policy and institutional information collected via a wide network of experts. By drawing a comparison with similar analytical efforts, this paper highlights the distinctive features of the project, including a holistic and regional perspective based on a systematic mix of statistical and analytical investigations. This approach offers some comparative advantages relative to UNICEF's global surveys and national situation analyses in terms of its capacity to grasp key patterns of change and the role of institutional factors.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 42 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: child welfare, demographic indicators, economic transition, family policy, family welfare, social indicators | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
EMU, Macroeconomics and Children
EMU, Macroeconomics and Children

AUTHOR(S)
Anthony B. Atkinson

How can EMU be expected to affect the children of Europe? Macroeconomics in OECD countries has tended to become a remote and abstract subject, discussed in aggregate terms which seem far removed from the everyday experience of families. Much of this paper is concerned with making the link between macroeconomic analysis and family welfare, a link which is important for all age groups, but particularly so for children. Childhood is a vulnerable stage of the life-cycle, and children may be especially sensitive to macroeconomic shocks yet the public debate about EMU has been largely divorced from the concerns of families and children. Several proposals emerge from the analysis for improvements in our monitoring of economic performance to make them more family orientated.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 24 | Thematic area: Economic Development | Tags: child welfare, economic development, european communities, family income, family welfare | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Economic Reforms and Family Well-being in Belarus: Caught between legacies and prospects
Economic Reforms and Family Well-being in Belarus: Caught between legacies and prospects

AUTHOR(S)
Galina I. Gasyuk; Antonina P. Morova

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 50 | Thematic area: Countries in Transition | Tags: economic reform, economic transition, family policy, family welfare | 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
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.
Growth, Income Distribution and Household Welfare in the Industrialized Countries since the First Oil Shock
Growth, Income Distribution and Household Welfare in the Industrialized Countries since the First Oil Shock

AUTHOR(S)
Andrea Boltho

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: Industrialized Countries | Tags: family income, family welfare, income distribution, industrialized countries | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Povertà e condizione dei minori in Italia dagli anni cinquanta ad oggi
Povertà e condizione dei minori in Italia dagli anni cinquanta ad oggi

AUTHOR(S)
Chiara Saraceno

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 54 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, child welfare, family welfare, socio-economic status | 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.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Publication

Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

Support from caregivers is critical for children’s learning both at home and at school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of education systems globally created additional expectations for parents to support their children’s learning at home. This particularly affected the most marginalized children as the crises exacerbated already existing inequalities in education. This document introduces the approach and purpose of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. It presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system.
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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