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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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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
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
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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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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