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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.
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The Best Interests of the Child in Intercountry Adoption
The Best Interests of the Child in Intercountry Adoption

AUTHOR(S)
Nigel Cantwell

Published: 2014 Innocenti Publications

There is universal agreement that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in any decisions made about a child’s future. In the case of adoption, which represents one of the most far-reaching and definitive decisions that could be made about the future of any child – the selection of their parents – international law qualifies the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration. The implications of this obligation are all the greater in the context of the intercountry form of adoption, since this involves in addition the removal of a child to a new country and, usually, a new culture.

However, there is no universal agreement on who is ultimately responsible for determining what is in a child’s ‘best interests’, nor on what basis the decision should be made This study responds, in particular, to one key question: what is it that enables a policy, process, decision or practice to be qualified as either respectful or in violation of the best interests of the child in intercountry adoption?

Approaches towards Inequality and Inequity: Concepts, measures and policies
Approaches towards Inequality and Inequity: Concepts, measures and policies

AUTHOR(S)
Frances Stewart

Published: 2013 Innocenti Discussion Papers
The paper discusses what a fair, or equitable, distribution is, drawing on some contributions of Western philosophers and economists. After reviewing different approaches, it argues that inequality among groups is particularly unjust. The paper argues for a plural perspective on the space in which inequality is assessed, following Sen’s capability approach. It is argued that the assessment should relate to functionings (or outcomes) rather than capabilities (or possibilities), especially for children whose choices are severely constrained.
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
This study, globally the first comprehensive review of independent human rights institutions for children, takes stock of more than 20 years of their experience.The report provides practitioners with an extensive discussion of the issues as well as a series of regional analyses from around the world. The aim is to help readers understand the purpose and potential of independent human rights institutions for children, what it is they do and how they operate. This review covers institutions created by law or decree that are independent at least in principle. It includes institutions performing activities related to children’s rights operating at the national or local level. The report is organized into two major parts: a series of thematic chapters, drawing out lessons from practice on the distinctive principles and features underlying the function of child rights institutions; and an overview of their international development, looking at the work of institutions by region.
المستقلة الخاصة بالأطفال – تقرير موجز دراسة عالمية حول منظمات حقوق الإنسان حقوق الأطفال مُناصَرة
المستقلة الخاصة بالأطفال – تقرير موجز دراسة عالمية حول منظمات حقوق الإنسان حقوق الأطفال مُناصَرة

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Independent institutions bring an explicit children’s focus to traditional adult-oriented governance systems. Acting as direct mechanisms for accountability, they fill gaps in checks and balances and make sure that the impact of policy and practice on children’s rights is understood and recognized. At a time of global economic uncertainty, a period in which inequities between rich and poor are widening, and a period of reflection on progress towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals and in defining what sustainable and equitable goals should come after, these institutions are key players in promoting systems that are effective in delivering results for children.
Защита и поддержка прав детей
Защита и поддержка прав детей

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Independent institutions bring an explicit children’s focus to traditional adult-oriented governance systems. Acting as direct mechanisms for accountability, they fill gaps in checks and balances and make sure that the impact of policy and practice on children’s rights is understood and recognized. At a time of global economic uncertainty, a period in which inequities between rich and poor are widening, and a period of reflection on progress towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals and in defining what sustainable and equitable goals should come after, these institutions are key players in promoting systems that are effective in delivering results for children.
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children
Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
Independent institutions bring an explicit children’s focus to traditional adult-oriented governance systems. Acting as direct mechanisms for accountability, they fill gaps in checks and balances and make sure that the impact of policy and practice on children’s rights is understood and recognized. At a time of global economic uncertainty, a period in which inequities between rich and poor are widening, and a period of reflection on progress towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals and in defining what sustainable and equitable goals should come after, these institutions are key players in promoting systems that are effective in delivering results for children.
Independent Institutions Protecting Children's Rights
Independent Institutions Protecting Children's Rights

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Digest
This Digest focuses on independent human rights institutions for children, and the urgent need to create such institutions in every country in the world to protect, promote, and monitor children's rights. Children are among the most vulnerable group in any society, with no vote, no access to the powerful lobbies that influence government agendas, and little access to the legal system and courts to protect their rights. Their needs in terms of education, health, child care, and housing are critical, and the costs of failing children are high for any society. This Digest evaluates the effectiveness and impact of existing institutions, examines the essential characteristics required if such institutions are to fulfil their functions, and challenges the objections frequently presented. Information on existing independent, statutory bodies - their constitutional base, mandate and activities - is also included.
Child Well-Being in the EU and Enlargement to the East
Child Well-Being in the EU and Enlargement to the East

AUTHOR(S)
Kitty Stewart; John Micklewright

Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
The accession of up to 13 new members in the next decade is the most important development now facing the European Union. This paper analyses measurable differences in the well-being of children between current club members, the EU Member States, and the 10 Central and Eastern European applicants seeking admission. Two themes are used as a framework for the paper. First, the importance of economic, social and cultural rights in the human rights dimension of the 'Copenhagen criteria' laid down for EU accession. Second, the need for a wider approach to measuring differences in living standards and 'economic and social cohesion' within the Union than that currently taken by the European Commission. In both cases the necessity for considering the position of children is emphasised. The empirical sections of the paper then consider in turn three dimensions of well-being of European children in Member States and the applicant countries: their economic welfare, their health, and their education.
A Human Rights Conceptual Framework for UNICEF
A Human Rights Conceptual Framework for UNICEF

AUTHOR(S)
Marta Santos-Pais

Published: 1999 Innocenti Essay
This latest 'Innocenti Essay' outlines the legal and moral stance behind UNICEF's emerging human rights ethic. It goes on to consider the implications of this thinking in terms of the organisation's perceived future role. The author attempts to end the debate between the traditional development thinkers and the rights advocates, arguing that 'development' is meaningless unless it is designed to ensure the realisation of human rights.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Rights of the Child | Tags: children's rights, convention on the rights of the child, human rights | 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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