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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Best of UNICEF Research 2021
SPOTLIGHT

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Best of UNICEF Research showcases the most rigorous, innovative and impactful research produced by UNICEF offices worldwide. While evidence highlights emerging issues, it also informs decisions and provides policy and programme recommendations for governments and partners to improve children’s lives. This ninth edition brings together 11 powerful studies from around the world and across the five Strategic Goal Areas. How do South Asian youth feel about entering the world of work? What is the effect of climate-related hazards on access to healthcare? How has COVID-19 affected children and their families in the Republic of Moldova? With social and economic inequalities increasing and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals lagging, rigorous research – answers to these questions – has never mattered more.
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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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Child Well-being in Rich Countries: A comparative overview
Child Well-being in Rich Countries: A comparative overview

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2013 Innocenti Report Card
Part 1 of the Report Card presents a league table of child well-being in 29 of the world's advanced economies. Part 2 looks at what children say about their own well-being (including a league table of children’s life satisfaction). Part 3 examines changes in child well-being in advanced economies over the first decade of the 2000s, looking at each country’s progress in educational achievement, teenage birth rates, childhood obesity levels, the prevalence of bullying, and the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Le bien-être des enfants dans les pays riches: vue d’ensemble comparative
Le bien-être des enfants dans les pays riches: vue d’ensemble comparative

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2013 Innocenti Report Card
La première partie du Bilan présente un classement du bien-être des enfants dans 29 des économies avancées du monde. La deuxième partie s’intéresse à ce que les enfants disent à propos de leur bien-être personnel (et présente un classement du niveau de satisfaction des enfants à l’égard de la vie). La troisième partie se penche sur les changements survenus dans le bien-être des enfants au sein des économies avancées au cours des années 2000 à 2010, passant en revue les progrès accomplis par chacun des pays en termes de réussite scolaire, de taux de natalité chez les adolescentes, de niveaux de l’obésité infantile, de prévalence des brimades et de consommation de tabac, d’alcool et de drogues.
Bienestar infantil en los países ricos: un panorama comparativo
Bienestar infantil en los países ricos: un panorama comparativo

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2013 Innocenti Report Card
La primera parte del Report Card presenta una tabla clasificatoria del bienestar infantil en 29 de las economías más avanzadas del mundo. La segunda parte se centra en lo que los niños dicen sobre su propio bienestar (e incluye una tabla clasificatoria de la satisfacción de los niños con su vida). La tercera parte examina los cambios en el bienestar infantil en las economías avanzadas durante la primera década del siglo XXI y analiza el progreso de cada país en logros educativos, tasas de embarazos en adolescentes, niveles de obesidad infantil, prevalencia de casos de acoso escolar y consumo de tabaco, alcohol y drogas.
Il benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi: Un quadro comparativo
Il benessere dei bambini nei paesi ricchi: Un quadro comparativo

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2013 Innocenti Report Card
La prima parte del Report Card presenta una graduatoria del benessere dell'infanzia in 29 economie avanzate del mondo. La seconda parte esamina ciò che pensano i bambini e gli adolescenti del proprio benessere (e include una graduatoria del livello di soddisfazione dei bambini rispetto alle proprie condizioni di vita). La terza parte analizza i cambiamenti nel benessere dei bambini registrati nelle economie avanzate durante la prima decade del 2000, valutando i progressi di ciascun paese in termini di risultati scolastici, tasso di maternità adolescenziale, livelli di obesità nell'infanzia, diffusione del bullismo e utilizzo di tabacco, alcool e cannabis.
Child Well-being in Advanced Economies in the Late 2000s
Child Well-being in Advanced Economies in the Late 2000s
Published: 2013 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper compares the well-being of children across the most economically advanced countries of the world. It discusses the methodological issues involved in comparing children’s well-being across countries and explains how a Child Well-being Index is constructed to rank countries according to their performance in advancing child well-being. The Index uses 30 indicators combined into 13 components, again summarised in 5 dimensions for 35 rich countries. Data from various sources are combined to capture aspects of child well-being: material well-being, health, education, behaviour and risks, housing and environment. The scores for the countries on all variables and combinations of variables are discussed in detail. The Child Well-being Index reveals that serious differences exist across countries suggesting that in many, improvement could be made in the quality of children’s lives.
Child Well-being in Economically Rich Countries: Changes in the first decade of the 21st century
Child Well-being in Economically Rich Countries: Changes in the first decade of the 21st century
Published: 2013 Innocenti Working Papers
The analysis shows that the rankings are relatively stable: indeed, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries are still in the best performing group while the United States is still in the bottom of the ranking. Data analysis also highlights a common pattern for East European countries as material conditions improved and the behaviour of young people became more similar to their peers living in Western economies even though children’s living conditions have not improved overall. On the whole, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom recorded the most positive changes, while Poland, Spain and Sweden recorded the most negative changes.
Children’s Subjective Well-being in Rich Countries
Children’s Subjective Well-being in Rich Countries
Published: 2013 Innocenti Working Papers
Changes in subjective well-being during the last decade are analysed. The paper then explores the relationships between subjective well-being and objective domains: material, health, education, behaviour and housing and environment. The relationship between subjective well-being and structural indicators is explored further. The paper concludes that subjective well-being should be included in comparative studies of well-being but not necessarily as just another domain within a general deprivation count. Subjective well-being (or the lack thereof) is related to but not a part of (material) child deprivation.
Relative Income Poverty among Children in Rich Countries
Relative Income Poverty among Children in Rich Countries
Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper presents and discusses child relative income poverty statistics for 35 economically advanced countries, representing all the members of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States. As most of the data refer to the year 2008, the results partly reflect the initial impact of the global economic crisis as well as government responses. According to the data, Nordic countries and the Netherlands present the lowest child relative poverty levels, while Japan, the United States, most of the Southern European countries and some of the new EU member states have among the highest. Several factors are associated with the risk of poverty, such as demographic composition, educational level of household members, labour conditions, but the extent to which these factors influence the risk of poverty vary considerably across countries. Lastly, in several countries the role of government is found to be highly important in reducing child poverty.
Comparing Inequality in the Well-being of Children in Economically Advanced Countries: A methodology
Comparing Inequality in the Well-being of Children in Economically Advanced Countries: A methodology
Published: 2011 Innocenti Working Papers
Socio-economic research on child well-being and the debate around child indicators has evolved quite rapidly in recent decades. An important contribution to this trend is represented by international comparative research based on multi-dimensional child well-being frameworks: most of this research is based on the comparison of average levels of well-being across countries. This paper tries to respond to the complex challenge of going beyond an approach based on averages and proposes a complementary approach to compare inequality in child well-being in economically advanced countries. In particular, it focuses on the disparities at the bottom-end of the child well-being distribution, by comparing the situation of the ‘median’ child and the situation of the children at the bottom of the well-being scale for nine indicators of material conditions, education and health.
The Children Left Behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world's rich countries
The Children Left Behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world's rich countries

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Report Card
This Report Card presents a first overview of inequalities in child well-being for 24 of the world’s richest countries. Three dimensions of inequality are examined: material well-being, education, and health. In each case and for each country, the question asked is ‘how far behind are children being allowed to fall?’ The report argues that children deserve the best possible start, that early experience can cast a long shadow, and that children are not to be held responsible for the circumstances into which they are born. In this sense the metric used - the degree of bottom-end inequality in child well-being - is a measure of the progress being made towards a fairer society. Bringing in data from the majority of OECD countries, the report attempts to show which of them are allowing children to fall behind by more than is necessary in education, health and material well-being (using the best performing countries as a minimum standard for what can be achieved). In drawing attention to the depth of disparities revealed, and in summarizing what is known about the consequences, it argues that ‘falling behind’ is a critical issue not only for millions of individual children today but for the economic and social future of their nations tomorrow.
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport
Protecting Children from Violence in Sport
Published: 2010 Innocenti Publications
UNICEF has long recognized that there is great value in children’s sport and play, and has been a consistent proponent of these activities in its international development and child protection work. Health, educational achievement and social benefits are just some of the many desirable outcomes associated with organized physical activity. During recent years, however, it has become evident that sport is not always a safe space for children and that the same types of violence and abuse sometimes found in families and communities can also occur in sport and play programmes. The research presented in this publication shows a lack of data collection and knowledge about violence to children in sport, a need to develop the structures and systems for eliminating and preventing this form of violence, and that ethical guidelines and codes of conduct must be established and promoted as part of the prevention system. By addressing these gaps, significant improvements will be realized for the promotion and protection of the rights of children in sport.
Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries
Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries
Published: 2007 Innocenti Report Card
This report builds and expands upon the analyses of Report Card No. 6 which considered relative income poverty affecting children and policies to mitigate it. Report Card 7 provides a pioneering, comprehensive picture of child well being through the consideration of six dimensions: material well-being, health and safety, education, family and peer relationships, subjective well-being, behaviours and lifestyles informed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and relevant academic literature.
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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.
Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia
Publication Publication

Vite a Colori: Esperienze, percezioni e opinioni di bambinə e ragazzə sulla pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia

Il rapporto Vite a Colori racconta le esperienze, percezioni ed opinioni di un gruppo di adolescenti sul primo anno di pandemia di Covid-19 in Italia cercando di comprendere le loro esperienze e punti di vista, attraverso le loro parole. La raccolta dati si è svolta tra febbraio e giugno 2021 con 114 partecipanti tra i 10 e i 19 anni, frequentanti le scuole superiori del primo e del secondo ciclo di 16 regioni italiane. Bambinɘ e ragazzɘ che si identificano come LGBTQI+, minori stranieri non accompagnati (MSNA) e adolescenti con background socioeconomico svantaggiato sono stati deliberatamente inclusi nel campione interessato dalla ricerca

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