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Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being
SPOTLIGHT

Places and Spaces: Environments and children’s well-being

Report Card 17 explores how 43 OECD/EU countries are faring in providing healthy environments for children. Do children have clean water to drink? Do they have good-quality air to breathe? Are their homes free of lead and mould? How many children live in overcrowded homes? How many have access to green play spaces, safe from road traffic? Data show that a nation’s wealth does not guarantee a healthy environment. Far too many children are deprived of a healthy home, irreversibly damaging their current and future well-being. Beyond children’s immediate environments, over-consumption in some of the world’s richest countries is destroying children’s environments globally. This threatens both children worldwide and future generations. To provide all children with safe and healthy environments, governments, policymakers, businesses and all stakeholders are called to act on a set of policy recommendations.
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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

AUTHOR(S)
Bruno Martorano; Luisa Natali; Chris De Neubourg; Jonathan Bradshaw

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

AUTHOR(S)
Bruno Martorano; Luisa Natali; Chris De Neubourg; Jonathan Bradshaw

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

AUTHOR(S)
Bruno Martorano; Luisa Natali; Chris De Neubourg; Jonathan Bradshaw

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

AUTHOR(S)
Jonathan Bradshaw; Yekaterina Chzhen; Gill Main; Bruno Martorano; Leonardo Menchini; Chris De Neubourg

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

AUTHOR(S)
Candace Currie; Dorothy Currie; Leonardo Menchini; Chris Roberts; Dominic Richardson

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

AUTHOR(S)
Celia Brackenridge; Kari Fasting; Sandra Kirby; Trisha Leahy

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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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.
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
Publication

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.
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.
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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