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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT

Life in Lockdown: Child and adolescent mental health and well-being in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and  externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
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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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Una classifica comparata dello svantaggio educativo nei paesi industrializzati
Una classifica comparata dello svantaggio educativo nei paesi industrializzati
Published: 2002 Innocenti Report Card
Questo nuovo rapporto del Centro di Ricerca Innocenti dell'UNICEF riguarda l'efficenza del sistema di istruzione pubblica nei paesi economicamente avanzati. Il rapporto utilizza dati tratti da indagini sul rendimento scolastico degli studenti nel tentativo di elaborare un quadro generale sullo svantaggio educativo nei paesi dell'OCSE. Sebbene il tasso di iscrizione alla istruzione secondaria inferiore nell'OCSE sia del 100 percento, i giovani nei primi anni dellla loro adolescenza differiscono notevolmente in termini di apprendimento scolastico. Data l'importanza della conoscenza e del capitale umano in un'economia globalizzata, le disuguaglianze nell'apprendimento scolastico diventano decisive se non si vuole correre il rischio che una parte della popolazione venga esclusa dai benefici del progresso economico.
A League Table of Child Deaths by Injury in Rich Nations
A League Table of Child Deaths by Injury in Rich Nations
Published: 2001 Innocenti Report Card
In every single industrialized country, injury has now become the leading killer of children between the ages of 1 and 14. Taken together, traffic accidents, intentional injuries, drownings, falls, fires, poisonings and other accidents kill more than 20,000 children every year throughout the OECD. Despite these statistics, and the rising worries of parents everywhere, the likelihood of a child dying from intentional or unintentional injury is small and becoming smaller. For a child born into the developed world today, the chances of death by injury before the age of 15 are approximately 1 in 750 - less than half the level of 30 years ago. The likelihood of death from abuse or intentional harm is smaller still - less than 1 in 5,000. On the roads of the industrialized world, child deaths have been declining steadily for more than two decades.
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries
The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Industrialised Countries
Published: 2001 Innocenti Publications
A child poverty rate of ten percent could mean that every tenth child is always poor, or that all children are in poverty for one month in every ten. Knowing where reality lies between these extremes is vital to understanding the problem facing many countries of poverty among the young. This unique study goes beyond the standard analysis of child poverty based on poverty rates at one point in time and documents how much movement into and out of poverty by children there actually is, covering a range of industrialised countries - the USA, UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Russia. Five main topics are addressed: conceptual and measurement issues associated with a dynamic view of child poverty; cross-national comparisons of child poverty rates and trends; cross-national comparisons of children’s movements into and out of poverty; country-specific studies of child poverty dynamics; and the policy implications of taking a dynamic perspective.
A League Table of Teenage Births in Rich Nations
A League Table of Teenage Births in Rich Nations
Published: 2001 Innocenti Report Card
The third Innocenti Report Card presents the most up-to-date and comprehensive survey so far of teenage birth rates in the industrialized world. And it attempts at least a partial analysis of why some countries have teenage birth rates that are ten or even fifteen times higher than others. Approximately 1.25 million teenagers become pregnant each year in the 28 OECD nations under review. Of those, approximately half a million will seek an abortion and approximately three quarters of a million will become teenage mothers. The five countries with the lowest teenage birth rates are Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden - all with teen birth rates of fewer than 10 per 1,000. The United States teenage birth rate of 52.1 is the highest in the developed world – and more than twice the European average. The United Kingdom has the highest teenage birth rate in Europe.
A League Table of Child Poverty in Rich Nations
A League Table of Child Poverty in Rich Nations
Published: 2000 Innocenti Report Card
This new report on child poverty in the world’s wealthiest nations concludes that one in six of the rich world’s children is poor - a total of 47 million. The new research, published in the first UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, provides the most comprehensive estimates so far of child poverty across the member countries of the OECD. Despite a doubling and redoubling of national incomes in most OECD nations since 1950, a significant percentage of their children are still living in families so materially poor that normal health and growth are at risk. A far larger proportion remain in relative poverty. Their physical needs may be catered for, but they are painfully excluded from the activities and advantages that are considered normal by their peers. The report reveals a wide range of child poverty rates in countries at broadly similar levels of economic development – from under 3 per cent in Sweden to a high of over 22 per cent in the USA. By comparing data from different countries, the new research asks what can be learned about the causes of child poverty and examines the policies that have contributed to the success of lower rates in some countries. In particular, it seeks to explain the situation by exploring the impact on poverty rates of lone parenthood, unemployment, low wages and levels of social expenditures. The Report Card calls for a new commitment to ending child poverty in the world’s richest nations.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, children's rights violation, comparative analysis, industrialized countries | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Tableau de classement de la pauvreté des enfants parmi les nations riches
Tableau de classement de la pauvreté des enfants parmi les nations riches
Published: 2000 Innocenti Report Card
Les classements des résultats sur la pauvreté des enfants que contient ce premier Bilan Innocenti constituent les estimations les plus détaillées à ce jour sur ce sujet à travers le monde industrialisé. Les statistiques présentées dans ce document trahissent la menace qui pèse sur la qualité de vie de tout citoyen des pays don’t les taux de pauvreté des enfants sont élevés. S’il est vrai que de nombreuses familles pauvres n’hésitent pas à faire des sacrifices afin d’offrir à leurs enfants le meilleur départ possible dans la vie, l’image d’ensemble révèle cependant que les individus qui grandissent dans la pauvreté sont plus susceptibles de rencontrer des difficultés scolaires, d’abandonner l’école, de recourir aux drogues, de commettre des crimes, de ne pas trouver de travail, d’avoir trop jeune un enfant et de mener une vie perpétuant sur de nombreuses générations la pauvreté et autres conditions désavantageuses.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, children's rights violation, comparative analysis, industrialized countries | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Child Poverty Dynamics in Seven Nations
Child Poverty Dynamics in Seven Nations
Published: 2000 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper compares child poverty dynamics cross-nationally using panel data from seven nations: the USA, Britain, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, and Russia. As well as using standard relative poverty definitions the paper examines flows into and out of the poorest fifth of the children's income distribution. Significant (but not total) uniformity in patterns of income mobility and poverty dynamics across the seven countries is found. The key exception is Russia, where the economic transition has led to a much higher degree of mobility. Interestingly, the USA which has the highest level of relative poverty among the rich nations, has a mobility rate which, if anything, is less than that of the other nations.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 48 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, comparative analysis, income distribution, industrialized countries | Publisher: UNICEF IRC
The Welfare of Europe's Children
The Welfare of Europe's Children
Published: 2000 Innocenti Publications
This book analyses the living standards of the nearly 80 million children in the European Union, who represent over a fifth of its total population. By analysing the trends of child well-being in Europe over the last two decades, this book asks: Is the well-being of children in the EU becoming more similar across member states? Or are countries diverging while their economies converge?
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 168 | Thematic area: Industrialized Countries | Tags: child welfare, industrialized countries | Publisher: IRC
Tabla clasificatoria de la situación de los niños pobres en las naciones ricas
Tabla clasificatoria de la situación de los niños pobres en las naciones ricas
Published: 2000 Innocenti Report Card
Las tablas clasificatorias de la pobreza infantil presentadas en este primer número de las Innocenti Report Cards (Boletines de Clasificaciones Innocenti) constituyen la evaluación más exhaustiva que se haya realizado hasta ahora de la pobreza infantil en todo el mundo industrializado. Las estadísticas contenidas en estas páginas ponen al descubierto una amenaza real para todos los ciudadanos de las naciones que tienen una tasa elevada de pobreza infantil. Porque si bien es cierto que muchas familias pobres se sacrifican para ayudar a sus hijos a comenzar la vida del mejor modo posible, la visión de conjunto del problema revela que para las personas que crecen en la indigencia son mayores las probabilidades de tener dificultades de aprendizaje, de abandonar los estudios, de refugiarse en el abuso de drogas, de cometer delitos, de encontrarse sin empleo, de quedar embarazadas en edad excesivamente precoz y de llevar adelante una vida que no hace más que perpetuar la pobreza y la marginación en las generaciones por venir.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, children's rights violation, comparative analysis, industrialized countries | Publisher: Innocenti Research Centre
Child Poverty across Industrialized Nations
While child poverty is everywhere seen as an important social problem, there is considerable variation in both anti-poverty policies and poverty outcomes across the industrialized nations. In this paper we present new estimates of patterns of child income poverty in 25 nations using data from the Luxembourg Income Study. These estimates are presented using a range of alternative income poverty definitions and describe the correlations of outcomes with different demographic patterns and labour market and social transfer incomes. Evidence on cross-national patterns of non-cash income receipt suggests that more comprehensive measures, which include non-cash benefits, would be unlikely to change the overall pattern of poverty. We then examine the impact of household savings patterns (particularly via house purchase) on child consumption and conclude that this also does not change the picture provided by income measures alone. The paper concludes with an analysis of the sources of the variation in child poverty across nations.
Child Poverty in Spain: What can be said?
Child Poverty in Spain: What can be said?
During the last three decades Spain has undergone a major political and socio-economic transformation. Over the same period, indicators such as average welfare levels as measured by real disposable per capita income or expenditure on social protection have shown a signifiant net rise; this growth has occurred in parallel with both an increasing flexibility in the labour market and a dramatic jump in unemployment. In contrast with many other European countries in which relative poverty has been tending to increase in recent decades, poverty in Spain has been slightly reduced. The effect of these changes on the economic welfare situation of children has not been explored. The aim of this paper is therefore to provide evidence on the static and dynamic aspects of relative poverty among children, namely, its extent, evolution and persistence.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 28 | Thematic area: Child Poverty | Tags: child poverty, child welfare, economic reform, industrialized countries | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Child Poverty and Deprivation in the Industrialized Countries 1945-1995
Published: 1997 Innocenti Publications
The contributors to this volume use a common analytical framework to evaluate how economic, family structure and public policy changes affected the well-being of children in the industrialized countries in the West and the East from the end of the Second World War to the mid-1990s. Throughout the industrialized world, the living standards and social well-being of children improved remarkably over these five decades. But the quarter-century golden age that followed the war gave way to a period of stagnation after the early 1970s. Many of the negative developments of the past two decades could not have been easily prevented. Nonetheless, adverse or neglectful social policies share some of the blame for recent unfavourable changes in child well-being. The evidence presented suggests that, given current economic prospects and family structures, further weakening of social policies targeted at children could erode much of the progress of the past fifty years.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 444 | Thematic area: Industrialized Countries | Tags: child welfare, family structure, industrialized countries, public policy | Publisher: Oxford University Press, UK; 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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