Best of UNICEF Research 2022

Best of UNICEF Research 2022

Published: 2022 Miscellanea

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 year, Best of UNICEF Research celebrates its 10th edition. It features 12 research projects that the selection panel concurred deserved special recognition for delivering results for children in 2022. How? By informing decision-making, shaping policy, raising public awareness, driving social change, and giving children and young people a voice on the issues that affect them most through participatory research.

These endeavours showcase both the power of innovation in the face of emergency and crisis, and the virtues of agility, endurance and scalability. They also offer solutions and ways to learn from each other. Each piece of research offers a set of adaptable tools: validated methodologies; templates for emergency response plans; methods of monitoring and measuring progress; and examples of successful collaboration between stakeholders. 


School Principals in Highly Effective Schools – Who are they and which good practices do they adopt?

School Principals in Highly Effective Schools – Who are they and which good practices do they adopt?

Renaud Comba

Published: 2021 Policy Brief

While the Government of Lao PDR, through the Ministry of Education and Sports and its development partners, has made steady progress in expanding access to quality education, many children still leave primary school with difficulties in reading and writing for their age. Despite this, there are ‘positive deviant’ schools that outperform other schools located in similar contexts and with an equivalent level of resources.

Data Must Speak (DMS) Positive Deviance research is a multi-staged mixed-method approach, co-created and co-implemented with Ministries of Education. It aims to generate knowledge about the positive deviant practices and behaviours of high performing schools. It also seeks to unravel practical lessons about ‘what works’ and how to scale grassroots solutions for national policymakers and the broader international community of education stakeholders.

This policy brief – focused on school principals in highly effective schools – is part of a series that presents key research findings of the DMS research quantitative stage in Lao PDR. More importantly, it aims to inform policy dialogue and decision-making in Lao PDR and other interested countries.

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