Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Best of UNICEF Research 2021

Published: 2021 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 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 health care? 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.

Non-State Education in South Asia: Understanding the effect of non-state actors on the quality, equity and safety of education service delivery

Non-State Education in South Asia: Understanding the effect of non-state actors on the quality, equity and safety of education service delivery

AUTHOR(S)
Artur Borkowski; Bindu Sunny; Juliana Zapata

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

Education systems in South Asia are complex and fragmented. Despite high engagement and involvement of Non-State Actors (NSA) in education, there is a lack of comprehensive policy to govern them. Achieving better learning outcomes for children in South Asia requires understanding the wide variety of NSA providers and unpacking how these different actors engage with and influence education provision. Through a meta-analysis of existing evidence, this report presents findings on learning outcomes in public and non-state schools and the implications on quality, equity and safety of education delivery in the region. It also uncovers critical gaps in evidence that need to be addressed to show what is really working, for whom, where and at what cost.


Economic Crisis and Child Well-being in the West and Central Africa Region

Economic Crisis and Child Well-being in the West and Central Africa Region

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report
The COVID-19 pandemic that swept over the world from early 2020 has triggered both health and economic shocks of unprecedented proportions in recent memory. Some estimates suggest that the consequences of these shocks will likely erase most of the progress made in global development over the past two decades. Many countries now risk falling further behind the attainment of national and international development goals, including the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of these shocks due to their persistent higher levels of vulnerability, and the reality that school closures and other COVID-19 containment measures can be more damaging to children. 

This report examines the effect of previous economic crises on children’s well-being in UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Region (WCAR) and makes projections regarding the potential impacts of COVID-19-induced economic crises on priority indicators for the region. 
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Dominic Richardson; Alessandro Carraro; Victor Cebotari; Anna Gromada

Published: 2020 Innocenti Research Report
COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis.

High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline.

This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children. 
Transformative Change for Children and Youth in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Transformative Change for Children and Youth in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

AUTHOR(S)
Katia Hujo; Maggie Carter

Published: 2019 Innocenti Working Papers
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a new opportunity to address the key development challenges of our time with the aim to improve the well-being and rights of all people while protecting the natural environment. Children are important agents and beneficiaries in this process: many children are not only among the most vulnerable groups affected by poverty, inequality, conflict and climate change, they are also the generation that will reach adulthood during the realization of the 2030 Agenda. To create the sustainable, long-term transformation ambitiously laid out in Agenda
2030, new transformative approaches to policy must be implemented and applied to children and youth—approaches that target the underlying generative framework of social injustice as opposed to implementing affirmative remedies that simply seek to alleviate the symptoms. The objective of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework to help assess the transformative potential of policies – particularly with regard to their impact on children and youth – and how these are meaningfully integrated and represented in decision-making processes. It will shed light on the policy space for transformative change by analysing a range of relevant factors which present both challenges and opportunities for fostering child rights and well-being through the implementation of Agenda 2030. The paper then applies the framework to a selection of policy areas that are of high relevance for child development, such as social policy and care policy assessing necessary means of implementation such as resource mobilization and governance systems and looking at economic and environmental impacts in a cross-cutting way. The aim is to stretch boundaries and invite new thinking on how to grasp the numerous opportunities offered by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to approach development challenges holistically and from a child-centred perspective. This involves integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions of development and fostering cross-sectoral approaches.
Overview of Impact Evaluation: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 1

Overview of Impact Evaluation: Methodological Briefs - Impact Evaluation No. 1

AUTHOR(S)
Patricia Rogers

Published: 2014 Methodological Briefs
Impact evaluation provides information about the impacts produced by an intervention. It can be undertaken of a programme or a policy, or upstream work – such as capacity building, policy advocacy and support for an enabling environment. This goes beyond looking only at goals and objectives to also examine unintended impacts. This brief provides an overview of the different elements of impact evaluation and options for planning and managing its various stages.
Significant Changes to Family-related Benefits in Rich Countries during the Great Recession

Significant Changes to Family-related Benefits in Rich Countries during the Great Recession

AUTHOR(S)
Saara Hämäläinen; Yekaterina Chzhen; Jorge Vargas

Published: 2014 Innocenti Working Papers
To analyse the effect of the economic crisis and the ensuing fiscal stimulus and/or consolidation measures on children’s living conditions across the OECD and/or the EU, this paper investigates changes in disposable incomes of low-wage households with children since 2008, with a particular focus on family-related benefits. It uses the model family method coupled with tax-benefit simulation techniques for the period 2008-2012. The paper also summarises qualitatively significant changes to family-related benefits, some of which are too recent to have been included in the publicly available tax-benefit simulation models.
La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños

La defensa de los derechos del niño: Informe de síntesis de un estudio global sobre las instituciones independientes de derechos humanos en favor de los niños

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2013 Innocenti Publications
Las instituciones independientes aportan un enfoque claro hacia la infancia en unos sistemas de gobernanza que tradicionalmente se centran en los adultos. Suelen ofrecer mecanismos directos para mejorar la rendición de cuentas del Estado y otros garantes de la protección del menor, palian deficiencias en los mecanismos de control y equilibrio y trabajan para que se comprenda y se reconozca la relevancia de las políticas y prácticas en favor de los derechos de los niños. Cuando las cosas salen mal, o cuando los resultados son insuficientes, apoyan medidas para poner remedio a la situación y reformar el sistema.
Défendre les droits de l’enfant: Rapport de synthèse de l’étude mondiale sur les institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant

Défendre les droits de l’enfant: Rapport de synthèse de l’étude mondiale sur les institutions indépendantes de défense des droits de l’enfant

AUTHOR(S)
Vanessa Sedletzki

Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
Les institutions indépendantes placent explicitement les enfants au centre des systèmes de gouvernance traditionnellement axés sur les adultes. Fournissant souvent des mécanismes directs assurant une responsabilisation accrue de l’État et des autres protecteurs de l’enfance, elles comblent les lacunes entre les pouvoirs et les contrepouvoirs et veillent à ce que les répercussions des politiques et des pratiques sur les droits de l’enfant soient comprises et reconnues. Lorsque les choses vont mal ou que les résultats ne sont pas à la hauteur des attentes, elles soutiennent les voies de recours et les réformes qui s’imposent.
The Structural Determinants of Child Well-being: An expert consultation hosted by the UNICEF Office of Research 22-23 June 2012

The Structural Determinants of Child Well-being: An expert consultation hosted by the UNICEF Office of Research 22-23 June 2012

Published: 2012 Innocenti Publications
In response to persistent inequities, there is a global imperative to address the underlying causes of child wellbeing. While remarkable achievements have been made in the last decades in progress in health and survival of children, progress is still lagging in other key dimensions of child wellbeing, a number of which are now recognised as needing fresh attention in both rich and poor countries.
The Impact of Social Protection on Children: A review of the literature

The Impact of Social Protection on Children: A review of the literature

AUTHOR(S)
Marco Sanfilippo; Bruno Martorano; Chris De Neubourg

Published: 2012 Innocenti Working Papers
Social protection is particularly important for children, in view of their higher levels of vulnerability compared to adults, and the role that social protection can play in ensuring adequate nutrition, access to and utilization of social services. While existing evidence shows that social protection programmes successfully address several dimensions of child well-being -often in an indirect way - a move towards a more "child sensitive" approach to social protection has recently been advocated at the highest level in the international development community.
As crianças que ficam para trás: Uma tabela classificativa da desigualdade no bem-estar das crianças nos países ricos

As crianças que ficam para trás: Uma tabela classificativa da desigualdade no bem-estar das crianças nos países ricos

AUTHOR(S)
Peter Adamson

Published: 2010 Innocenti Report Card
O presente Report Card apresenta uma primeira visão global das desigualdades no bem-estar das crianças em 24 dos países mais ricos do mundo. São examinadas três dimensões da desigualdade: bem-estar material, educação e saúde. Em cada um dos casos e para cada país, a questão que se coloca é "até que ponto estão as crianças a ser deixadas para trás?" O presente relatório defende a ideia de que as crianças merecem ter o melhor começo possível, que as primeiras experiências podem lançar uma longa sombra sobre as suas vidas e que as crianças não podem ser responsabilizadas pelas circunstâncias em que nascem. Neste sentido, o parâmetro utilizado - o grau de desigualdade na base da pirâmide ao nível do bem-estar das crianças - mede os progressos que estão a ser feitos no sentido de uma sociedade mais justa. Reunindo dados relativos à maioria dos países da OCDE, o relatório tenta demonstrar quais destes países estão a deixar que as crianças fiquem para trás mais do que o necessário na educação, saúde e bem-estar material (utilizando os países com melhores desempenhos como padrão mínimo para o que pode ser alcançado). Chamando a atenção para a profundidade das disparidades reveladas, e resumindo o que se sabe sobre as suas consequências, defende-se que o "ficar para trás" é uma questão fundamental, não só para milhões de crianças na actualidade, mas também para o futuro económico e social dos seus países.
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