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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports
Increasing Women’s Representation in School Leadership: A promising path towards improving learning
SPOTLIGHT

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.
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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.
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Best of UNICEF Research 2018
Best of UNICEF Research 2018
Published: 2018 Miscellanea
The Best of UNICEF Research initiative celebrates its sixth year. Once again, it showcases a collection of the best research undertaken or supported by UNICEF staff and offices around the world. The ‘Best of UNICEF Research’ exercise has become eagerly anticipated throughout the organization. Staff in country offices particularly welcome the spotlight on work that helps to shape practice, programming and policy for children around the world. As evidence of this engagement, the number of submissions which come from all parts of UNICEF, including National Committees continues to rise, as does the diversity of topics and methods. This year, our highlighted research projects were selected from 104 eligible submissions. All regions were represented, as were most major areas of UNICEF programming. While fields such as health, nutrition, education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) have generally been strong areas of evidence generation for UNICEF, it is encouraging to see child protection – a relatively underdeveloped field of research – showing prominently in the submitted projects, as well as an increase in cross-sectoral research. 
Best of UNICEF Research 2017
Best of UNICEF Research 2017
Published: 2017 Miscellanea

The Best of UNICEF Research (BOUR) initiative celebrates its fifth year. Once again, it showcases some of the best and most innovative pieces of research coming out of UNICEF. It reveals diversity in geography, themes and methodologies. The topics demonstrate the added value of UNICEF staff in the field identifying issues that are of relevance at national and local levels but which also have widespread application and the potential to shape the agendas of academic and policy communities. The studies demonstrate the particular capacity of UNICEF to facilitate research across multiple countries within a region, and even cross-regionally.

A number of studies in this volume focus on child protection issues – a welcome addition to research in a field for which evidence is often limited or fragmented, and where the work of UNICEF has potential to drive a research and evidence agenda with global impact. Other studies focus on children in conditions of extreme vulnerability and exploitation – where issues of appropriate methods and ethical safeguards become paramount. The situation of children with disabilities is another welcome addition to the themes covered by BOUR – highlighting its growing importance on the agenda of governments and of UNICEF.

Improving the Methodological Quality of Research in Adolescent Well-being
Improving the Methodological Quality of Research in Adolescent Well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Nicola J. Reavley; Susan M. Sawyer

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

This brief introduces the methodological series Conducting Research with Adolescents from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), outlining key research themes, intervention types, and their associated methodological implications. It highlights adolescence as a critical phase within the life course and a period of biological and social transition that is itself undergoing change. It makes the case that new understandings from neuroscience have important implications for programming; addressing social and structural determinants is crucial to improving adolescent well-being; inter-sectoral and comprehensive multi-component action is required, as is matching action to need; and gender and equity should always be considered in research, programmes and policy.

The brief is one of seven on research methodologies, designed to expand and improve the conduct and interpretation of research on adolescent health and well-being in LMICs. Building on the recent Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, these briefs provide an overview of the methodological quality of research on adolescents. They cover topics including: indicators and data sources; research ethics; research with disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized populations; participatory research; measuring enabling and protective systems for adolescent health; and economic strengthening interventions for improving adolescent well-being.

 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 15 | Thematic area: Adolescents | Tags: health, life course, research methods
Inclusion with Protection: Obtaining informed consent when conducting research with adolescents
Inclusion with Protection: Obtaining informed consent when conducting research with adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
John Santelli; Sonia Haerizadeh; Terry McGovern

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

Written primarily for UNICEF staff, funders of research, policy-makers, ethics committee members and researchers, this brief intends to provide principles and approaches to the common challenges in conducting research with adolescents. It emphasizes the value of research with adolescents and discusses at length the importance of balancing inclusion and protection, concluding with a set of ethical ground rules and recommendations for research with adolescents and examples on how to apply them.

The brief is one of seven on research methodologies designed to expand and improve the conduct and interpretation of research on adolescent health and well-being in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Building on the recent Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, these briefs provide an overview of the methodological quality of research on adolescents. They cover topics including: indicators and data sources; research ethics; research with disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized populations; participatory research; measuring enabling and protective systems for adolescent health; and economic strengthening interventions for improving adolescent well-being.

Adolescent Participation in Research: Innovation, rationale and next steps
Adolescent Participation in Research: Innovation, rationale and next steps

AUTHOR(S)
Emily J. Ozer; Amber Akemi Piatt

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

Undertaking youth-led participatory action research is an increasingly popular approach to advancing adolescent engagement and empowerment. This research - led by adolescents themselves - promotes social change and improves community conditions for healthy development. This brief reviews the theoretical and empirical rationales for youth-led participatory action research, its key principles, phases, practical implications and ethical issues.

The brief is one of seven on research methodologies designed to expand and improve the conduct and interpretation of research on adolescent health and well-being in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Building on the recent Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, these briefs provide an overview of the methodological quality of research on adolescents. They cover topics including: indicators and data sources; research ethics; research with disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized populations; participatory research; measuring enabling and protective systems for adolescent health; and economic strengthening interventions for improving adolescent well-being.

Methodologies to Capture the Multidimensional Effects of Economic Strengthening Interventions
Methodologies to Capture the Multidimensional Effects of Economic Strengthening Interventions

AUTHOR(S)
Fred M. Ssewamala; Laura Gauer Bermudez

Published: 2017 Innocenti Research Briefs

The economic status of households can and does affect the health and well-being of adolescents. To address the intersection between economic deprivations and broader development goals, including health and well-being, governments, aid agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have begun to include economic strengthening interventions as part of their core programming. This brief presents strategies for examining the multidimensional effects of economic strengthening interventions with a specific focus on the health and well-being of adolescent beneficiaries, highlighting research gaps and opportunities.

The brief is one of seven on research methodologies designed to expand and improve the conduct and interpretation of research on adolescent health and well-being in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Building on the recent Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, these briefs provide an overview of the methodological quality of research on adolescents. They cover topics including: indicators and data sources; research ethics; research with disadvantaged, vulnerable and/or marginalized populations; participatory research; measuring enabling and protective systems for adolescent health; and economic strengthening interventions for improving adolescent well-being.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 18 | Thematic area: Adolescents | Tags: adolescents, empowerment, research methods
Criterios de evaluación
Criterios de evaluación

AUTHOR(S)
Greet Peersman

Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs

La evaluación se basa en una combinación de hechos y valores (principios, atributos o cualidades que se consideran intrínsecamente buenos, deseables, importantes y de utilidad general por ejemplo «ser justos con todos») para calibrar el mérito de una intervención (es decir, de un programa o una política). Los criterios de evaluación especifican los valores que se emplearán en esta.


 

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
Logique d’évaluation
Logique d’évaluation

AUTHOR(S)
E. Jane Davidson

Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs

Par définition, l’évaluation répond à des questions évaluatives, c’est-à-dire des questions portant sur la qualité et l’intérêt. C’est ce qui justifie l’utilité et la pertinence des évaluations par rapport à une simple mesure d’indicateurs ou de simples résumés, observations et histoires.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
Razonamiento evaluativo
Razonamiento evaluativo

AUTHOR(S)
E. Jane Davidson

Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs

Una evaluación responde, por definición, a una serie de preguntas evaluativas, es decir, preguntas sobre la calidad y el valor. Por ese motivo, las evaluaciones son mucho más útiles y pertinentes que la mera medición de indicadores o los resúmenes de observaciones y narraciones. Los responsables de las decisiones recurren con frecuencia a ellas cuando tratan de dilucidar cómo pueden aprovechar los puntos fuertes y hacer frente a los puntos débiles.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
Approches participatives
Approches participatives

AUTHOR(S)
Irene Guijt

Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs

L’utilisation d’approches participatives dans le cadre de l’évaluation d’impact consiste à impliquer les parties prenantes, particulièrement les participants d’un programme ou les individus concernés par une politique, dans certains aspects du processus d’évaluation. Le terme « approches participatives » recouvre plusieurs types de participation qui diffèrent de par leur nature, leur objet, leur méthode et l’identité des individus dont la participation est souhaitée.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
Enfoques participativos
Enfoques participativos

AUTHOR(S)
Irene Guijt

Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs
Al aplicar enfoques participativos en la evaluación de impacto, se involucra a los interesados —en especial a los participantes en un programa o a los afectados por una política determinada— en aspectos concretos del proceso de evaluación. El término comprende un conjunto amplio de tipos de participación, que divergen en el significado de «participación», los sujetos que intervienen y los aspectos en que toman parte y cómo lo hacen.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
Essais contrôlés randomisés (ECR)
Essais contrôlés randomisés (ECR)

AUTHOR(S)
Howard White; Shagun Sabarwal; Thomas de Hoop

Published: 2016 Methodological Briefs

L’essai contrôlé randomisé (ECR) est une méthode suivie dans le cadre de l’évaluation d’impact. À partir d’une population admissible, cette méthode permet de sélectionner de façon aléatoire le groupe expérimental qui bénéficiera d’une intervention programmatique ou politique et le groupe contrôle qui servira de point de comparaison. L’ECR permet d’évaluer dans quelle mesure les impacts escomptés sont obtenus.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 20 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: research methods
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JOURNAL ARTICLES BLOGS
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.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Publication

Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

Support from caregivers is critical for children’s learning both at home and at school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and disruption of education systems globally created additional expectations for parents to support their children’s learning at home. This particularly affected the most marginalized children as the crises exacerbated already existing inequalities in education. This document introduces the approach and purpose of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education. It presents lessons learned from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan, followed by step-by-step guidelines on how to adopt and adapt the resources for education ministries and others who want to implement them in their education system.
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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