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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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Prosecuting International Crimes against Children: The legal framework
Prosecuting International Crimes against Children: The legal framework

AUTHOR(S)
Christine Bakker

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
States in post-conflict situations are faced with extremely difficult choices as they try to find the right balance between judicial and non-judicial means to improve accountability for crimes committed during the conflict and to contribute to national reconciliation. These choices are made on the basis of the specific circumstances of each state. Nevertheless, due consideration should be given to the duties imposed on states by international law. This paper presents a short overview of the obligations of states under international law to prosecute persons accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and enforced disappearances, specifically focusing on crimes against children. It also reviews international norms regarding children who may be accused of having participated in the commission of such crimes themselves - for example, as child soldiers - and identifies some outstanding questions regarding their criminal responsibility for such acts.
Psychosocial Support for Children: Protecting the rights of child victims and witnesses in transitional justice processes
Psychosocial Support for Children: Protecting the rights of child victims and witnesses in transitional justice processes

AUTHOR(S)
An Michels

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
The paper first looks at psychosocial factors that affect children's participation in transitional justice mechanisms. These factors largely determine children's need for protection and support and can reflect children's responses to their involvement in transitional justice processes. A distinction has to be made between psychosocial factors related to the child and his or her experiences during the conflict on the one side, and factors determined by the type of transitional mechanism on the other. Children's participation in transitional justice processes is influenced significantly by their personal experiences during the conflict; cognitive, social and emotional development; coping skills and social support. These factors influence children's capacity to give an accurate statement, cope with the stress of testifying, be confronted with the accused and deal with cross-examination. These have important implications for the choice of support strategies.
Restorative Justice after Mass Violence: Opportunities and risks for children and youth
Restorative Justice after Mass Violence: Opportunities and risks for children and youth

AUTHOR(S)
Laura Stovel; Marta Valiñas

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
There is growing interest in the role that restorative justice can play in addressing mass atrocities. This paper describes the associated principles and practices within juvenile justice systems and in societies emerging from mass violence. It also examines the meaning, opportunities and limitations of restorative justice in transitional societies, particularly in relation to the needs of young victims and offenders. We argue that procedural forms of restorative justice, involving redress by offenders, face considerable challenges because communities and governments often lack the coercive capacity or will to hold offenders accountable. In contexts where accountability is lacking we argue that pressuring victims to meet with, and forgive, those who harmed them may be inappropriate. Such encounters should only occur where victims see them as necessary to their own healing. Despite the procedural limitations of restorative justice, this perspective (ontology) helps us analyse the route to reconciliation in different conflict contexts and reveals opportunities and challenges for justice and reconciliation in each case. This ontology reveals that intra-communal and inter-communal (ethnic/religious) conflicts have dramatically different justice and reconciliation challenges. In an intra-communal conflict, such as in Sierra Leone, offenders need to reintegrate into communities that they or their factions harmed. The desire to reintegrate into communities that condemn their crimes while accepting them provides opportunities for young offenders to address their crimes. In ethnically divided societies, offenders are often seen as heroes in their communities and may not have to address their crimes until the communities themselves condemn them. This makes restorative justice and reconciliation much more difficult, as communities do not take on the role of promoting accountability for their own members. In such cases, restorative justice efforts must promote social trust between groups. In both intra-communal and inter-communal conflicts, victims are often marginalized by their own communities and receive inadequate assistance. Restorative justice shows us that much can be done to help young victims, and this should become an explicit part of the justice picture. Finally, we argue that traditional justice is not synonymous with restorative justice. While traditional justice is community based and often meaningful to people, many of its forms are retributive; deny a voice to children, youth and other disadvantaged groups; or place community reconciliation above individual justice. Therefore, traditional justice practices should be assessed case by case if they are to be claimed as restorative justice equivalents.
Transitional Justice and the Situation of Children in Colombia and Peru
Transitional Justice and the Situation of Children in Colombia and Peru

AUTHOR(S)
Salvador Herencia Carrasco

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
This working paper provides an overview of the transitional process in Colombia and Peru, focusing on the situation of children. The adoption of judicial and administrative measures to deal with human rights violations from the past (Peru) and the present (Colombia) is a tool towards the consolidation of democratic institutions. While individual initiatives have been undertaken in both countries, addressing the situation of children in an integrated, comprehensive way is a persistent challenge, as is the exploration of legal tools as a means to demand responsibility.
Transitional Justice and Youth Formerly Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups: Acceptance, marginalization and psychosocial adjustment
Transitional Justice and Youth Formerly Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups: Acceptance, marginalization and psychosocial adjustment

AUTHOR(S)
T.S. Betancourt; A. Ettien

Published: 2010 Innocenti Working Papers
To support true healing of war-affected populations, including children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups, transitional justice efforts must attend to the often lasting psychosocial consequences of war in the post-conflict environment. We use key informant and focus group interviews (2002, 2004) to examine the war and post-war experiences of youth, with particular attention to the reintegration experiences of former child soldiers. We found that war-affected youth continued to struggle with a number of issues that thwart their desires and efforts to fulfil their life ambitions, including limited school access, economic instability, social isolation and stigma. Young people were better able to navigate daily stressors when endowed with individual agency and perseverance and surrounded by robust family and community supports. Our findings support the need to adopt a broader view of transitional justice to meet the needs of war-affected children and families, particularly former child soldiers. A developmental view of the impact of war experiences on children is needed that includes advocacy for investments in social services to monitor and support healthy family and community reintegration over time.
The Right of Children to be Heard: Children's rights to have their views taken into account and to participate in legal and administrative proceedings
The Right of Children to be Heard: Children's rights to have their views taken into account and to participate in legal and administrative proceedings

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel O'Donnell

Published: 2009 Innocenti Working Papers
This paper addresses the right of children to be heard in any judicial or administrative proceeding affecting them. It introduces the subject based on examples from the laws and practices of 52 countries around the world. This paper is addressed primarily to child rights advocates, researchers, legal practitioners and other professionals working in the area of children and the law. Further research is needed to document good practices and to complement this introductory, global overview with studies focusing in more detail on different regions or legal traditions and specific types of proceedings.
Promouvoir la participation des enfants au processus decisionnel democratique
Promouvoir la participation des enfants au processus decisionnel democratique

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Insights
Dans cet Insight Innocenti, Gerison Lansdown examine l’article 12 de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant, selon lequel les enfants ont le droit de participer aux décisions qui les concernent. Lansdown se livre à une étude approfondie de la signification de cet article en tant qu’instrument au service des enfants pour protester contre les violations de leurs droits et agir pour défendre ces droits. Elle met aussi l’accent sur ce que l’article n’énonce pas, par exemple le fait qu’il ne donne pas aux enfants le droit de fouler aux pieds les droits des autres - en particulier des parents. Elle recommande avec insistance d’écouter les enfants, indique les conséquences d’un manquement en ce sens et récuse un grand nombre des arguments qui ont été émis contre la participation des enfants. L’Insight se veut, avant tout, un guide pratique sur la question, fournissant des listes récapitulatives claires pour la participation des enfants aux conférences, et de nombreux exemples concrets d’initiatives récentes.
Promoting Children's Participation in Democratic Decision-Making
Promoting Children's Participation in Democratic Decision-Making

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Insights
In this Innocenti Insight, Gerison Lansdown examines the meaning of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says that children are entitled to participate in the decisions that affect them. Lansdown takes a close look at the full meaning of this Article as a tool that can help children themselves to challenge abuses of their rights and take action to defend those rights. She also stresses what the Article does not do. It does not, for example, give children the right to ride roughshod over the rights of others, particularly parents. The Insight makes a strong case for listening to children, outlining the implications of failing to do so and challenging many of the arguments that have been levelled against child participation. It is, above all, a practical guide to this issue, with clear checklists for child participation in conferences and many concrete examples of recent initiatives.
Promuovere la partecipazione dei ragazzi per costruire la democrazia
Promuovere la partecipazione dei ragazzi per costruire la democrazia

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2001 Innocenti Insights
In questa Indagine Innocenti, Gerison Lansdown prende in esame il significato dell'articolo 12 della Convenzione sui diritti dell'infanzia, nel quale si afferma che i bambini hanno il diritto di partecipare alle decisioni che li riguardano direttamente. Lansdown analizza attentamente il senso profondo di quest'articolo come strumento per aiutare i bambini e gli adolescenti a far fronte alle violazioni dei propri diritti e ad agire in loro tutela.
La participación de los niños: de la participación simbolica a la participación autentica
La participación de los niños: de la participación simbolica a la participación autentica

AUTHOR(S)
Roger A. Hart

Published: 1993 Innocenti Essay
Una nación es democratica en la medida en que sus ciudadanos participan, especialmente a nivel comunitario. La confianza y la competencia para participare deben adquirirse gradualmente con la práctica. Por esta razón debe haber oportunidades crecientes para que los niños participen en cualquier sistema que aspire a ser democrático y particularmente en aquellas naciones que ya creen ser democraticas. Con el creciente reconocimiento de los derechos de los niños estamos comenzando a ver también un mayor reconocimiento de las habilidades de los niños.
Children's Participation: From tokenism to citizenship
Children's Participation: From tokenism to citizenship

AUTHOR(S)
Roger A. Hart

Published: 1992 Innocenti Essay
A nation is democratic to the extent that its citizens are involved, particularly at the community level. The confidence and competence to be involved must be gradually acquired through practice. It is for this reason that there should be gradually increasing opportunities for children to participate in any aspiring democracy, and particularly in those nations already convinced that they are democratic. With the growth of children’s rights we are beginning to see an increasing recognition of children’s abilities to speak for themselves. Regrettably, while children’s and youths’ participation does occur in different degrees around the world, it is often exploitative or frivolous. This Essay is written for people who know that young people have something to say but who would like to reflect further on the process. It is also written for those people who have it in their power to assist children in having a voice, but who, unwittingly or not, trivialize their involvement.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: Children's Participation | Tags: children's participation, children's rights, right to be heard | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
Participatory Development: Global Seminar Report, 1990
Participatory Development: Global Seminar Report, 1990

AUTHOR(S)
Karen Houston Smith; Bilge Ogun

Published: 1991 Innocenti Global Seminar
This Report is organized in three main sections: 1) Introduction: Basic concepts and practices of participation.Characteristics and elements of participatory development. 2) Transformation strategies: what can be done to support the practice on a wider scale? 3) Programming, management, and policy issues: recommendations for UNICEF and its partners.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 60 | Thematic area: Children's Participation | Tags: children's participation, participatory development, right to be heard | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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.
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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