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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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Les capacités évolutives de l'enfant
Les capacités évolutives de l'enfant

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2005 Innocenti Insights
Pour la première fois dans un traité internacional relatif aux droits humains, la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant introduit le concept des ‘capacités évolutives’ de l’enfant. Ce principe revêt de profondes implications pour les droits humains de l’enfant. Il établit que l’acquisition de compétences majeures de la part des enfants s’accompagne d’une moindre nécessité de les diriger et d’une plus grande nécessité de leur confier la responsabilité des décisions qui concernent leur existence. La Convention reconnaît que les enfants acquièrent des compétences à des âges différents en fonction des environnements, des cultures et des expériences de vie, et que l’acquisition de ces compétences varie selon les circonstances. Elle tient également compte du fait que les capacités des enfants diffèrent selon la nature des droits à exercer.Cette étude a pour objectif d’ouvrir la discussion et de favoriser le débat afin de mieux discerner les moyens de promouvoir les changements culturels nécessaires pour que les enfants soient adéquatement protégés conformément à leurs capacités évolutives, et qu’ils soient respectés en tant que citoyens, en tant que personnes et en tant que titulaires de droits.
The Evolving Capacities of the Child
The Evolving Capacities of the Child

AUTHOR(S)
Gerison Lansdown

Published: 2005 Innocenti Insights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child introduces for the first time in an international human rights treaty, the concept of the ‘evolving capacities’ of the child. This principle has been described as a new principle of interpretation in international law, recognising that, as children acquire enhanced competencies, there is a diminishing need for protection and a greater capacity to take responsibility for decisions affecting their lives. The Convention allows for the recognition that children in different environments and cultures, and faced with diverse life experiences, will acquire competencies at different ages. Action is needed in law, policy and practice so that the contributions children make and the capacities they hold are acknowledged. The purpose of the study is to open the discussion and promote debate to achieve a better understanding of how children can be protected, in accordance with their evolving capacities, and also provided with opportunities to participate in the fulfillment of their rights.
Asegurar los derechos de los niños indígenas
Asegurar los derechos de los niños indígenas

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Miller

Published: 2004 Innocenti Digest
En todo el mundo, tanto en las áreas rurales como en las urbanas, los niños indígenas a menudo constituyen uno de los grupos más desventajados y sus derechos (el derecho a la sobrevivencia y al desarrollo, al mejor nivel posible de salud, a una educación que respete su identidad cultural, y a la protección contra los abusos, la violencia y la exploitación) se ven frecuentemente comprometidos. Al mismo tiempo, sin embargo, los niños indígenas poseen recursos muy especiales: son los custodios de una multitud de culturas, idiomas, sistemas de valores y conocimientos, cada uno de los cuales es un precioso elemento de nuestro patrimonio colectivo. Como explica el presente Digest las inicitivas más eficaces para promover los derechos de los niños indígenas se basan precisamente en dichos elementos. Tales iniciativas reconocen la fuerza intrínseca de las comunidades, familias y niños indígenas, respetan su dignidad y les conceden la palabra en todas las cuestiones que los afectan.
Ensuring the rights of indigenous children
Ensuring the rights of indigenous children

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Miller

Published: 2004 Innocenti Digest
Around the world, in rural and urban areas alike, indigenous chilldren frequently constitute one of the most disadvantaged groups, and their rights - including those to survival and development, to the highest standards of health, to education that respects their cultural identity, and to protection from abuse, violence and exploitation - are often compromised. At the same time, however, indigenous children possess very special resources: they are the custodians of a multitude of cultures, languages, beliefs and knowledge systems, each of which is a precious element of our collective heritage. As this Digest discusses, the most effective initiatives to promote the rights of indigenous children build upon these very elements. Such initiatives recognize the inherent strength of indigenous communities, families and children, respect their dignity and give them full voice in all matters that affect them.
Garantir les droits des enfants autochtones
Garantir les droits des enfants autochtones

AUTHOR(S)
Michael Miller

Published: 2004 Innocenti Digest
Dans le monde, que ce soit dans les zones urbaines ou rurale, les enfants autochtones constituent fréquentement l'un de groupes le plus défavorisés, et leurs droits - notamment à la survie et au développement, jusqu'au niveau le plus élevé de santé, à l'éducation qui respecte leur identité culturelle, et à la protection contre les mauvais traitements, la violence et l'exploitation - sont souvent bafoués. Parallèlement, toutefois, les enfants autochtones possèdent des resources très particulières : ils sont les gardiens d'une multitude de cultures, de langues, de croyances et de systèmes de connaissances, qui répresentent une partie précieuse de notre patrimoine collectif. Comme l'illustre le Digest, les initiatives les plus efficaces afin de promouvoir les droits des enfants atochtones se fondent justement sur ces éléments. Ces initiatives reconnaissent la force inhérente des communautés, des familles et des enfants autochtones, elles respectent leurs dignité et leur donnent pleinement la parole dans tous les domaines qui les concernent.
Basic Services for All?
Basic Services for All?
Published: 2000 Innocenti Publications
There is a shortfall of up to $80 billion per year between what is spent and what should be spent to ensure universal access to basic social services such as primary health care, basic education and clean water. Drawing on case studies from over 30 developing countries, Basic Services for All? highlights the human cost of this shortfall in terms of lives lost, children out of school, the millions undernourished, and the billions without safe water and sanitation. The report concludes with a Ten Point Agenda for Action - urgently needed measures to close the $80 billion gap.
Des services de base pour tous?
Des services de base pour tous?
Published: 2000 Innocenti Publications
Il y a un déséquilibre de 80 milliards de dollars par an entre ce qui est dépensé et ce qui devrait l'être pour garantir l'accès universel aux services sociaux de base comme les soins de santé primaire, l'éducation de base et l'eau salubre. S'appuyant sur des enquêtes menées dans plus de 30 pays en développement, Des services de base pour tous? souligne le coût humain de ce déséquilibre en termes de vies perdues, d'enfants non scolarisés, de millions de personnes sous-alimentées, et de milliards d'autres sans eau salubre ni assainissement. Le rapport se termine sur un Programme d'action en dix points, à savoir les mesures à prendre d'urgence pour combler l'écart de 80 milliards de dollars.
¿Servicios básicos para todos?
¿Servicios básicos para todos?
Published: 2000 Innocenti Publications
Existe un déficit que alcanza los 80 mil millones de dólares por año entre lo que se gasta y lo que se debería gastar para asegurar el acceso universalizado a los servicios sociales básicos, como por ejemplo los cuidados primarios de salud, la educación básica y el suministro de agua potable. Basándose en los estudios prácticos realizados en más de 30 países en desarrollo, ¿Servicios básicos para todos? hace hincapié en el costo humano de este déficit desde el punto de vista del número de vidas perdidas, de los niños que no van a la escuela, de los millones de individuos desnutridos, y de los miles de millones de seres humanos que carecen de agua y saneamiento higiénicamente adecuados. El informe se cierra con un Plan de Acción que consta de diez puntos, diez medidas que es urgente tomar para subsanar este déficit de 80 mil millones de dólares.
Early Childhood Development Revisited: From policy formulation to programme implementation
Early Childhood Development Revisited: From policy formulation to programme implementation
Published: 1996 Innocenti Global Seminar
This is the report on an inter-agency workshop convened by the Education Cluster of UNICEF New York as a follow-up to the 1989 Innocenti Global Seminar, which investigated and reviewed the most recent scientific knowledge and conceptual approaches to early childhood development. The workshop’s twofold aim was to clarify the process between policy formulation and programming and to foster new alliances, or strengthen existing ones, with other organizations committed to improving children’s chances for healthy development. Specifically, the meeting undertook a detailed analysis of three accepted strategies: parent education, community partnerships and linkages with programmes for vulnerable children.
Early Child Development: Summary Report, Innocenti Global Seminar
Early Child Development: Summary Report, Innocenti Global Seminar

AUTHOR(S)
Cassie Landers

Published: 1990 Innocenti Global Seminar
Development of young children encompasses their survival and good health. It also involves their cognitive, emotional, ethical and social growth. Yet research findings have not yet been fully digested or appropriated by the international community for its policies and programmes. It is not widely enough known that meeting the social and psychological needs of young children and intergrating them with nutritional and health needs can be accomplished at relatively low cost. Policy must recognise that what the child experiences from birth onward influences the society of the future.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 44 | Thematic area: Early Childhood | Tags: child survival and development, early childhood development, right to survival and development | Publisher: 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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