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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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Caregivers’ Guide to Inclusive Education
Caregivers’ Guide to Inclusive Education
Published: 2022 Miscellanea
Parents or caregivers of children with disabilities play a crucial role in supporting their child’s learning. This includes navigating the education system and supporting their child’s participation in an inclusive school. They may face various challenges, which have been amplified even more due to the remote learning and other COVID-19 restrictions. This guide for caregivers aims to (1) help them understand their rights and national inclusive education laws; (2) identify challenges and barriers they are facing in supporting their child’s learning needs and (3) find solutions that can help them to overcome these challenges. It is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education.
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation
Resources to Support Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities: Guidelines for Implementation

AUTHOR(S)
Bella Baghdasaryan; Natasha Graham; Malin Ljunggren Elisson; Dita Nugroho

Published: 2022 Miscellanea

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.

The Directory of Associations and Organizations to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities is a template to develop a directory of local associations, organizations and networks that exist to connect and support parents and caregivers of children with disabilities.

 

Teachers’ Guide to Supporting Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Teachers’ Guide to Supporting Marginalized Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Miscellanea

Teachers play an important role in making sure that all children feel safe, supported and included at school. Marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities face various challenges in navigating newly-emerging inclusive education settings. Teachers can learn about the specific needs of children from their caregivers and help caregivers to identify the best ways and materials to support their child’s learning. This guide for teachers aims supports them to engage with caregivers in (1) identifying their children’s individualized learning needs; (2) identifying the challenges in meeting these needs and (3) identifying solutions in to address these challenges. It is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education.

Directory of Resources to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Directory of Resources to Support Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Miscellanea
This document is part of a set of resources to support the marginalized caregivers of children with disabilities with inclusive education, which also includes guides for caregivers, teachers and schools, a workbook containing tools to support the activities, and a template for a directory of associations and organizations to be adapted for different systems. An initial set of helpful materials, information and links from proof-of-concept pilots in Armenia and Uzbekistan have been included, with templates to add more local resources within each system. It is designed to be  a useful first place for caregivers, teachers and school staff to search for solutions to challenges they have identified while using guides. 
Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Protocol for an evidence and gap map
Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities in Low- and Middle-income Countries: Protocol for an evidence and gap map

AUTHOR(S)
Anil Thota; Ebele Mogo; Dominic Igbelina; Greg Sheaf; Rahma Mustafa; Shivit Bakrania; Alberto Vásquez Encalada; Gavin Wood

Published: 2022 Innocenti Working Papers

Of the nearly 1 billion people with a disability, 80% live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and 240 million are children. Children with disabilities remain one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society.

This protocol to the Evidence and Gap Map on the Effectiveness of Inclusive Interventions for Children with Disabilities Living in LMICs aims to identify the available evidence on inclusive interventions to improve access to health, education and social services for these children, and enable them to participate fully in society by addressing discrimination, improving living conditions, incorporating mainstreaming approaches and promoting empowerment. It highlights gaps in the evidence to prioritize future research and evaluation agendas; identifies contextual factors related to various populations and settings; and provides a database of peer-reviewed and grey literature in this area.

Assistive Technology in Humanitarian Settings: Overview of Research Project
Assistive Technology in Humanitarian Settings: Overview of Research Project

AUTHOR(S)
Gavin Wood; Golnaz Whittaker

Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

There are 240 million children with disabilities in the world; half of them are out of school. Many are invisible, stigmatized, hidden by their families and abandoned by their governments. Children with disabilities, especially in humanitarian settings, are among the poorest members of the population and one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society.

With only an estimated 1 in 10 children with a need for assistive devices having access, UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti undertook a study to better understand the nature and drivers of Assistive Technology (AT) access in humanitarian settings.

This document provides a synthesis of the project’s various reports and papers: (1) a thematic literature review summarizes the academic evidence base regarding the provision of AT in humanitarian settings, including the nature and scale of provision and barriers and facilitators of access and provision; and (2) three case studies of countries affected by crisis to triangulate the findings of the literature review and fill identified knowledge gaps with real-world examples: Afghanistan, South Sudan, and the State of Palestine.

Barriers and Facilitators to Providing Assistive Technologies to Children with Disabilities in South Sudan
Barriers and Facilitators to Providing Assistive Technologies to Children with Disabilities in South Sudan

AUTHOR(S)
Golnaz Whittaker; Gavin Wood

Published: 2022 Innocenti Working Papers

South Sudan is in a protracted crisis. Four million people have been displaced and many have been left living with high levels of injury, poverty and food insecurity. The impact of the crisis on children – who make up over 29% of the population – is particularly high, and a large number are at risk of being born with or acquiring a disability.

Assistive technologies (AT) – the systems, services and products that enhance the functioning of people with impairments – are likely to be required by many children in South Sudan with disabilities. There is no reliable data available on disability prevalence or AT needs in South Sudan, though estimates suggest a range between 10% and 15% of the population. This work aims to understand the landscape of AT provision and the barriers and facilitators to provision and provides recommendations for priority actions.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Provision of Assistive Technology in the State of Palestine
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Provision of Assistive Technology in the State of Palestine

AUTHOR(S)
Golnaz Whittaker; Gavin Wood

Published: 2022 Innocenti Working Papers

Official statistics identify 2% to 7% of the population in the State of Palestine as having a disability. Evidence is limited regarding levels of access to assistive technologies (AT) by people with disabilities in the State of Palestine. However, estimates suggest that there are high levels of unmet need. Less than 10% of children with disabilities received assistive devices in the year of one recent survey. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on a range of such services in many countries, but little information is yet available on the impact on AT provision in humanitarian settings.

Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (Russian version)
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (Russian version)
Published: 2008 Innocenti Digest
This Innocenti Digest examines the situation of approximately 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to support the realization of their rights. Children with disabilities constantly face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights and inclusion in society. But the tide is changing, as many countries have begun to reform their laws and structures in the past two decades to promote the participation of children with disabilities as full members of society. The Digest promotes such participation, and discusses all aspects of their development, including access to education, health services and rehabilitation, social and legal assistance, play and cultural activities, vocational and life-skills training. It focuses on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which, building on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, opens a new era in securing the rights of children with disabilities.
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities
Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities
Published: 2007 Innocenti Digest
This Innocenti Digest on 'Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities' examines the situation of approximately 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to support the realization of their rights. Children with disabilities constantly face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights and inclusion in society. But the tide is changing, as many countries have begun to reform their laws and structures in the past two decades to promote the participation of children with disabilities as full members of society. The Digest promotes such participation, and discusses all aspects of their development, including access to education, health services and rehabilitation, social and legal assistance, play and cultural activities, vocational and life-skills training. It focuses on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which, building on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, opens a new era in securing the rights of children with disabilities.
The Education of Children with Special Needs: Barriers and opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe
The Education of Children with Special Needs: Barriers and opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe

AUTHOR(S)
Mel Ainscow; Memmenasha Haile-Giorgis

Children with disabilities and many others who experience difficulties in learning are often marginalized within or even excluded from school systems. This paper considers the situation in countries of Central and Eastern Europe, examining particular developments that have occurred in recent years and how these compare with overall trends internationally. This analysis suggests certain barriers to progress, including attitudes within communities towards certain groups of children, traditional practices in the field of special education, and the effects of the depressed economic situation within the region. The paper concludes with a consideration of possible opportunities for improvements in provision and an outline of issues that need to be kept in mind.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 40 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: disabled children, education, equal opportunities, rights of disabled children | Publisher: UNICEF ICDC, Florence
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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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