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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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The Provision of Assistive Technology to Children with Disabilities in Humanitarian Settings: A Review of the available evidence on the current state of provision, gaps in evidence, and barriers to and facilitators of better delivery
The Provision of Assistive Technology to Children with Disabilities in Humanitarian Settings: A Review of the available evidence on the current state of provision, gaps in evidence, and barriers to and facilitators of better delivery

AUTHOR(S)
Golnaz Whittaker; Gavin Wood

Published: 2022 Innocenti Working Papers

One billion people in the world live with a disability; 240 million are children. The majority of the world’s children with disabilities live in low- and middle-income countries, where humanitarian crises are most likely to occur. Humanitarian crises increase the prevalence of child disability and the need for assistive technologies as children sustain new disabling injuries, children with disabilities lose their assistive devices, or access to limited existing health services is worsened by crisis. In addition, there are likely to be many more children with disabilities in humanitarian settings whose need for assistive technologies has never been identified.

This literature review discusses the barriers to assistive technologies provision in humanitarian settings and considers possible entry points for provision in the future. Recommendations include: coordination platforms for provision; gathering evidence on existing in-country provision and strengthening those systems; designing programmes for provision that account for pre-existing barriers, within-crises barriers including those internal to humanitarian organizations like UNICEF.

Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest Issue 3: Children with Disabilities
Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest Issue 3: Children with Disabilities
Published: 2022 Innocenti Digest

Research and data on children with disabilities around the globe remains critical as these children continue to be left behind. This is despite near-universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the extensive ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Evidence is growing that the COVID-19 pandemic, through both the virus itself and the measures implemented by governments to contain its spread, have disproportionately impacted children with disabilities and their families.

This digest focuses on the emerging evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 on children with disabilities, drawing from UNICEF Innocenti’s Children and COVID-19 Research Library, launched in 2020.

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Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires et secondaires collégiales au Maroc
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires et secondaires collégiales au Maroc
Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

L'absentéisme des enseignants a été identifié comme l’un des principaux obstacles au progrès éducatif et à l’apprentissage des enfants au Maroc. Des études antérieures suggèrent que le taux d’absentéisme scolaire est de 4,4 pour cent et que le taux d’absentéisme en classe est de 5,5 pour cent, avec des chiffres plus élevés dans les écoles publiques et rurales. Bien qu’il existe peu d’analyses empiriques sur l’incidence de l’absentéisme des enseignants dans les écoles primaires et secondaires du pays, certaines études récentes montrent qu’il contribue à l’inefficacité des dépenses d’éducation. La pandémie de COVID-19 ne fera qu'exacerber les défis existants. L’étude Time to Teach  (TTT) vise à combler le manque de connaissances relatives aux motivations et aux facteurs associés à l’absentéisme des enseignants du primaire et du secondaire collégial au Maroc.

How Much Does Universal Digital Learning Cost?
How Much Does Universal Digital Learning Cost?

AUTHOR(S)
Haogen Yao; Mathieu Brossard; Suguru Mizunoya; Bassem Nasir; Patrick Walugembe; Rachel Cooper; Atif Rafique; Nicolas Reuge

Published: 2021 Policy Brief

COVID-19 school closures initially revealed more than 75% of children lacked access to critical digital learning opportunities. Three out of four were living in the poorest 40% of households. Digital learning is impossible without connectivity and electricity. However, in places like Chad, Malawi and Niger, the proportion of people with access to electricity is below 1 in 5. What efforts will ensure these children are not further left behind in future crises if schools are again closed? How much will universal access to digital learning cost? The answer is US$1.4 trillion.

This paper estimates the cost of universalizing digital learning by 2030, in alignment with the conceptual framework of the Reimagine Education initiative. It provides a rationale for cost assumptions; classifies costs into enabling digital learning and delivering digital learning; and, finally, discusses financing achievability by comparing the estimated costs with current spending in education and other sectors.

How much it will cost in your country? For a localized costing, download the National Guide Price Generator from the dropdown menu. 

How relaxing develops and affects well-being throughout childhood
How relaxing develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Sabbiana Cunsolo; Victor Cebotari; Dominic Richardson; Marloes Vrolijk

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

From a developmental perspective, skills or capacities, such as ‘relaxing’, are commonly considered necessary for children to achieve optimal development and reach their full
potential. From this perspective ‘relaxing’ can be considered a capacity that could help children to cope with emotional and behavioural problems and lower their levels of stress and anxiety.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to map the existing evidence of cultivating ‘relaxing’ as a key core capacity with an explicit focus on children, and understand age-related development, links to wellbeing and other core capacities, and the levels and application of ‘relaxing’ among significant adults in children’s lives. These contributions will help inform real, positive and efficient changes in general policies and practices for child development.

Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires au Gabon
Time to Teach: La fréquentation des enseignants et le temps d’enseignement dans les écoles primaires au Gabon
Published: 2022 Innocenti Research Report

L'absentéisme des enseignants est un défi particulier affectant la qualité de l'éducation au Gabon. Des études antérieures suggèrent que les enseignants du primaire sont absents en moyenne 2 jours par mois, ce qui affecte directement les progrès éducatifs et l'apprentissage des enfants. Bien que le défi de l'absentéisme soit reconnu par les acteurs politiques nationaux comme l’un des problèmes les plus répandus dans le système éducatif du pays, les études sur les facteurs, les politiques et les pratiques qui influencent l’assiduité des enseignants au Gabon restent rares. La pandémie de COVID-19 ne fera qu'exacerber les défis existants. L'étude Time to Teach (TTT) vise à combler ce manque de connaissances et à renforcer la base de preuves sur les différents types d'assiduité des enseignants du primaire et les facteurs qui y contribuent.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 49 | Thematic area: Education | Tags: education, gabon, primary schools, schools, teachers
Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – East Asia and the Pacific
Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – East Asia and the Pacific

AUTHOR(S)
Youngkwang Jeon; Akihiro Fushimi; Dominic Koeppl; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

COVID-19 school closures in East Asia and the Pacific threaten to widen existing learning inequities and increase the number of children out of school. During the pandemic, governments rapidly deployed remote learning strategies, ranging from paper-based take-home materials to digital platforms. However, lack of electricity – critical to connectivity – remains a key obstacle for the region, particularly in rural areas. Therefore, while digital learning platforms were offered by most Southeast Asian countries, take-up was low.  

A combination of modalities – including mobile phone-based learning strategies – and collaboration with a range of non-governmental education stakeholders have the potential to enhance the reach of remote learning and to make it more engaging for students. Lessons from the regional implementation of these strategies emphasize the importance of research to understand the needs of students, educators and parents and the impact of remote learning, especially in low-resource contexts. 

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – South Asia
Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Radhika Nagesh; Frank van Cappelle; Vidur Chopra; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

COVID-19 school closures in South Asia lasted longer than in any other region. To mitigate subsequent effects, governments and education actors in South Asia provided a range of remote learning modalities.  

This report presents evidence on the reach and effectiveness of these remote learning strategies through a meta-analysis of studies from the region. Large differences in students’ access to connectivity and devices show that high-tech remote learning modalities did not reach all students. Lessons learned indicate that the effectiveness of one-way or low-tech modalities can be enhanced through increased engagement and support from educators. Teachers, parents and caregivers must be supported to help children learn remotely, especially in cases where they must rely on these low-tech remote learning modalities. Formative assessments are needed to understand the scale of lost learning and target responses to remediate this learning loss when schools reopen.   

Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – Latin America and the Caribbean
Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from Remote Learning During COVID-19 – Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Javier Santiago Ortiz Correa; Marco Valenza; Vincenzo Placco; Thomas Dreesen

Published: 2021 Innocenti Research Report

The implementation of remote learning in Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 school closures confirmed that the divide in access to electricity and technology remained a major hurdle for governments across the region to serve all children. School closures risk widening existing learning gaps as private schools were more prepared to use technology for remote learning and children from wealthier households received more support at home while schools were closed. As countries in the region reopen their schools, it is vital that governments incorporate key lessons learned to improve the resilience and equity of the education systems.

This report presents evidence on remote learning during the COVID-19 school closures in Latin America and the Caribbean to help guide decision-makers to build more effective, sustainable and resilient education systems for current and future crises.

How listening develops and affects well-being throughout childhood
How listening develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Marloes Vrolijk; Dominic Richardson; Sabbiana Cunsolo

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

Drawing from a multidisciplinary evidence base, what is the empirical and theoretical knowledge of children’s listening and how does it interact with overall well-being throughout childhood?

This review study is a first attempt to map the existing theoretical and empirical literature about a possible core capacity for well-being: listening.

It focuses on the development of listening throughout childhood, listening in formal and informal learning, listening in family and community settings, and possible links between listening and well-being. Relevant empirical studies were identified that further explain the development of listening comprehension throughout childhood. Relevant streams of literature identified included listening to music and positive effects on child wellbeing, children’s extensive listening in schools, and the effects of undesirable listening environments.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 31
How observing develops and affects well-being throughout childhood
How observing develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Sabbiana Cunsolo; Dominic Richardson; Marloes Vrolijk

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

This study maps map the empirical and theoretical evidence of children’s ability for ‘observing’ or ‘noticing’ as a core capacity for life within the Learning for Well-Being Foundation’s theoretical framework, and how it interacts with overall child development.

More specifically, this review aims to contribute to existing knowledge in three ways: (i) it adds to the evidence of ‘observing’ as a core capacity for children from a childhood development perspective, (ii) it assesses the interaction of ‘observing’ with other core capacities and with overall child well-being, and (iii) it looks at the development of ‘observing’ as a core capacity among significant adults in children’s lives (e.g., teachers, educators, parents). 

Although the available evidence is limited, results show a significant link between children’s levels of observation or attention and cognitive skills in general, such as working memory and executive attention.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 26
How reflecting develops and affects well-being throughout childhood
How reflecting develops and affects well-being throughout childhood

AUTHOR(S)
Marloes Vrolijk; Dominic Richardson; Sabbiana Cunsolo

Published: 2021 Innocenti Working Papers

Reflecting, or thinking about one’s own thinking, is understood by the Learning for Well-Being Foundation as one of the possible core capacities which may influence well-being in children. This study explores the academic literature for theoretical and empirical evidence in support of this conceptualization.

Drawing from a multidisciplinary evidence base, what is the empirical and theoretical evidence of children’s reflecting and how does it interact with overall well-being throughout childhood?

The objectives of the review are to map the evidence of the development of reflecting in children, describe possible gaps in the literature and search whether any studies explore reflecting as a core capacity, or study the relationship between reflecting and child well-being. In doing so this paper focuses on the possibly diverse development of the core capacity in children, on the capacity in parents, teachers and other caregivers and the role they play in the development of the core capacity, and on the evidence from the academic literature.

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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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