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There is significant potential for social protection systems (including policies, programmes and institutions) to promote gender equality and transformative change as a core pre-condition for long-term and sustainable poverty reduction. There is also the potential of poverty reduction to promote long-term and sustained gender equality and transformative change. Recognising this, the Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP) research programme, led by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti (hereafter UNICEF Innocenti) seeks to strengthen the gender-responsiveness of social protection systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and support shifts long-term towards gender-transformational social protection work, by building a robust evidence base focused on ‘what works’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ to contribute to enhanced gender equality outcomes across the life course.
This working paper provides a concise narrative behind the graphic representation of the GRASSP conceptual framework. The framework delineates the conceptual linkages between gender (including gender risks, vulnerabilities, discrimination and inequalities, multidimensional deprivations affecting women and girls), and social protection. It proposes a systematic, holistic and integrated approach for conceptualising the intersections between gender and social protection, to achieve SDG1 (‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere’) and SDG5 (‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’)1 through careful planning, design, implementation and evaluation of a gender-responsive social protection system.
The GRASSP conceptual framework builds on and expands existing conceptual and theoretical efforts focused on integrating a gender lens into public policy (see for instance Holmes and Jones 2013, GAGE Consortium 2017). Building on these earlier efforts, the GRASSP conceptual framework brings together several integrated aspects related to gender, social protection, and the life course.
Shivit Bakrania; Cirenia Chávez; Alessandra Ipince; Matilde Rocca; Sandy Oliver; Claire Stansfield; Ramya Subrahmanian
This rapid review collates and synthesizes evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities.
The evidence on the impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection outcomes is limited and skewed towards studies on the effects of HIV/AIDS on stigma. There is also some evidence on the effects of Ebola on outcomes such as orphanhood, sexual violence and exploitation, and school enrolment, attendance and dropout. The evidence on other pandemics or epidemics, including COVID-19, is extremely limited.
There are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities - such as being orphaned, stigmatization and discrimination and reductions in household income - leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy.
Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks:
There is a high burden of proof for data collection during the current COVID-19 outbreak than there would be in normal circumstances. Evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes – particularly where there is ongoing longitudinal data collection. There should also be efforts to synthesize evidence from existing research on the effectiveness of interventions that respond to the key risk pathways identified in this review.
Stephen Thompson; Mariah Cannon; Mary Wickenden
This paper provides an overview of the key issues drawn from the literature reviewed and suggests established and potential mitigation strategies that could improve ethical practices when involving children with disabilities in evidence generation activities (for a summary, see Appendix 1). More evidence generation activities with this group of children are urgently needed, and it is important that conventional and existing ethical practices used with children are further developed to embrace disability inclusion. This will encourage the realization of children’s right to participate and be heard, and ensure that policy and practice are informed by the perspectives and concerns of children with disabilities. Importantly, this approach can support a wider agenda for the greater inclusion in society of children with disabilities.
This protocol details the aims, scope and methodology used for the rapid review titled: “Impacts of Pandemics and Epidemics on Child Protection: Lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19."
Jacobus de Hoop; Margaret W. Gichane; Valeria Groppo; Stephanie Simmons Zuilkowski
Gabrielle Berman; Karen Carter; Manuel Garcia Herranz; Vedran Sekara
Balancing the need to collect data to
support good decision-making versus the need to protect children from harm
created through the collection of the data has never been more challenging than
in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The response to the pandemic
has seen an unprecedented rapid scaling up of technologies to support digital
contact tracing and surveillance. As the pandemic progresses, we are also
likely to see the emergence of more applications that link datasets as we seek
to better understand the secondary impacts of the pandemic on children and
This working paper explores the
implications for privacy as the linking of datasets increases the likelihood
that children will be identifiable and consequently, the
opportunities for (sensitive) data profiling. It
also frequently involves making data available to a broader set of users or
While it is recognized that reuse of
unidentifiable data could potentially serve future public health responses and
research, the nature of, access to and use of the data now and in future
necessitate accountability, transparency and clear governance processes. It
requires that these be in place from the outset. These are needed to ensure
that data privacy is protected to the greatest degree possible and that the
limitations to the use of these data are clearly articulated.
Nyasha Tirivayi; Dominic Richardson; Maja Gavrilovic; Valeria Groppo; Lusajo Kajula; Elsa Valli; Francesca Viola
This rapid review seeks to inform the initial and long-term public policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, by assessing evidence on past economic policy and social protection responses to health and economic crises and their effects on children and families. The review focuses on virus outbreaks/emergencies, economic crises and natural disasters, which, like the COVID-19 pandemic, were 'rapid' in onset, had wide-ranging geographical reach, and resulted in disruption of social services and economic sectors, without affecting governance systems. Evidence is also drawn from the HIV/AIDS pandemic, due to its impacts on adult mortality rates and surviving children.
The available evidence on the effects of economic policy and social protection responses is uneven across outcomes, regions, and type of policy response as a large body of literature focused on social assistance programmes. Future research on the COVID-19 pandemic can prioritize the voices of children and the marginalized, assess the effects of expansionary and austerity measures, examine the role of design and implementation, social care services, pre-existing macro-level health, demographic and health conditions and the diverse regional health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The paper also provides key lessons for public policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alessandro Carraro; Yekaterina Chzhen
Averi Chakrabarti; Sudhanshu Handa; Luisa Natali; David Seidenfeld; Gelson Tembo
Alberto Posso; Stephen C. Smith; Lucia Ferrone
Lucia Ferrone; Andrea Rossi; Zlata Bruckauf
Katia Hujo; Maggie Carter