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Innocenti Working Papers
The Working Papers are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues. More than 100 Working Papers have been published to date, with recent and forthcoming papers covering the full range of the Centre's agenda. The Working Papers series incorporates the earlier series of Innocenti Occasional Papers (with sub-series), also available for download.
Digital contact tracing and surveillance during COVID-19. General and child-specific ethical issues
Berman, Gabrielle; Carter, Karen; Garcia Herranz, Manuel; Sekara, Vedran (2020). Digital contact tracing and surveillance during COVID-19. General and child-specific ethical issues, no. 2020-01, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, Florence
The response to the pandemic has seen an unprecedented rapid scaling up of technologies to support digital contact tracing and surveillance.This working paper explores the implications for privacy as the linking of datasets: increases the likelihood that children will be identifiable; increases the opportunity for (sensitive) data profiling; and frequently involves making data available to a broader set of users or data managers.
Target 2.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls for an end to hunger, in all its forms, by 2030. Measuring food security among children under age 5, who represent a quarter of the world’s population, remains a challenge that is largely unfeasible for current global monitoring systems. The SDG framework has agreed to use the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) to measure moderate and severe food insecurity. The FIES is an experience-based metric that reports food-related behaviours on the inability to access food due to resource constraints. We present the first global estimates of the share and number of children below age 15, who live with a respondent who is food insecure.
In this paper we summarize evidence on six perceptions associated with cash transfer programming, using eight rigorous evaluations conducted on large-scale government unconditional cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa, under the Transfer Project. Specifically, we investigate if transfers: 1) induce higher spending on alcohol or tobacco; 2) are fully consumed (rather than invested); 3) create dependency (reduce participation in productive activities); 4) increase fertility; 5) lead to negative community-level economic impacts (including price distortion and inflation), and 6) are fiscally unsustainable. We present evidence refuting each claim, leading to the conclusion that these perceptions – insofar as they are utilized in policy debates – undercut potential improvements in well-being and livelihood strengthening among the poor, which these programmes can bring about in sub-Saharan Africa, and globally. We conclude by underscoring outstanding research gaps and policy implications for the continued expansion of unconditional cash transfers in the region and beyond.
Sudhanshu Handa; Silvio Daidone; Amber Peterman; Benjamin Davis; Audrey Pereira; Tia Palermo; Jennifer Yablonski
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was agreed upon globally through a long political process. By ratifying its Declaration, high-income countries became accountable participants in the development process while retaining their obligations as donors. Although few of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are explicitly child-focused, children are mentioned in many of the 167
targets. Drawing on a well recognized socio-ecological model (SEM) of child development and a life course perspective, this paper proposes an analytical framework to help navigate through the SDG
targets based on their relevance to child well-being. The application of this framework in thinking through policy options illustrates the interdependence of SDGs and their targets within a sector
(vertically) and across the 17 Goals (horizontally). A five-step process for choosing measurable SDG indicators links the proposed analytical framework with the challenges of SDG monitoring. The paper
contributes to debates on the implications of the SDGs for children by facilitating their adaptation to the national context through a ‘child lens’. The proposed analytical approach helps to articulate
a context-specific theory of change with a focus on human development outcomes, so that public investments inspired by the SDGs bring tangible results for children.
The new universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for “reducing at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions” by 2030.
Childhood malnutrition remains a significant global health concern. In order to implement
effective policies to address the issue, it is crucial to first understand the mechanisms underlying
malnutrition. This paper uses a unique dataset from Northern Ghana to explain the underlying causes of
childhood malnutrition. It adopts an empirical framework to model inputs in the production of health and
nutrition, as a function of child, household and community characteristics. The findings suggest that child
characteristics are important in explaining inputs and nutritional outcomes, and that maternal agency and
health contribute to improved health status. Household resources in the form of consumption are
positively associated with food intake and nutritional outcomes. Simulations show that income growth,
improving maternal care and avoiding sudden price shocks have a positive but rather limited effect on the
reduction of malnutrition. Effects are greater in children under two. Hence, policies that address underlying
determinants simultaneously, and target the youngest population of children, could have the largest effect
on reducing malnutrition in this population.
Richard de Groot; Sudhanshu Handa; Luigi Peter Ragno; Tayllor Spadafora
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 1.2 implies that both monetary and non-monetary or multidimensional (MD) child poverty would be measured and monitored, and that the associated indicators would be defined nationally. However, very few countries routinely measure child MD poverty.
Lisa Hjelm; Lucia Ferrone; Sudhanshu Handa; Yekaterina Chzhen
The paper provides an examination of the relevance of ethics to poverty reduction. It argues that linking the shared values that define the social arrangements and institutions, which we refer to as ‘ethical perspectives’, to the emerging welfare institutions addressing poverty in developing countries provides a window into these processes of justification at a more fundamental level.
Armando Barrientos; Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai; Daisy Demirag; Richard de Groot; Luigi Peter Ragno
This paper explores children’s accounts of violence in Andhra Pradesh, India, and the ways in which factors at the individual, family, community, institutional and society levels affect children’s experiences of violence. The paper analyses cross-sectional survey data and case studies from longitudinal qualitative data gathered over a seven-year period, from Young Lives.
After a brief description of the policy context and literature review, the paper describes the study then presents findings from the survey and qualitative research, exploring home, schools, communities, differences by age and gender, and children’s responses to violence. The report adds to knowledge about the nature and experiences of violence affecting children in resource-poor settings, and concludes with some suggestions for policies, programming and practice.