Building knowledge and evidence on how best to meet children’s needs in emergencies is a pressing challenge. Year-on-year more children are caught up in conflict and displacement. They face recurrent threats of famine and are the most exposed to climate change and environmental degradation. The crises and fragile contexts children face are also more and more protracted and entrenched. Since 2010, UNICEF responds to an average 300 humanitarian situations in nearly 90 countries each year.
The consequences of childhood exposure to shocks and long-running uncertainty remain poorly understood. Acknowledging this gap, Innocenti will be looking into the critical questions that today’s crises pose for children - and how best to respond in ways that strike the right balance between humanitarian and development action.
One component will be exploring key lessons and ‘case studies’ from on-the-ground experience in tackling these challenges – to better institutionalize and analyse this knowledge from experience, and identify critical questions for further research. Innocenti will also expand its well-established work on rigorous impact evaluations of social protection mechanisms in order to better understand cash in emergencies and fragile contexts.
Innocenti will draw on past experience working on children and armed conflict, and explore linkages with ongoing work that transcends usual humanitarian/development divides, and that require research and responses that combine different lenses and approaches – including child migration, ethical research and children, long-term impacts of food shocks (particularly on adolescents), drivers of violence, and the complex interactions between poverty, demography and climate for children.