02 June 2024

Children's views

In researching UNICEF Innocenti's  unicef.org | Child Poverty in the Midst of Wealth Report Card 18: Child Poverty in the Midst of Wealth , we carried out a qualitative research project with children from seven different countries to discover their views on child poverty. In each country, we asked groups of children between five and 17 years old a…, Children's views on child poverty, Canada icon Canada Canada Chile icon Chile Chile Croatia Croatia Croatia Ireland icon Ireland Ireland Italy icon Italy Italy New Zealand icon New Zealand New Zealand Spain icon Spain Spain So what do children believe they need to live a life that is good enough for them? Country by country, see what items they listed and how they described them.…, Canada, In an online focus group, we spoke with four young people from Alberta, Ontario and Novia Scotia who all identified as female and were between 14 and 18 years old. They all belonged to racial or ethnic minorities. During the focus group, the girls were asked to work together to create a fictional young person who came to unicef.ca | UNICEF Canada…, Medium rates of child poverty, The average child poverty rate between 2019 and 2021 in Canada is 17.2 per cent. This figure is around the average in this group of countries: Canada ranks 19th out of 39 high income countries included in Report Card 18., Made good progress in reducing child poverty over time, Canada was able to reduce child poverty of approximately 22.7 per cent between 2012-2014 and 2019-2021. This figure shows a good progress in child poverty reduction, compared to other high income countries: Canada ranks 7th out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18., Chile, unicef.org | UNICEF Chile UNICEF Chile organized and facilitated seven focus groups, each with between three and six children aged from five to 12 years old. In all, 34 children took part – 13 boys and 21 girls. In their groups, the children drew seven different fictional children, and they identified and wrote the key items they believed their…, The children in Chile felt that the needs of the first character, Lila, included strong relationships with her family. Said one: “She may have a mother and a father who love her, are always with her and take care of her”. Theybelieved the needs of the second character, Gocu, included food and water and adequate housing. “In the end, what matters…, UNICEF An image drawn by Chilean children, The children in Chile wanted this character, Jazmin, to have friends, love and education. “She has the right to education, to be respected at school and to have her rights respected,” one said. The children wanted the community for their character to include recycling facilities, flowers and people who take care of their world., UNICEF An image by Chilean children, The needs of this character, Sofia, included play and recreation, according to the Chilean children who created her. They wanted her “to be free, to be able to have fun”. They said she should live in a community that is tidy and has schools, lighting and trees., UNICEF An image drawn by Chilean children, The children of Chile also created Sofi and Legolas and hoped they would be healthy. “Having health is like taking good care of your life, for example, eating well, eating healthy and taking good care of yourself.”, UNICEF An image drawn by Chilean children, The children in Chile wanted this character, Nesuko, to enjoy a good education: “She has the right to education, to be respected at school and to have her rights respected.” They wanted Nesuko to live in a community with parks, hospitals and childcare facilities, and without pollution, bullying or war., UNICEF Images by Chilean children An image drawn by Chilean children An image by Chilean children An image drawn by Chilean children An image drawn by Chilean children How does Chile deal with child poverty?, High rates of child poverty, The average child poverty rate between 2019 and 2021 in Chile was 21.6 per cent – around one in five children was living in poverty. This figure is high compared to other high-income countries: Chile ranks 30th out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18., Made some progress in reducing child poverty over time, Chile was able to reduce child poverty by 7.7 per cent between 2012-2014 and 2019-2021. The country ranks 19th out of 39 high-income countries included in Report Card 18. Although progress has been made and there is a foundation to build on, more efforts are needed to reduce child poverty in Chile., Croatia, Twelve high school children aged 16 and 17 – two boys and 10 girls – joined a consultation in Zagreb organized by unicef.org | UNICEF Croatia UNICEF Croatia . The children drew three fictional children, each without any existing possessions, and identified the key items they believed their fictional characters needed to live a ‘good enough life’.…, The children in Croatia created this character, Milka. They said her needs included a good education: “Education is important because without it you cannot make money later in life to buy food and water.“ They wanted her to live in a community that includes sports facilities and public transport. “But what we would need the most are a bakery, a…, UNICEF An image drawn by children in Croatia, The children in Croatia said the needs of their character, Alis, included water, food and sport. Said one: “Sport is also important for making friends and for developing team spirit.” When imagining the ideal community for Alis, the children in Croatia said it should have schools, sports facilities and parks., UNICEF An image drawn by Children in Croatia, The young Croatians imagined this character, Goran, and said his needs included a mobile phone. “A young person nowadays needs a mobile phone to communicate with others,” one said. They said he should live in a community with a library, a playground and a shopping centre., UNICEF Images drawn by children in Croatia An image drawn by children in Croatia An image drawn by Children in Croatia How does Croatia deal with child poverty?, Medium rates of child poverty, Croatia had an average child poverty rate between 2019 and 2021 of 16.6 per cent. This figure puts Croatia in the middle when compared to other countries: Croatia ranks 17th out of 39 high-income countries included in Report Card 18., Made good progress in reducing child poverty over time, Croatia was able to reduce child poverty by around 21.8 per cent between 2012-2014 and 2019-2021. This represents good progress in child poverty reduction, and Croatia ranks 10th out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18., Ireland, unicef.ie | UNICEF Ireland UNICEF Ireland organized two consultations with children: the first involving an entire class of nine-year-olds and the second an entire class of 12-year-olds in two different schools. The first school was a multi-denominational primary school and the second was a Catholic primary school. Both schools included children…, Children in Ireland wanted their first character, Kyle, to have a calm life and food and water. They also imagined the second character, Hilda, and said her needs included housing and money. “The reason why you need a home is because if you don’t have a home you’re not going to be able to stay in a warm place or maybe get shelter from rain,” said…, UNICEF An image drawn by children in Ireland, According to the children in Ireland, these characters, Steph and Jake, needed friends, books and kindness from all. The children in Ireland wanted the other character, Alex, to have healthy food and a loving family., UNICEF An image by Irish children, The children in Ireland were happy that their community included access to clean water, schools and hospitals. But they also wanted more from their community, including kind people who help kids and the homeless, more respect and an ocean., UNICEF An image drawn by Irish children, This is Nelson, a character created by the children in Ireland. They said his needs included education and rights. And they wanted the other character, Maranda, to have clothes, shoes and a home., UNICEF An imager drawn by Irish children, This character, Gertrude, had needs that included housing, clothes and work, said the children in Ireland. Stella is another character created by the children in Ireland. They believed her needs included healthcare, housing and education., UNICEF An image by Irish children, The children in Ireland wanted to see a community with shops, housing and schools. They also wanted to see their community have sports facilities and a swimming pool., UNICEF Images drawn by children in Ireland An image drawn by children in Ireland An image by Irish children An image drawn by Irish children An imager drawn by Irish children An image by Irish children How does Ireland deal with child poverty?, Low rates of child poverty, The average child poverty rate between 2019 and 2021 in Ireland was 14.8 per cent. This figure is lower than in other countries: Ireland ranks 10th out of 39 high income countries included in Report Card 18. However, the country needs to make more progress. One in seven children in Ireland are still living in poverty, and more than one in 10…, Made good progress in reducing child poverty over time, Ireland was able to reduce child poverty by 18.5 per cent between 2012-2014 and 2019-2021. This figure shows a good progress in child poverty reduction, compared to other high-income countries: Ireland ranks 12th out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18., Italy, UNICEF Innocenti, supported by unicef.it | UNICEF Italy UNICEF Italy , organized four consultations to understand children’s views on child poverty. The first pair of consultations included two groups of children – one group aged nine and 10 and the other aged 12 and 13. These children lived in Taranto, a socioeconomically disadvantaged part of…, Michele is a character created by some of the Italian children in Taranto. They said he needed schooling, a home and a mobile phone. Some of the children in Italy also created Elisabeth, and said her needs included clothes, loving parents and friends., UNICEF An image drawn by children in Italy, Emily was another creation of some of the Italian children. They said she needed protection, privacy and support from her family. The other character is Alessandro. The children felt he needed clothes and education., UNICEF An image drawn by children in Italy, Chantal’s needs included love, friends and family. She was a character created by some of the Italian children. Andrea was another character created by some of the Italian children. Her needs included healthcare, a supportive family and access to clean water., UNICEF An image drawn by children in Italy, When it came to their community, the children from Taranto looked to a house, a hospital and a school. Some of the children in Italy wanted to see a community with more nature, with football fields and a sense of respect for those who live there., UNICEF An image drawn by children in Italy, This is Fabrizio, a character created by the Roma children in Italy. They said he needed clothes, money and a mobile phone., UNICEF An image drawn by children in Italy, The Roma children in Italy created Elisabetta and said she needed education, money and clothes. When it came to their community, they wanted to see schools and a safe park they could enjoy., UNICEF Images drawn by children in Italy, The Roma children in Italy created Vandam, and said that his needs included clothes, money and a supportive family – “a family that helps the boy or girl with education,” said one. When it came to their community, the Roma children in Italy wanted to see schools and a safe park they could enjoy., UNICEF An image drawn by children in Italy, This character, Clarissa, was created by the Roma children in Italy. They said her needs included a loving family and clothes. Said one: “Communication is essential in the family.” They also created Alex and said he needed schooling and a home. “I want to move house, I want a real one,” said one., UNICEF An image drawn by children in Italy An image drawn by children in Italy An image drawn by children in Italy An image drawn by children in Italy An image drawn by children in Italy An image drawn by children in Italy Images drawn by children in Italy An image drawn by children in Italy How does Italy deal with child poverty?, High rates of child poverty, Italy had an average child poverty rate between 2019 and 2021 of 25.5 per cent – one out of every four children living in Italy is in poverty. This figure is high compared to other high-income countries: Italy ranks 33rd out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18., Made little progress in reducing child poverty over time, In Italy, child poverty rates have only slightly decreased between 2012-2014 and 2019-2021 – by less than one per cent. It ranks 25th out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18. The country has to put more efforts in child poverty reduction., Made good progress in reducing material deprivation, Although Italy needs to make substantial progress to reduce high rates of child poverty, it did manage to reduce its deprivation rates from above the EU average in 2015 to below it in 2021., New Zealand, unicef.org.nz | UNICEF Aotearoa UNICEF Aotearoa organized two consultations to understand children’s views on child poverty. The first consultation included one culturally diverse class of five- and six-year-olds, while the second was an intimate focus group discussion with four young adolescents between 10 and 13 years old who were of Māori…, The children in New Zealand imagined a community with lights, trees, flowers and loving parents., UNICEF Images drawn by children in New Zealand, Some of the children in New Zealand created Katless, and said her needs included love, pets and a supportive family. They wanted her to live in a community with houses, shops and a school., UNICEF Images drawn by children in New Zealand, Frankenstein is a character created by some of the children in New Zealand. They said he needed money and food. They hoped he would live in a community with factories, houses and a beach., UNICEF An image drawn by children in New Zealand, This is Max, a character created by some of the children in New Zealand. He needed love, healthcare and shoes. He didn’t need, they said, an iPad or a top hat. For his community, the children said he needed housing, schools and some grass., UNICEF Images drawn by children in New Zealand, The Maori children in New Zealand created a character called Wairere, who they said needed happiness and sleep. For her community, they wanted a playground with a swing, a flying fox, a trampoline and a skate park., UNICEF An image drawn by children in New Zealand Images drawn by children in New Zealand Images drawn by children in New Zealand An image drawn by children in New Zealand Images drawn by children in New Zealand How does New Zealand deal with child poverty?, High rates of child poverty, The average child poverty rate between 2019 and 2021 in New Zealand was 21 per cent – around one in every five children is living in poverty. This figure is high compared to other high-income countries: New Zealand ranks 29th out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18., Made some progress in reducing child poverty over time, New Zealand was able to reduce child poverty by 11.7 per cent between 2012-2014 and 2019-2021. The country ranks 17th out of 39 high income countries included in Report Card 18. Although progress has been made and there is a foundation to build on, more efforts are needed to reduce the high rate of child poverty in New Zealand., Spain, unicef.es | UNICEF Spain UNICEF Spain organized a consultation with 14 children aged between 12 and 14 in a neighbourhood of Madrid. It took place outside of school and among a diverse group of children. The children drew three different fictional children and identified the key items these characters need to grow up with a ‘good enough life’ and…, High rates of child poverty, The average child poverty rate between 2019 and 2021 in Spain was 28 per cent – around one in four children in Spain is living in poverty. This figure is high compared to other high-income countries: Spain ranks 36th out of 39 countries included in Report Card 18., Made little progress in reducing child poverty over time, Spain was only able to reduce child poverty by less than 5 per cent between 2012-2014 and 2019-2021. The country ranks 22nd out of 39 high income countries included in Report Card 18., Made good progress in reducing material deprivation, Although Spain needs to make substantial progress to reduce high rates of child poverty, it did manage to reduce its deprivation rates from above the EU average in 2015 to below it in 2021., About this project: Approach and rationale, What is Report Card 18?, Report Card 18 is part of a series of reports that UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight has produced over the past two decades, comparing and contrasting child well-being in many of the richest countries in the world (countries that are members of the OECD and/or European Union). Report Card 18 focuses on child poverty and…, How were children involved and data collected in Report Card 18?, Between May and November 2023, children in seven countries were consulted to understand their views about growing up with a “good enough” life, in order to enrich the Report Card topics and add children’s perspectives to the findings of the report.  Children and adolescents in Canada, Chile, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and Spain shared…, Why is consulting children important to enrich research and analysis of child poverty?, Seeking children’s perspectives enables UNICEF to fill gaps in the broad national statistical picture created by the Report Card. Such statistics cannot allow for an in-depth understanding of issues faced by children and adolescents as a group and within their specific local contexts.  Poverty is both the product of socio-economic, historic and…, Why is consulting with certain groups of children important in the context of child poverty?, The greatest challenge in talking about poverty and social exclusion with children and adolescents is reiterating the stigma and feeling of shame that often accompanies living in socio-economic disadvantaged contexts. For this reason, the research tools used in this project paid particular attention to avoid discussing the participants’ individual…, Learn more, To learn more about this project and its methodology please contact Gwyther Rees, Social and Economic Policy Manager, at UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight.
14 May 2024

Gender-responsive age-sensitive social protection

While social protection can profoundly improve people’s lives – ensuring well-being and addressing vulnerabilities to risks, shocks and stressors – it falls short of its potential to advance gender equality.  Women and girls face distinct risks and vulnerabilities. Harmful and discriminatory gender norms lead to gender inequalities, such as the…, GRASSP project reports, GRASSP research streams, Social protection can reduce income poverty and food and economic insecurity, address financial barriers to accessing social services, and promote positive development outcomes throughout the life course – particularly for women and girls. Social protection also has the potential to act as a vehicle for eradicating the harmful social norms, and…, Conceptualization of gender responsive age sensitive social protection, Aims to help strengthen gender responsive planning, monitoring and evaluation of social protection programmes and systems through clearer conceptualization, measurement and analysis of gender equality outcomes., Impacts of social protection programmes on gender equality outcomes, Develops evidence on the impacts of social protection on gender equality outcomes; including how and why this is achieved. This includes an exploration of the influence of design and implementation processes and contextual factors. Evidence is generated from six countries: Angola, Burkina Faso, DRC, Ethiopia, Mali and Tanzania., Institutionalization of gender into social protection systems, Investigates if and how gender can be institutionalized into social protection systems.  The research looks at factors such as political economy (for example, institutions and interests), norms and financing, along with the processes that systemic reform play, in creating social protection systems that incorporate sustainable change for gender…, GRASSP articles
01 October 2023

Through the eyes of children

Involving children as competent social actors in research is  increasingly acknowledged  as a way of including authentic perspectives on childhood and enhancing our understanding of children’s experiences. Engaging directly with children can inform the development of targeted policies and programs for them.  As part of  UNICEF’s research  on the …, Why visual storytelling?, Visual storytelling overcomes the limitations of focus group discussions (FGDs). Interviewer-driven dialogue can create power asymmetry, which can leave children feeling unheard or undervalued, and cause them to disengage from the conversation. Additionally, reliance on oral communication may exclude specific groups of children, particularly those…,   How does it work? , Preparation and collaboration were key to the workshop's success. The workshop was prepared jointly between UNICEF Innocenti,  UNICEF Europe and Central Asia’s national response office in Italy , school teachers, and an expert in visual storytelling from the University of Bologna. Involving experts who have experience working with newly arrived…,   Exploring deeper meanings , Interpreting children's narratives may pose challenges due to blurred boundaries between fantasy and reality. To gain insight into children's perspectives, we approached their narratives by focusing on their internal logic and meaning, placing less emphasis on strict adherence to factual accuracy. Through narrative analysis, we mapped key elements…, Conclusion  , By allowing children to speak for themselves though creative methods, researchers can unlock new dimensions of data and gain deeper insights into the lived experiences of children. This research is part of a global trend to develop evidence on the use of digital learning on children’s education and wellbeing, especially in low resource and…
01 February 2022

Assistive Technology in Humanitarian Settings

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. The Overview of research 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. The 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. Afghanistan case study: Due to the impacts of the ongoing conflict, Afghanistan’s child population is at high risk of being born with or acquiring a primary or secondary disability. According to a recent estimate, up to 17 per cent of Afghanistan’s children live with some form of disability. Assistive technologies – the systems, services and products that enhance the functioning of people with impairments – are likely to be required by a large proportion of children with disabilities in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which includes a commitment to provide assistive technologies equitably to all who need it. However, little action has been taken to meet this commitment, and there continues to be a vast gap between need and provision. This work presents the the barriers and facilitators to provision and provides recommendations to begin to close the gap. South Sudan case study: 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 per cent 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 per cent and 15 per cent 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. State of Palestine case study: Official statistics identify 2 per cent to 7 per cent 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 per cent 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.