A gendered analysis of child protection systems responses in COVID-19 programming in South Asia


Sushmita and her mother


Across South Asia child protection actors have been critical in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring children have continued access to services, mitigating new and increased risks and promoting mental health and wellbeing. This study explores the changes which took place in child protection systems across South Asia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and documents promising practices, programmatic innovations, challenges and lessons learnt from UNICEF’s programming with partners. The study found that key elements of complex adaptive systems are present within the child protection system responses to COVID-19 in the South Asia region. Importantly, there were three common factors across all case study examples that contributed to the success of the interventions and were highlighted as lessons learned: multi-level strategies, strong partnerships and building on existing initiatives and systems. The study was commissioned by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia and prepared by the University of Edinburgh.

NOTE: Use the dropdown menu on the right to download the main report and the country-specific case studies.

Dr. Deborah Fry, Karina Padilla, Lakshmi Neelakantan and Srividya Ivatury
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