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Making Philippine cities child friendly: voices of children in poor communities

The study analyses how the Philippines’ national Child Friendly Movement, which has engaged government, NGOs, civil society, children and UNICEF, has enhanced the capacity of local governments, communities and young people to fulfil the rights of the poorest children. The study uses participatory methodologies and reflects the viewpoint of children and the community. It reveals that in areas where the Child Friendly Cities strategy was adopted, greater attention is paid to the most excluded and vulnerable groups and interventions are developed on a wider spectrum of children’s rights. Beyond providing insights on concrete ways in which child rights are bring promoted at local level, it provides recommendations on how the fulfilment of child rights can be further enhanced by municipal governments.

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Trafficking in humans, especially women and children, in Africa

Trafficking of human beings affects every country in Africa for which data are available, either as countries of origin or destination. The report looks at information from 53 African countries and provides an analysis of the patterns, root causes, and existing national and regional policy responses and effective practices. Trafficking occurs when a child's protective environment collapses as a result of conflict, economic hardship, or discrimination. Traditional attitudes and practices, early marriage, and lack of birth registration further increase the vulnerability of children and women to exploitation.

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AIDS, public policy and child well-being

This study addresses one of the greatest challenges of our time: the damage caused by HIV and AIDS to the well-being of children and families. With 38.6 million people affected by HIV in 2006, with HIV prevalence at antenatal clinics exceeding 40 per cent in areas of Botswana and KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), with nationwide adult prevalence in excess of the critical threshold of 20 per cent in several countries, and with the prospect of a rapid spread of the disease in large swathes of India, China and the Russian Federation, the future of child well-being is seriously threatened. Certainly, in the 50 or so countries affected by the disease, the Millennium Development Goals in the field of child survival, education, poverty and basic rights will be missed, often by a large margin.

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Climate change and children: a human security challenge

The study reviews the implications of climate change for children and future generations, drawing on relevant experiences in different sectors and countries of promoting child rights and well-being. It traces in considerable detail the pathways through which shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns create serious additional barriers to the achievement of the child survival, development and protection goals embraced by the international community. The role of children as vital participants and agents of change emerges as a key theme.

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Intersectional discrimination against children

This paper adds a perspective to existing research on child protection by engaging in a debate on intersectional discrimination and its relationship to child protection. The paper has a two-fold objective: (1) to further establish intersectionality as a concept to address discrimination against children; and (2) to illustrate the importance of addressing intersectionality within rights-based programmes of child protection.

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Child rights and governance roundtable: report and conclusions

The objective of this Roundtable was to reflect on the linkages between governance and child rights and initiate a dialogue between both constituencies. It brought together actors from the governance sector and child rights experts. Various studies have evidenced that good governance brings both an intrinsic and an instrumental value to a wide range of development outcomes, including poverty eradication, the reduction of inequities, economic growth and broader social objectives.

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Best of UNICEF research 2014

Each year the Office of Research-Innocenti reviews submissions for the best research being published across all UNICEF offices: country programmes, National Committees, Regional Offices and headquarters divisions. The purpose of this activity is to showcase and recognize high-quality, high-impact research being done in the organization. At the end of the process each year the Office of Research-Innocenti issues a publication containing summaries of the papers considered to be of particular merit. In 2014, the summaries cover issues concerning child protection, cash transfers, ECD, maternal health, inclusive education, and WASH.

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Best of UNICEF research 2015

In addition to recognizing high quality research, the Best of UNICEF Research process aims to share findings with UNICEF colleagues and with the wider community concerned with achieving child rights. This year the competition received 99 applications With global reach, the 12 projects in the final selection cover many of the ‘traditional’ areas of UNICEF work (health, nutrition, sanitation and education), while also highlighting issues that have more recently gained prominence within the global policy agenda, such as social transfers, violence against children and school bullying, and various forms of inequality or exclusion. This publication provides summaries of these research projects, including methodology and results.

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Best of UNICEF research 2016

The Best of UNICEF competition identifies a number of studies that are assessed to be of particular merit on a number of criteria: in terms of the relevance and interest of the topic and findings; the rigour of their methodology; and the potential for impact, including lessons that could inform programmes elsewhere, or the capacity for replication or scaling up. Issues covered include health, education, WASH, child protection and social inclusion. There was also a strong emphasis on qualitative and mixed methods research, demonstrating the value of rigorous qualitative studies. A number of studies selected as of special merit in 2016 involved research directly with children and there is an increasing recognition that children’s perspectives are of primary importance. There was also a welcome attention to gender in some of the studies, including research with both adolescent boys and girls.

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Understanding governance of early childhood development and education systems and services in low-income countries

Over the past decade, early childhood development and education (ECDE) has received increasing attention. This has led to an influx of scientific, macroeconomic, and rights-based evidence, supporting the importance of equitably implementing quality ECDE programmes and services. Despite the increase in evidence, young children in the developing world still bear the greatest burden of poverty, disease, violence, and risk factors. Recent research suggests that equitable access to quality early childhood services (ECS) can reduce the impact of risk factors and improve outcomes.

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Children, ICT and development: capturing the potential, meeting the challenges

ICTs are not a technical sphere detached from the complex realities of children’s lives. They are increasingly woven into the very fabric of life, in income-rich and increasingly in income-poor countries. It is clear that if there is no targeted engagement with these socio-technical innovations, they are likely to reinforce existing inequalities. It follows that a focus on children and on greater equity leads to an active and reflective engagement with the potential and challenges of ICT for development, targeting in particular marginalized children. This report serves as a key contribution on which to build informed dialogue and decision making, developed jointly between research, policy and practice.

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Cash transfers and child nutrition: what we know and what we need to know

This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the impacts of cash transfer programmes on the immediate and underlying determinants of child nutrition, including the most recent evidence from impact evaluations across sub-Saharan Africa. It adopts the UNICEF extended model of care conceptual framework of child nutrition and highlights evidence on the main elements of the framework – food security, care and health care. It finds that several key gaps should be addressed in future including cash transfer impacts on more proximate nutrition-related outcomes such as children’s dietary diversity, as well as caregiver behaviours, intra-household violence, and stress, all of which have implications for child health and well-being.

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Heterogeneous impacts of an unconditional cash transfer programme on schooling: evidence from the Ghana LEAP Programme

The paper uses data from a quasi-experimental evaluation to estimate the impact of the Ghanaian Government’s unconditional cash transfer programme on schooling outcomes. It analyses the impacts for children by various subgroups – age, gender, cognitive ability – and finds consistent impacts. There are differences across gender, especially on secondary schooling, with enrollment significantly higher for boys 13 years or older. For girls, the effect of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme is to improve current attendance among those who are already enrolled in school (across all age groups). The authors found a significant effect on the expenditure on schooling items such as uniforms and stationary for these groups, which helps to explain the pathway of impact because these out-of-pocket costs are typically important barriers to schooling in rural Ghana and most of Africa.

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Cross country multiple overlapping deprivation analysis: analysing child poverty and deprivation in sub-Saharan Africa

Child poverty is defined as non-fulfillment of children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation, anchored in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. DHS and MICS household survey data is used, taking the child as unit of analysis and applying a life-cycle approach when selecting dimensions and indicators to capture the different deprivations children experience at different stages of their life. The paper goes beyond mere deprivation rates and identifies the depth of child poverty by analyzing the extent to which the different deprivations are experienced simultaneously. The analysis is done across thirty countries in sub-Saharan Africa that together represent 78% of the region’s total population. The findings show that 67% of all the children in the thirty countries suffer from two to five deprivations crucial to their survival and development, corresponding to 247 million out of a total of 368 million children below the age of 18 living in these thirty countries.

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Can unconditional cash transfers lead to sustainable poverty reduction? Evidence from two government-led programmes in Zambia

In sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world, the number of cash transfer programmes has doubled in the last five years and reaches close to 50 million people. What is the impact of these programmes, and do they offer a sustained pathway out of ultra-poverty? In this paper we examine these questions using experimental data from two unconditional cash transfer programmes implemented by the Government of Zambia. We find far-reaching effects of these two programmes, not just on their primary objective, food security and consumption, but also on a range of productive and economic outcomes. After three years, we observe that household spending is 59 per cent larger than the value of the transfer received, implying a sizeable multiplier effect. These multipliers work through increased non-farm business activity and agricultural production.

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Child poverty in Armenia: national multiple overlapping deprivation analysis

This report provides the first comprehensive national estimates of multidimensional child poverty in Armenia, measured using UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methodology. Dimensions and indicators for three age groups (0-5, 6-14 and 15-17) were selected as the result of a broad consultative process with key stakeholders convened by UNICEF Armenia. Based on nationally representative data from the Armenian Integrated Living Conditions Survey 2013/14, the study finds that 64 per cent of children under 18 are deprived in 2 or more dimensions, with a substantially higher rate in rural than in urban areas. The highest rates of deprivation are in access to utilities, quality housing and leisure activities. More than one in four children are both multidimensionally deprived and live in consumption-poor households, while more than one in three are deprived but do not live in poor households. The findings suggest that to target the most vulnerable children, policies should concentrate on closing the rural/urban divide in infrastructure and on strengthening social safety nets, especially in rural areas.

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The Millennium Development Goals report 2015

This report presents data and analysis evaluating the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It proves that, with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate resources and political will, even the poorest countries can make dramatic and unprecedented progress. The report also acknowledges uneven achievements and shortfalls in many areas. The work is not complete, and it must continue in the new development era.

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Socio-economic impact of Ebola virus disease in West African countries

This report undertakes an assessment of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) for each of the 15 West African countries, breaking away from the tradition of focusing on the three epicentre countries. It assesses the impact of EVD on poverty incidence and food security in both the three epicentre countries and other non-West African countries. The report concludes by offering a set of policy recommendations.

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Hearts and minds: women of India speak

This report acknowledges the “lived experiences” of women and girls in India at the grassroots level and ensures that the voices of those who remain socially, economically and geographically marginalized are meaningfully reflected in the emerging post-2015 development discourse and agenda. The analysis contained in this report is based on in-depth interviews with women and focus-group discussions with almost 200 elected women representatives. The report addresses issues that resonate with women all over the globe, such as women's empowerment, poverty, employment, health and education. The key findings from this report can be used to influence the global agenda setting, ensuring that the post-2015 framework does not make the same mistakes that the MDGs did.

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2009 World survey on the role of women in development

The World Survey on the Role of Women in Development is the flagship publication of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. It is presented to the Second Committee of the General Assembly at five-yearly intervals. The 1999 World Survey focused on globalization, gender and work and the 2004 World Survey addressed women and international migration. The General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to update the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development for the consideration of the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session; noting that the survey should continue to focus on selective emerging development themes that have an impact on the role of women in the economy at the national, regional and international levels. The theme for the World Survey in 2009 is “Women's control over economic resources and access to financial resources, including micro-finance”.

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Gender, remittances and asset accumulation in Ecuador and Ghana

The central question motivating this study is whether processes of migration can contribute to women’s economic autonomy by facilitating their acquisition of physical and financial assets, either as migrants or as managers of remittances sent to their households. Drawing on representative national-level household asset surveys for Ecuador and Ghana, the authors find that 24 per cent of all households with migrants in Ecuador and 17 per cent in Ghana have acquired at least one asset through the use of remittances, predominantly international remittances. In Ecuador, where international migration is gender balanced, male and female international migrants are equally likely to send remittances to their households of origin; in Ghana, men are much more likely to be international migrants than women and predominate among the remitters. Remittances have contributed towards strengthening women’s ownership of assets (especially consumer durables) in both countries. In Ghana, most businesses acquired with remittances are owned by women, as are the majority of the residences so acquired. In Ecuador, women managers have benefited through the build-up of their savings and as joint owners of the homes built with remittances; also, return female migrants are more likely than their male counterparts to have acquired a home through their use of savings earned abroad. Nonetheless, a minority of migrant women and female remittance recipients are able to acquire assets. Enhancing the capacity of migrants to channel their foreign savings towards asset accumulation will require policy interventions at various levels, including a focus on their conditions of employment in destination countries (see Sustainable Development Goal, recommended SDG 8.8); reducing the cost of remittance transfers (recommended SDG 10.c); and specific policies to facilitate the acquisition of assets in the home country (recommended SDGs 1.4 and 5.a).

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Gender and financial inclusion through the post

Women form a disproportionately large share of the world’s unbanked population. Gender inequalities in employment and earnings mean that women have lower incomes, making them less able to open accounts in formal financial institutions. Moreover, women frequently do not have the collateral necessary to seek out loans from the formal financial sector. These factors combined with discrimination against women in financial markets mean that women are far less likely than men to have checking or savings accounts in their own names. Women’s microcredit and savings and loans groups have become important components of the development agenda in many countries. However, these groups have not been able to build the long-lasting linkages to formal financial institutions (FIs) necessary to scale up their access to funds and grow independently of non-governmental and aid organizations. The role of post offices in banking women has, however, gone largely unnoticed in this analysis. This paper investigates the extent to which financial services offered through posts may serve women in the developing world better than FIs. We find evidence that posts do seem to include women to a greater extent than FIs. The empirical analysis suggests that this is partly a function of widely distributed postal networks and the lower transactions costs in combination with cheaper services offered by the posts. We also find some evidence that this outcome may be a result of greater discrimination against women by FIs rather than systematic outreach to women by the posts. We conclude that a more deliberate attempt at the financial inclusion of women by postal operators has the potential to yield even more success in this regard.

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Realizing women's rights to land and other productive resources

Women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources are essential to ensuring their right to equality and to an adequate standard of living. Throughout the world, gender inequality when it comes to land and other productive resources is related to women’s poverty and exclusion. Barriers which prevent women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources often include inadequate legal standards and/or ineffective implementation at national and local levels, as well as discriminatory cultural attitudes and practices at the institutional and community level. The purpose of this publication is to provide detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to respect, protect and fulfill women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It presents an overview of international and regional legal and policy instruments recognizing women’s rights to land and other productive resources, and discusses ways of advancing a human rights-based approach to women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It sets out recommendations in a range of areas accompanied by explanatory commentaries and good practice examples and case studies from countries. The publication is based on the results of an expert group meeting held in June 2012. It is hoped that the publication will be a useful tool for policy makers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in their efforts to realize women’s rights to land other productive resources.

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Extracting equality - a guide

This guide examines how to approach the issue of gender within the extractive sector. It is the first-ever extractive value chain that combines gender with good governance. This toolkit examines all 12 steps of the extractive value chain, from finding out how much natural resources a country has to looking at how a project should be dismantled. At each step, the toolkit offers a clear picture of the specific considerations to make and questions to ask in order to ensure women are not left out of natural resource governance. Are women being consulted about the impact of mining? Are women, as well as men, being trained in contract monitoring? The toolkit is targeted at those involved in the extractive industries sector — community members, civil society organizations, NGOs, oil, gas and mining companies, as well as governments and UN agencies.

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From transition to transformation: sustainable and inclusive development in Europe and Central Asia

This report was launched at the first Global Human Development Forum which brought together high-level experts from governments, corporations, civil society and international organizations to examine the global policy changes required to ensure a sustainable future for people today and for generations to come. The report, supported by 13 UN agencies, calls for a transformation to integrated policy making, where social equity, economic growth and environmental protection are approached together. The report calls for: 1) Removing fossil fuel subsidies to send the right signal to both businesses and households; 2) Establishing a social protection floor, in part to ensure the poorest are not hurt by the removal of fossil fuel subsidies; 3) Investing in green and decent job creation for women and men in the sectors where there is greatest opportunity in the region: renewables, recycling, energy efficient housing, and sustainable transport.

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