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Office of Global Insight and Policy
New Insights newsletter | December 2021

4 MINUTE READ

Looking back on the year that was

At the Office of Global Insight and Policy, our focus is on the future, and equipping UNICEF to interpret and engage in a rapidly changing world. But at the end of a busy year, it’s a good time to look back. Here are some of our highlights of 2021:
 

Intelligence: Understanding the issues affecting children

Outlook 2022-2025: We began the year by releasing a global outlook for children to inform UNICEF’s new Strategic Plan. Our assessment correctly anticipated a two-tier recovery from the pandemic between the global rich and poor. Look out in January for our new outlook for what to expect in the year ahead. 

5.5%

REDUCTION IN 2024 INCOME FORECAST FOR LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES COMPARED TO PRE-PANDEMIC ESTIMATES

Deep Dives: Exclusive to UNICEF staff, our Deep Dive series serves as explainers on a wide range of emerging issues. In 2021, we covered topics as diverse as targeted sanctions, vaccine counterfeiting, cyber attacks, fossil fuel subsidies, the social contract, cryptocurrencies, climate finance and much more.
22

DEEP DIVES PUBLISHED IN 2021

Global Discourse: Sparking conversations around the world


State of the World’s Children: In October, we launched our latest edition of the State of the World’s Children report, drawing attention to one of the issues of our time: children’s mental health. It calls for a fundamental reassessment in how we understand, talk about and treat children’s mental health. The report’s message has resonated far and wide, receiving 3,500 media mentions, including a strong endorsement by The Lancet. 
$390B

THE ANNUAL GLOBAL ECONOMIC COST OF CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH – EQUIVALENT TO THE ANNUAL INCOME OF NORWAY

Changing Childhood Project: In the lead-up to World Children’s Day, we unveiled the Changing Childhood Project: a UNICEF-Gallup collaboration exploring what it’s like growing up today and how generations see the world differently. Surveying more than 21,000 people in 21 countries, we found that children and young people are optimistic, savvy, and impatient for change.
883,000

HITS TO THE PROJECT’S IMMERSIVE WEBSITE IN THE PAST 4 WEEKS

Frontier issues: Scanning the horizon and developing policies for the future


Artificial Intelligence: We released a landmark policy guidance on AI, describing what it takes for AI systems to work for and protect children. The guidance was road-tested by a diverse group of governments and businesses and launched at a Global Forum, attracting hundreds of participants from 30 countries. 
1

GOVERNMENT FORMALLY ADOPTED UNICEF’S AI POLICY GUIDANCE

Data Governance: Our work on the future governance of children’s data culminated in the production of a manifesto detailing 10 ways to maximise the benefits of data use for children while protecting them from harm. The manifesto has been adopted by a consortium of 100 organisations.
114

COMPANIES – OF WHOM 44 ARE ADVERTISING COMPANIES – RECEIVING DATA VIA A TEENAGER’S PHONE DURING A TWO-WEEK STUDY

Climate Mobility: We released a series of papers exploring the rising phenomenon of climate-related mobility and its impact on children. We're developing guiding principles for children on the move in the context of climate change, following the model of the principles on internal displacement, to be released in 2022. 
216M

PEOPLE IN SIX REGIONS FORECAST TO MOVE WITHIN THEIR COUNTRIES BY 2050 DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Low-cost Private Schools: The pandemic has disrupted the education of around 1.5 billion children, of whom one in four are enrolled in private schools. Our issue brief showed that many children in the developing world rely on low-cost private schools, but hundreds of thousands have closed in countries like Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan and Uganda. 
206%

INCREASE IN GLOBAL ENROLLMENT IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS FROM 2000 TO 2019

Mis/disinformation: The rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation has emerged as a pressing public issue of the 21st century. As active digital users, mis/disinformation is very much a part of children’s lives. Our rapid analysis looked at the challenges in countering this scourge for children.
2%

SHARE OF UK CHILDREN FOUND TO HAVE THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO JUDGE WHETHER A NEWS STORY IS REAL OR FALSE

About us


The Office of Global Insight and Policy serves as UNICEF's internal think-tank, interpreting trends and events that affect children, shaping the global discourse, and scanning the horizon for frontier issues and ways of working. With dedicated expertise in seven policy areas — digital technology, human capital, governance, the environment, society, markets, and finance — the Global Insight team assists the organization in interpreting, and engaging in, a rapidly changing world.

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