UNICEF's Office of Research – Innocenti

Research is fundamental to UNICEF’s mission. The struggle to safeguard the rights of all children in all circumstances can only succeed when supported by the most reliable evidence and the latest knowledge.


The Office of Research – Innocenti is UNICEF’s dedicated research centre. Its core mandate is to undertake cutting-edge, policy-relevant research that equips the organization and the wider global community to deliver results for children. To achieve its mandate UNICEF Innocenti must work closely with all parts of its parent organization as well as a wide array of external academic and research institutions.

Innocenti’s research seeks to inform policy, guide action and also to challenge assumptions. The credibility and relevance of findings rest as much on the quality of inquiry as on independence. Innocenti’s position, firmly rooted in the global UNICEF network and fully engaged as an independent research body with leading universities and institutes in all regions of the world promotes a dynamic, real-time discourse on the generation of knowledge about children.

As the research centre for UNICEF, Innocenti is uniquely positioned to understand and respond to research questions on the ground, and to feed research into policy and practice – through its programmes of cooperation with more 150 low and middle income countries, its links to UNICEF National Committees in 33 high income countries, and as an arm of the world’s leading normative agency that shapes global policies and outcomes for children.


UNICEF Innocenti maintains a small team of about 40 researchers, evaluators, knowledge management specialists, communicators, operations and support staff at its centre in Florence. UNICEF Innocenti develops its research agenda in consultation with other parts of UNICEF and with external stakeholders.

The agenda is selected to support intensified research efforts coordinated across the wider organization where there is demand for a concerted effort to build evidence, usually in a rapidly expanding intervention area. Priorities are also driven by critical issues facing children which have been either overlooked or which do not fit neatly into discreet sectors.

Current research projects:

  • Child poverty, equity and well-being: multi-dimensional deprivation analysis, and the flagship Innocenti Report Card on child well-being in rich countries
  • Social protection: the impact of cash transfer programmes in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Child protection: work on the drivers of violence against children, and family and parenting support
  • Children and the internet: investigating child rights in the digital age
  • Adolescent well-being: analysis of the structural and social determinants of adolescent well-being across sectors and throughout the life-course
  • Education: school settings, learning pathways and life skills

Emerging areas of focus include: migration, gender, and the intersection of humanitarian and development work. We also host a global network of longitudinal studies (GLORI).


EMPLOYMENT: Vacancies, Fellowships for senior researchers, Internships for MA and PhD students and graduates

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Target group: 
PhD & PostDoc