UNICEF Executive Board

Changing landscape of partnerships discussed at second regular session of UNICEF Executive Board

By Chris Niles

NEW YORK, 13 September 2012–Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Leila Pakkala presented a report on the expanded Strategic Framework for Partnerships and Collaborative Relationships to the UNICEF Executive Board on the third day of the second regular session at United Nations headquarters, New York.

© UNICEF VIDEO
VIDEO: 13 September 2012 - UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt discusses the changing landscape of partnerships at the second regular session of the 2012 UNICEF Executive Board.  Watch in RealPlayer

 

She was introduced by UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt, who emphasized the importance of keeping abreast of the changing landscape of partner relations.

“The environment for working with partners has evolved and, in a way, become more complex,” Ms. Brandt said. “Trends that have influenced our approach to partnership include south–south cooperation, the increasing number of important stakeholders in development and the increasing multi-stakeholder nature of partnerships. UNICEF is working to capture these strengths.”

She mentioned, as an example, the Flour Fortification Initiative, in which governments, international agencies, wheat and flour industries, consumer and civic groups provided nearly two billion people with fortified flour in 2012.

© UNICEF VIDEO
VIDEO:13 September 2012 - Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Leila Pakkala presents some of the key lessons from the strategic framework, which the UNICEF Executive Board adopted in 2009.  Watch in RealPlayer

 

The strategic framework was adopted by the UNICEF Executive Board in 2009. It provides a more coherent approach to partnerships, including coordination with other organizations, stringent evaluation and effective communication.

Ms. Pakkala’s report said that UNICEF was strengthening staff capacity for partnership through training and better monitoring and measuring of results, particularly system tracking for its partners at community level.

In working with governments, Ms. Pakkala said, UNICEF is improving the way it coordinates with them through rolling work plans that align programme planning with government planning cycles.

She noted that UNICEF was making increasing efforts to leverage its reach with multilateral partners with the aim of mobilizing support for child rights, achieving greater coherence in policy and exchanging information and technical expertise.

© UNICEF VIDEO
VIDEO: 13 September 2012 - Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Leila Pakkala outlines some of the measures for monitoring spending in her financial report to the UNICEF Executive Board.  Watch in RealPlayer

 

“UNICEF is strongly committed to United Nations coherence,” Ms. Pakkala said, citing a position paper entitled, ’Making Coherence Work for Children’.

The paper outlines “the UNICEF results-focused approach to partnerships with UN agencies as well as our strong commitment to delivering as one, with the aim of increasing collective impact and reducing transaction costs.”

Ms. Pakkala said UNICEF was taking a more structured approach to civil society partnerships, revising its guidelines so that they are strategic, streamlined and consistent with an agreed set of principles.

“In a rapidly evolving global landscape, UNICEF needs to be flexible in adapting its approach, learning from partners, making the best use of its resources and building on its global presence, convening capacity and compelling mandate,” she said.

 

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1013/Markisz
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt speaks at the second regular session of the 2012 UNICEF Executive Board at United Nations headquarters in New York. With her are (left to right): Minister Counsellor of Finland Nina Nordström (a Vice-President of the 2012 UNICEF Executive Board) and Secretary of the UNICEF Executive Board Nicolas Pron.

In summarizing the lessons learned since the framework was adopted, Ms. Pakkala said partnerships must be results-driven, that accurate monitoring and evaluation were vital.

Focus on results a key principle involved across all partnerships

“Successful partnerships begin a results-focused approach to the partnership, whether at the country, regional or global level,” she said.

In presenting the financial reports to the board, Ms. Pakkala emphasized the stringent measures being taken to monitor finances.

She reported that the measures taken in 2011 had resulted in savings of 11 million dollars in total expenditure. Those savings continued into 2012, she said, when the Private Fundraising and Partnerships budget had been reduced by 24 million dollars, compared with the year before.

 

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1014/Markisz
UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Leila Pakkala speaks at the second regular session of the 2012 UNICEF Executive Board at United Nations headquarters, New York.

Internal and external audits have provided a number of recommendations regarding how UNICEF works with its national committees.

“UNICEF is working to take the necessary actions to address the recommendations of the audit report in relation to private sector fundraising,” she said.

Ms. Pakkala said the recent audits represent an opportunity for UNICEF to strengthen its relationship with its national committees.


 

 

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