How we work
© UNICEF Cambodia/S. Lim
UNICEF in Cambodia works as part of the United Nations system to promote and protect the rights of children and women. Our work is guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and core human rights treaties, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Partners in support of national development
The Royal Government of Cambodia leads the cooperation and is UNICEF’s principal partner. We collaborate with government counterparts from national level to the local level. Other key partners include local civil society and non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, other United Nations agencies and international organizations operating in the country. UNICEF works as one partner (among many others) in contributing to national programmes in support of national objectives.
The Country Programme 2011-2015
UNICEF Cambodia’s country programme has evolved from a service delivery approach to a rights and results-based approach that aims to achieve long-term systemic change by mainstreaming actions into national programmes and policies. Our aim is to enhance the capacity of the government to deliver basic services for children and women.
The current five-year country programme, 2011-2015, has been developed to advance the realization of children’s rights in Cambodia by making equitable progress towards the country’s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It has been set within the United Nations Development Assistance Framework and is fully aligned with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy Phase II and the revised National Strategic Development Plan to achieve measurable results for children and women in Cambodia. It is also aligned with many of Cambodia’s principal development partners to ensure that we work in a coordinated way for children and women.
Strengthening national systems and capacities for children
The country programme seeks to strengthen service delivery primarily through influencing policy and partnerships focused on the achievement of agreed results, demonstrating how systems work for children, facilitating participation and empowerment, and nurturing national ownership and mutual accountability.
Capacity development is central to our work and focuses on three levels: people’s capacity to articulate and claim their rights; national and sub-national government capacity to respect, protect and fulfil rights; and civil society’s capacity to facilitate enhanced participation and accountability.
Inequities and disparities between rural and urban areas, across and within provinces as well as among people with different educational levels and socio-economic status are disturbingly high in Cambodia. Considerable financial barriers prevent the use of services, with out-of-pocket expenditures representing about 70 per cent of total per capita health spending. Access to a skilled birth attendant is singled out as an example of the greatest social inequity, with the wealthiest women being 10 times more likely to give birth in a health facility than the poorest. Similarly, only 10 per cent of women with low education levels or no schooling at all are likely to give birth in health facilities or benefit from antenatal care, compared to 90 per cent of women with a secondary or higher education.
This is why UNICEF Cambodia’s country programme from 2011-2015 pays particular attention to equity issues, with the overall goal of contributing to the achievement of Cambodia’s Millennium Development Goals with equity.
Gender is a critical and structural determinant of inequity, leading to many poor health and social welfare indicators for Cambodian children. UNICEF is addressing the cross cutting nature of gender through all of our work. Most significantly we use programming, research, analysis and reporting to observe and learn about the different experiences that boys and girls have in order to understand the aspects of resilience and vulnerability that gender expectations can create and to weave this learning back into more gender-sensitive programmes and policy dialogue.
Youth and adolescents
While youth and adolescents are predominately a healthy age group, they do have specific requirements that UNICEF is attempting to address across all our areas of work. Our work for and with this age group is varied and includes the promotion of juvenile justice and perceptions of young people in society, the mortality risks of girls and young women during pregnancy, life skills training, and inclusion and participation of young people in local decision-making at the commune council, at school forums and in the home.
Communication for development (C4D)
UNICEF Cambodia employs a systematic, planned and evidence-based strategic process - including the participation of children, their families and communities - to promote positive and measurable individual behaviour and social change that is integral to improving health, nutrition, protection and education. outcomes for children.
Guided by the humanitarian imperative of UNICEF’s Core Corporate Commitments to Children in Emergencies, UNICEF Cambodia supports the government and partners to provide reliable preparedness for disasters, life-saving assistance to affected Cambodian children and early recovery after emergencies.
Supply and logistics
UNICEF Cambodia Supply Section supports the national availability and local delivery of essential supplies for child survival and development. The team supports UNICEF’s ongoing programmatic activities by procuring and delivering critical commodities (such a vaccines, essential medicines, therapeutic food, water and sanitation equipment, school supplies) on behalf of the government and partners. It also procures and pre-positions relief supplies for rapid response to emergencies.
UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. While the majority of our resources come from governments, we also receive substantial support from the private sector. We work with various donors, including National Committees for UNICEF in developed countries, international development organizations, the private sector and individuals to raise funds for our activities in Cambodia.
To find out more about UNICEF in Cambodia, please click here [pdf]