Cadre des partenariats
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UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake (Centre, in blue cap) chats with a staff member from the NGO Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), a UNICEF partner, during a UNICEF-supported distribution at a water point in Tulia Village in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republlic of Congo
Partnerships between UNICEF and CSOs are critical to achieving results for children in both development and humanitarian action contexts. Sometimes they are organized through a formal agreement between organizations and sometimes they are carried out informally. The UNICEF-CSO partnership framework is flexible, so the specific form of the partnership can change over time as dictated by evolving circumstances.
What is a partnership?
Partnerships can encompass many different forms of collaboration. For the purposes of this guide, partnerships are defined as “voluntary and collaborative relationships between various parties in which all participants agree to work together to achieve a common purpose or undertake a specific task”. All of the partnerships between UNICEF and CSOs are considered to be strategic partnerships, since their goal is to achieve results for children based on the UNICEF strategic priorities.
Partnerships between UNICEF and CSOs have the following characteristics:
- They can be formal or informal agreements;
- They involve joint ownership and shared risks, responsibilities and benefits;
- They may or may not involve the transfer of financial resources;
- They are guided by the UNICEF Principles of Partnership;
- They are formed primarily with UNICEF country offices, as well as at global level;
- They can be focused on both development and humanitarian action contexts;
- They can be created to carry out diverse joint activities, including advocacy, programming, service delivery, awareness-raising, knowledge-sharing, emergency response, research, prevention activities, capacity development and fundraising.
- Joint ownership is a defining feature of partnerships. Through an initial and ongoing consultative process, both parties agree on the objectives and results to be achieved, including the implementation strategies and resources that each partner will contribute.
Formal partnership tools and agreements
Depending on the nature of joint work, a formal agreement may be appropriate. UNICEF uses the following three modalities for such partnerships:
- A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is used to formalize an agreement between UNICEF and one or more CSO partners to pursue common objectives at the global, regional or country levels. Each party pursues the joint objectives using its own resources. MoUs are typically used to define strategic alliances between UNICEF and a CSO or civil society network and declare agreement on intent, areas of common interest, spheres of cooperation and operational engagements.
- A programme cooperation agreement (PCA) is legally binding and defines a UNICEF-CSO partnership involving a transfer of UNICEF resources to the CSO. The agreement is jointly developed, with both UNICEF and the CSO collectively determining the justification for the partnership, the results to be achieved and the strategies for implementation. All parties are responsible for contributing intellectual resources to the initiative and are jointly responsible for the associated risks and successes. There are two types of PCAs, depending on whether the amount of money transferred is more or less than $100,000. UNICEF typically enters into PCAs with CSOs that have specific capacities and advantages that make them uniquely qualified to carry out the work.
- A small-scale funding agreement (SSFA), similar to a PCA, is legally binding and identifies a programme initiative jointly developed and implemented by UNICEF and a CSO partner with UNICEF funds. The SSFA and the PCA differ on two key points: the financial value of UNICEF resources contributed to the initiative, in cash or in kind, and the complexity of the agreements. As of January 2010, an SSFA should be used when UNICEF will contribute less than $20,000.
Informal partnerships are oriented towards achieving results for children and are used when the collaboration does not require a formal agreement. An informal partnership might be used, for example, when organizations are working together to identify child rights issues to address at the country level, performing joint advocacy or sharing knowledge.
For more details, click here.
Guiding principles of partnerships
UNICEF partnerships with CSOs are guided by a set of principles that address important considerations such as:
- Mutual focus and commitment to the core values of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- Mutual accountability and contributions among all partners, with a focus on delivering results for children and women;
- Integrity, independence and equality of all partners;
- Transparency in all decision-making;
- Capacity development of national partners.
- Throughout the course of the joint work, the partners should communicate regularly to ensure that the principles of partnership are being upheld.
Click here for a complete list and description of the guiding principles.
Eligibility criteria for partnering with UNICEF
UNICEF engagement in partnerships and collaborative relationships aims to foster a child-focused development agenda and to build the capacity of partners and societies to execute effective and efficient social policies for children. The core criteria for partnership include respect for UN standards, including human rights; transparency and integrity; capacity to carry out the partnership; and the potential for achieving strategic results for children.