The key guiding principles for UNICEF partnerships with civil society and other actors are:
1. Mutual focus on delivering results for children and women, especially the most disadvantaged. UNICEF engages in partnerships that directly contribute to the effective and efficient implementation of agreed programmes of cooperation and humanitarian interventions. Such partnerships must contribute clear value to the achievement of UNICEF strategic priorities and internationally agreed conventions and development goals, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the MDGs.
2. Mutual commitment to the core values of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the principles of good governance, notably transparency, accountability and sound financial management. UNICEF and its partners will each bring specific skills, resources and abilities to the partnership or collaborative relationship based on their respective tolerance for risk and in response to the needs of the relevant programme environment at national, regional and global levels. UNICEF will not partner with organizations found to be in breach of core UN norms or with any other entities that pose a reputational risk to UNICEF.
3. Equity among all partners. The objectives and activities pursued throughout the life of a partnership or collaborative relationship should be fully transparent and involve mutual accountabilities and mutual contributions as well as shared risks and benefits among all partners.
4. Integrity and independence of partners. Partnerships need to maintain the integrity and independence of both UNICEF and the partner(s).
5. Cost-effectiveness of the partnership. Partnerships should seek to minimize administrative and financial costs, without compromising accountability or effectiveness.
6. Forms of cooperation appropriate to the context and the goals to be pursued. These arrangements should be formalized through a written, legally enforceable programme cooperation agreement or small-scale funding agreement when funds, supplies or other resources are transferred from UNICEF to the partner.
7. Equality among all partners. Equality requires mutual respect among all partners, regardless of the size or power of any one partner. The participants must respect each other's mandates, obligations, principles and independence.
8. Transparency in all decision-making processes that affect the partnership. Transparency is achieved through open and participatory dialogue, with an emphasis on consultation and sharing of information from the earliest stages of the partnership. Communication and transparency, including financial transparency, increase the level of trust among partners.
9. Responsibility to fulfil all obligations and commitments to the partnership. Partner organizations have an ethical obligation to fulfil their responsibilities to the partnership in a responsible and context-appropriate manner. They may agree to undertake activities only when they have the means, competencies and skills needed to deliver on those commitments.
10. Complementarity among partners. The diversity of the development and humanitarian community is an asset when organizations build on their comparative strengths and advantages and complement each other’s contributions.
11. Capacity development of national partners. Partnerships with national and international CSOs will actively pursue opportunities to develop the capacities of these organizations at national and community levels. Capacity development initiatives will be undertaken in accordance with the goals and commitments expressed in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Accra Agenda for Action.