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UNICEF Executive Board

Looking back to look forward, UNICEF Executive Board reviews progress and plans for the future

Today, the UNICEF Executive Board heard presentations on a review of the current medium-term strategic plan, which is coming to an end this year, and a roadmap towards a new plan, for the next four years.

NEW YORK, United States of America, 6 February 2013 – On the second day of the first regular session of the UNICEF Executive Board, senior UNICEF staff presented the end-of-cycle review of the medium-term strategic plan (MTSP) of 2006–2013 and outlined the direction of a new plan, which will take effect next year.

Supporting documents for this session of the Executive Board, including information on the MTSP, can be found through the UNICEF PaperSmart portal for the session.

© UNICEF Video
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta discusses UNICEF's outgoing and incoming strategic plans with the UNICEF Executive Board.  Watch in RealPlayer


What is the MTSP?

The MTSP is effectively the business plan of UNICEF.

UNICEF constantly reviews its work in order to ensure that both successes and challenges inform its advance planning. Through collection of evidence, consideration of results achieved and incorporation of feedback from Member States and partners, UNICEF prepares a plan and allocates funds to implement its programmes. The MTSP is the blueprint that guides UNICEF in carrying out its work and the framework with which the Executive Board reviews the work of the organization.

Preparations for the next MTSP, for the period 2014–2017, have been under way since the beginning of 2011. UNICEF has conducted formal and informal consultations, thematic discussions, workshops and annual reports of results against the current MTSP, which, in turn, have been presented to the Executive Board, as well to as other United Nations agencies.

The new MTSP will be drafted by UNICEF for review by the Executive Board in June. Following revisions based on feedback received from Member States, the MTSP will be presented in its final form to the Executive Board, along with a budget, for approval in September. The new plan will commence on 1 January 2014.

© UNICEF Video
UNICEF Director of Policy and Strategy Jeffrey O'Malley presents findings from the review of UNICEF's present medium-term strategic plan.  Watch in RealPlayer


Achieving results for children

In her introductory remarks, UNICEF Deputy Director Geeta Rao Gupta noted that both the review of the current MTSP and the roadmap for the new plan demonstrated a high level of commitment to achieving results for children, particularly the most disadvantaged and excluded.

UNICEF Director of Policy and Strategy Jeffrey O’Malley presented the main findings of the end-of-cycle review to the Executive Board. He said that the situation for children had improved overall – particularly in areas such as under-5 mortality of children, which dropped to a historic low of 6.9 million in 2011.

“At the headline level, the review is a cause for celebration,” he said. “On average, children’s well-being has been increasing.”

The Millennium Development Goal target for drinking water has been met. Treatment for children living with HIV has increased by 500 per cent. More girls and boys are going to primary school. Enrolment rates increased from 86 per cent in 2004 to 91 per cent in 2010. The legal framework to protect children from violence is improving.

“These results are the results of countries, communities and families. But the end-of-cycle review convincingly demonstrates how UNICEF contributed to and added value to many of these responses,” Mr. O’Malley said.

Prioritizing issues affecting children

At the same time, the scale and severity of emergencies has increased. Climate change, migration and urbanization are among trends that are becoming more significant in their impact on the well-being of children.

The end-of-cycle review concluded that UNICEF is working in the right sectors and issues, partnering effectively and focusing innovation in areas that matter. At the same time, it also underscored the challenge of finding ways to deal with a rapidly accelerating pace of change, in a world in which global phenomena like climate change affect children in increasingly unpredictable ways.

Presenting the roadmap to the new plan, Mr. O’Malley introduced seven impact-level results to pave the way for how UNICEF would prioritize issues for the new MTSP. The impact-level results, which are broadly in line with the five focus areas for the current MTSP, are: health; HIV; water, sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; education; exploitation, violence and neglect; and poverty and discrimination/social exclusion.

The new plan, Mr. O’Malley stressed, would be based on lessons learned from the current MTSP and would place at its core UNICEF’s refocus on equity.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-0085/Markisz
President of the UNICEF Executive Board (and Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations) Jarmo Viinanen speaks at the first regular session of the 2013 UNICEF Executive Board at UNHQ. Beside him are (left) UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and (right) UNICEF Secretary of the Executive Board Nicolas Pron.

Shaping thinking, shaping work

In addition to the review, several important global processes have helped to shape thinking for the new plan, including the United Nations Secretary-General’s Five Year Action Agenda, the recently launched global initiative on child survival, A Promise Renewed, the ongoing discussions on the development of the post-2015 agenda and the recommendations of the quadrennial comprehensive policy review, recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

Mr. O’Malley said the new plan should strongly reflect effective partnerships, in particular, through United Nations coherence. At the same time, the plan will recognize the centrality of country programming.

“The next MTSP will make a clear distinction between ends and means,” Ms. Gupta said. “What that means is that the plan will outline expected results for children which we will achieve collectively and also the outcomes and the outputs which will contribute to those impact-level results.” 

Considering budget

Later in the day, the Executive Board turned its attention to budget matters. It heard that UNICEF’s income for the 2010–2011 biennium was US$7.35 billion, an 11 per cent increase over that of the previous biennium. Still, it also took note of the worrying decline of core resources for the organization, which dropped by 7 per cent last year, compared to 2011.

A session on Private Fundraising and Partnerships (PFP) heard that, in 2013, PFP aimed to generate a projected US$932 million in net consolidated income, US$420 million of which would be for regular resources and US$512 million for other resources.



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