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Civil society partnerships

Framework for engagement

© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-1232/LeMoyne
Earthquake-affected children from a Christian Evangelical School locate their country on an inflatable globe supplied by UNICEF along other teaching and learning materials (Haiti)

The value of a partnership lies in combining the complementary strengths and contributions of two or more parties to achieve greater impact and synergy than when operating separately, thereby contributing to better results for children and the promotion of their rights.

There is a long history of partnering with religious communities throughout the world and in all areas of programming, including advocacy and provision of direct services.

Partnership with religious communities, as with other civil society actors, should focus on delivering results for children and their families. Partnerships must provide clearly defined added value to efforts to achieve concrete results and be committed to the principles of equity, accountability and transparency at all levels.

Given the tremendous diversity among religious communities, the processes for effective engagement will vary depending on the community itself, the organizational level at which work needs to be carried out and the type of programming (e.g., advocacy, direct service provision or coordination), as well as other social, cultural and political factors.

The starting point to decide whether or not to partner with a religious actor should be the result sought and the added value of engaging with a religious actor to achieve that result. It is also important to understand why religious communities would want to partner with child rights organizations.

This section will outline the following recommended core elements of a framework for effective engagement with religious communities:



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