UNICEF's culture

Living our core values


“We are committed to a new era at UNICEF – one anchored by our strong, enduring commitment to achieving results for children and young people, and one grounded in openness, transparency and respect.”

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore

UNICEF is driven by five core values – care, respect, integrity, trust and accountability. A range of initiatives have been established to ensure these values form the basis of its operations and guide the world’s leading organization for children and young people.

To remain true to its mandate to help children and defend their rights, UNICEF’s internal culture must value and nurture the unique contributions made by its diverse global work force. Respecting, acknowledging and listening to its own people will help UNICEF to achieve lasting results for every child.

In February 2018, UNICEF embarked on a range of initiatives aimed at strengthening its commitment to its core values. These initiatives include:

  • Promoting a ‘speak-up culture’ to help create a safer and more inclusive workplace through online platforms, training and other initiatives promoted by UNICEF’s management as well as its staff association.
  • Seeking expert guidance on where it is not yet successful and where it could do better.
  • Increasing global and local townhall meetings to give everyone who works at UNICEF an opportunity to voice key concerns and opinions.
  • Implementing measures towards a culture of gender equality in the workplace to achieve EDGE certification.
  • Prioritizing progress on our organization-wide gender equality agenda through the UN System-wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP) for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.
  • Establishing an Independent Task Force on Workplace Gender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Harassment and Abuse of Authority, to identify issues and advise on how to address them through culture change and change management.
  • Recruiting a Senior Culture Change Advisor in the Office of the Executive Director to lead the development and implementation of a strategy for sustainable culture change based on UNICEF’s core values.
  • Engaging an external consultancy firm to help UNICEF plan and implement changes in its culture and management.

Change is a process. It takes time and determination. UNICEF has embarked on a course of change and continues to consult broadly, both inside and outside the organization, to ensure that change continues and is firmly embedded in its internal culture.

Learn more

UNICEF's journey of organizational transformation

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore’s message to staff on the report of the Independent Task Force on Workplace Gender-discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority

UNICEF's Strategy on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment