Engaging innovative partnerships with local authorities
Fostering deeper connections across Europe and Central Asia
Mayors from across Europe and Central Asia region have pledged support to make their municipalities work better for children and young people. UNICEF has partnered with these municipalities and local authorities to prioritize:
- More disaggregated data and evidence on the most vulnerable and marginalized children, and the neighborhoods in which they live, to better inform local policies and action.
- Strategies to remove the barriers to vulnerable children and young people accessing local services.
- The development of tools and capacities, and the mobilization of resources to engage with all local actors and foster effective solutions to local problems.
- Strategic and innovative local plans and budgets to advance the wellbeing of children, young people and their families.
- The monitoring and oversight of local service provision for children, young people and their families.
- The full participation of children and young people in decision-making to ensure that they are at the very heart of local agendas.
For more than a year, municipalities and local authorities in emergency response countries are working with UNICEF to support Ukrainian refugees. From creating centres for refugees to education, healthcare and employment for mothers and children fleeing violence, municipalities are taking the lead to help the more than 7.7 million people who have fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries.
Working with municipalities remains a cornerstone of UNICEF refugee response to support access, and expand existing services for a more inclusive, sustainable response.
On the ground
"The defining feature of this cooperation is a strong focus on the social cohesion between the refugees and the Czech population. We are planning to launch an assistance centre for provision of help with education, healthcare, employment or accommodation."
"It is important that we can work with an international organisation that has seen many crises of such nature. They show us how to address cultural issues and find the people in need, who are actually much more numerous than the official statistics would make us believe. So we are very grateful to UNICEF for working with us in solving this crisis."
"There is probably nothing more important at this second then to provide for the children who, together with their mothers, are running away from the tragic war in Ukraine. Thanks to UNICEF, we have the program as a whole, we have training of our municipal police officers, we have preparation for high school as well, we have leisure centres and of course we are also starting the project of a safe way for children to go to school, or better say on the movement of children in public space in Bratislava."
"At the moment, the government is working on preparing a strategy that will motivate Ukrainian families to change their place of residence, giving them the opportunity to study or work in smaller towns or to reside which will at least allow for a good education and raising their children. I would like to thank UNICEF for its support in the preparation of this programme."
"UNICEF really knows how to approach difficult questions, how to deliver help directly to refugees, what are the more important needs and how to use money and expertise most efficiently. We have been using that experience and it allowed us to accommodate the needs of the refugees and also to learn on the job."