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Public Partnerships

Policies and issues

PHILIPPINES, 2006 - The first day of school at Rosauro Almario Primary School in Manila, the capital. UNICEF assists the 'child-friendly' school with teacher training, books and other supplies.
© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1470/Pirozzi
  • UNICEF 101 - an orientation to the organization

    On 26 October 2017, the Public Partnerships Division organized a one day UNICEF 101 - An orientation of UNICEF for new focal points to UNICEF based in New York Permanent Missions. Below are copies of the 2017 presentations shared by UNICEF experts:

  • Audit

    UNICEF is audited externally and internally:
    • External audit: fulfilled by the United Nations Board of Auditors (UNBoA); and
    • Internal audit: assigned to the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI).

    External Audit
    By Resolution 74 (I) of 7 December 1946, the General Assembly created the the United Nations Board of Auditors (UNBoA) to audit the accounts of the United Nations organization and its funds and programmes. UNICEF is subject to external audit exclusively by the UNBoA in accordance with the UNICEF Financial Regulations, established by the UNICEF Executive Board.  The UNBoA undertakes its audits of UNICEF in accordance with its own risk model and audit plan.  In accordance with the Single Audit Principle, UNICEF is not in a position to entertain requests for external audits by individual Member States or others, and is not in a position to offer the services of the UNBoA to conduct specific audits outside the UNBoA’s audit plan.

    The overarching goal of the UNBoA is to use the unique perspective of public external audit to both help the General Assembly to hold UN entities to account for the use of public resources, and add value by identifying ways to improve the delivery of international public services. Findings and recommendations are presented to the Assembly through the Fifth Committee and after review and advice by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). Reports of audits by the UNBoA are public documents, available on the UNBoA website.The latest report on the UNICEF financial report and audited financial statements is for the biennium that ended 31 December 2011.

    Internal Audit
    While the UNBoA is the independent external auditor of UNICEF, the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) is the internal auditor. OIAI operates with full transparency to the UNBoA. The OIAI reports to the Executive Director, with the purpose of independently advising management, and the Executive Board on its findings and concerns. The OIAI’s vision is to promote integrity, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of UNICEF’s resources. In fulfilling this vision, the OIAI’s mission is to provide UNICEF with high quality oversight services ensuring that UNICEF resources are used efficiently and effectively for the protection and realization of the rights of children and women. The OIAI is made up of two functions, Internal Audit and Investigation.

    Audit Advisory Committee (AAC)
    The AAC is an independent advisory body, without management powers or executive responsibilities, whose role is to advise the Executive Director and to inform the Executive Board on the conduct of management responsibilities. The AAC is comprised of five external members who are independent of both UNICEF and the Executive Board.

  • Delivering as One

    UNICEF is committed to harmonizing and simplifying business practices and processes, internally and among UN agencies as well as promoting greater attention to results and their monitoring with the ultimate aim of delivering better and faster results for children.

    See UNICEF and UN Coherence on unicef.org and UNICEF Tools for Coherence (including A Handy Guide on UN Coherence)


  • Emergencies and Humanitarian Action

  • Environment and Climate Change

    Red more about UNICEF and environment and climate change on unicef.org


  • Equity

    For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop, and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favouritism. This interpretation is consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which guarantees the fundamental rights of every child, regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, income, physical attributes, geographical location, or other status.

    Inequities generally arise when certain population groups are unfairly deprived of basic resources that are available to other groups. It is important to emphasize that equity is distinct from equality. Equality requires everyone to have the same resources. Equity requires everyone to have the opportunity to access the same resources. The aim of equity-focused policies is not to eliminate all differences so that everyone has the same level of income, health, and education. Rather, the goal is to eliminate the unfair and avoidable circumstances that deprive children of their rights.

    An equity-based approach to UNICEF’s programmes and policies seeks to understand and address the root causes of inequity so that all children, particularly those who suffer the worst deprivations in society, have access to education, health care, sanitation, clean water, protection, and other services necessary for their survival, growth, and development.

    When a child’s right to education, basic health, or protection is denied, he or she is deprived of the opportunity to survive, grow, and develop. In most cases, children tend to be deprived of multiple rights, reinforcing their marginalization within society. For instance, a girl may be denied education, health, and protection on account of her gender. The consequences of these deprivations span the life cycle, cutting short the child’s potential to develop her full capacities as an adult.

    UNICEF’s launch of ‘Narrowing the Gaps to Meet the Goals’, 20 October 2010, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Global Health Policy Center, hosted by Executive Director Anthony Lake (Video)

    Narrowing the Gaps to Meet the Goals’ (PDF)

    Progress for Children: Achieving the MDGs with equity (PDF)

  • Fraud

  • Gender mainstreaming

    UNICEF recognizes the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination as central to the consideration of gender equality and believes that gender-based discrimination is one of the most ubiquitous forms of discrimination that children face. The organization promotes equal outcomes for girls and boys, and its policies, programmes, partnerships and advocacy efforts seek to contribute to poverty reduction and the achievement of the MDGs through result-oriented, effective and well-coordinated action that achieves the protection, survival and development of girls and boys on an equal basis.

    UNICEF strives to mainstream gender equality in all of its work for children, with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a principal reference, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as the other important underpinning of the organization’s mandate and mission. UNICEF recognizes the mutually supportive relationship between the CRC and CEDAW. The importance of mainstreaming gender in humanitarian programming to ensure an effective response is increasingly reflected in UNICEF’s policies and guidance for humanitarian action. The Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies (CCCs) guides the work of UNICEF in its humanitarian response.

    In May 2010 UNICEF launched its Policy on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Girls and Women. A three-year Strategic Priority Action Plan for Gender Equality: 2010-12 (SPAP) was launched globally in June the same year to operationalize the new gender policy. It forms the basis for gender mainstreaming efforts in UNICEF, laying out eight areas of change: accountability and strategic framework; capacity and knowledge; leadership, influence and advocacy; programming; ‘doing what we advocate’; partnership; financial resources; and communications. For more information, please see: https://www.unicef.org/gender/index.html.

    The UNICEF Strategic Plan 2014-2017 outlines results for children based on the impact of outcomes and outputs, and will specify targets for each result. Normative principles, i.e. gender equality, human rights and environmental sustainability, will be mainstreamed in all components of the plan and will be monitored and reported as a component of the performance management system.

  • Good donorship principles

    UNICEF is committed to improving the quality of aid and its impact on development according to the five principles first outlined in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (2008):

    • Ownership: programme countries exercise effective leadership over their development policies, and strategies and co-ordinate development actions;
     Alignment: support is based on programme countries’ national development strategies, institutions and procedures;
    • Harmonisation: donor partners’ actions are more harmonized, transparent and collectively effective;
    • Managing for results: managing resources and improving decision-making for results;
    • Mutual accountability: where donors partners and programme countries are accountable for development results.

    The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness took place in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 29 November to 1 December 2011. At the forum in Busan the decision was made to have the Global Partnership for Effective Development take over the work of the OECD/DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness (2008-12) at the end of June 2012. The Global Partnership aims at bringing governments, private companies, multilateral agencies, civil society and others together to ensure funding, time and knowledge produce maximum impact for development. It is a forum for advice, shared accountability and shared learning and experiences to support the implementation of principles that form the foundation of effective development co-operation.

    The Global Partnership works with partners to complement existing efforts that impact on effective development co-operation. These include the UN Development Co-operation Forum, the Development Working Group of the G20 and the UN-led process of creating a global development agenda for after 2015.

    Busan Partership Document (pdf)

    Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (2008) (pdf)

    Good Humanitarian Donorship principles

    An interview in the Development and Cooperation magazine with Talaat Abdel-Malek who formerly chaired the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness about the new Global Partnership (article)


  • Innovation

    “We believe innovation can help accelerate our progress – across all of UNICEF. Innovation in our programmes – using new technology and new ideas to reach the hardest to reach communities and the most vulnerable children, mothers, and families. Innovation in our products – sparking the creation of new, lifesaving interventions … supporting a more competitive market to help more countries afford them … and strengthening the supply chain to meet greater demand. Innovation in our processes – increasing our efficiency in a difficult economic environment … improving our ability to target resources … and better monitoring our results so we can better manage for results. And innovation in our partnerships – working in ever-closer coordination with donor and partner governments … with our sister UN agencies and our National Committees … with civil society and the private sector … and with young people themselves.” (UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake in his Opening Remarks at the First Regular Session of the UNICEF Executive Board 7 Febuary 2012)

    New ideas and approaches are important to UNICEF’s work and UNICEF aims to engage and partner with the right organizations and individuals from the public, private and academic sectors to support us by co-developing user-driven innovations. UNICEF is working on a range of projects around the world at various stages of development, from a response to a challenge, or the initial seed of an idea, through to development, piloting then implementation at full-scale.  Some projects include a ‘get involved’ section where we seek input or partnership to move the project forward. UNICEF's global network of Innovation Labs works to stimulate and facilitate the adoption of innovative approaches throughout UNICEF. The network is growing and currently UNICEF Innovation labs are located in Denmark, Kosovo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

    Read more:

    Dedicated pages on innovation in UNICEF on unicef.org

    UNICEF Innovation unit's Christopher Fabian and Erica Kochi make TIME 100 list "World's Most Influential People" (press release)

    Africa's Children: Future Leaders of Innovation in the Post-2015 world (UNICEF Conference Outcome report, pdf)



  • Nutrition

    UNICEF belives that investing in improving maternal and child nutrition, especially during the crucial 1,000 days from the mother's pregnancy to the child's second birthday, is the cornerstone upon which we must build our new development agenda.

    UNICEF's Nutrition Report (April 2013): Improving Child Nutrition, The achievable imperative for global progress (pdf)

    UNICEF Position Paper (pdf) for the Nutrition for Growth Summit in London on 8 June 2013.

  • Sustainable Development Goals

    World leaders set a transformational course for the future of human development with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. Millions of people were involved in crafting this global agenda  -- governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, the UN system and concerned individuals, including children and youth. These stakeholders and others are now actively involved in implementing this agenda from the local to the global levels so that all people -- including all children -- will live in a safer, cleaner, more equal and more prosperous world by the year 2030.

    UNICEF is committed to supporting the successful implementation of the SDGs, working with a diverse group of partners to see that the Goals deliver results for every child and for generations to come.

  • Promise Renewed

    The initiative launched by the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States together with UNICEF in 2012 to end preventable child deaths, reducing national child mortality rates to 20 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births by 2035.  Ending preventable child deaths means, first, giving children a healthy start by providing pregnant mothers with quality antenatal care and nutrition during pregnancy.  It means giving newborns a safe delivery, the ability to breathe in the first crucial moments of life, and proper nourishment to avoid stunting. It means newborns are sheltered, breastfed, kept warm and shielded from diseases like HIV.  And it means protecting children from infectious diseases like malaria and pneumonia with vaccines, bed nets, and antibiotics.

    To support partners in fulfilling the renewed commitment to child survival, UNICEF will establish a small secretariat to facilitate collective action on three fronts:

    1. Evidence-based country plans
    At the national level, participating governments will lead the effort to sharpen country action plans for child survival. Five-year milestones for maternal, newborn and child survival will be identified to track and hasten declines in child mortality.

    2. Transparency and mutual accountability
    As part of A Promise Renewed, governments and partners from civil society, the U.N. and the private sector will track and report the global progress of child survival strategies.

    3. Global communication and social mobilization
    Social media, publications, and other communication channels will be used to sustain the focus on and generate momentum for the goal to end preventable child deaths.

    More on A Promise Renewed and the latest progress report.


  • Q & A

    Q: How does UNICEF allocate its Regular Resources?

    A: See the answer under Types of Funding (Regular Resources): https://www.unicef.org/parmo/66662_66850.html#Allocation_of_Regular_Resources_to_programme_countries

    Q: What is the Single Audit Principle that provides exclusive right for the UN appointed external auditors, UNBoA?

    A: The Single Audit Principle encourages reliance of all stakeholders on one single external auditor, with a view to optimizing use of audit resources, minimizing disruption to business, and ensuring business knowledge of auditors.UNICEF is subject to external audit exclusively by the United Nations Board of Auditors (UNBoA) in accordance with the UNICEF Financial Regulations, established by the UNICEF Executive Board.  While the UNBoA is the independent external auditor of UNICEF, the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) is the internal auditor.  OIAI operates with full transparency to the UNBoA.  The UNBoA undertakes its audits of UNICEF in accordance with its own risk model and audit plan.  In accordance with the Single Audit Principle, UNICEF is not in a position to entertain requests for external audits by individual Member States or others, and is not in a position to offer the services of the UNBoA to conduct specific audits outside the UNBoA’s audit plan.

    Q: What does the UNICEF adoption of the International Public Sector Financial Reporting Standards (IPSAS) effective 1 January 2012 entail?

    A: See fact sheet on IPSAS: UNICEF moves to IPSAS (pdf)

  • Results-based management

    The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), adopted by the UN member states on 21 December 2012, “affirms the importance of results-based management as an essential element of accountability that can contribute to improved development outcomes and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the internationally agreed development goals”.

    Results-based management (RBM) is a strategic management approach by which all actors on the ground, contributing directly or indirectly to achieving a set of development results, ensure that their processes, products and services contribute to the achievement of desired results (outputs, outcomes and goals). RBM rests on clearly defined accountability for results and requires monitoring and self-assessment of progress towards results, including reporting on performance.


  • Strategic Plan 2018-21


  • Transparency and Accountability

    The International Aid Transparency Initiative IATI was launched in 2008 to support donors in meeting their Accra commitments on transparency. It is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid to increase its effectiveness. IATI aims to make information about aid spending and results easier to access, compare, understand, and use for stakeholders. This is of value for everyone from taxpayers in donor countries, to the children and other stakeholders in programme countries.

    UNICEF joined IATI in 2012 and has published information on its programme activities and funding in June 2013 as per the IATI implementation schedule (pdf). The released data, available in the IATI format at https://www.unicef.org/transparency, provides details of UNICEF’s current work in 128 countries, seven regional office locations and 16 headquarters divisions.  This includes allocations for the 2012 programme budget, expenditures by sector and planned programme budget estimates covering the next 5 years. The information will be continually updated and expanded with programme-specific reports and data.

    The 2014 Aid Transparency Index that was released on 08 October 2014 mentions UNICEF as one of the organizations that had made significant improvements in 2013 and continues performing even better: "UNICEF scores 64.6%, placing it in the good category. It ranks 10th out of 17 multilateral organisations. It is one of the biggest improvers in the 2014 ATI, gaining over 20 points since 2013".

    UNICEF has also developed and published an Information Disclosure Policy that makes explicit the commitment to making information about programmes and operations available to the public. In 2011 UNICEF prepared a briefing note on various accountability and transparency actions. Following this, the UNICEF Executive Board decided in its annual session of June 8, 2012 that the Director of the Office for Internal Audit and Investigation will make publicly available all internal audit reports issued after 30 September 2012.

    As part of the organizational development process, UNICEF has also committed to develop an Accountability System that defines accountability and oversight at all levels of the Organization. The first phase in this process was the preparation of the Report on the Accountability System of UNICEF which detailed the guiding principles and functional elements of accountability and oversight in UNICEF and was approved at the June 2009 Executive Board session.The current phase of the initiative will clarify functions and responsibilities to support the Country Programme and articulate more clearly the lines of authority and oversight - at Country, Regional and Headquarters levels - to make this support possible.

    The country-specific pages with detailed information on our programmes in each country provide a platform for greater accountability and transparency and will be continually updated and expanded.

    Accountability and transparency is in all work, especially in emergencies, fundamental to the achievement of the objectives of UNICEF’s Medium-Term Strategic Plan 2006-2013 and the Core Commitments for Children (CCC), and underpins UNICEF’s approach to results-based management and the Monitoring Results for Equity System (MoRES). The CCCs identify four actions that, with the support of partners, can reinforce a Human Rights Based Approach to humanitarian action – actions that define UNICEF’s accountabilities toward affected populations.

    In the spirit of accountability, transparency and improved effectiveness and results, UNICEF also makes itself readily available for assessments by its donors. The Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) is a network of donor countries with a common interest in assessing the effectiveness of multilateral organizations. The assessment provides a snapshot of four dimensions of effectiveness (strategic management, operational management, relationship management, and knowledge management): MOPAN 2012, volume 1 (pdf) and volume 2 (pdf).

    UNICEF is Transparent (pdf fact sheet on UNICEF and transparency).

    Trancparency and Accountability on UNICEF.org


  • UNICEF Executive Board

    The Executive Board is the governing body of UNICEF, providing intergovernmental support and oversight to the organization, in accordance with the overall policy guidance of the United Nations General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

     Executive Board documents

  • Value for money

    UNICEF has shown, through programmes and research, that reaching the most vulnerable is one of the best development investments made. The equity-based approach is not only right, it is also ‘value for money’. Funding activities for children through UNICEF is also extremely cost-effective, as more than 90 per cent of core resources are used to fund programme support activities. UNICEF is also able to amply show value for money in its procurement services.

    UNICEF to save US$22 million through transparency in buying bed nets’, 6 June 2012



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