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UN coherence at UNICEF

UNICEF and UN partnerships

© UNICEF/UN061291/Dejongh
Two girls laughing in the village of Sokoura, central Côte d'Ivoire

Our Commitment

Today’s world is being shaped by a range of new, complex and cross-cutting issues and trends. As the United Nations continues supporting governments as they address these issues and pursue the goals of Agenda 2030 to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, all UN agencies are being asked to be as efficient and effective as possible across our operations. 

To support this effort, the Secretary-General, António Guterres, launched a reform process to realign, strengthen and streamline the UN system. In December 2017, he published his report Repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, which aims to change how the UN system works through a number of actions for both Member States and the UN development system as a whole.

UNICEF is committed to the Secretary-General’s plans to reform how the UN works: among ourselves, as our agencies’ staff members work side-by-side in communities around the world, and in everything we do as a UN family. Throughout, we put the focus of our work where it belongs: not on process, but on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

For UNICEF, UN reform is a key opportunity to highlight what we can offer as an innovator, collaborator, and accelerator of children’s rights in both humanitarian and development settings, as mandated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Throughout the reform process, we are committed to preserving the best elements of UNICEF, while also exploring new avenues of improvement across our business operations. Collaboration and new partnerships, both inside and outside the UN family, are especially promising. Some examples include improvements to the UNDAFs, the development of new Business Operations Strategy (BOS), and transformative collaborations that can benefit children and their families.

Pooled Funds and Joint Programmes are identified as key instruments to deliver the SDGs. Agenda 2030 (adopted in September 2015) calls for the UN Development System (UNDS) to follow an integrated and improved financing approach. The interconnected and interdisciplinary nature of the SDGs calls for a collective approach by the UNDS to bring together agency specific mandates and sectorial focus for a coordinated joint policy and programmatic support. Further, the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) also highlights  the need to  rely on  common instruments to enhance UN policy coherence and coordination, whereby Member States “urges the United Nations development system to continue developing well-designed pooled funds, as a complement to agency-specific funds, that reflect and support common objectives and cross-cutting issues for United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies, and to enhance their participation, where appropriate, in such funding mechanisms” (GA Resolution Paragraph 33).
Building on these,  UNICEF’s new Strategic Plan 2018-2021 has now incorporated UN partnerships and strengthening coherence as one of the critical change strategy to deliver results. Anchored on the UNDAFs, the strategic plan encourages well designed Joint Programmes to reach specific targets and milestones in policy coherence, system building and mobilization of partners and communities for results.

UNICEF Strategic plan 2018 - 2021

UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018-2021 outlines Change Strategies (HOW) in the Results Framework, which include nine indicators of UN working together aiming towards;

The Common Chapter within the annex to the Strategic Plan has been agreed among the four New York based Funds & Programmes (UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women). The annex details how the four entities will work collaboratively, in accordance with their respective mandates, and in partnership with other members of the United Nations family, building on each other’s strengths to jointly contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first.
The aim is to

  • Work within different contexts, and through national, subnational and sectoral development plans, policies and investment frameworks.
  • Design targeted measures to benefit the poorest and most disadvantaged groups in society.
  • Accelerate policy prioritization, investment and achievement of results.
  • Seek to develop innovative financing approaches and models that deploy public resources to leverage in larger amounts both public and private investments.
  • Expand employment and livelihoods that are productive and stable, acknowledging the decent work agenda.
  • Enable access to basic services on an equitable, universal and non-discriminatory basis.
  • Expand social protection to deal with vulnerability, empowerment of women and ageing.

These will be achieved through focusing on

  • Eradicating Poverty
  • Addressing climate change
  • Improving adolescent and maternal health
  • Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls 
  • Ensuring greater availability and use of disaggregated data for sustainable development
  • Emphasizing that development is a central goal in itself, and that in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations the development work of the entities of the United Nations development system can contribute to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, in accordance with national plans, needs and priorities and respecting national ownership.



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