Partnerships for change
Meeting the demands of addressing Zambia’s triple threat and moving forward with concerted development interventions requires maximizing on strong partnerships forged at all levels between UNICEF and those ready, able and willing to help.
At the national level, UNICEF supports the GRZ in developing child-focussed national policies, programmes and plans of action. These are designed as major contributions to achieving the Fifth National Development Plan, which, in its turn, prioritizes the MDGs.
With national and international development partners, UNICEF forges alliances to achieve focus and convergence, improve the mechanisms of development assistance and leverage resources for the benefit of women and children.
Collaboration is channelled through a Joint Action Strategy for Zambia (JASZ), creating a context within which the partner agencies of the UN family are aligning their programmes with GRZ’s planning. This is focussed overall on poverty reduction, with a 50 percent reduction by 2015 as the target. UNICEF is the lead UN agency in Education and Social Protection.
UNICEF also supports other collaborative action within the UN through chairing the Basic Social Services UNDAF outcome group. In assisting to combat the HIV and AIDS pandemic, UNICEF has a major role in the joint UN plan through a cooperating partners group, under the auspices of UNAIDS and supporting the National AIDS Council in following through the Zambian HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework. In a setting of ongoing public sector reform and decentralization, UNICEF assists provincial and district authorities in strengthening capacity to provide quality services for children and women.
Wider partnerships spanning civil society also function to underpin the different elements of UNICEF programming. One example is a UNICEF supported consortium of international and national non-governmental organisations working cooperatively as a forum to promote water and sanitation issues. In the protection context a grouping of concerned bodies has formed an alliance around issues of gender-based violence.
At the grassroots UNICEF efforts to reach out to communities entails partnering with community leaders, religious leaders, tribal chiefs, associations, families and young people, facilitating empowerment and their ability to lead their own development.
Working with communities is the most effective way of getting essential services to the people who need them most. Through local government authorities, UNICEF support strengthens the capacity of local organisations and social activists to address child survival and protection issues.
In liaising with the media to build a strengthened partnership with this vital communication channel, an emphasis is put on publishers, media houses and journalists to adopt a positive stance towards the issue of child rights, in accepting their responsibility to keep the public informed. Using national, local and community radio broadcasting to support awareness-raising for behaviour change is of particular importance.
The private sector is an area open to development and a partnership with Barclays Bank has been initiated which provides a model for future broader initiatives.