Norway's statement at the UNICEF Executive Board

10/1/2012 // On September 13th Ms. Berit Fladby presented this statement at the second regular session of the UNICEF Executive Board 2012, on the "Report on the implementation of the strategic framework for partnerships and collaborative relationships".

President,

I would like to express our thanks to UNICEF for the report on implementation of the strategic framework for partnerships and for the presentation this morning.

Norway commends UNICEF for its active engagement in partnerships and also for its contribution to conceptual thinking about the purpose and role of partnerships, including their mobilizing power which the Executive Director talked about in his opening statement on Tuesday. We believe that partnerships – multi-stakeholder partnerships visible at the world stage as well as the many less visible ones – are of great importance for ensuring the rights of children and for achieving results for children. 

We support UNICEF’s new results-oriented approach to partnerships as presented in the report, with emphasis on assessing the added value - that is, the trade-off between benefits and transaction costs at different stages of cooperation. Since UNICEF is engaged in a great variety of partnerships – formal and informal, globally and at country level and with a wide range of partners, the plan to focus on the purpose of the various partnerships (programme implementation; knowledge and innovation; policy and advocacy; mobilization) appears to be an important step forward towards a more strategic approach to partnership engagement as each partnership, as we understand it,  would have to be justified in the context of the expected results in the Medium-Term Strategic Plan. We also believe that the new approach is a good starting point for more systematic reporting to the Executive Board. We would welcome information during the consultations on the new MTSP as well as in future reports on the effectiveness of the four partnership categories and on how they contribute to achievement of results within the different focus areas of the strategic plan.  Clearly, systematic monitoring and evaluation is key to assess what works and is crucial for institutional learning and policy development as well as for improved reporting also in this field.

President,

On the basis of the report before us, I will now comment on UNICEF’s partnerships with three types of partners:

First, on partnerships with UN entities:  Clearly, UNICEF is involved in different types of partnerships with entities in the secretariat as well as with other agencies. Our impression is, however, that the report under-communicates the importance of UNICEF’s partnerships within the UN,  including i.a. reform efforts within the UNDG and in terms of strategic collaboration at country level in UNDAF processes, through the Delivering as One modality and through joint initiatives and programmes with individual agencies.  We encourage UNICEF to include a systematic description of partnerships with UN entities in future reports, and in the consultations on the next MTSP we would welcome UNICEF’s view on how different kinds of UN partnerships can be used strategically to promote children’s rights and achieve results for children.

Second, on multilateral finance institutions: We welcome initiatives for closer contact with the World Bank, the IMF and the regional development banks as described in the report. We look forward to further reporting on what such initiatives mean for UNICEF’s work on the ground.  As for partnerships with UN entities, we would appreciate UNICEF’s view on how partnerships with the multilateral finance institutions can be used strategically within the context of the next strategic plan.

Third, on the National Committees: The National Committees are nationally registered NGOs but may appear, as we see it, a hybrid in terms of their relationship to UNICEF, different from UNICEF’s partnerships with other NGOs. One difference is that the National Committees promote UNICEF in their own countries through their advocacy role. In Norway, we are thus witnessing a broad and frequent media coverage of UNICEF initiated by our National Committee. A difference of another kind is that UNICEF, as described in the report, equips the National Committees with guides and tools. We would therefore like to hear UNICEF elaborating on the strategic role of the National Committees.

Thank you, President.


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