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UN/UNICEF Engagement with CSOs

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Presentation on theme: "UN/UNICEF Engagement with CSOs"— Presentation transcript:

1 UN/UNICEF Engagement with CSOs
Isabel Ortiz Associate Director UNICEF Policy and Practice

2 Distribution of World Income - Public Policies for Whom
Distribution of World Income - Public Policies for Whom? The Challenge of our Generation Global Income Distribution by Countries, (or latest available) in PPP constant 2005 international dollars Source: Ortiz and Cummins (2011) UNICEF

3 The UN and CSOs Since its creation, the UN has committed itself to ensure that Civil Society has a voice and a role to play in the work of the organization Engagement has considerably evolved over the years 1970’s ’s: significant increase in their participation in the activities of the organization. However, NGOs involved were mostly northern-based international NGOs 1990’s on: "second generation" of UN-NGOs relations Much larger scale of NGO presence across the UN system More diverse institutional character of the organizations involved, now including national, regional and international NGOs, networks, coalitions and alliances Greater diversity of the issues that NGOs seek to address at the UN CSOs play a key role at major United Nations Conferences and are indispensable partners for UN efforts at the country level NGOs are consulted on UN policy and programme matters Each agency seems to have their own guidelines on how to engage with CSOs, which guides identification/selection/funding of such organizations (UNDESA, UNICEF, UNEP, UNDP all seem to have their own framework/toolkit/guidelines)

4 UN Democracy Fund was established by the Secretary-General in July 2005 as a UN General Trust Fund. Supported by 36 Member States, its chief function is funding projects that strengthen the voice of civil society in democratic processes around the world DPI - The NGO Section of the Department of Public Information oversees partnerships with associated NGOs and provides a wide range of information services to them. These include weekly NGO briefings, communication workshops, an annual NGO conference and an annual orientation programme for newly associated NGOs. UNDEF - The UN Democracy Fund was established by the Secretary-General in July 2005 as a UN General Trust Fund. Supported by 36 Member States, its chief function is funding projects that strengthen the voice of civil society in democratic processes around the world. UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations -- both in the transition and consolidation phases of democratization. In this way, UNDEF plays a novel and unique role in complementing the UN's traditional work -- the work with Governments -- to strengthen democratic governance around the world. UNDEF subsists entirely on voluntary contributions from Governments; in 2010, it surpassed 110 million dollars in contributions and now counts 39 countries as donors, including many middle- and low-income States in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In four Rounds of Funding so far, UNDEF has supported a total of more than 330 projects in more than 110 countries. Oversees partnerships with associated NGOs and provides a wide range of information services to them (weekly NGO briefings, workshops, annual NGO conference )

5 Over 13,000 CSOs have established a relationship with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) The Non-Governmental Liaison Service promotes dynamic partnerships between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations iCSO - Over 13,000 CSOs have established a relationship with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The vast majority of these CSOs are NGOs; there are also institutions, foundations, associations and almost 1,000 Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs) listed as CSOs with DESA - which maintains a database of registered CSOs. NGLS - The Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) promotes dynamic partnerships between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations. By providing information, advice, expertise and support services, NGLS is part of the UN's effort to strengthen dialogue and win public support for economic and social development.

6 UN ECOSOC Consultative Status
The first time NGOs took a role in formal UN deliberations was through the ECOSOC in 1946 International, regional and national NGOs, non-profit public or voluntary organizations are eligible to obtain consultative status with UN ECOSOC There are three categories of consultative status: General: reserved for large INGOs whose area of work covers most of the issues on the agenda of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies Special: granted to NGOs which have a special competence in, and are concerned specifically with, only a few of the fields of activity covered by the ECOSOC Roster: NGOs that tend to have a rather narrow and/or technical focus and that can make occasional and useful contribution s to the work of the Council or its subsidiary bodies

7 Accredited NGOs at the UN
To be accredited, an NGO must have been in existence (officially registered with the appropriate government authorities as an NGO/non-profit) for at least two years Must have an established headquarters, a democratically adopted constitution, authority to speak for its members, a representative structure, appropriate mechanisms of accountability and democratic and transparent decision-making processes Consultative status provides NGOs with opportunity to participate in relevant international conferences convened by the UN and in meetings of the preparatory bodies of these conferences Currently around 3,400 NGOs enjoy consultative status with ECOSOC

8 Added value of the UN as partner
Access to governments = ability to create platform for CSO perspectives Trusted partners due to long history of engagement Ability to promote capacity development and engagement with other sectors of society Can lead to meaningful civil society inclusion within the global political system

9 Why should international organizations engage with CSOs?
It increases national ownership, legitimacy and credibility of policies and programs It helps improve democratic governance A strengthened civil society is a necessary condition to realizing progress in human rights It can make work more efficient and sustainable

10 UNICEF UNICEF's work with civil society has evolved throughout the decades in response to the changing landscape of child survival and development, strategic shifts in UNICEF's programmes, and the growth of civil society 1940s: a close collaboration with service delivery NGOs in emergency relief operations  Today: Country, Regional, and HQ Offices increasingly engage diverse civil society actors in areas such as research and analysis, policy advocacy, and social mobilization UNICEF has worked with civil society since its beginnings in 1940s UNICEF has one of the best reputation on the ground of all international organizations, partly due to our heavy involvement with various CSOs

11 Worldwide engagement CSOs are closely involved in the work of UNICEF at the country level (in 190 countries where UNICEF is active), and they are also consulted in the formulation of policy at HQ The NGO Committee on UNICEF (80+ organizations) for over 50 years has helped to cultivate and strengthen partnerships with NGOs The Committee participates in the meetings of the UNICEF Executive Board


13 UNICEF-CSOs collaboration
Partnerships and collaborative relationships with CSOs leverage results for children in several ways: Implementing programmes; Preparing for and responding to emergencies; Generating knowledge and innovative practices; Advocating for children’s rights and engaging in policy dialogue; Facilitating the participation of children and young people; Supporting the development of an active civil society that promotes children’s rights

14 1. Implementing programmes
With their close proximity to target groups, CSOs can deliver services in remote or hard-to-reach communities In situations that require a physical presence in the community and technical expertise, competent CSOs can play a critical role in scaling-up public programmes. In Rwanda, NGO Bamporeze in implements a community-based protection programme for children orphaned by AIDS that is supported by UNICEF Strained or overstretched political will, financial constraints, and logistical challenges in rural and remote areas are major impediments to the systematic delivery of health, education or nutrition services to children

15 2. Emergencies readiness and response
CSOs often have a comparative advantage – they are uniquely positioned to deliver essential supplies and services to vulnerable or hard-to-reach groups - over other development actors when delivering emergency relief due to: proximity to target groups knowledge of local contexts relatively flexible administrative structures In Myanmar, UNICEF provided over 30 NGOs with health commodities to mitigate the effects of Cyclone Nargis on the health and well-being of children and women

16 3. Generating knowledge and innovative practices
Often cutting-edge evidence and analytical reports come from iNGOs and think-tanks – for instance Oxfam, Save the Children Fund, Action Aid, Christian Aid, EURODAD, Third World Network, IDEAs and many others. At local level, the knowledge of CSOs = ability to develop \\\\\\\\\\\\\ innovative solutions

17 4. Advocacy and engaging in policy dialogue
Civil society can deepen and enrich policy dialogue through research, analysis, and advocacy. It acts as mobilizers of support for policies for children and women EX: UNICEF promotes civil society’s active involvement in national initiatives, such as child-friendly budgeting and legislative reform Latin America: social budgeting initiatives supported by UNICEF (e.g., Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, etc.) UNICEF partners with Tostan for the eradication of female genital mutilation/cutting in ten African countries Budgeting experience: involvement of CSOs in 4 stages budget cycle Due to Tostan’s work several governments have passed laws calling for fines or jail sentences for those conducting FGM/C almost one third of all communities in Senegal who practised FGM/C have been convinced to abandon the harmful practice

18 Ex: National Child or Youth Observatories: TUNISIA
UNICEF actively supports the National Youth Observatory to design and implement a comprehensive M&E system at the country level specifically around the issues that mostly affect Tunisian young people and children Ex: National Child or Youth Observatories: TUNISIA

19 Example II: Morocco UNICEF has supported the creation of the Moroccan Evaluation Association (MEA) Aim: to contribute to national debate and advocacy for systematic evaluation of public policies Based on the widely accepted assumption that if the national M&E capacity is weak, it is unlikely that any development efforts will reach significant positive results for citizens The Association has been recognized as a national independent association being invited to speak on evaluation matters in public events

20 5. Facilitating the participation of children and young people
MOROCCO - UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA supported the recent Youth National Summit (22-24 May 2011) More than 845 young people gathered together to have their voices directly heard by members of government, private sector and political parties They discussed issues relevant to them – education, health, youth employment, political participation, socio-economic support, etc. Ministers of several Departments answered young people directly and had to develop proposals for a better investment in young people May 2012: follow up meeting when Integrated National Strategy and time-bound Action Plan will be approved

21 6. Supporting the development of an active civil society that promotes children’s rights
The existence of a well-functioning civil society focusing on the rights and the development of children constitutes an end in itself UNICEF helps CSOs to build their capacities to advocate for children’s rights and implement child-focused programmes (to ensure the long-term sustainability of child-focused programmes and policy reforms) Sponsors training opportunities Convenes networks of likeminded CSOs Creates opportunities for collaboration, joint coordination and mutual learning

22 Challenges for effective partnering
Funding – How can CSOs be funded without compromising their independence? (Funders tend to impose their preferences, not to fund CSOs too critical, etc) Differences in respective organizational cultures and administrative processes (possibly creating administrative burden for CSOs) Diverse expectations and approaches Identified in the evaluation of UNICEF’s engagement with civil society

23 Strategies crucial to empowering civil society
Strengthening an independent voice Having a longer-term and context-specific perspective on development Unite! UNICEF motto: “Unite for Children” - Often CSOs divided because of working on different topics /approaches Ensuring that communities consider CSOs to be legitimate Strengthening the demand-side of human rights Strengthening the demand-side of human rights: “People have to strongly demand their rights; this will create a demand on the government and the legal system to deliver.” This means viewing communities not as passive recipients but as central to the action, strengthening awareness, skills and involvement in evaluating interventions.

24 Thank you Isabel Ortiz Louise Moreira Daniels
UNICEF Policy and Practice

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