- June 18, 2020
United Nations International Children Emergence Fund-UNICEF Contents
UnitedNations International Children Emergence Fund-UNICEF
United Nations International Children Emergence Fund-UNICEF 3
Board of Directors 4
Performance Measures 6
Collaborations, Mergers, and Partnerships 7
UnitedNations International Children Emergence Fund-UNICEF
UNICEFranks as one of the world’s leading organizations committed to thechildren’s health and wellbeing, and ensures that the youngindividuals enjoy equity regarding the two areas mentioned.Headquartered in the state of New York, UNICEF is a globalinstitution that works with more than 190 countries, where there arewell established representative offices from which its functions arechanneled (Hanhimäki, 2015). Specifically, UNICEF is a non-profitorganization, deriving about 70 percent of its revenue fromgovernments as grants, while the other 30% running capital isobtained through fundraising practices. One of the key areas thatUNICEF has played vital roles includes vaccination programs forchildren to contain communicable diseases. Besides, it is in theconstant lobbying for equity in education, ensuring that thesusceptible girl child populace has the same right as boys inlearning (Markisz, 2015).
Similarly,the organization also serves in ensuring that violence and prejudice,or child abuse and negligence, are all handled and eliminated in allparts of the world. Moreover, the non-profit, global body acts inresponse to situations such as the distribution of food and healthservices in areas of severe political instability. Additionally, theservices of health and other aids are provided in non-emergencyconditions, for example, through initiatives aimed to manage childlabor, and campaign for sufficient breastfeeding. Interestingly,UNICEF has been successful in the aforementioned service areas foryears, and that is utterly attributed to its potent managementnetwork of qualified leaders, collaborations, and partnerships(UNICEF, 2016). Therefore, this research paper aims to providesuccinct discussion on UNICEF regarding accountability,collaborations, mergers, and partnerships, highlighting how each ofthese parameters has aided in its performance over the years, andpotentially in the future.
Thecommitment of UNICEF in achieving excellent practices concerninggovernance, transparency, and accountability cannot be overwritten.With its operation area spanning the globe, Chan et al. (2010) arguedthat the institution must have the right team of managers to run itsfunctioning, and the best performance measures to act as the tenetsfor the achievement of its projected objectives. Therefore, thissection details the issues of UNICEF governorship, which is majorlyby a board of directors, and the performance measures.
UNICEFis managed by an Executive Board of Directors which is comprised of36 individuals. The leaders are usually voted for by the UnitedNation’s Economic and Social Council, and each of the electeddirectors serve for a term of three years. What is so good about theteam of trustees selected is that it is representative of all theareas served by the UNICEF, and that is the transparency that haspartly aided the organization to considerable success in the globalenvironment. Particularly, every region served by the organizationhas a representation in the Board as a Director, hence guaranteeingthe institution equitability with respect to corporate leadership.Moreover, the appointed directors are limited to a term of 9 years ofgovernance, but that is possible only if one is re-elected thestandard duration in office for each Director is three years(Markisz, 2015). Therefore, the opportunity for leadership is open toall in UNICEF, first, because there is a term limit, and second,because the posts are electoral, and calls for voting.
NewDirectors, once appointed, go through the process of induction, andthey are consequently accorded a package of baseline information sothat they can engage actively and positively in the assemblies of theUNICEF Board afterward. To ensure accountability, the Board hasintroduced a Bureau, and this is made up of the President and fourDeputies, who represent all the regions (five) of operation ofUNICEF. The role of the Bureau is to secure a proper balanceregarding the expertise or professionalism and experience as far asthe Board is concerned. The Bureau utilizes the guiding principlesset aside by UNICEF, which is a board skills matrix. The matrix isapplied to examine the present expertise and abilities within theboard, which is succeeded by appropriate actions when gaps areidentified, such as the introduction of training and developmentprograms. Again, regarding the appointment of the Bureau members, theBoard of Directors conducts an open election amongst them, and comeup with the Presidents, and four deputy presidents. The presidency isscheduled to rotate among the regions on a yearly basis.
Finally,under the supervision of the Bureau, the 36 Board member team worksby examining the activities of UNICEF, and endorses its policies,regional initiatives, and budgets (Chan et al., 2010). Foraccountability, the members of the Board convene thrice annually,that is, in January/February, May/June, and September, with all theconferences held in New York, the headquarter of UNICEF. Furthermore,the secretariat unit of the Board sustains and assists the memberswhen the need arises. In other words, the Secretariat works to ensurethat there is a harmonious and productive interaction between theBoard of Directors and the overall UNICEF secretariat. Above all, theBoard’s Office of the Secretary serves as the center for editorial,ensuring that all the records concerning the Board’s operations andmeetings are duly compiled for accountability (Jolly, 2014). As asummation, UNICEF’s domain of Board of Directors features a highdegree of accountability, ranging from the election process, durationof office service as a Director, regional representation fordirectorship, and documentation of the activities of the ExecutiveBoard.
Mostnon-profit charity organizations have considerable challenges when itcomes to performance measures and accountability, but not the UNICEF.Transparency and accountability are tenets for the organization inavailing development and aid outcomes for the young population.UNICEF has been working on a variety of measures to validate theprinciple of accountability and transparency in its services, allwith the aim to make the non-profit entity reliable, collaborative,and alert in dealing with the issues of children (Chan et al., 2010).First, UNICEF has implemented an Information Disclosure Policy, whichclarifies utterly its endeavors to publicize its operation andprogram outcomes to the regions served. Similarly, the organizationbecame a signatory to the International Aid Transparency Aid in theyear 2012, and that puts UNICEF on check to declare its aid spendingto the public so that the stakeholders can verify the accuracy inrelation to the services provided. In the year 2016, the AidTransparent Index ranked UNICEF at position 3 out of the possible 46humanitarian non-profits, indicating that the performance measurethat followed after the signatory of 2012 culminated in moretransparent and accountable operations by the UNICEF (Markisz, 2015).
Additionally,to ensure that UNICEF communicates efficiently with the publicconcerning how it utilizes resources, and where the services areavailed to children, the organization built a transparency micrositein the year 2015. In that site, there is an interactive geo-databesides flow visualization, from which the information isautomatically accessed from the files of the International AidTransparency Aid. Consequently, the performance of the institution ismeasured continuously as the data on supply and logistics, auditreports, program outcomes, and financial expenditure are accessed bythe donors, stakeholders, and the general public (Markisz, 2015).Finally, because the issue of financial expenditure is vital for thedealings of UNICEF, this institution has a very strict system ofaudit constituted by external and internal auditors. Within theorganization, there is the Audit and Risk Committee, which doesannual internal auditing, and forwards the result to the ChiefExecutive Officer for verification of how accurate and complete theinformation regarding finance is by the end of each budget year.Moreover, the reports by the committee can be accessed by an externalauditor, and that ensures absolute accountability, which has resultedin a regulated performance as far as financial operations of UNICEFare concerned (Chan et al., 2010).
Collaborations,Mergers, and Partnerships
Thealliances of partnerships, collaborations, and mergers are decisivein the sustenance of non-profit organizations which depend ongovernment and donors to obtain running capital. Earnestly, thesealliances enable such organizations to devise innovative approachesto cost, benefits, and risks sharing. Moreover, through alliances,non-profits can achieve the goal of capacity building, and those thatare humanitarian in nature can respond to the society needsadequately (Hanhimäki, 2015). Therefore, it is imperative tocomprehend how UNICEF has capitalized in alliances while it strivesto meet the needs of the children around the world.
UNICEFhas, over the years of its service, reported several collaborationsin which it involved other organizations that share in its goal (ofresponding to the needs of children) to ensure smooth operations. Forexample, Jolly (2014) noted that UNICEF collaborates with WorldHealth Organization (WHO) to help in the elimination of polio inAfrica. The two non-profits are the major players for Polio EmergenceCenters. In that collaboration, UNICEF fulfills the role ofcommunication and social mobilization concerning polio operations. Onthe other hand, WHO runs the programs of the national immunization,for instance, the system of surveillance and coupled with funddonations from governments, and World Bank, UNICEF has been able toavail all vaccines required for the general immunization, includingthat of polio in many African countries. For instance, the year 2015saw the procurement of 300 million polio doses in Nigeria. Othercollaborators that work in close cooperation with UNICEF tofacilitate rapid eradication of polio in Nigeria include Center forDisease and Prevention-CDC, European Union, Rotary, and the UnitedKingdom. Collaboration is key to the smooth running of humanitarianprograms in terms of funds and expertise or specialization.Initiatives involving the immunization of polio and other diseasesrequire stable systems of surveillance, routine drug vaccination,high-quality campaign, and community involvement (UNICEF, 2016).These are complex roles that are challenging to meet when aninstitution works alone. Therefore, UNICEF has been collaboratingwith other United Nation agencies to ensure that it achieves itsfunction of helping children.
Inother cases, the issue in question is so serious and widespread thata collaborative partnership is required to contain the situationeffectively. For example, the spread of HIV/AIDS among the newly bornchildren has been a concern for UNICEF for many years. On thatregard, UNICEF has inclined to partner with WHO and INAIDS. Theintention of the partnership has been to ensure a convergence programaimed to sustain speedy implementation of strategies meant to managematernal-neonate HIV/AIDs transmission (UNICEF, 2016). In thispartnership, UNICEF and WHO serve in ensuring that there is nocompromise in the maternal and child health remedies, as that is theonly way to prevent transmission. Besides, UNAIDS plays a role in HIVtesting and counseling to create awareness among the mothers, who arethen expected to respond by taking precautions during delivery toprevent transmission. Other UN organizations that UNICEF haspartnered with are many. For example, to facilitate efficientcommunication, UNICEF works with the United Nations CommunicationGroup-UNCG. That partnership helps in the provision of strategiccontrol, which involves an increased coverage of challenges faced bythe young population, and the consequent response by UNICEF (UNICEF,2016). Evidently, these partnerships have been yielding results,especially in the developing countries, where poverty has takencentral stage, denying children the access to health and foodsecurity, and political and civil wars have been the order of theday.
Finally,although merging is uncommon in non-profit organizations, UNICEF hasoccasionally entered in full amalgamation which involved thecollection of the UN finances into one entity. In such a merger,there is a singly unifying board, the executive director is one, theaction plan if binding to all, and there is one budget. An example ofsuch a merger is currently (2016) happening in the Philippines, wherethere is a single initiative on maternal and neonatal health. In thatprogram, UNICEF has assumed a collaborative merger with WHO, UNFPA,and the Governments of Philippines and Australia. At the start, theparties involved in the joint program signed a document, with thesignatories being the governments of Australia and the Philippines,and one UN coordinator, and the technical leadership was agreed toshift between the affiliate agencies (UNICEF, 2016). Although themerger is gradually becoming successful in promoting the status ofthe wellbeing of mothers and their neonates, it is receiving severalstruggles. Often, there are oppositions in the course of the programwith respect to the utilization of the common pool of funds, thelaxity to give up on the independence, principles, and rights by eachof the organizations forming the merger.
Specifically,UNICEF has well-grounded objectives, the guidelines of transparency,and accountability. Therefore, it is facing considerable constraintsto work in a joint program. Throughout most of its formulatedmeasures within the UN, UNICEF is placed higher relative to otherorganizations in terms of accountability. Moreover, the organizationwas the first to practice decentralized responsibilities among the UNinstitutions, and also the initial one to operate from adecentralized headquarter. Furthermore, its focus on the welfare ofthe young and helpless children with well-defined mission unique toits governance structure has earned it more popularity. Hence, UNICEFdoes not only rely on the government for funds, but also from thewilling donors who have trust in the organization for its openness inresource utilization (Markisz, 2015). Therefore, because of theseclear-cut qualities, UNICEF is struggling to function as a merger.
Fromthe above considerations, it is patent to conclude that UNICEF is aleading UN humanitarian agency that is successfully achieving itscore objective of ensuring that there is equity among childrenregarding health and security. It is governed by a team of 36directors, with the members representing all the regions of operationof UNICEF. With accountability and transparency being the guidingprinciples for its activities, the organization has won the interestsof donor agencies as well as governments in the regions of itsactions. Therefore, soliciting funds to help in its management hasbeen easy. Besides, with the realization that alliances are paramountin providing humanitarian services to the diverse world populationsof children, UNICEF has redefined its operations to includecollaborations, mergers, and partnerships. As much as these allianceshave proved helpful to UNICEF, merging with other UN agencies is aserious challenge because the organization has specific performancemeasures that keep it in check to ensure accountability andtransparency and that is lacking in some of the UN affiliateinstitutions.
AlthoughUNICEF has recorded tremendous achievements with respect to theprovision of health and welfare services around the globe throughpartnerships, collaborations, and mergers, its success is likely tobe jeopardized while operating in mergers. That is because its policyof transparency and accountability is so unique, and not a feature ofseveral other humanitarian institutions. Therefore, it must avoidfull mergers and instead, operate through partnerships andcollaborations, or independently where possible.
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Hanhimäki,J. M. (2015). TheUnited Nations: a very short introduction.USA: Oxford University Press.
Jolly,R. (2014). UNICEF(United Nations Children`s Fund): Global Governance that Works.Howick Place, London: Routledge.
Markisz,S. (2015). Ourhistory. UNICEF past, present and future.Boston, Cengage.
UNICEF,(2016).Better Together Country Stories of UNICEF Working with UN Partners.(2016). Retrieved 26 November 2016, fromhttp://sr.one.un.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/BetterTogether_CountryStoriesUNICEF_Jan-2016.pdf