Enhancing subnational and local governance to accelerate results for children

UNICEF’s new Strategic Plan recognizes the critical role local governments and actors play in the realization of children’s rights. They ensure access to basic social services, such as water and sanitation, health, nutrition, education, child, and social protection; create opportunities for children and youth to actively engage and participate in all local processes, establish accountability mechanisms that strengthen social contract, while also effectively translate programming objectives into concrete financial commitments for sustainable impact. Moreover, current crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the increase in the intensity and multiplicity of conflicts, have once again, highlighted their essential contribution as the actors who are, many times, at the forefront of preparedness and response. This Framework aims to support UNICEF Teams in Country Offices and National Committees as they enhance and scale-up their programming and engagement with partners at subnational and local levels. It applies a territorial approach and provides a number of engagement approaches that may be considered as entry points for subnational and local governance programming. In the countries where UNICEF is engaging programmatically at subnational and local levels, the Framework highlights the importance of understanding the functional assignments of local governments as part of the decentralization process. These functional assignments include service delivery and operational accountabilities of different levels of governance (national, regional, local).