Coordination & Partnerships

Cross-sectoral coordination and strategic partnerships to maximize the impact of child-friendly policies, laws and programmes.

Strong and sustainable cross-sectoral coordination and strategic partnerships are essential for building a child-friendly city.

The machinery of local government varies from country to country and from city to city. Very few of the intractable problems facing children can be solved by the action of one department alone. Because of this, cross-sectoral coordination between departments, and with and between regional or national departments or ministries as well as community or neighbourhood government is needed to build a child-friendly city.

Building a child-friendly city or community cannot be accomplished without strategic partnerships with stakeholders in civil society, the private sector, academia, media as well as children and youth themselves, all of which have a role to play in helping to keep the government accountable.

Country examples
Inclusion does not necessarily imply endorsement by UNICEF.

The Inter-Sectoral Thematic Dialogues (ITD) in the Platform for Urban Centres initiative in Brazil engage different actors, including representatives of government agencies, private and public organizations, specialists, community representatives and adolescents, to discuss the baseline indicators and the priority agendas of the initiative, analyze the problems, and suggest possible action points to improve public policies and service delivery.
View Brazil country profile.

Two coordinating mechanisms are used to implement the UNICEF Municipal Seal of Approval in Brazil: The Municipal Coordinator of the UNICEF Seal and the Inter-Sectoral Commission for the Rights of the Child and the Adolescent. The Municipal Coordinator is selected by the municipality to coordinate activities related to the Seal, act as a reference in the management of public policies related to childhood and adolescence and work together with the members of the Inter-Sectoral Commission. The Coordinator also serves as the link between UNICEF and the municipality. The Inter-Sectoral Commission for the Rights of the Child and the Adolescent includes the Municipal Coordinator of the Seal, strategic bodies within City Hall such as the Secretaries of Education, Health, Social Assistance, Culture, and Sports and Communication, as well as representatives from the Municipal Council for the Rights of the Child and the Adolescent (CMDCA) and from the Rights and Guardianship Council, child rights civil society organizations, and adolescents.
View Brazil country profile.

Cities participating in the CFCI in Finland are required to appoint a coordination group responsible for guiding the CFCI process. UNICEF Finland recommends that the group be cross-sectoral, in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the municipal organization, and that it include civil society actors. It must also be in regular contact with children and youth and provide them with opportunities to participate. The group size ranges from 6 to 25 people. Usually all sectors will appoint a representative to the group, but not all of them participate actively.
Download Finland CFCI case study [PDF].

The CFCI in France is built on a partnership with the Mayors of France Association (AMF) which connects mayors from all 36,000 French municipalities. The AMF is a forum for mayors to discuss issues of common interest and develop collaborative projects, including access to funding. The partnership enables UNICEF to have access through the AMF to all mayors in France which gives the initiative legitimacy, makes it visible and helps channel CFCI information to all cities in France.
Download France CFCI case study [PDF].

UNICEF France works with an extensive network of volunteers operating at the local level and organized around ‘Departmental Committees’ (CD) – referring to the administrative level of the ‘department’. Volunteers follow up with cities on the submission of their CFCI application and the signing of the partnership contract.

Cities participating in the CFCI are required to designate a municipal focal point for all interactions with the CFCI coordinating body. When applying for CFCI recognition, the municipality signs an agreement that includes a commitment to set up a Steering Group. It usually comprises 10 to 25 people, including children and stakeholders from various municipal sectors. While the Steering Group is the only compulsory structure required in the CFCI model, additional structures have been set up in different cities/communities.
Download Germany CFCI case study [PDF].

The CFCI coordinating body in Germany has arrangements with a pool of external experts to consult with and support participating municipalities. The expert panel consists of individuals from child rights-related fields, such as urban planning, public health and education. They work mainly on a voluntary basis, receiving a symbolic remuneration of €500 per year plus travel expenses. Three experts have been allocated to each municipality. Additionally, there is an on-line pool of experts for more specific topics as needed. The CFCI coordinating body encourages the use of experts at specific times in the process.

Cities implementing the CFCI in the Republic of Korea are required to have a dedicated team of at least two people working on the initiative. These officials are requested to remain for at least five years in the same position to ensure visibility and continuity as well as provide support for municipal staff.
Download Korea CFCI case study [PDF].

In the Republic of Korea, public-private partnerships are used to enhance the welfare system, including for children. For example, nearly all day-care centres are privately-run. In a typical arrangement, private entities receive state funding and, in exchange, must accept a certain percentage of marginalized children within their structures.

Each UNICEF Spain regional office has a small board composed of volunteers who represent UNICEF with the authorities. They play a fundamental role in promoting the initiative and ensuring buy-in at the political level.

The Institute for the Needs and Rights of Children and Adolescents (IUNDIA) of the Autonomous University of Madrid is a national partner of the CFCI in Spain. The Institute has undertaken specific research, monitoring and training activities including on-line training for municipal workers.
Link to site.

The child-friendly city of Sion, Switzerland, set up a youth observatory to coordinate youth policies and to detect, prevent and address emerging issues affecting youth. The observatory involves approximately 20 stakeholders, including professionals from various sectors, such as the police, integration, urban planning, schools, social service employees and staff from civil society organizations. They meet two to four times a year, alongside the ongoing activities of working groups. The observatory supports inter-institutional coordination, advises the municipal council on youth policies and supports the implementation of the decisions made. Each year the observatory focusses on a dedicated theme. The observatory has prompted a number of projects, many of which are still in place today.
View Switzerland country profile.