Uganda 2022

How we work

UNICEF is a decentralized organization operating around the world in 191 countries. Due to our unique role with each government and UNICEF’s presence as a facilitator, our organization is a leader in children’s issues.

UNICEF’s presence in 191 countries and territories makes the organization unique. It is the only agency with this level of presence in both national capitals and at the municipal level. UNICEF is committed to long-term results and scalability around the world. As a decentralized organization, more than 85 percent of our staff work in regional, country and field offices around the world. Geneva, for example, coordinates the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions, humanitarian aid and collaboration with national committees. On the ground in the program countries, national staff and specialists work together with international experts.

Based on UNICEF’s global goals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNICEF works in seven regions around the world

All regions work across all UNICEF program areas, including health, education and child protection, and contribute to the UNICEF Strategic Plan (2022-2025) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The regional offices are hubs of information, technical expertise, oversight and coordination for the UNICEF country offices. They support these offices in their efforts to raise the funding and resources needed to implement programs. There are seven UNICEF regional offices: Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia and West and Central Africa.

From the regions, UNICEF further decentralizes its work to the country level. There are a total of 150 country offices, each located in the capital of the respective program countries. There is a country program for each of the 191 countries in which UNICEF is active. They are each valid for a maximum of five years and define the focus of our work in the areas of education, health and child protection. They are developed by UNICEF in the country itself, in cooperation with the local government, and are monitored and approved by the UNICEF Executive Board in New York. 

UNICEF is not limited to national capitals, however. It also works with provincial and municipal governments to ensure that local needs and nuances are jointly identified and incorporated into program planning.

Finally, UNICEF works at the municipal level, where the practical implementation of programs takes place. The knowledge and needs of the local population are crucial to implementation, which is why UNICEF closely involves community leaders and other key decision-makers in the decision-making process. 

Strengthening civil society and non-governmental organizations working on the ground is right at the heart of UNICEF’s work. UNICEF works closely with international and local NGOs, known as implementing partners.

Thanks to their expertise and their local presence in communities, UNICEF can work with NGOs to implement programs in the best and most sustainable way. UNICEF’s underlying goal is to ensure that children’s needs are met and supported as effectively as possible. With this in mind, UNICEF selects the best possible partners, which may vary from country to country. 

International program work of UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein

As one of a total of 34 national committees, we at UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein support programs in more than 30 countries worldwide. The countries and programs supported are selected on the basis of both the UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein strategy and the Strategic Plan (2022–2025) of UNICEF International. 

UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein’s international program work is carried out and coordinated by a team of five specialists who work and liaise closely with the UNICEF country offices in particular. The main tasks of the International Programs Competence Center include the following:

  • Strategically guiding program support for the National Committee
  • Developing program documentation in close cooperation with country offices
  • Monitoring the programs supported by the National Committee in more than 30 countries
  • Preparing program proposals and program reports for companies, foundations and major donors
  • Ensuring the flow of funds for the implementation of the programs in the supported countries and their use in line with donors’ wishes
  • Assessing and analyzing global developments and current humanitarian crises, and their impact on UNICEF’s program work and emergency relief