Country Report - LHD Quality Review
LHD in context
UNICEF’s close working relationship as a support to the government and its preeminent coordinating role among operational agencies puts it in a strong position to advance its LHD objectives further now that they have been made explicit in the Country Programme. However, with the onset of conflict over the Abbystan region, UNICEF’s strong partnership with the government has been shown to have risks, should the conflict worsen and UNICEF find itself unable to operate independently for humanitarian response, and it poses obstacles for implementing meaningful peacebuilding strategies.
Progress and Highlights
UNICEF staff and partners display a clear understanding and appreciation of the concept of linking humanitarian action with development and peacebuilding objectives. Survey results show that this understanding is reflected in increased level and quality of linkages in programming. According to people interviewed in the country, the logic for such programming is pervasive and ingrained as to be 'obvious’ to all aid actors. Despite this almost intuitive understanding, however, it was not until the concept was clearly articulated in program planning and made systematic and deliberate in project activities that staff reported seeing tangible change and progress made toward implementation.
Areas to improve (goals)
In addition to developing and improving conflict sensitive programming that integrates peacebuilding objectives and safeguards humanitarian principles, UNICEF Example Country is weakest is in the areas of accountability to affected populations (AAP), and advocacy efforts to mobilize predictable and flexible multi-year funding.
UNICEF staff felt the most significant challenge to implementing LHD to be insufficient funding (particularly the multiyear funding necessary for longer-term development and resilience objectives), suggesting the need for more assertive advocacy with donors to provide additional, more flexible funding.