Contributing author: Oscar Martínez
UNICEF is increasingly seeking to engage with the Private Sector in all its programmatic plans, to accelerate and secure the achievement of the SDGs.
Whilst the organisation has developed great expertise engaging with the public and social sectors, it is still a challenge to apprehend the complex world of the Private Sector, its stakeholders and dynamics and its diversity, and identify its potential in each country and the best modalities to engage with the private sector.
GlobalCAD started in May 2020 a collaboration with UNICEF West & Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) aimed at supporting 14 Country Offices of the region to explore the full potential of partnering with the private sector.
The countries included: Cameroon, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, DRC, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
In line with UNICEF new global approach to partnering “Business for Results” (B4R), the consultancy went beyond mere funding to explore new types of partnerships.
The objective is to find shared values that benefit all partners equitably. The possibilities are infinite, as UNICEF demonstrates across the region.
They range from engaging mining companies with UNICEF to work with the informal settlements to address child labour; to partnering with mobile operators to create campaigns on nutrition or to create enriched flours that address malnutrition, among other examples.
The goal for GlobalCAD was to support 14 country offices in the process of mapping the potential of Private Sector Engagement and lead the dialogue with them to reach a substantial and relevant inclusion in the programmatic planning processes and strategies.
A tailored approach was taken in order to adapt to the very specific contexts and needs of the 14 different countries.
This translated into multiple interviews, surveys, in-depth sectoral analysis and reviews of strategies across the region, leading to the production of 14 country reports.
This work culminated on the 15th of February in an event conveying all senior officials from the region (Representatives, Deputy Representatives, Partnership specialists, etc.).
This regional workshop aimed to present an overview of private sector engagement across the region and foster discussions among countries on advancing private sector engagement for children’s rights through increased collaboration and cooperation.
Despite being organised virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, the workshop allowed intense and productive discussions across countries paving the way for increased synergies in the region with the support of UNICEF West and Central Africa Region.