Recognized as a top International Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene nonprofit in the following years:
Headquarters Location: New York, NY
Mission: UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.
UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress.
UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families.
UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.
UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In coordination with United Nations partners and humanitarian agencies, UNICEF makes its unique facilities for rapid response available to its partners to relieve the suffering of children and those who provide their care.
UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority.
UNICEF aims, through its country programmes, to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social, and economic development of their communities.
UNICEF works with all its partners towards the attainment of the sustainable human development goals adopted by the world community and the realization of the vision of peace and social progress enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
During his career, Anthony Lake has worked with leaders and policy makers across the world. In 2007-2008, he served as a senior foreign policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Barack… See full bio.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 March 2014 – Jean Petit Marseille, Coordinating Engineer in Central District for Haiti’s department of water and sanitation (DINEPA), believes so strongly in the work of his team that he calls them “foot soldiers” in the fight against cholera. On the ground, these troopers for community sanitation and drinking water are known as TEPAC (the French acronym for Techniciens en Eau Potable et en Assainissement pour les Communes).
But by either name, on any given day, when Mr. Marseille treks alongside TEPAC agents through the mountains of Haiti, a small crowd of community members usually starts to trail behind them, calling out to express their need for water purification tablets in their homes.
Hitting the trails in these rural areas is an essential aspect of investigating outbreaks and pinpointing sources of contamination in the country as it struggles to overcome the largest cholera outbreak of the century. In 2010, the year of the onset of the epidemic, Haiti reported more cholera cases than the entire continent of Africa, which is one thousand times the size of Haiti.
The fight against cholera
UNICEF’s strategy to support Haiti’s national plan of action against cholera is threefold, involving coordination, response and prevention. Effective coordination among all stakeholders leads to faster response and expanded prevention activities. TEPAC agents are responsible for implementing the plan’s response aspect – crucial not only to save lives, but also to limit cholera transmission and to prevent the current outbreak from becoming endemic.
According to UNICEF Haiti Cholera Coordinator Claudia Evers, “Cholera does not kill if it is treated within 48 hours. To ensure rapid response activities, an efficient and well-consolidated coordination in the field is important. It means all actors need to speak to each other to make sure everybody knows who is doing what.”
Eyes and ears on the ground
TEPAC agents are especially well-suited for implementing timely and coordinated responses. “They’re the ones in the community, living with the people,” explains Mr. Marseille, “so they’re the first ones to know what’s going on. “
This proximity – and awareness of the first-known cholera cases – allows for immediate coordination of response activities with local health officials, helping to prevent intense outbreaks or to quell those that have already erupted.
Response activities include household visits, during which supplies like water purification tablets are distributed – critical since cholera-causing bacteria spread through contaminated water and food.
Agents also impart their knowledge of hygiene practices that mitigate the risk of exposure to cholera. Handwashing is one simple approach. Germs also spread via open defecation, but in areas still requiring latrines, limiting exposure of that sort can prove a more complex endeavor. The agents share tips on how communities should best protect themselves until latrines can be built.
Reaching the unreachable
TEPAC agents’ strong ties to the population at large also improve the link between community members and the government organizations that can respond to their needs. By going door-to-door, interacting with community members, TEPAC agents learn which areas lack latrines, for example. That information is invaluable in discovering how to best direct support in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
In 2014, planned WASH activities will reach 450,000 people in Haiti’s most affected areas. “That’s the kind of coordinated response we want in the district that will allow us to reach areas everyone thought were unreachable,” says Mr. Marseille.
With the financial support of UNICEF and DINEPA, TEPAC agents are now employed in every Haitian commune. Reported cholera cases in Haiti decreased from more than 100,000 reported cases in 2012 to 58,505 suspected cases of cholera reported by the Epidemiological Department of the Ministry of Health for 2013. This is evidence of the gains TEPAC’s intervention has already helped to achieve – and augurs the progress yet to come.
Expert Reviews of UNICEF
Evidence of Impact Summary:UNICEF is present in many areas; in schools, providing resources to the WASH sector of countries, particularly those with children in great need. They lead public health campaigns that change behaviors and improve health.
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Organization Strengths Summary:UNICEF is skilled at working with local governments to improve WASH access, and is known to respond to challenges with innovation. They have great expertise they are willing to share regarding rural water access and are benefitted by strong fundraising and effective leadership.
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Areas for Improvement Summary:UNICEF is, as a UN organization, constrained by the UN's structure, and additionally inherits a costly structure from their parent organization. UNICEF could improve funding and also try to improve leadership in all countries, as it is inconsistent from nation to nation. UNICEF should also improve the overall sustainability of their projects, and this could be improved by instilling a greater sense of ownership in the countries they work.
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Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact
Success in Kenya
|UNICEF have supported open defecation free campaign, which resulted in reduction of diarrhoeal dieases and choelera in cholera prone regions in Kenya.|
|UNICEF is present in WASH Programmes particularly in schools.|
Presence on the Ground
|UNICEF is continuing technical and financial support to the Watsan sector of countries.|
|UNICEF reaches the most vulnerable communities and children in both emergency and development contexts. They provide WASH services and products for those in great need.|
|From my perspective, UNICEF is the best UN agency. It is efficient and it has a huge impact for sanitation.|
|They serve as a reference for the WATSAN sector.|
|They have a great impact on water supply and sanitation for the developing world, strong leadership, staffs work hard and often work in the most poor rural areas. Finances are focused for poor populations. The organization should invest more on sanitation|
Expert Comments: Organization Strengths
|UNICEF managed to fund raise funds for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. There is strong collaboration with the Government.|
|Their strength is institutional; they collaborate closely with the minister and can impact their policy/investment/awareness campaign. UNICEF can be also pragmatic and try innovative approaches such as SANMARK (Sanitation Marketing) and CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation).|
|UNICEF also is focusing on building the capacity of local governments in the WASH arena, and is also shifting to focus on the importance of water quality and water point functionality, not just access to "improved water sources."|
|UNICEF has good leadership in sanitation and hygiene activities.|
|They have a high degree of involvement in the sector, advocacy and recognition and monitoring of impact through policy, approach and advocacy. They are addressing caps with adequate resources in programmatic areas|
|UNICEF is strong in advocacy, capacity, and sharing experiences in rural water supply and sanitation.|
|They have a global reach and an innovative mind-set.|
|They have a high impact in the field. They also have leadership in innovative technologies.|
Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement
|They should improve on managing timelines for the set activities and reduce bureaucracy.|
|UN agency can be slow and bureaucratic. UNICEF try his best to be as quick as possible but sometimes it is complex.|
|Firstly, I do not think it is sensible or prudent to put UNICEF in the same group of the other 'true' not for profits. UNICEF has a completely different mandate, funding base and function and I don't think is comparable. UNICEF is highly decentralized and therefore cannot be treated as a monolithic organisation. Some of its work in countries is very good, in other instances it is very poor. It is bureaucratic by nature and not efficient in terms of value for money.|
|They have poor organisation and are over bureaucratic. They depend on local leadership and are over-rated.|
|They need more program funding.|
|UNICEF has significant clout in the sector and impressive experience with community mobilization and clean drinking water. However, their familiarity with market based approaches and sanitation marketing in particular is limited in general and disbursed at best. UNICEF needs to evolve to ensure they stay as relevant as possible and be willing to look at how to improve/expand on their existing work instead of implementing the same type of programs.|
|UNICEF could have provide more technical support for waste management in rural areas. They should also promote project ownership in counterpart countries.|
|They could use more funds and more professional staff.|
|Think that UNICEF doesn't belong in the list of NGO's - not because they don't good work . But the reality they work in, the access to resources and national governments etc is because of being part of the UN world so much different. Furthermore I disagree with my colleagues on their fairly high ranking. They are typical implementers- a role that in fact is the national governments responsibility- and do contribute very little to innovation and sector change. Their efforts to developing sector capacities are poor and are overall not successful. Their strength is, because of their UN status, their presence in all countries of the world- so especially in fragile states with the potential for filling a gap.|
|Country by country quality and leadership issues. Not as efficient as could be with UN-level expenses/cost structure|
During his career, Anthony Lake has worked with leaders and policy makers across the world. In 2007-2008, he served as a senior foreign policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, a role he also performed during the Clinton presidential campaign of 1991-1992. He has managed a full range of foreign policy, national security, humanitarian and development issues at the most senior levels: as National Security Advisor (1993-1997) under President Bill Clinton, and as Director of Policy Planning in President Carter’s administration (1977-1981). He joined the US State Department in 1962 as a Foreign Service Officer.
Upon leaving the government, he served as the United States President’s Special Envoy, first in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and later in Haiti, from 1998 to 2000. His efforts, for which he received the 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Award, contributed to the achievement of the Algiers Agreement that ended the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He also played a leading role in shaping policies that led to peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Northern Ireland.
His experience in international development began in the 1970s, as Director of International Voluntary Services, leading the work of this ‘private Peace Corps’. In that same decade, he also served on the boards of Save the Children (1975–1977) and the Overseas Development Council. Over the past 10 years, Anthony Lake has been an International Adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross (2000-2003) and Chair of the Marshall Legacy Institute, which works in conflict-affected countries to remove landmines and assist survivors, and advance children's rights.
Anthony Lake’s ties with UNICEF are long-standing, dating back to 1993, when he worked with UNICEF’s third Executive Director, James P. Grant, on the organization’s presentation of its flagship publication, ‘The State of the World’s Children’, at the White House. From 1998 to 2007 he served on the Board of the US Fund for UNICEF, with a term as Chair from 2004 to 2007, after which he was appointed a permanent honorary member.
Immediately prior to his appointment with UNICEF, Anthony Lake served as Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Mount Holyoke College and a member of the Advisory Council of the Princeton Institute for International and
Regional Studies, and has served on the Governance Board of the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
He obtained a B.A. degree from Harvard in 1961, read international economics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and went on to receive his Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1974.
A native of New York, Anthony Lake is married and has three children and six grandchildren.