Who are UNICEF Australia
UNICEF are the United Nations Children’s Fund. They are an international development agency that works “in 190 countries for the survival, protection and development of every child, with a focus on the lives of children who are the most disadvantaged and excluded.”
UNICEF Australia is a National Committee of UNICEF. UNICEF Australia works “to protect and promote children’s rights by advocating for the rights of children in Australia and overseas, and engaging children in Australia in the concept of rights and how they can promote and respect the rights of other children.” They support “international development programs focusing on education, child protection, child survival, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and humanitarian emergencies.”
Note: Overall management and administration of UNICEF is directed by UNICEF’s Headquarter Offices, located in various countries across the world. UNICEF Australia is a National Committee of UNICEF. UNICEF National Committees (like UNICEF Australia) exist to “promote children’s rights, raise funds, sell UNICEF greeting cards and products, create key corporate and civil society partnerships, and provide other invaluable support.” This is an assessment of UNICEF Australia only. The results of this assessment for UNICEF Australia may or may not be consistent with other organisations that share the UNICEF brand.
Why do they exist?
They are “guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that every child has a right to survive, thrive and fulfil their potential – to the benefit of a better world.”
What do they do?
UNICEF Australia’s work centres around a desire to:
- protect and advocate for the rights of every child in Australia and overseas;
- provide life-saving support and protection for children during emergencies and crises;
- deliver long-term international development programs, including education, nutrition, and health care.
In 2016 UNICEF Australia delivered programs in Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Kiribati, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Australia.
How do they earn their money?
How do they spend their money?
Should I donate to UNICEF Australia?
UNICEF Australia are a legally registered charity with deductible gift recipient status. They are trustworthy; they are transparent with their finances, are clear about who is running and overseeing the organisation and have policies in place to avoid conflicts of interest. UNICEF Australia present some information that indicates they might be effective. They describe in-depth what they are doing and why. They also describe their results. Finally, they publish some original research into issues facing children in the region.
However, we would need to see more on their strategy, how they evaluate their programs and how they spend money across program areas before being confident UNICEF Australia is an effective charity. We were unable to locate any guiding strategy that highlights what the organisation seeks to achieve and how it will go about it. With regards to evaluations, we were surprised not to find any to include in this assessment. Evaluations and sharing of information seems to be important to UNICEF as a wider organisation. UNICEF publish their evaluation database, which contains complete evaluation reports of a large number of UNICEF programs. In addition, UNICEF Australia mention in their 2016 Annual Report the names of the programs that have recently been evaluated. This is a very good indication that UNICEF Australia critically review the outcomes of their programs. However, after extensively searching UNICEF Australia website, UNICEF’s Evaluation Database and general search engines, we were unable to locate the reports for consideration in our assessment. Finally, UNICEF Australia isn’t as clear as it could be about how money is spent — that is, which programs/countries receive money, and how much?
After considering both the strengths and weaknesses of UNICEF Australia, our recommendation is neutral. They present basic information that indicates they are probably trustworthy and effective, but we need further assurances before being able to recommend them with confidence.
In order to improve our confidence with UNICEF Australia, we would like to see:
- evaluations of their programs; and
- a breakdown of spending across program areas and countries.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
We have investigated the finances, operations and results of UNICEF Australia and present our evaluation in a report that you can download now. This evaluation shows you how your donation is spent, who is running the organisation and whether there are any potential conflicts of interest. It also examines whether the charity can demonstrate that they are delivering meaningful results. Finally, it contains our recommendations for potential donors and the reasoning behind them.
Download our complete evaluation of UNICEF Australia below to find out if they're the charity for you.
Find out whether UNICEF Australia is the charity for you. In this evaluation we describe what this charity does and why, what you should know about them, how your money is spent, who is running the organisation and whether they deliver results. Last of all, we recommend whether you should donate to them based on the findings of our analysis.