DFID’s work through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Over the period 2007-11, the UK government was the second largest donor to UNICEF, contributing £690 million. The review looks at the impact and effectiveness of DFID’s partnership with UNICEF.

Score: Green/Amber
  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 22 March 2013
  3. Type: Other
  4. Subject: Multilateral spend
  5. Assessment: Green/Amber
  6. Location: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Sierra Leone
  7. Lead commissioner: Mark Foster

Read the inception report

Read the terms of reference

Our approach

This report provides insight into the UK’s relationship with UNICEF by examining the delivery of a range of aid programmes in Africa.

We examined a water and sanitation programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two complex health programmes in Sierra Leone and a single-focus malaria bed net programmes in Sierra Leone and Ghana. In each case, the Department for International Development (DFID) was the major donor.

We carried out four streams of work:

  • we mapped DFID’s funding to UNICEF over the period 2007-11;
  • we reviewed documents provided by DFID and UNICEF about the relationship and programmes;
  • we visited three countries to review programmes, visit delivery locations and meet beneficiaries and programme staff; and
  • we interviewed key personnel in DFID centrally, including the United Nations and Commonwealth Department (UNCD), the Procurement Group and specialist advisers.

Review questions

  1. Objectives: What is the programme trying to achieve?
  2. Delivery: Is the delivery chain managed so as to be fit for purpose?
  3. Impact: What is the impact on intended beneficiaries?
  4. Learning: What works and what needs improvement?


Review publication

Published 22 March 2013

Government response

Published 12 April 2013

ICAI follow-up

Published 12 June 2014