Personal Action Plan to Deliver Sustainable Development Goals. UNICEF

Essay, 2021

30 Pages



Executive summary

Humanitarian organisations, such as UNICEF, strive to provide the best services to the people that they serve. They want to do so in an ethical, socially responsible, and sustainable manner. This paper explored how UNICEF can implement programmes that facilitate realisation of the SDGs. The paper found that for UNICEF to achieve this objective, it will have to uphold high ethical standards and clarify the responsibilities of different actors and stakeholders. The leadership must be accountable to both the organisation and the stakeholders. In relation to ethical leadership, UNICEF must make sustainability the focal point of their strategies and ensure that its activities are viable. Leaders must also be innovative and resourceful in building necessary partnerships to achieve UNICEF’s mission. Through effective ethical and responsible leadership, the organisation will be able to address challenges, such as efficiency in resource use, fairness and justice, and duplication of functions. In conclusion, the paper identified good leadership as the most important pillar in overcoming organisational challenges.


United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a United Nations agency tasked with the mobilisation and provision of developmental and humanitarian support to children globally. UNICEF operates in 192 countries and territories. The primary responsibilities of UNICEF include disease prevention and immunisation, maternal and childhood nutrition, promotion of education, and provision of emergency relief during disasters (UNICEF, 2021). UNICEF programmes focus on the development of community-level services which promote children’s wellbeing and health. The programmes operate in the world’s toughest places to reach vulnerable children and adolescents. As such, UNICEF has become the world’s largest provider of vaccines and leader in support for children's health and nutrition, quality education, and treatment of mothers and babies.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to minimise inequality, eliminate poverty, promote peace and realise prosperous global societies by 2030. In line with this vision, UNICEF programmes aim to bring life-saving help and hope to families (UNICEF, 2021). UNICEF impartially defends children’s rights and safeguards their lives and futures. According to studies, it will be impossible to achieve SDGs without realisation of child rights. There must be concerted efforts to secure quality education, good health, and a clean planet for all the children and their families. This paper provides a plan on how UNICEF can play a role in delivering SDGs.

Week (1): Standing up for the Rights Of Others

Governance and Leadership

Leadership is an important pillar of the successful implementation of the organisation's agenda. Good leadership helps to rally all the programme stakeholders behind a single agenda. Leaders must show that they care about the environment and develop policies that will promote business sustainability (Rao, 2014). In line with this argument, Aschendbrand et al. (2018) added that the integration of sustainability practices into the supply chain strategies would ensure efficient use of resources and enhanced satisfaction of consumers. Similarly, Lashley (2016) indicated that the adoption of sustainable supply chain practices means that the company is committed to achieve sustainability goals at all levels of operations and eliminate malpractices.

Good leadership also supports the coordination of the organisation’s activities and brings together all the program stakeholders. Smith, Erwin, and Diaferio (2005) indicated that cooperation has been important for the success of organisations, such as the United Nations and its agencies, such as UNICEF. In cooperation and integration of activities, the University of Birmingham (2011) highlighted that leaders are balancers, influencers, questioners, learners, and challengers. This means that effective programme leaders should be able to balance the interests of all stakeholders, influence the potential resistors to support the vision, and also be prepared to learn from others. Also, leaders must strive to assess the company’s operations and eliminate all the existing malpractices. Leaders should also question and challenge the status quo and create an environment conducive for the necessary changes for the organisation to move forward (Homes and Communities Agency and the University of Birmingham, 2011). Effective leadership and governance can help in the realisation of SDG 16, as shown in the table.

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Week (2): Planet: Life on land, in the oceans, and access to water

Access to water and sanitation

Children are the worst affected by water scarcity. UNICEF has a responsibility to ensure that all children are able to access quality water regardless of where they reside, as shown in the table. In addressing this ethical issue, UNICEF Lebanon ought to ensure that there is fairness and integrity. The organisation must ensure that all the individuals who need assistance can get them without discrimination or repression. The organisation must always uphold its moral standing while respecting the dignity of the families. Through this, UNICEF Lebanon will be able to overcome the ethical challenges associated with lack of fairness and injustice and ensure that organisational responsibilities are met sustainably (Butts, n.d.). In responding to diverse cultural needs, the organisation faces the challenge of preserving its organisational goals, mission, and vision in an ethically acceptable manner. On sustainability, UNICEF should explore opportunities to cooperate with other stakeholders to streamline activities to enhance efficiency in the use of available resources. Zavodna (2013) illustrated that sustainability and sustainable development should be based on the collective values of the stakeholders. For example, the UNICEF WASH programme should be designed and implemented in a manner that is consistent with the government will as well as the core values and vision of the organisation.

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Week (3): Climate Action: global to a local challenge

Resilience and Adaptation

Organisation resiliency and adaptation is vital in the attainment of SDGs. As indicated in the following table, UNICEF should be able to respond effectively to disasters and limit adverse impacts on children and their families. For instance, since the turn of the decade, the world has experienced several kinds of disasters which have devastated the world, leaving millions of children destitute (UNDP Yemen, n.d). According to AlDowaila and Salem (2019), temperatures were rising faster than the global average in Yemen. Brulle (2020) and Grenville-Howard et al. (2014) linked climate change to human activities and the reluctance of the politicians to develop and implement an effective climate change policy. According to IPCC (2018), human activities were at least responsible for a 1.0°C change in global warming. Similarly, WMO (2020) report indicated that the human factor was a crucial factor in climate change. The report indicated that the current COVID-19 lockdown and suspension of production activities reduced 2020 emission levels by 6 per cent from the 2019 levels.

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Focusing on the case of UNICEF Lebanon, this plan notes that there is an urgent need to respond to specific interests and expectations of refugees from Syria. Refugee children need food, education, healthcare, and shelter. In many cases, UNICEF Lebanon is significantly stretched that it cannot address all these problems. This leads to a huge gap between the demand for UNICEF services and the available resources. In addition, UNICEF Lebanon needs to develop a plan that can reach all the marginalised children and women within the country and facilitating relief aid to mothers and children from Palestine. This means that UNICEF Lebanon has to provide services to people from different cultures and nationalities and strive to improve their health outcomes and overall wellbeing.


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Personal Action Plan to Deliver Sustainable Development Goals. UNICEF
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personal, action, plan, deliver, sustainable, development, goals, unicef
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Anonymous, 2021, Personal Action Plan to Deliver Sustainable Development Goals. UNICEF, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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