(developed by the UNCG Retreat - 05 June 2012)

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United Nations in
Afghanistan

Communication Group

Cooperation Framework

Status:
09 Augus
t

2012

UNCG
Cooperation Framework



0
9 August

2012

SRSG

UNAMA

UNCT

1

2

3


I.

C
ooperation Framework
(developed by the UNCG Retreat
-

05 June 2012)

Reiterating

the need for all United Nations agencies, funds and programmes

-
through the Country Team
mechanism and
a “One
-
UN” approach under the guidance of the Special Representative of the Secretary
-
General

-

to increase efforts, in full consultation and cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan, to
achieve greater coherence, coordination, efficiency and full al
ignment with the National Priority Programmes
identified by the Government of Afghanistan, in January 2012, the UNCT called on the UNCG to narrow down
and elaborate a framework for how
external communication should be coordinated
between the offices of the

individual Agencies, Funds and Programmes

(AFPs)
, UNAMA, the
SRSG

and

the RCO.

Th
is framework attempts to identify issues that are of concern to more than one of the various entities of the
UN presence in Afghanistan. It lays out the processes and lines
of communication to enable better coordination
in the management of sensitive issues and to guide entities in how to move forward in optional joint
communication activities around these issues. Such an issue based approach

aims to support the coherence
pr
ocess and
allow UN entities to build on each others’ technical strengths

and result in

improved joint UN
messaging and products.


Following on from

the completion of

this framework document, the UNCG
will develop shared communication
goals, on the basis of

which a joint UN communication strategy will be developed.

I
I.
C
oordinated c
ommunication

Most
issues on

which the UN in Afghanistan communicates externally
can be categorized into three areas of
“ownership”: SRSG, UNAMA or
AFPs.
However, there is an
overlap in some areas, as illustrated in the Venn
diagram below.

In items 1 to 3 below, the UNCG has identified examples of issues that fall in these areas of overlap, and on
which coordination in external communication will be needed. These lists are not
exhaustive
, but indicative
.

Decisions on leading and supporting entities will be taken on a case by case basis.

1.

AFPs

and SRSG

Topics: access, education, higher education,

N
atural
R
esources
M
anagement
/environment,
counter
-
narcotic
s
,
counter
-
terrorism,
Maternal and Neonatal Health
, health,
emergencies, corruption, governance, reconciliation, food
security and nutrition, sustainable livelihood, refugee,
returnees,
IDPs,
employment and decent work, culture,
infrastructure etc.


2.

SRSG, UNAMA,
AFPs

Topics: UN positioning and messaging, elections, gender
,

h
uman rights, protection of civilian, government,
child rights,
peace and security, transition crisis response
, risk,

rep
utation management.

3.

UNCT and UNAMA

United Nations in
Afghanistan

Communication Group

Cooperation Framework

Status:
09 Augus
t

2012

UNCG
Cooperation Framework



0
9 August

2012

Topics: coordination, reintegration capacity development, decentralization, Government, sub
-
national
governance and rule of law.


NB. The intersection between SRSG and UNAMA will not be illustrated here, as it is an
internal DPKO
relationship and does not involve the coordination of other UN entities.

To support continued improvements in coordination, the UNCG will build on the above to create a full matrix of
issues that fall within the areas of overlap, and mapping
these issues against each agency. This matrix will also
identify leading and contributing agencies for each of these issues.

III
.
Processes of reactive communication management on shared issues

1
-

Once an issue appears in the media or elsewhere

that require
s consideration
,
the communication section of
the agency that first becomes aware of the issue should immediately inform
the most senior communication
officer

or
chief

of communication
each of the
relevant agencies
by telephone and/or email.

The p
rimary
co
ntact
for communication related issues
is always
the
communication
officer or the chief of
communication.

The communication department immediately
i
nform
s

the
Representative

/ Head of Agency

and any relevant programme staff
.

The Representative or Head of Agency will then inform the SRSG and/or
other relevant heads of agencies depending on the specifics of the case and issue.


2
-

An immediate consultation should then take place between the communication sections of relevant
agen
cies to agree on which agency is the lead agency for this issue. If it is immediately clear which agency is
in the lead, then the
communication section and Representative of that agency are responsible for
informing and consulting other relevant agencies
before making a decision on how to respond.


3
-

The communication section

of

the
lead
ing

agency

then recommend
s

an appropriate response in
consultation with communication colleagues of relevant agencies. Considering this recommendation, the
Representative of
the lead agency will then either make a decision on the response, or consult
Representatives of relevant agencies to come to a mutually agreed response. The lead agency
Representative
may approach the
office of the
RC/HC for
guidance
. If the subject matter

becomes political,
the Representative of the
lead
agency
and
the
RC/
HC
may
decide to
consult the
SRSG
.

I
V
.
Approvals and references to other agencies

a.

No UN entity can use
the
name

or

content of another UN entity
in their public communication materials
without
the approval of
th
at
entity
. Equally, no UN entity can produce materials that profile the work of another
UN entity

without such an approval.

Minor references

acknowledging contributions of other agencies can be
made without such approval.
In all

other cases
,

decisions
should be
made in full and
timely consultation
.


b.

All UN entities should
contribute to

a common UN
-
wide
calendar
of communication activit
i
es managed
by
RCO
and
regularly shared through the UNCG mailing list

to facilitate joint activi
ties

and to seek synergies and
better coordination.


c.

Any
public statemen
t
s or p
ress
r
elease
s

should be shared
as far in advance as possible with the
UNCG
mailing list before issuance

for information and not for approval
. The RCO office will then
be respon
sible for
updat
ing

the SRSG and DSRSG offices
, if and when appropriate
.

United Nations in
Afghanistan

Communication Group

Cooperation Framework

Status:
09 Augus
t

2012

UNCG
Cooperation Framework



0
9 August

2012

d.

W
hen SCSU releas
es

a press release, media advisory or statement on behalf of
the whole UN, or individual
UN entities
, these should be sent from a
generic
UN
email
address
(such as
uninafghanistannews@un.org
)
.



e.

When dealing with sensitive humanitarian issues
,

OCHA will take the lead and coordinate any response.


IV. UNCG Afghanistan


The UNCG will meet every
two weeks
. Fixed items on t
he agenda will be as follows:

1.

Brief updates from all members on relevant communication issues, including media coverage

2.

Communication calendar updates and relevant upcoming activities

3.

Preparation of monthly report to UNCT

4.

Identifying upcoming
opportunities for joint communication

5.

Sharing best practices

and analyzing
challenges and
missed opportunities


The UNCG chair and co
-
chair elected every year in January and June on a rotational base

for a period of 6
months
.