UNESCO’s Honorary and Goodwill Ambassador Programme (GWAP) has successfully deployed prominent individuals and celebrity advocates to help focus the world’s attention on the ideals, goals and work of UNESCO. Since its inception in 1989 the GWAP has grown, with the majority of the Goodwill Ambassadors (”GWA”) retaining lifetime designations, to a current total of more than 130 GWA.
Moves to rationalise GWA activity across the UN since 2003 have led to a number of developments for UNESCO’s GWAP including an inspection by the UN’s Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) in 2006, which generated recommendations for best practice, and the inclusion in 2012 of the GWAP in UNESCO’s Comprehensive Partnership Strategy. Feedback from GWA indicates a strong need for increased interaction, communication and deployment. In March 2013 UNESCO’s Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors Section prepared an individual strategy for the GWAP, which coincided with the production of this policy brief.
This policy brief offers observations on how the GWAP can move forward in the context of UNESCO’s Partnership Strategy, highlighting key challenges that should be addressed for the long-term strategic benefit of the programme and making recommendations for good practice. Building on UNESCO’s strategy, this paper recommends that further scrutiny and development of the programme be focused on GWA selection, work structure, terms of reference and programme evaluation. Specifically: