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Quick check list to ensure suitability of resources for external publication

Please check that your resource:

  • Is approved for external use following compliance with applicable processes and guidance

  • Follows UNICEF branding guidelines (where applicable)

  • Indicates the appropriate copyright and licensing

  • Has permission to use and acknowledges any third-party sources

  • Follows UNICEF guidance for photos, including on child safeguarding

  • Has been fact checked and/or includes relevant disclaimers

  • Includes all necessary disclaimer statements

  • Has abbreviations written out

  • Has been checked for grammar and spelling

  • Has a title

  • Has the authoring information

  • Has a date of publication

  • Does not have a personal email ID or phone number associated

  • Has an abstract, if more than 3000 words  

  • Has no links to UNICEF internal documents

  • Is saved in an appropriate file format

  • Has been checked for accessibility

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The purpose of this guidance note is to outline the standards and review process that should be followed in reviewing and approving content for external sharing on the “Knowledge@UNICEF” (K@U) platform. These standards help ensure that externally shared material is accurate, timely and of sufficient quality for external sharing and has been appropriately reviewed and cleared for publication.

The “Knowledge at UNICEF (K@U)” platform ( is an official UNICEF digital web platform which provides offices with the ability to easily share UNICEF technical knowledge products with partners and the public and makes it easy for UNICEF partners to access them and engage around them. It is a publicly accessible web platform and any resources hosted on it can be viewed and downloaded by anyone. However, the platform is primarily intended for communicating with technical audiences such as researchers, aid workers, government partners, and front-line workers who have need for technical content to support them in their work. It is complementary to the platform, which is primarily designed for public communication and advocacy, and allows offices to share technical content which is not suitable for the platform. Content can be cross-linked between the two platforms.

K@U has been developed to help position UNICEF as a global knowledge leader for children, and ensure that UNICEF as an organization manages, documents, and shares knowledge effectively. The platform can be used to publicly share technical and knowledge products developed by UNICEF. It allows finalized content from UNICEF’s internal document management platform – The Enterprise Content Management System (ECM) approved for external sharing, to be available to external audiences. The platform will help standardize content production, sharing and dissemination processes, be a single source of truth between internal and external content, strengthen UNICEF's external transparency and support UNICEF's efforts to emerge as a global knowledge leader for children.

If you have any questions or comments about using this guidance, please contact us at

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  • This guidance covers the standards, review, and approval processes.
  • Examples of knowledge products that can be published range from technical publications, research reports, working papers, guidelines, manuals, templates, case studies, fact sheets, workshops reports, and presentations.
  • This guidance does not replace any existing policies, procedures or guidance, or existing work processes used for preparing and approving UNICEF publications or sharing UNICEF content with external audiences.

Your office might already have in place SOPs, processes, and review mechanisms for reviewing content for finalization and external sharing and you can continue to use those. However, we would advise you to cross-check your internal processes to ensure they cover the standards and clearance steps highlighted in this document. In general, any UNICEF knowledge product which was already approved for external sharing which has already been published through any other public channel does not need further approvals to be re-published on K@U.


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Accountability of content

Any UNICEF Regional or Country Office or HQ Technical Sector can request a K@U micro-site within the broader K@U platform. For any K@U micro-site, the head of the office is accountable for deciding on what content is suitable for sharing externally on K@U in accordance with existing UNICEF policies, procedures, and guidelines as well as for following the guidance provided in this document. The head of office may delegate this role to other staff members within the office. One or more staff members from within the office will be designated as content approvers within the K@U platform itself with access to review and approve content for external publishing. This staff member(s) is responsible for ensuring that content proposed for external sharing meets the standards set out in this guidance before final approval of content for publishing in the system.

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Purpose of content review

Each office manages their own publishing on the platform and decides what content should be published and is accountable for it. This guidance helps identify the minimum standards for content to be considered suitable for external sharing and the key steps and checks which should be included in the approval process.

What are we looking for in the review process?

  • Technical quality: knowledge product is factually accurate, uses appropriate data, evidence is properly cited, appropriate methodology is used, appropriate technical and peer review has taken place etc.
  • Editorial review: e.g., document uses correct spelling and grammar, is written clearly and logically and is easy to understand by the intended audience.
  • Document quality standards: e.g., UNICEF logo is correctly used, copyright and licensing indicated, appropriate disclaimers included, accessibility addressed.
  • Suitability for external sharing: ensuring that information shared is not internal, confidential, or restricted, does not contain personally identifiable information, and does not put individuals or populations at risk of harm and/or UNICEF at risk of reputational damage or financial loss. In addition, offices should be mindful of the potential political sensitivity and reputational risk in sharing information which might be critical of government, partners or UNICEF while upholding the principle of transparency.
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Process for review and approval

All offices should put in place a process to review and approve documents for external publishing. This process should be documented including the key steps and who has the authority to approve at each step. This process should include the minimum steps below:

  • Authors review – document authors should ensure that the finalized document meets the standards set out in this document and is complete and accurate to the best of their knowledge before sharing for approval.
  • Peer review of the document by other expert readers apart from the authors is highly recommended for technical documents and is mandatory for some types of documents such as research reports. Peer reviewers should include subject matter experts other than the lead authors but also ideally others inside or outside UNICEF not involved in the development of the publication but with expertise in the areas of knowledge covered by the document
  • Clearances: Any technical document should be reviewed and approved for sharing by the relevant technical chiefs within the office. If you have doubts about whether a publication is of sufficient technical quality for external sharing offices are encouraged to seek guidance from relevant technical advisors in the Regional Office or if needed with HQ technical sections. If the document contains data this should also be reviewed and cleared by the office data protection focal point to ensure no personal data is shared.
  • Final sign off. The accountability for approving content for external sharing lies with the head of 0 office (Country Representative, Regional Director, PG Directors, or HQ Division Directors). The head of office is accountable for ensuring that this guidance and any relevant policies, procedures, and standards for approving content for public sharing have been met including whether the document is suitable for external sharing including ensuring that the document does not contain internal or confidential information. Heads of office may delegate this role. Within SharePoint and the K@U platforms themselves the office will designate one or more staff members with approval rights to publish content within the system. The designated staff members will be acting on behalf of the person(s) identified as being accountable for content clearance and will work with them to ensure all content published within the system has been properly authorized for external publishing.

If you already have office publication review committees, evidence committees or similar office structures, we recommend you use these existing structures to ensure proper review and sign-off on documents for external sharing.

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General guidelines for ensuring the quality of publications

Below is a set of overall quality standards and principles for reviewing publications for external sharing. Some shorter documents or non-standard content formats such as presentations, podcasts or templates might not include all the information below – however any knowledge product should at a minimum indicate that it is a UNICEF document with author and date and additional material indicated below should be included in the resource page in K@U if they are not included the document itself.

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Front cover

  • UNICEF logo and tag line. Generally, these should appear on the front cover of all UNICEF publications. The logo and tag line will have specific placement and size directions.
  • For joint publications, the UNICEF logo only (i.e., without the tag line), along with the logos of partners, will be shown on the front cover or inside front cover.
  • Logos of partners or co-publishers (if applicable). Check that the logos of partners are in the same language as the publication, and as each of the other logos. Each logo must be given equal emphasis (i.e., should be the same size)
  • Publication title and name of author(s) (as applicable)
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Front matter

  • Title page, including full title of the publication; names of authors, editors, translators, and photographers (as applicable); and name and location of publisher.
  • Inside title page (or copyright page), includes the following: Copyright notice, including: (1) symbol ‘©’, (2) name of copyright owner and (3) year of publication.
  • Cover/back cover photo credits (or may be placed elsewhere in publications)
  • About the author (where a publication has been individually authored): statement describing the author’s background and listing previous publications (optional)
  • International Standard Book Number (ISBN) (if applicable)
  • Permissions statement, such as: Permission is required to reproduce any part of this publication. Permission will be freely granted to educational or non-profit organizations. Notice of creative commons licensing if appropriate (see UNICEF Open Access Policy and Procedure (forthcoming) for further guidance).
  • Ensure that every publication longer than 4 pages has an abstract or summary.
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Standard Disclaimers

Where needed documents should include disclaimers, for example to indicate where documents represent research findings and views of the author but not necessarily UNICEF policy. Here are some example disclaimers for specific circumstances.

  • For working papers, research reports and other documents not necessarily representing official UNICEF policy. “The statements in this publication are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the policies or the views of UNICEF.
  • For joint publications: “This joint report reflects the activities of individual agencies around an issue of common concern. The principles and policies of each agency are governed by the relevant decisions of its governing body. Each agency implements the interventions described in this document in accordance with these principles and policies and within the scope of its mandate.”
  • For publications that have not been formally edited or fact-checked: “The text has not been edited or fact-checked to official publications standards and UNICEF accepts no responsibility for error.”
  • All maps must include the following standard disclaimer: This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Despite these disclaimers, authors and approving offices should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that documents are factually accurate and written according to the standards outlined in this guidance.

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Photo credits

Publications of different types and formats should all include photo credits for UNICEF images. The credit recommended by the photographer or photo agency should be used. This should include the following: photographer name, organization name (as available), location and date.

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Authoring accessible content

Follow the guidance below to ensure all users can access UNICEF content, including those with disabilities. BONUS: many of these tactics also improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of the page.

Use plain language 

Be sure to use key words and phrases in headers, alt text, and labels.

Ensure that the language used is clear and appropriate for the intended audience, avoiding jargon, elaborate sentences, and unnecessary advanced vocabulary to keep the document understandable.

Minimize use of acronyms, especially UNICEF specific ones that may be unfamiliar to the audience. If you do use acronyms define them on first use, and if the document contains many acronyms consider including a glossary.

Format content to enhance page scanning 

Pages should be easily understood by a visitor scanning quickly. Visitors using screen reader software can "scan" the headers on a page to quickly find relevant information, much like a sighted person.

To achieve this:

  • Use short paragraphs
  • Use numbered or bulleted lists
  • Aim for brief, clear paragraphs
  • Use headings to separate sections on a longer page:
    • Use the format selector to assign Heading 2, Heading 3, or Heading 4 to text.
    • Take advantage of section and block titles in the templates.

Key information must be in text 

Key concepts or information cannot be contained solely in an image or graphic. For maximum effectiveness and ease of use, website content should be presented as text. 

Images used to complement the content must include alt text to describe the content to a text-based user. 

PDFs of publications, reports and other documents have their own accessibility requirements.

Alternate text for Images 

Enter alternate text descriptions for images and graphics. 

Use tables only for presenting tabular data 

Tabular data is related information organized in rows and columns for easy comparison. 

A screen reader application will read across then down by default, naming row and column ahead of reading the content. 

When creating tables to present information, the table should: 

  • Use table headers to label columns and/or rows 
  • Have a caption 
  • Avoid merged cells – which can confuse the order in which the content is read. 
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File formats

In general, published documents should be finalized in SharePoint in their original format and then converted and shared in PDF format and NOT shared as Word, Excel, PowerPoint files or other formats which could be easily downloaded and modified.

Some document types can also be shared as video or audio files such as presentations, training videos and podcasts.

Forms and templates designed to be downloaded and completed or adapted by external partners (forms and templates document type) may be shared in formats such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or fillable PDF.

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Other quality standards

Additional quality standards for knowledge products.