Leading to a 45% increase in partner satisfaction

Optimising UNHCR's Partnership Agreements through legal design

Decrease in negotiation times
Increase in partner satisfaction
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a United Nations global organisation dedicated to saving lives and protecting the rights of refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless persons worldwide.

UNHCR has thousands of partners worldwide delivering vital aid and support to those who need it on the ground. UNHCR was looking for support in redesigning its agreement with those partners and the process and technology supporting it to maximise their speed and deliver aid more quickly, reduce manual work for the UNHCR team and maintain appropriate risk controls.

Step 1: Discovery

TLB began with an on-site discovery workshop in order to map their current processes and pain points, understand their template framework in detail and understand their new ERP solution they were implementing which would ultimately facilitate the creation of these templates.

Step 2: Prototype

Following Discovery, we prototyped a new process and new template design, to review and iterate on with UNHCR’s feedback.


Step 3: Design

Once we’d gathered feedback on the prototypes and carried out rounds of low fidelity testing, we entered the design phase, redrafting the Partner Agreement in full to align with UNHCR’s objectives to simplify the language, build stronger, more equal partnerships, accommodate non-native English speakers and enhance understanding and collaboration more broadly.

We also re-designed their template creation and negotiation process that they would implement within their new ERP system.

Step 4: Delivery

We delivered the final process and designed document, with training and rollout support to ensure both were successfully implemented:


The new templates and process better reflect the spirit of UNHCR's partnerships with local and multinational partners, and have reduced the workload for all colleagues and partners involved in the negotiation process. The implementation of multi-year agreements has helped to embed a sense of partnership between UNHCR and its partners, and the playbooks created by TLB have optimised the negotiation process so funds and support can more quickly be mobilised.

UNHCR now has a much more streamlined approach to communicating and contracting with local partners and stakeholders. As a consequence, it is likely that in situations where aid must be deployed quickly, such as an earthquake, UNHCR can now give that aid whilst maintaining a digestible risk profile and ensuring life-saving assistance, protection, and durable solutions are able to be provided to refugees and other people displaced by conflict and persecution.