Improving livelihoods in Timor-Leste


Australia will help diversify Timor-Leste's economy by increasing agricultural marketability, paving the way for employment opportunities within and outside farming. We will help lift productivity by encouraging innovation and diversification in farming. We will improve access to domestic markets, including through improving the reach and quality of rural roads, to enable households to earn income by selling excess produce. Helping women to gain skills and earn an income will be essential to maximise growth. We will help young people gain vocational skills and tertiary qualifications that are in demand to generate income.

Australia will also seek to maximise opportunities for trade and job creation by supporting emerging sectors such as agribusiness and tourism. We will do this by providing business advisory support to local enterprises to address key constraints to their own growth as well as the growth of the sectors.

Related initiatives

TOMAK (To'os ba Moris Diak) – Farming for Prosperity

Up to $25 million, 2016-2021

TOMAK is Australia's new nutrition-sensitive agricultural livelihoods program in Timor-Leste. Building on the success of the Seeds of Life Program (2001-16), TOMAK aims to build the capacity of targeted rural households to engage in profitable agricultural markets and establish a foundation of food security and good nutrition to help address Timor-Leste's high rates of malnutrition. It will form innovative partnerships with government, private sector and civil society actors and promote women's economic empowerment in agriculture. The program is implemented by Adam Smith International together with Mercy Corps.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
TOMAK Investment Concept 2014 Concept note
TOMAK Investment Design 2015 Design document
TOMAK Monitoring and Review Group Report #1 2016 Independent monitoring report

Roads for Development Program

Phase I $36 million, 2012-2016 and Phase II up to $26 million, 2017-2020

Through the Roads for Development program, Australia is helping the Timor-Leste Government to rehabilitate and maintain the country's rural roads. Better roads will make it easier for people to access health centres, schools and markets, and help farmers earn sustainable incomes.

The program aims to support the Timor-Leste Government to plan, budget and contract road works through local private sector contractors. Where possible, labour intensive approaches are used to maximise employment opportunities for people in rural areas. The program is implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Phase II of Australia's assistance, known as the Roads for Development Support Program, will build on the work of the first phase in supporting the Timor-Leste Government to better coordinate its road asset management efforts, effectively deliver rural road works through increased capacity at the national and municipal levels, and continue to build the capacity of local private sector contractors.

Related links

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Timor-Leste Roads for Development (R4D) Program: Final Mid-Term Review Report 2014 Mid-term review
Timor-Leste Roads for Development (R4D) Program: Final Mid-Term Review Report - DFAT management response 2015 Management response
Timor-Leste Roads for Development ILO–Concept Note 2011 Concept
Timor-Leste Roads for Development design document 2011 Design
Roads for Development—Six-monthly Progress Report to June 2012 (Timor-Leste) 2012 Progress report
Roads for Development—Six-monthly Progress Report to December 2012 2012 Progress report

Market Development Facility

$18.1 million to Timor-Leste from 2013-2021

Australia's Market Development Facility (MDF) is a multi-country private sector development program operating in Fiji, Timor-Leste, Pakistan. Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. MDF supports businesses with innovative ideas to increase business performance, stimulate economic growth and ultimately provide benefits for the poor - as workers, producers and consumers. The goal of the MDF is to create additional sustainable employment and income for poor women and men in rural and urban areas.

A second phase of MDF will commence in 2017.

Related links

Workforce Development Program

$13 million, 2014-2019

Australia's workforce development program supports scholarship opportunities for tertiary study in Australia, access to vocational training to help young Timorese find employment and supports Timor-Leste to increase its participation in Australia's seasonal worker program.

Related links


* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 11 October 2017