Summary of publication
Progress reporting for 2018-19 is against a revised Performance Assessment Framework based on three objectives aligned with Australia's commitments made at Ministerial Conferences on Afghanistan in Geneva (2018) and Brussels (2016) and the NATO Summits in Brussels (2018) and Warsaw (2016).
The reporting period saw intense political activity in Afghanistan, including parliamentary elections and US-Taliban-Afghan peace talks. Despite progress against a number of key development indicators, Afghanistan remains a complex and volatile environment with security and corruption concerns.
Australia continued to be a mid-sized donor in Afghanistan providing $78.7 million in Official Development Assistance during 2018-19, making Afghanistan Australia's fourth largest bilateral aid program. Innovative ways to monitor, verify and report on program performance are being developed to improve effectiveness and reduce risks around delivery of aid in this complex environment.
Performance against program objectives
|Objective 1: A more peaceful, inclusive and responsive Afghan state
|Objective 2: Security conditions for economic recovery are strengthened
|Objective 3: The lives of vulnerable Afghans are improved through targeted Australian support
Objective 1: A more peaceful, inclusive and responsive Afghan state
Programs under this objective have met expected performance targets, leading to a green rating. Programs included support to the national budget through the World Bank's Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), UN-led technical support for the holding of parliamentary elections, and the 15th Survey of the Afghan People.
Objective 2: Security conditions for economic recovery are strengthened
Despite individual project-level performance targets being mostly met, broader concerns with program performance resulted in a revision of our work in this area, as such this objective is rated red. Our headline investment under this objective, UNDP's Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), experienced a range of governance, planning and financial management challenges. Whilst continuing to advocate for improvements in the fund, we redirected Australia's funding to alternative activities that better support security sector capability and reform. This meant that our expenditure on sustainment in 2018-19 was below expectations.
Objective 3: The lives of vulnerable Afghans are improved through targeted Australian support
With all targets exceeded or met, Australia's contribution to meeting the needs of vulnerable Afghans including displaced people, women and girls, and vulnerable rural communities was effective and this objective is rated green. Humanitarian assistance remains a significant proportion of Australian aid to Afghanistan. Other bilateral activities are carefully targeted to areas where Australia can make a particular contribution – girls' education; ending violence against women; and using Australian expertise to support agricultural and water resource management.
Management actions for 2019-20
- Strategic Management – update AIP objectives as US-Taliban-Afghan Government negotiations progress; identify and develop strategies to progress women's empowerment and WPS objectives.
- Investment Operations – improve ARTF scorecard reporting; better link agriculture initiatives to Afghan government programs; and enhance humanitarian collaboration between partners.
- M&E and performance indicators – develop a new outcome indicator reflecting the new focus of sustainment funding; improve the outcome indicator on attitudes towards violence against women; create an indicator to better reflect resilience activities; and consider outsourcing analysis and performance tracking.
- Future commitments – begin work on a post-2020 AIP, program structure and operational strategy, calibrated to the outcomes of US-Taliban-Afghan Government negotiations.