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REPORT ON PERFORMANCE

SECTION 2

Administered programs

GLOBAL PROGRAMS

Multilateral organisations

Summary of performance
Indicator Result
75 per cent of organisations receive a rating of satisfactory or higher in terms of efficiency; significant activity outputs. Performance for multilateral programs met the 75 per cent quality performance target in 2007–08. Significant achievements are highlighted below.

Multilateral organisations are key partners for Australia and extend the reach of the aid program. By partnering with multilateral organisations, Australia is able to participate in projects on a scale and scope that would not be possible bilaterally. Channelling our aid through multilateral funds also ensures greater harmonisation across donors.

Australia provides funding to multilateral organisations in-line with the priorities of the aid program and country strategies, their focus on the Asia-Pacific region and their effective performance. The development banks are important partners in implementing the international aid and development program. Their ability to convene and influence, their independence and technical depth complement bilateral aid program grant funding.

Multilateral organisations also play a crucial role in researching, analysing and shaping international development cooperation efforts. In 2007–08, Australia actively engaged in multilateral forums to shape international thinking on development, including, for example, through our positions as executive directors at the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

United Nations organisations

Revitalising Australia’s engagement with the United Nations is one of the three pillars of the government’s foreign policy. The United Nations is one of the most important organisations in international development and at the heart of global efforts to realise the Millennium Development Goals. For the Australian aid program, the government’s commitment to the United Nations means:

In 2007–08, Australia provided $97.6 million in core contributions to the following United Nations development and humanitarian organisations:

Key areas of engagement during the year were in areas where the United Nations has specialised knowledge and expertise including health, HIV/AIDS, basic education and humanitarian assistance. Through constructive policy dialogue with the United Nations, Australia has continued to advocate for an increased focus on the development challenges in Asia and the Pacific, and better performance and coordination of development and humanitarian efforts in the region.

In partnership with the United Nations, Australia is also supporting international efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. In April 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed Australia to the global Millennium Development Goals Call to Action. The Call to Action was launched in July 2007 by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Hon Gordon Brown MP, to galvanize global action towards the goals.

Australia has continued to promote reform across the United Nations system and at agency level. A more efficient and effective United Nations is able to better deliver at country level, have the potential to make a stronger development impact and to increase the effectiveness of aid which Australia and others make through the United Nations. AusAID is the lead agency for developing and advocating Australia’s whole-of-government response to the recommendations of the High Level Panel on United Nations System-Wide Coherence, which focuses on ensuring that the United Nations operates more effectively in delivering development activities.

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

AusAID is also working closely with United Nations organisations at the country level to further the achievement of international development objectives. Examples include:

In the Australian Government’s 2008–09 Budget, a major strengthening of Australia’s relationship with the United Nations was foreshadowed through an initiative which will see Australia provide an additional $200 million over four years in core funding to seven selected United Nations agencies.

Commonwealth organisations

In 2007–08, the aid program provided $12.6 million to Commonwealth organisations to support the peaceful, just and democratic development of its members, the majority of which are developing nations. This included support for the:

Australia also provided $2 million to the five-year Australian Sports Commission managed Australian Sports Outreach Program. This initiative is targeting vulnerable groups including youth and people with disability in Africa, Pacific and Caribbean countries and delivering sports-based development programs to promote social development and community cohesion.

Australian funding also supported the Commonwealth Secretariat to undertake a respect and understanding project to develop recommendations for policies and practices that will reduce social conflict at community, national and global levels.

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is an important source of development expertise and makes a unique contribution through economic and policy research and the implementation of specialist programs. Australia continued to work closely with the bank on a range of activities with a strong Asia-Pacific focus and close attention to the development needs of small and fragile states in the region.

Australia’s membership and financial contribution to the World Bank Group provides opportunities to influence priorities and programs in our region. In 2007–08, the aid program made payments totalling $184.1 million as core contributions to the International Development Association (IDA), the bank’s concessional lending facility. Support continued for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, with a total contribution of $13.9 million in 2007–08.

Australia actively participated in the 15th replenishment of the IDA in 2007–08. Throughout the replenishment, Australia continued to encourage the bank to focus on the development needs of small and fragile states, strengthen IDA’s performance-based allocation system and support debt sustainability measures, particularly in those countries to have benefited from debt relief.

In recognition of the efforts made by the IDA to achieve these objectives, Australia committed $583 million to the 15th replenishment, which will be paid over nine years from 2009. This increased Australia’s commitment to 1.8 per cent, making us the 12th largest donor.

During 2007–08, Australia contributed to the development of a range of new World Bank Group policies and programs, such as the Papua New Guinea country assistance strategy, the World Bank health strategy and new funds for climate change activities. Operationally, AusAID continued to collaborate with the bank on a number of co-financed activities to complement Australia’s IDA contribution.

World Bank

Negotiations for the 15th replenishment of the World Bank’s concessional financing arm, the International Development Association (IDA), concluded on 14 December 2007, with agreement to a record US$41.6 billion equivalent replenishment.

World Bank management and other donors warmly welcomed Australia’s pledge of $583 million, which was a 50 per cent increase in nominal terms over our contribution to the previous replenishment and one of the largest increases by donors. This contribution increases Australia’s share of donor contributions to 1.80 per cent, up from the 1.46 per cent share Australia has maintained at IDA for the last 15 years. It also means Australia has moved from being the 15th to the 12th largest IDA donor.

The 15th replenishment outcomes were consistent with Australia’s objectives in the replenishment negotiations to:

This increased contribution will see Australia well placed to exert even greater influence over policy outcomes when the 16th replenishment negotiations commence in 2010.

Asian Development Bank

Australia’s membership and financial contribution to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports Australia’s international development agenda. The Asia-Pacific focus of the bank makes it an important partner for Australia in promoting growth and stability in our region. Australia’s partnership with the ADB provides the opportunity to ensure the bank remains focused on its poverty reduction mandate and on improving development effectiveness.

Australia is the third largest donor to the Asian Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending facility of the ADB. In 2007–08, the aid program made payments totalling $91.5 million as core contributions to the ADF.

Australia, the ADB and the World Bank Group strengthened their commitment to working together in the Pacific through the Trilateral Cooperation Agenda. Specific actions have been identified for the three organisations to help improve the quality and effectiveness of our partnerships in the region.

AusAID continued to collaborate with the ADB on a number of co-financed activities to complement Australia’s ADF contribution. For example, AusAID and ADB agreed and developed an innovative approach to co-financing in Samoa with the loan buy-down. The loan buy-down will see AusAID provide funding to ‘buy-down’ a portion of Samoa’s ADB loan if Samoa meets certain criteria in reforming their energy sector.

Asian Development Fund

Negotiations for the ninth replenishment of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) concessional financing arm, the Asian Development Fund (ADF), concluded on 2 May 2008, with agreement to a record US$11.3 billion replenishment.

Australia maintained its position as the third largest donor to the ADF by pledging $333 million. In doing so, Australia also maintained its share at 6.49 per cent.

The ninth replenishment outcomes were consistent with Australia’s objectives in the negotiations to focus the bank on its reform efforts. To this end, ADB agreed to:

In addition, donors agreed to:

Progress against these reform commitments will be monitored at annual meetings of ADF donors and at the ADF mid-term review.

Multilateral health programs

Strategic partnerships with multilateral health organisations are developed under AusAID’s international health program to complement Australia’s regional and bilateral efforts to improve health. The work of these organisations contributes directly to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 4 on child mortality, goal 5 on maternal health and goal 6 on HIV, malaria and other diseases.

In 2007–08, AusAID increased its core funding for multilateral health programs to $68.7 million. This amount included $45 million as part of a new three-year, $135 million commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund). This more than doubled Australia’s previous annual contribution to the Global Fund and AusAID worked closely with partner countries in our region to implement Global Fund grants. AusAID also provided $1 million to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and $2 million to the World Health Organization to support countries to implement grants.

In 2007–08, $2.5 million in core funding was provided to UNAIDS and a further $4 million was provided to support UNAIDS programs in the Asia-Pacific.

In addition to specific support for the World Health Organization in our region, AusAID provided $10 million in core funding to support its work in the priority areas of strengthening health systems and women and children’s health. AusAID also provided $6 million in core funding to the United Nations Population Fund and $5.2 million to the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunisation) to support their key roles relating to Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.

Through its global policy work, AusAID advocated for greater emphasis on strengthening health systems as a critical part of improving the quality and coverage of health services. Australia joined the new International Health Partnership, led by the World Bank and World Health Organization, and AusAID provided $2 million to support its activities aimed at improving the harmonisation of all health development partners behind national health plans.

Australian support for sexual and reproductive health

The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) mandate reflects Australia’s focus on Millennium Development Goal 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health), with an emphasis on family planning, reproductive health, safe motherhood and young people.

UNFPA supports countries by using population data to develop policies and programs to reduce poverty, and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

In 2007, Australia provided $6 million in core support to UNFPA’s global program to help:

Australia provided an additional $1 million to UNFPA’s Pacific program to scale-up activities that contribute to substantial development and a better quality of life in Pacific island countries. This was achieved by integrating population, reproductive health and gender into policies, plans and strategies in-line with the Millennium Development Goals and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.

In addition to supporting UNFPA, Australia also provided $2.75 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation to improve sexual and reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific.

Multilateral environment programs

AusAID’s multilateral environment programs help multilateral agencies address key environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biological diversity, land degradation and the ecological health of international waters. Partnerships with multilateral organisations complement Australia’s bilateral efforts to improve environmental management in Asia and the Pacific.

AusAID contributed $19.7 million in 2007–08 to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which operates as the financial mechanism for a number of key multilateral environment agreements.

AusAID also provided $7.5 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to help Pacific island neighbours and poorer Asian countries adapt to climate change. An additional $1.25 million also went to the UNFCCC Trust Fund for Participation to help developing countries participate in the Conference of Parties in 2007 and 2009. Developing country participation is a crucial part of building a concerted international response to climate change.

In 2007–08, AusAID contributed $800 000 to the United Nations Environment Program (a 33 per cent increase from 2006–07) and $4 million to the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund to help developing countries phase out ozone depleting substances.

Emergency and humanitarian programs

Indicator Result
75 per cent of humanitarian and emergency activities receive a quality rating of satisfactory or higher; significant activity outputs. Performance for emergency, humanitarian and refugee programs met the 75 per cent performance target in 2007–08. Significant achievements are highlighted below.

AusAID provided 298.4 million through its humanitarian and emergencies programs during the year.

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

In response to the worldwide increase in food prices, in May 2008 Australia announced a $30 million contribution to the World Food Programme’s Extraordinary Emergency Appeal. An extra $77 million was also provided to the World Food Programme to deliver about 150 000 metric tonnes of food, as well as additional support for logistics and activities focused on under-nutrition. Australia continues to have a strong and healthy engagement with the World Food Programme as a key donor and as a member of its executive board.

Emergency response and disaster risk reduction activities

In 2007–08, AusAID was a key player in Australia and the international community’s response to regional emergencies. AusAID also became increasingly proactive in its disaster management approach through support to preparedness and mitigation initiatives in countries highly vulnerable to natural disasters. Australia also pledged $15 million to support key multilateral and regional organisations engaged in disaster risk reduction activities.

Key achievements of AusAID’s disaster risk reduction program during the year included working with Geoscience Australia to start a three-year natural hazard risk partnership in Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. These partnerships aim to enhance capacity of partner governments to assess and analyse natural hazard risk.

AusAID’s largest emergency response was associated with Cyclone Nargis in Burma, where $25 million in humanitarian assistance was provided through partners including United Nations agencies and Australian and international non-government organisations. Some humanitarian supplies were provided directly with Australian Defence Force assistance.

Australian support for food aid

The United Nations World Food Programme provides emergency food aid to people facing severe and life threatening hunger, often as a result of conflict or natural disaster. The program aims to provide humanitarian relief with a focus on Millennium Development Goal 1, to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty. Australia has a long-standing and strong partnership with the World Food Programme, and supports its work in the Asia-Pacific and globally.

In May 2008, the program launched an extraordinary emergency appeal for additional support to meet its global food aid needs for 2008. The appeal was launched as there was a danger that the needs of the world’s hungry would not be met due to the rapid rise in global food and fuel prices over the early part of 2008.

Australia responded quickly and generously with a $30 million contribution to the appeal, $13 million to support the program’s logistics, humanitarian air service and emergency telecommunications, and $64 million for food and associated costs.

A World Food Programme ship delivering Australian funded supplies to Northern Sumatra

A World Food Programme ship delivering Australian funded supplies to Northern Sumatra      Photo: M Anshar

AusAID responded to a range of other emergencies including Cyclone Guba and the Oro floods in Papua New Guinea, the Sichuan earthquake in China, Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, flooding in southern Africa, Nepal, Pakistan, North Korea and Sri Lanka, and post-election violence in Kenya. The responses were conducted through multilateral organisations, international non-government organisations, international agencies, Australian non-government organisations and local organisations.

Throughout 2007–08, AusAID was active in capacity and capability development of emergency operation mechanisms and partnerships in the region. Work included supporting the National Disaster Management Offices in the Pacific and helping develop the ASEAN Regional Forum Strategic Guidance for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. AusAID also continued to support the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Assessment and Coordination team training and development, and helped Australian non-government organisations build their capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies. These and other activities were critical in strengthening relationships with other donors, such as through the France-Australia-New Zealand agreement.

Humanitarian activities

During 2007–08, AusAID helped displaced people, and provided support and advocacy to enhance humanitarian cluster and humanitarian coordinator systems. This led to increased accountability and coordination in international humanitarian action and supported key humanitarian research.

AusAID contributed $20 million to the Central Emergency Response Fund, an international fund administered by the United Nations, which ensures the rapid and equitable flow of humanitarian funding to emergencies. This contribution positioned Australia as the 10th largest contributor.

AusAID was nominated to chair the 2009–10 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Donor Support Group, which provides operational and policy guidance. The role will provide an opportunity for Australia to promote to donors, in a global setting, humanitarian issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific region. Our responsibilities begin in 2008–09 as we join the leadership ‘troika’ as incoming chair. Australia provided $4 million in core funding to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

AusAID increased its core and project-level funding to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to $25 million, and disbursed $15 million under the 2008 round of the International Refugee Fund to support displaced people. This funding was provided through five key multilateral organisations (Office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the International Organization for Migration) for projects in the Asia-Pacific region, Afghanistan and southern Sudan.

Non-government organisations, volunteer and community programs

Summary of performance
Indicator Result
75 per cent of activities receive a quality rating of satisfactory or higher; significant activity outputs. Performance of non-government organisations and volunteer programs met the 75 per cent performance target in 2007–08. Significant achievements are highlighted below.
Non-government organisations

Internationally, non-government organisations (NGOs) are acknowledged as contributors to a more inclusive development process. In particular they promote sustainable development, human rights and improved access to services such as health and education. NGOs are also recognised for their advocacy role in promoting leadership and effective use of resources within communities and governments. In 2006–07, the level of funding to development NGOs as a proportion of Australia’s overall aid budget placed Australia as 16 of 22 donors according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In recognition of the need to increase our engagement in 2007–08, AusAID continued to strengthen its relationships with Australian non-government organisations with increased funding to reflect a commitment to support effective community development partnerships through the overseas aid program.

The AusAID-NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and cooperation agreements remain AusAID’s primary partnership mechanisms with Australian NGOs. In 2007–08, spending through NGOs increased by $23 million. Through these mechanisms, accredited Australian NGOs worked with AusAID to develop the capacity and skills of community organisations in partner countries. In 2007–08, 40 Australian NGOs received $36.9 million in ANCP funding to supplement their own activities, an increase of $10 million. In the same period, 21 Australian NGOs were involved in 11 multi-year AusAID cooperation agreements aligned with specified strategic objectives (including emergency and humanitarian assistance). Funding through cooperation agreements in 2007–08 was in excess of $45 million, an increase of $13 million.

AusAID continued to work closely with the peak body for Australian development NGOs, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and developed closer working relationship with ACFID’s development practices committee. Increased support was also provided for ACFID’s workshop and seminar training program, which aims to improve the sector’s quality and professionalism.

AusAID also worked with Australian NGOs on a range of key development and performance issues during the year, including cluster evaluations of ANCP activities in the Pacific and Philippines and conferences on civil society engagement. Mechanisms for consultation between AusAID and the NGO community continue to evolve reflecting the commitment to partnership and joint learning. In 2007–08, executive level discussions, specific purpose seminars and regular committee for development cooperation meetings supported best practice within the sector.

Social empowerment and education in Fiji: The AusAID-NGO Cooperation Program—supporting community capacity building and development best practice

The Social Empowerment and Education Program is run by Fiji’s Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy, managed by Oxfam Australia, and supported by AusAID. It encourages Indigenous Fijians to participate in social and democratic development processes at the local, provincial and national level.

The program is targeted at local projects relevant to the needs of 10 communities on Vitu Levu, Fiji. It incorporates assistance for land and leadership issues in Fiji, by training and mentoring community facilitators from each village, who then support social empowerment and education within their own communities. These facilitators encourage involvement and inclusion from marginalised groups, such as women and youth, in a culturally sensitive approach to dealing with specific community issues.

A cluster evaluation undertaken in 2007–08 found that empowerment processes in the program lead to practical, sustainable change within communities in supporting their own development needs. The evaluation also found that mutual learning between partner organisations on social issues across communities provided support for local community leaders.

Young Fijians taking part in a peace-building and development program run by Fiji’s Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy and managed by Oxfam

Young Fijians taking part in a peace-building and development program run by Fiji’s Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy and managed by Oxfam     Photo: Waisale W. Ramoce Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy.

 

Kate Nelson: Speaking with hands—volunteers working with disability

Kate Nelson, a volunteer with Australian Volunteers International, has spent the past three years working with the Fiji Association of the Deaf. In partnership with local research assistants, Apenisa Matairavula and Saminsoni Weleilakeba, Kate has helped record and document over 2000 signs for publication in the first Fijian sign language dictionary. Her work has also involved assisting the Fijian Association of the Deaf acquire equipment, train staff and establish an interpreters’ course for current and future teachers to incorporate into educational programs.

Kate Nelson (left) with research assistants Apenisa Matairavula (centre) and Saminsoni Weleilakeba (right)

Kate Nelson (left) with research assistants Apenisa Matairavula (centre) and Saminsoni Weleilakeba (right)    Photo: Rob Maccoll

Volunteers

Australia’s volunteer program supports people-to-people links and helps alleviate poverty through service delivery, and skills development and transfer across a range of professional areas. In 2007–08, $31.7 million was provided to place volunteers overseas, including $15 million for young Australians to volunteer through the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) program. During the year, 820 Australians, including 398 youth ambassadors, were placed as volunteers in 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific.

To support the cross fertilisation of ideas among volunteers overseas and a closer alignment to aid program priorities, AusAID facilitated volunteer workshops in Port Moresby and Cambodia. As part of AusAID’s commitment to evidence-based policy development, research was also commissioned into how the volunteer program is supporting people with disability in the Pacific, and how Indigenous Australians are participating in overseas volunteering, including barriers to participation in the Australian volunteer program.

Internationally and in Australia, volunteer agencies are increasing their focus on how to measure the development effectiveness of their programs. In 2007–08, AusAID facilitated a best practice workshop on volunteers and aid effectiveness, which drew on international best practice and included presentations by United Nations volunteers and a leading Canadian volunteer agency on their approaches to assessing outcomes of the volunteer contribution in their programs.

Penny Clark: Youth ambassadors—working on water in Vietnam

As an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development, Penny Clark volunteered to work as a construction assistant on the Three Delta Towns water supply and sanitation project in Vietnam. Jointly supported by the Australian and Vietnamese governments, the project is building large-scale facilities and infrastructure to manage water and sanitation systems in three cities. It is developing the skills and capacity of local people to build and maintain lasting water supply and sanitation infrastructure.

Penny works about 280 kilometres south of Ho Chi Minh City in Bac Lieu. Before she started the project, only one third of the town’s population had access to piped water. Penny has helped identify infrastructure upgrades to provide a reliable water supply and improve sanitation and drainage in the city. Through this process, she has worked with local partners to identify quality and safety issues, and improve occupational health and safety practices on the town’s construction sites.

Youth ambassador Penny Clark with a construction worker at the Three Delta Towns water supply and sanitation project in Vietnam

Youth ambassador Penny Clark with a construction worker at the Three Delta Towns water supply and sanitation project in Vietnam    Photo: Bart Verwey

Information, education and communication programs

Summary of performance
Indicator Result
Effective programs that ensure the aid program remains identifiably Australian, supports the government’s communications on the aid program with the parliament and community, and enhance community understanding of the aid program. The communication, education and information program effectively emphasised the identity of Australia’s development assistance and supported the government’s aid communications with relevant aid program stakeholders.
Significant activity outputs:  
  • media releases in Australia and in partner countries
AusAID prepared 110 media releases in Australia and 170 media releases in partner countries.
  • speeches presented in Australia and in partner countries
AusAID assisted with or presented 66 speeches in Australia and 120 speeches in partner countries.
  • community engagement
AusAID engaged with the Australian community through multiple activities with a combined audience of close to 430 000 people across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • number of teachers participating in development education training
More than 16 000 primary, secondary and student teachers participated in global education training.
  • number of curriculum documents purchased by target groups
More than 40 000 curriculum documents were distributed during the year.
  • number of visits to, and number of electronic publications placed on, the global education website
There were 40 electronic publications placed on the global education website which received 386 559 visits.
  • average monthly number of website visits.
The program achieved growth in visits to the AusAID website with an average of 200 000 visits a month.

AusAID’s information, education and communication programs aim to increase public awareness of, and support for, Australia’s overseas development program among rural, regional and metropolitan audiences. In 2007–08, AusAID placed particular emphasis on extending the reach of communication activities through a major touring photographic exhibition, high quality publications and associated media and online activities. The photographic exhibition was Australia’s response to humanitarian crises, and highlighted the role of partnerships between governments and non-government organisations in delivering emergency relief.

Communication activities delivered results in five key public information areas: media, engagement with civil society, global education, internet and publications.

Media

Throughout 2007–08, AusAID supported the Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries in communicating aid program initiatives to the Australian community. It also delivered information to beneficiaries of the aid program in partner countries.

In Australia, the agency issued 110 media releases and assisted with 66 speeches. In partner countries, AusAID issued more than 180 media releases, and assisted with or presented more than 140 speeches.

AusAID provided timely and effective public affairs and emergency support following the China earthquake, Burma cyclone, Indonesian landslides and earthquake, and the Papua New Guinea cyclone and flooding. Ongoing public affairs support was also given in the wake of the world food crisis.

Through its Canberra-based and overseas officers, AusAID provided effective, proactive and reactive media services in Australia and overseas. Proactive activities included promoting a range of new and existing AusAID policies to ensure transparency, accountability and awareness of the Australian Government’s approach to aid.

In Indonesia, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched a new strengthened five-year development assistance partnership, outlined in the Australia Indonesia Partnership Country Strategy 2008–2013. During a visit to Australia’s reconstruction projects in the province Mr Rudd also announced an ongoing commitment to help Aceh build a prosperous and peaceful future. The visit in June 2008 received significant coverage in the Australian, Indonesian and international media.

During the year, AusAID helped build or expand a further 540 junior secondary schools, bringing the total number of schools built through the program to about 900. The official openings of the schools were marked with community celebrations and ceremonies, many of which included Australian Government representatives including the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

AusAID promoted a range of activities including the launch of the Pacific Economic Survey 2008 and Making land work, a program to support governments in the region to improve their land systems. Other core initiatives promoted on behalf of the agency included the role and importance of volunteering in development, support programs in our region to contain and combat HIV/AIDS, and the Pacific Malaria Initiative, which aims to eradicate malaria in the Pacific.

In Papua New Guinea, Tok Taim (Tok Pisin: It’s time to talk), a quarterly newsletter highlighting current projects, was established in 2007 to communicate aid program outcomes and achievements. Tok Taim has proven to be popular with local audiences making it an effective vehicle to discuss the program aims and areas of focus.

With rugby league Papua New Guinea’s national sport, Australian sporting ambassadors have been used widely to help reduce the stigma of those living with HIV and AIDS. Mal Meninga and Brad Fittler led their team mates through villages where voluntary counselling and testing centres were being introduced, lending their support to the message ‘People with HIV are just like you and me’.

AusAID facilitated media visits to aid projects across the region including a visit by senior Australian editors to Indonesia and a visit by The Australian Women’s Weekly to profile female aid workers in East Timor, Indonesia and Solomon Islands.

Ongoing support for AusAID’s touring photographic exhibition Relief in sight—Australia’s international disaster response in pictures was provided to engage audiences, highlight the important role emergency and humanitarian aid plays in our region, and show how the Australian Government assists with this.

AusAID also worked to provide accurate, timely, and helpful information about all facets of Australia’s aid program to facilitate public discussion, awareness and support for Australian aid initiatives.

Communications for community and stakeholder engagement

AusAID engaged with the Australian community and stakeholders through multiple communications activities, with a combined audience of close to 430 000 across Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

Relief in sight continued its national tour visiting over 30 metropolitan and regional locations across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. The exhibition reached an estimated audience of 334 000 people, the website received 72 460 hits, and articles in the media reached an estimated audience of over 2 500 000 between July 2007 and June 2008. A number of Relief in sight events were hosted by AusAID, including a reception in Melbourne with the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, a display at the Royal Adelaide Show, and a public forum in Adelaide, Relief in sight…how well prepared is Australia to respond to a crisis in our region? co-presented with World Vision Australia and the Hawke Centre through the International Alerts series.

Exhibition manager Julie Goode talks to visitors at Paspaley Shopping Centre in Broome, WA in October 2007

Exhibition manager Julie Goode talks to visitors at Paspaley Shopping Centre in Broome, WA in October 2007 as
Relief in sight—Australia’s international disaster response in pictures continued its national tour covering a total of four states and one territory in 2007—08     Photo: Simon Goode

In 2007–08, AusAID also hosted or managed the:

In 2007–08, AusAID sponsored, supported and participated in the:

Global education

In 2007–08, AusAID helped train more than 16 000 primary, secondary and student teachers across Australia in development education. A greater emphasis has been placed on developing a global perspective across individual school curriculums.

Curriculum materials were developed and more than 40 000 curriculum documents were distributed. The global education website was also popular with 386 559 visits during the year. A total of 40 electronic publications were added to the website.

AusAID website

The AusAID website attracted around 3.5 million visitors, an increase on 2006–07. The site continued to deliver an extensive news service on the home page, easier access to country information and a navigation structure that provides fast and easy access to all areas of the site.

New areas included a website for the Office of Development Effectiveness and a move towards using centralised Australian Government online collaboration services.

AusAID responded to around 4 000 public requests for information through the website. Further information is provided in appendix F.

Publications

AusAID’s flagship magazine, Focus, is published three times a year. Its highly pictorial format is designed to capture community interest in Australia’s overseas aid program. Articles and images cover a broad scope of activities, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region, that help to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development. Focus presents the human face of development assistance.

Copies are distributed free through a subscription database, mainly to the Australian public. Other groups include government departments, overseas posts, doctor and dentist waiting-rooms, schools and universities, non-government organisations and businesses. Further copies are distributed on request (for example, as one-off special orders) or through events arranged by AusAID’s communications section. The current print run is 60 000.

Visitors to AusAID’s website can also view Focus and download individual articles as PDF or Word files. Further details of AusAID publications can be found at appendix E.

Cross agency programs

Fragile states

With an estimated 50 per cent of Australia’s official development assistance directed to fragile states10, AusAID has continued its strong focus on improving development effectiveness in countries and regions where capacity to deliver services is weak, and the risk of conflict is high. In 2007–08, AusAID, through targeted research and analysis, and engagement with other donors and international organisations, identified key lessons and good practice approaches to improve Australia’s whole-of-government support to partner countries. A particular focus was on service delivery, government and civil society capacity development, peace-building and security sector reform.

The principles contained within the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) principles of good international engagement in fragile states and situations, have informed AusAID’s country and regional strategies and programs. Further work is needed by Australia and the international community to develop the necessary strategies and tools to support fragile states and their progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. This includes practical guidance on state-building, the use of a targeted range of capacity development measures, donor harmonisation and alignment with partner government systems.

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

Mine action

In 2007–08, Australia provided $19.9 million for mine action activities, including de-mining, survivor assistance, mine risk education, and Mine Ban Convention advocacy activities. AusAID’s Mine Action Strategy, through which $75 million has been committed from 2005 to 2010, has now provided more than $53.5 million since 2005. Programs under the strategy aim to reduce human suffering and socio-economic harm resulting from landmines and other explosive remnants of war.

One important activity was survivor assistance, which addressed the needs of victims and their communities by providing a range of disability support services including medical, rehabilitation, psycho-social and socio-economic assistance. Other mine action activities (including demining) opened rural areas for development, prevented further casualties, and promoted dialogue on whole-of-government approaches to survivor assistance and the development of national plans.

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

Human rights

Development and human rights are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. The aid program, through the government-financed Human Rights Fund, supports human rights through a range of initiatives including by providing core funding to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Small Grants Scheme. The fund’s budget increased to $3.5 million in 2007–08, allowing it to contribute further to sustainable development through practical projects that promote awareness of, and increase access to, human rights in economic, social, cultural, civil and political fields.

Child protection policy

In March 2008, AusAID introduced a comprehensive child protection policy, which covers all aspects of the agency’s operations and applies to AusAID staff, contractors and non-government organisations funded by the agency. The policy was developed to provide a clear framework for managing and reducing risks of child abuse by those engaged in delivering Australian aid program activities.

It is based on four guiding principles, including zero tolerance of child abuse, recognition of children’s interests, a risk management approach to child protection and sharing responsibility for child protection.

An innovative aspect of the policy is the inclusion of mandatory child protection compliance standards for contractors and non-government organisations. For instance, contracting firms and non-government organisations must have their own child protection policies and must obtain criminal record checks for personnel who work with children.

Other key elements include a new AusAID position of child protection officer, enhanced codes of conduct for AusAID officials, updated risk management guidance for designing development activities, strengthened recruitment and screening processes, and mandatory provision of training on child protection matters to AusAID officials posted overseas.

Young school children from South Tarawa, Kiribati

Young school children from South Tarawa, Kiribati    Photo: Lorrie Graham

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

These and other activities under the Human Rights Fund are in addition to human rights activities delivered through AusAID’s bilateral, regional and non-government programs.

Demand for better governance

Building demand for better governance is a priority for Australia’s international development assistance program. A total of $41 million has been committed from 2007–2009 for innovative approaches to help citizens participate in decisions that affect their lives, and to promote the accountability of government and other institutions. New programs were undertaken during the year at the country, regional and global level.

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

Australian Scholarships in AusAID

Australian Scholarships is a $1.4 billion initiative to promote sustainable development and excellence in education in the Asia-Pacific region. AusAID offered more than 1950 scholarships and fellowships in 2008 through Australian Development Scholarships (ADS), Australian Leadership Awards—Scholarships (ALAS) and Australian Leadership Awards—Fellowships (ALAF).

AusAID promotes a range of scholarships and fellowships through sub-programs of ADS or ALAS. These initiatives represent a significant component of Australia’s overseas aid program. The long-term impact is realised through institutional strengthening and support for outstanding individuals to drive and influence economic growth and human resource development across the region. Scholarships are recognised as an effective means of furthering both development and foreign policy objectives and building essential people-to-people links between Australia and our Asia-Pacific neighbours.

Australian Development Scholarships (ADS)

About 2500 students11 from 37 countries were studying at 50 Australian post-secondary institutions under the ADS program during the year, with 85 per cent enrolled at the postgraduate level. During 2007–08, 1100 ADS were awarded, with gender balance achieved in selection across most countries. In-line with emerging priorities in the region, the major fields of study are governance (30 per cent), infrastructure (12 per cent) and education (10 per cent). In the past year, around 1000 ADS scholars successfully completed their studies and returned home to contribute to the long-term development needs of their countries.

Australian Leadership Awards—Scholarships (ALAS)

Significant progress has been made in implementing ALAS since their introduction in 2006.

ALAS are regionally competitive and maintain flexibility to respond to regional priorities. For the 2008 academic year:

In October 2007, Curtin University of Technology was selected to deliver the Leadership Development Program component. The Leadership Development Conference was hosted in Canberra in March 2008, with workshop components held in May 2008 for the 2007 cohort and July for the 2008 cohort.

The inaugural Allison Sudradjat Award was offered to the top four Indonesian and the top two Papua New Guinean ALAS recipients for the 2008 academic year. As well as the entitlements they receive under the leadership awards, these scholars receive additional benefits such as attachments with Australian Government departments, education and research institutions. They are a small but enduring tribute to a remarkable humanitarian and AusAID senior officer Allison Sudradjat, who died in the tragic crash of Garuda flight 200 in Yogyakarta on Wednesday 7 March 2007.

The current four Allison Sudradjat Award scholars meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan, during the Leadership Development Conference in Canberra in March 2008

The current four Allison Sudradjat Award scholars meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan, during the Leadership Development Conference in Canberra in March 2008. (From Left) Uke Kombra (Papua New Guinea), Shirley Gaiyer-Kore (Papua New Guinea), Najwa Shihab (Indonesia), Stephen Smith, Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo (Indonesia) and Bob McMullan
Photo: David Foote, Auspic

Australian Leadership Awards—Fellowships (ALAF)

ALAF are for current and future leaders from our region to undertake short-term leadership and professional development programs in Australia hosted by Australian organisations. The organisations include Australian, state and territory government departments, universities, not-for-profit organisations, private businesses, and research and industry bodies. ALAF rounds now occur twice a year. In round two, 21 fellowship programs were approved for 18 Australian organisations to host 173 fellows from 13 countries. In round three, 55 programs were approved for 38 organisations to host 522 fellows from 25 countries. The fellowships are addressing regional development themes of education, pandemics, governance, climate change, health, international trade, and security.

Australian host organisations for Australian Leadership Awards—Fellowships 2007–08:

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Queensland Department of Education, Training and the Arts
AIDS Council of New South Wales Department of Immigration and Citizenship Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water
Asia Pacific Journalism Centre Flinders University Queensland University of Technology
Attorney-General’s Department Griffith University RGH Pharmacy Consulting Services
Australian Catholic University Hoc Mai, The Australia Vietnam Medical Foundation Southern Cross University
Australian Council for Educational Research International Centre for Excellence in Water Resources Management Supreme Court of Queensland
Australian Customs Service—Border Protection Command International Help Fund Australia Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
Australian Institute of International Affairs International Needs Australia University of Melbourne
Australian International Health Institute (University of Melbourne) Landgate, The Western Australian Land Information Authority University of New England
Australian National University Macfarlane Burnet Institute of Medical Research and Public Health University of New South Wales
Australian Universities Quality Agency Monash University—Melbourne APEC Finance Centre University of Queensland
Bayside Health—The Alfred Moreland City Council University of Sydney
Biosecurity Centre Operations National Centre for Vocational Education Research University of Tasmania
Chisholm Institute of TAFE National Library of Australia University of Technology Sydney
CPA Australia People with Disability Australia University of Western Australia
Curtin University of Technology Planning Institute of Australia Victoria University
Yellow Edge

Australian Regional Development Scholarships

Australian Regional Development Scholarships fund tertiary students from 15 Pacific island countries to study at educational institutions in Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. They are a cost-effective way for students to gain knowledge and skills in priority training areas within the region. Since 1990, scholarships have supported some 3000 awardees from 15 Pacific islands and contributed several million dollars each year to local economies and educational institutions. In 2007–08, there were about 600 scholarships.

As well as encouraging the development of regional networks, the scholarships support Pacific institutions to bolster their capacity and provide high quality student services through contractual arrangements for student management. They also addresses the immediate human resource development priorities of partner countries and, over the long-term, support the development of a skilled workforce. Many previous scholarship recipients have attained senior positions in the public and private sectors.

In 2007–08, scholarships were awarded for technical/vocational certificates and diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, taught by distance or full-time on campus. Courses covered areas prioritised by partner governments, and included governance and public administration, health, education and training, law, agriculture, and engineering.

AusAID Development Research Program

Development research provides an important evidence base to inform development policy and programming. AusAID’s research program has expanded over the last year in-line with government commitments for scaling-up Australian development assistance. AusAID’s Development Research Strategy 2008–2010, launched in January 2008 by the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, outlines the enhanced use of research for policy, planning and development effectiveness, increased research funding, new governance arrangements for research, further leveraging of partnerships, and a focus on capacity building for conducting and using research.

Spending on research through the AusAID development research program increased to $6.9 million in 2007–08. Much of this investment leverages important partnerships with international research programs in organisations such as the Centre for Global Development and the World Bank. Investment in development research across AusAID country program, thematic and corporate groups, has increased by more than 50 per cent in the past year, with the largest increases seen in infrastructure, environment, health and Millennium Development Goals related research.

The inaugural round of AusAID’s competitive research grants scheme, the Australian Development Research Awards, was successfully implemented with high quality Australian and international research funded. Over 500 applications were received and $8.8 million was awarded to 27 projects including research on HIV prevalence in the upper Mekong, improving the financial literacy of small business holders in the Philippines, providing incentives to reduce deforestation in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, and strengthening mortality reporting in the Pacific.

Thematic knowledge management in AusAID

Sharing knowledge across AusAID is critical for better development outcomes. Networks were formalised and grouped into 13 themes in August 2007 as the principal mechanism for managing knowledge across the agency. The themes are crucial for professional development, promoting aid quality, ensuring consistency of policy and for sharing ideas and lessons across a particular sector.

AusAID’s thematic networks cover the following themes: economics, civil society, fragile states and peace building, gender, governance and anti-corruption, law and justice, environment and water, infrastructure, rural development, performance and quality, education, health, and HIV. Networks bring together all staff working on thematic issues in AusAID, whether based in Canberra or overseas. Each network has a head and a manager who lead planning for their network’s future directions. All the heads and managers meet regularly to ensure lessons are also shared across the networks. Network membership is mandatory for all AusAID staff working in the relevant thematic areas. Current total membership is over 1900, with many staff joining more than one network.

Thematic networks operate by linking staff across programs through a range of activities aimed at sharing international best practice in development. Activities include hosting annual conferences, presenting regular meetings, workshops and seminars, finding experts and information, providing training opportunities, participating in reviews, and distributing information through shared sites, newsletters and email lists.

Output 1.1—Policy

Summary of performance
Indicator Result
Ministerial/Parliamentary Secretary satisfaction. General satisfaction.
Number of submissions or briefs, questions on notice, possible parliamentary questions, submissions to parliamentary committees, correspondence, press releases, speeches, number of program strategies prepared or reviewed. AusAID provided 364 submissions and 284 briefs to the Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries.

AusAID responded to 10 parliamentary questions on notice and eight questions in writing. A further 90 questions were answered in writing during the course of two Senate Estimates inquiries.

AusAID prepared no written submissions to parliamentary inquiries.

On average, AusAID prepared 20 responses to possible parliamentary questions for each parliamentary sitting period.

1353 items of ministerial correspondence were prepared.

AusAID prepared two new country and regional strategies, and reviewed eight existing strategies. Within programs, a number of major sector strategies were prepared.

Providing policy support and advice to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance is a key function of AusAID. Our policy agenda is focused on the stated priorities of the Australian Government, including an explicit emphasis on reaching the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals. The announcement of the government’s new Pacific Partnerships for Development, culminating in the Port Moresby Declaration, articulated a new framework for Australia’s engagement with Pacific island nations and a joint commitment to achieving shared goals. These new policy priorities were reflected in the government’s 2008–09 Budget, which lay the foundations for an increase of official development assistance to 0.5 percent of gross national income by 2015.

Country strategies provide the overall policy and implementation framework for Australia’s aid program. During 2007–08, the Greater Mekong Sub-region 2007–2011 and the Australia-Indonesia Partnership Country Strategy 2008–2013 were released. AusAID conducted performance reviews of several country strategies and the results of these are informing the development of new country strategies. The Office of Development Effectiveness is working to improve the function of country strategies and link them to other business processes.

Ministerial/Parliamentary Secretary satisfaction

During the last reporting period, AusAID served the Hon Alexander Downer MP as the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Hon Stephen Smith MP as the current Minister for Foreign Affairs. AusAID also served the then Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and the current Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, the Hon Bob McMullan MP. AusAID also provided policy support and advice to the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, the Hon Duncan Kerr MP.

The Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries expressed general satisfaction with the agency’s performance throughout the year in meetings with AusAID executive and staff, and in comments on written submissions.

Since commencing their roles in November 2007, Mr Smith and Mr McMullan have been pleased to see first hand the work of AusAID in partner countries, and impressed with the quality of work taking place in the field.

The Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries commented favourably on AusAID’s efforts to develop the government’s 2008–09 Budget delivered in May 2008. The Budget has laid the foundation for implementing the government’s election commitment to increase Australia’s official development assistance to 0.5 per cent of gross national income a year by 2015, and is also encouraging progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, a priority set down by the Prime Minister.

The Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries thanked the Agency for its progress on implementing major new initiatives including the significant new disability strategy, and the $300 million water supply and sanitation program. Mr McMullan also noted the importance of the first Annual Review of Development Effectiveness.

In addition to providing policy advice and support to the former and current Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries, the agency responded to correspondence over the year on a range of issues including family planning guidelines in the aid program, the environment and climate change, health issues in the region, including child and maternal health and debt-for-health swaps, Australia’s responses to humanitarian and emergency crises such as Zimbabwe and Sudan, calls to meet the Millennium Development Goals and Make Poverty History targets, and the overall level of funding for the aid budget.

A total of 102 staff attended various training courses in ministerial, parliamentary services and possible parliamentary questions. Quick guides relating to a number of ministerial and parliamentary services functions were also developed and disseminated for ongoing training and development of staff in Canberra and overseas.

Representation at international forums and involvement with other government departments

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance attended a number of significant meetings with a wide range of partners during the year. These have included Mr Smith’s participation at the United Nations High Level Conference on World Food Security and the Afghanistan Donors Conference in June 2008, as well as Mr McMullan’s attendance at the 2008 Tidewater Meeting of Donors, and the ASEAN/UN Donor Meeting for Burma in May 2008.

The Director General attended a range of high-level meetings during the year, including the OECD Development Assistance Committee High Level Meeting and the first annual development dialogue with the UK Department for International Development.

Other significant meetings where AusAID was represented included the World Bank and Asian Development Bank annual meetings, APEC Senior Officials meeting, the 8th International Congress on AIDS in the Asia-Pacific, the Pacific Islands Forum, the International Symposium on Friends of the Global Fund, the Afghanistan Donors’ Conference, the Review of the International Compact with Iraq, and the Standing Committee to the Mine Ban Convention.

AusAID’s engagement with other government departments at the policy level remained strong and the Development Effectiveness Steering Committee was central to these efforts. The committee is chaired by AusAID’s Director General and comprises deputy secretaries of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Finance and Deregulation. The committee continued to play a valuable role in advising the government on major new official development assistance strategies and initiatives, with a focus on coherence, quality and development effectiveness.

Regular high-level dialogue was held across government during the year under the guidance of the strategic partnership agreements that AusAID maintains with key agencies. These agreements articulate the shared interests and relative strengths of participating agencies, as well as around specific policy and program issues. In 2007–08, strategic partnership agreements with the Treasury, Department of Finance and Deregulation, Australian Federal Police, Australian Public Service Commission, and Attorney-General’s Department were subject to high-level review at which their ongoing worth was confirmed. In addition, AusAID signed new partnership agreements with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Electoral Commission.

AusAID works in close partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on most aspects of Australian development assistance. In 2007–08, AusAID also worked closely with the:

Output 1.2—Program management

Summary of performance
Indicator Result
Major programs harmonised with key donors and aligned with partner government systems. Australian Government aid funds provided through partner government systems and donors increased significantly during 2007–08. A partnership agreement was developed with the UK’s Department for International Development. Australia is also encouraging the multilateral development banks to increase their engagement in the Pacific region. To this end, Australia has partnered with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to establish a trilateral cooperation agenda to harmonise engagement between the three partners in the Pacific region. 
Aid modalities reflect good international practice. In 2007–08, AusAID commenced mandatory peer reviews at concept and design stage for significant aid activities (usually $3 million or more). These reviews ensure aid activities draw upon good international practice, are of a high quality and use an appropriate aid modality.
Continuous improvement of tools and processes. A total of 10 business processes have been mapped and released to June 2008, providing staff across the agency with the mandatory and detailed steps to complete key agency processes.
Core quality principles applied. After a successful pilot in 2006–07, AusAID approved its performance assessment and evaluation policy in December 2007. The policy is built around a set of core quality principles derived from international good practice. A key component of the new policy is an agency quality reporting system.
Quantity: number of initiatives, number of new initiatives launched and ongoing initiatives managed. A total of 1233 initiatives were managed during the year. Of these, 504 were new initiatives and 729 were ongoing.

The way aid is delivered has a major influence on its effectiveness. Aid that is aligned with partner government policies, and has strong local ownership, has a better chance of being effective and sustainable. When donors work together, it works even better. The 2007 Annual Review of Development Effectiveness notes there is evidence that the aid program is increasingly adopting these approaches although generating reliable information has proved challenging for Australia and for other donors.

Major programs harmonised with key donors and aligned with partner government systems

In 2007–08, Australia increased and strengthened its engagement with key donors. A partnership agreement was developed with the UK Department for International Development, identifying a number of areas for collaboration such as multilateral reform, climate change, food security and economic growth. Australia also committed to working closely with New Zealand and other donors to facilitate common approaches to development assistance and performance measurement in the Pacific.

Australia is encouraging the multilateral development banks to increase their engagement in the Pacific region, and has established, in partnership with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, a trilateral cooperation agenda to harmonise engagement between the three partners. Australia is also establishing with the banks the Pacific Region Infrastructure Fund, worth $126.8 million over four years, to improve basic infrastructure provision in the Pacific.

Australia has seen a significant growth in aid funds flowing through partner government systems and other donors due to a greater focus on program and sector-wide approaches in new designs, and harmonising arrangements with key donors. These strategies are aligned with partner government development plans, led by partner governments where possible, and developed jointly with other key donors. They are undertaken with the appropriate level of assessment and analysis, and with the necessary controls in place.

AusAID also progressed guidance on fiduciary risk and procurement diagnostic assessments for the use of partner government systems. This guidance will help major programs when using partner government systems and joint donor funding arrangements. AusAID continues to participate in and support the OECD Development Assistance Committee Joint Venture for Procurement (a forum involving partners and key donors such as UK Department for International Development and the World Bank). The joint venture focuses on procurement reform issues, benchmarking and assessment methodology, a common tool for assessing the quality of a country’s procurement system, which aims to formulate capacity development plans to improve partner country procurement systems at the national level and facilitate increased donor use of these systems.

Aid modalities reflect good international practice

AusAID activities are delivered through a mix of aid modalities, ranging from partner government systems and sector-wide approaches to stand alone activities. In keeping with international good practice, during the design and implementation of activities, AusAID applies the key principles of ensuring partner country ownership, working to a shared sector strategy (grounded in the partner government’s development plan), inclusive donor coordination and strengthening and moving towards using partner government systems. AusAID progressed guidance for staff around good practice for harmonisation and alignment and using country systems, which will further strengthen business processes around aid modalities.

In 2007–08, AusAID formalised its design business process to include mandatory peer reviews at concept and design stage for significant aid activities (usually $3 million or more). These peer reviews provide an opportunity for contestability, ensure quality and determine whether the aid modalities selected are appropriate and reflect good international practice.

During the year, AusAID engaged with other donors to maintain an up-to-date awareness of international best practise and lessons learnt. Forms of engagement included an AusAID-World Bank workshop on sector-wide approaches held in November 2007, staff secondments and exchanges, participation in the Development Assistance Committee, and dialogue with the donor community throughout country offices.

Continuous improvement of tools and processes

There has been significant progress in developing and releasing AusAID’s ‘rules and tools’ to support improved program delivery and corporate enabling processes. A total of 10 core business processes were mapped and released to June 2008, providing staff across the agency with the mandatory and detailed steps to complete key tasks. Processes available to date have included designing an aid activity, preparing a quality at implementation report, spending public money and contracting. A further 15 processes have been progressed and are planned for release in 2008–09.

As part of a continuous improvement cycle, all new business procedures have been reviewed over 2007–08, a process which has included incorporating suggestions from staff.

Core quality principles applied

Following a successful pilot phase in 2006–07, AusAID adopted its performance assessment and evaluation policy in December 2007. The policy is built around a set of core quality principles derived from international good practice. A key component is an agency quality reporting system, which collects performance information at the activity, sector and program (country and multilateral) levels for significant aid activities (usually $3 million or more). It is integrated with AusAID’s existing activity management system and a range of supporting business processes. A major focus of AusAID’s approach to collecting and reporting performance information is to improve corporate accountability in relation to program effectiveness. To date, the report preparation process has highlighted strengths and weaknesses in the quality reporting system, and AusAID is refining both the policy’s content and support arrangements to improve the system.

Output 2.1—Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development

Summary of performance
Indicator Result
Quality:
  • major programs harmonised with
    key donors and aligned with partner government systems
  • aid modalities reflect good international practice
  • continuous improvement of tools and processes
  • core quality principles applied.
Quality:

The Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD) is delivered in-line with Indonesian Government priorities, using government systems and in coordination with other donors where appropriate.

Quality of modalities, tools and processes were reported in the 2007 AusAID development effectiveness report and a review of AIPRD commenced.

Quantity:
  • number of initiatives; number of new initiatives launched and ongoing initiatives managed.
Quantity:

All funds have been allocated to eight major initiatives, including two loan programs for education and roads, as agreed with the Indonesian Government in 2005.

The Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD) was jointly agreed by the governments of Australia and Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami for large-scale social and economic development programs across Indonesia, and reconstruction in Aceh and Nias. The five-year $1 billion program includes $500 million in grants and $500 million in highly concessional loans.

The Australian Government has allocated all of these funds and at 29 June 2008, $346.4 million in grants and $137.6 million in loans had been disbursed.

A review of AIPRD commenced in 2008 to assess its performance and identify broad lessons learned in its implementation. The review will be completed in 2008–09 and will make recommendations to improve future development assistance provided by AusAID, including to Indonesia.

The $300 million loan agreement for the Eastern Indonesia National Road Improvement Project became effective in March 2008. Engineering design commenced for the civil works to improve up to 750 kilometres of national roads and 1000 metres of bridges. These distances have been revised downwards due to increases in the price of oil and other commodities and widening of road specifications. The work will be done in 24 packages across eastern Indonesia and initial tenders will be issued from mid-2008.

The Government Partnerships Fund continued to create long-term institutional linkages and partnerships between 13 Australian agencies and their Indonesian public sector counterpart institutions. Skills, knowledge and expertise have been exchanged between over 1500 Australian and Indonesian officials working in economic governance, financial management and public sector management. An independent mid-term review identified the value of these relationships for exchanging technical information and experience, and transferring best-practice models from Australia to Indonesia.

Affected communities in Yogyakarta and central Java were assisted to rebuild businesses and community infrastructure following the May 2006 earthquake. This included training in disaster resilience and over 20 school upgrades.

In tsunami-affected areas, almost $225 million has been spent on reconstruction and rehabilitation—or about 90 per cent of the $252.8 million committed, including $181 million in AIPRD funds.

Key achievements in 2007–08 included:

FINANCIAL RESULTS

The Australian National Audit Office was unqualified in its opinion that AusAID’s 2007–08 financial statements are fairly stated and presented.

Departmental financial performance

AusAID’s departmental outcome for the year ended 30 June 2008 was an operating surplus of $0.154 million.

Departmental operating statement
Actuals
2007–08
($’000)
Actuals
2006–07
($’000)
Operating revenue Outcome 1
102 960
87 929
Operating revenue Outcome 2
6 520
5 745
Operating expense Outcome 1
106 164
90 176
Operating expense Outcome 2
3 162
3 274
Operating result
154
224

Cash reserves are reflected in cash on hand at 30 June as well as the appropriation receivable, totalling approximately $15.654 million. Cash reserves increased in 2007–08 as a result of the operating surplus and recognition in contributed equity of capital appropriation for AusAID’s central office fitout and Australia’s overseas diplomatic missions—improved security and upgrades.

Administered financial performance

Total overall administered expenses in 2007–08 were $2 809 954 million, with 99 per cent of the agency’s regular appropriation for the aid program being expensed.

Administered expenses and liabilities
Actuals
2007–08
($’000)
Actuals
2006–07
($’000)
Outcome 1
2 615 173
1 741 577
Outcome 2
194 781
161 082
Total expenses
2 809 954
1 902 659
Total liabilities
999 927
966 064

Outcome 1—To assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development in-line with Australia’s national interest.

Administered expenses were $2 615 173 million. In 2007–08, AusAID commenced a significant new package of initiatives under Outcome 1 in the areas of infrastructure, education, health, environment, humanitarian and emergencies and performance incentives total expenditure against this package was 100 per cent.

One of the main differences between administered expenses and cash flows (detailed in section 4) arises from recognition of multi-year liabilities to multilateral development institutions which are committed in the year the agreement is signed and discharged over following financial years. Two new multilateral replenishment agreements for the International Development Association (IDA 15) and the Heavily Indebeted Poor Countries Initiative were entered into in 2007–08 totalling $617.81 million.

Outcome 2—Australia’s national interest advanced by implementing a partnership between Australia and Indonesia for reconstruction and development.

The total appropriation of $1 billion for AIPRD was received through the 2004–05 Portfolio Supplementary Additional Estimates and was credited to two special accounts—one for grants and one for loans. $121.115 million in AIPRD grants were expensed and $80.381 million in AIPRD loans were disbursed in 2007–08. Supplementary administrative costs for the implementation and management of AIPRD are funded through Bill 1 appropriations. In 2007–08, $7.533 million of the supplementary administrative costs for AIPRD were expensed.

AusAID Director General, Bruce Davis greets Dr Catherine Hamlin AC, founder and CEO of the Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula Hospital in March 2008

AusAID Director General, Bruce Davis greets Dr Catherine Hamlin AC, founder and CEO of the Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula Hospital in March 2008. The occasion marked Australia’s agreement to provide $2 million in 2007—08 to fund the work of the hospital in treating women with obstetric fistula. This will bring to more than $5.7 million Australia’s support for the hospital since 1993    Photo: Kim Biedrzycki

Catherine Walker, AusAID’s Deputy Director General, at the launch of The shack and dialogues—understanding tuberculosis

Catherine Walker, AusAID’s Deputy Director General, at the launch of The shack and dialogues—understanding tuberculosis, an exhibition at Parliament House, Canberra, sponsored by AusAID and Results Australia in March 2008.    Photo: Eddison Photographics

Picture: Murray Proctor, Australia’s Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, delivered the Australian statement at the high-level meeting on AIDS at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 11 June 2008.

Murray Proctor, Australia’s Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, delivered the Australian statement at the high-level meeting on AIDS at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 11 June 2008. The meeting reviewed progress made in implementing the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. Photo: Kay Hull


10 ARDE 2007.

11 Includes the following programs: Australian Development Scholarships; Australia-Pakistan Scholarships; ACIAR John Allwright Fellowships; Carnegie Mellon-AusAID Scholarships; University of Wollongong Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention Scholarships.

 

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