Our support to improve wellbeing in Timor-Leste is focused on delivering higher quality frontline services to greater numbers of Timorese including those most vulnerable such as women and girls and people with disability. Through our $120 million (2016-21) Partnership for Human Development (PHD) program, we are taking a consolidated, joined up approach to addressing Timor-Leste's human development challenges, by supporting:

  • quality basic education
  • maternal, neonatal, and child health services
  • access to clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene
  • improved nutrition
  • access to quality services for survivors of violence and people with disability.

We aim to ensure these services meet good-practice standards, engage communities, empower women and are accessible, including to people with disability.

Australia's Nabilan: Ending Violence Against Women program works across government and civil-society organisations to prevent violence as well as provide services and access to justice for survivors of violence.

Related initiatives

Partnership for Human Development

Up to $120 million, 2016-2021

The Australia-Timor-Leste Partnership for Human Development (PHD) delivers Australia's development assistance in health, education, water, sanitation, nutrition, gender equality, disability and social protection under one consolidated, multi-sectoral approach. It will work towards strategic objective 2 of Australia's Timor-Leste Aid Investment Plan: enhancing human development. The goal of PHD is to support improved wellbeing of all people in Timor-Leste.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Investment Design – Australia Timor-Leste Partnership for Human Development 2015 Investment Design
Investment Concept: Australia-Timor-Leste Partnership for Human Development 2015 Investment Concept
Partnership for Human Development (PHD) July-December 2016 Progress Report 2016 Report
Partnership for Human Development (PHD) 2017 Annual Plan 2017 Report
Partnership for Human Development (PHD) Jan – June 2017 Progress Report 2017 Report
Partnership for Human Development: Strategic framework 2017 Strategic framework

Related links

Video: See how Australia and Timor-Leste's new partnership will build a healthy, educated and prosperous Timor-Leste

A number of existing activities are continuing under this consolidated program:

Basic Education

The focus of Australia's basic education support is on improving learning outcomes, specifically literacy and numeracy in the early years, through building school leadership capacity, improved teacher practice and education sector policy and systems. A key focus is to support implementation of the Ministry of Education's child-centred basic education curriculum and strengthening teaching practice.

Australia is providing direct support to the Ministry of Education to improve teacher quality and student learning through the Professional Learning and Mentoring program. The program was launched in April 2016 and involves tailored training for school leaders, backed up by regular classroom observation and in-classroom mentoring of teachers by international and national mentors. The program will be rolled out nationally over five years. Australia also supports the Ministry of Education to distribute its new national curriculum.

Australia is also supporting the Alola Foundation, a Timorese non-government organisation, to deliver components of the Professional Learning and Mentoring Program, with a focus on teacher training and to provide mobile library services to schools and communities throughout Timor-Leste. More than 200 scholarships are provided each year for disadvantaged girls to complete secondary school, assisting with education costs and living expenses such as transport, food and clothing.

Australia funds the Catholic Institute for Teacher Education to provide a recognised Bachelor of Education program to approximately 50 student teachers annually and to also deliver the Professional Learning and Mentoring Program.

Australia is funding the Mother Tongue Pilot through the UNESCO National Commission. Under the pilot, the Timor-Leste Government's Mother Tongue Policy is being implemented in 11 schools across three districts to improve literacy and numeracy.

Health Program

Australia is the largest bilateral donor supporting Timor-Leste's health sector and focuses support on improving maternal and child health. The program aims to improve the continuum of care for maternal and child health including family planning and antenatal care, delivery and postnatal care.

Australia is funding midwifery training to ensure safe births and quality postnatal care for women. The Liga Inan 'Connecting Mums' program is using simple mobile phone technology to facilitate communication and build trust between expectant and new mothers and community health workers.

Australia is working directly with the Ministry of Health to improve health transport. The Health Ambulance and Transport project operates across Timor-Leste with almost 100 ambulances and multi-function vehicles delivering lifesaving transport to patients, 35 per cent of which are pregnant mothers experiencing complications.

Together with the Timorese Ministry of Health, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is implementing the Family Medicine Program to develop the clinical skills of more than 200 junior doctors, including future general practitioners and tertiary specialists in Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics, Anaesthesia and Internal Medicine.

Australia is supporting Marie Stopes Timor-Leste to provide family planning services nationally. 38,000 couples received family planning services in 2017.

Australia is also funding health systems strengthening with support to improving national health information systems and public financial management.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Human Resources for Health in Timor-Leste: Constraints and Opportunities in HRH strategy and planning 2012 Study
Timor-Leste Health Program 2013-2021—Concept Note 2013 Concept note
Timor-Leste Ministry of Health Discussion Note (English) 2013 Discussion note
Timor-Leste Ministry of Health Discussion Note (Tetum) 2013 Discussion note
Access to Mainstream Health and Rehabilitation Services for People with Disability in Timor-Leste—Situation analysis 2013 Study
Economic Inputs to the Timor-Leste Health Design—Final draft 2013 Study
Timor-Leste Health Program gender analysis 2013 Study
Demand Creation Approaches: A Survey of Local NGOs in Timor-Leste's Health Sector 2013 Study
Timor Leste Health Transport – Annual Report 2014 Report
Timor Leste Liga Inan service - Catalpa International progress report 2015 Report
Support for Improved Maternal and Newborn Care in Timor-Leste - Health Alliance International Final Report 2015 Report
Principal Adviser, Public Financial Management Institutional Strengthening to the Ministry of Health—Overview of duties 2015 Duties description
Australia Timor-Leste Program of Assistance in Secondary Services—Phase II (ATLASS II) Six Month Progress Report January – June 2015 2015 Progress report
Access to maternal and newborn health services for women with disabilities in Timor-Leste 2016 Report
Literature review on maternal and child health for Timor-Leste 2016 Report
Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey 2016 2016 Survey
Timor-Leste Nutrition Strategic Review 2017 Review
Timor-Leste Health Review and management response 2018 Review and management response

Water and sanitation

Name of document

Year published Type
Social Audit for Rural Water Supply Services in Timor-Leste Report 2016 Report
Timor-Leste Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program 2016 - Final monitoring and review group 2016 Report
Monitoring Visit Report: WaterAid Timor-Leste 2017 2017 Report
Comfortable, Safe and Proud 2017 Study
ODF sustainability in Timor-Leste 2017 Study

Hamutuk – Nutrition Collective Impact Pilot

$3 million, 2015-2019

Australia's is supporting investment so more women and children have improved nutrition status. This is being achieved by supporting a nutrition focus across other human development investments, through delivery of the President's Nutrition Awards Program, Hamutuk – the Nutrition Collective Impact Pilot, and broader support for government-led nutrition initiatives.

The Nutrition Collective Impact Pilot, known as 'Hamutuk' (meaning 'together') is a four-year innovative nutrition program ($3 million, 2015-2019). Hamutuk is a collaboration of more than 20 government and non-government organisations from multiple sectors working together to reduce the prevalence of stunting in children under two-years of age.

The President's Nutrition Awards Program (PNP) was initiated by His Excellency (H.E), the former President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Taur Matan Ruak, in 2013. It was designed to raise the awareness of the nutrition situation in Timor-Leste. The main component of the Program is the President's Nutrition Awards, in which sucos or women's groups are recognised for outstanding actions to promote and improve nutrition in their communities. Australia is partnering with H.E Francisco Guterres to continue this important program.

Australia is also supporting nutrition sensitive activities in the health, WASH and education programs of the Partnership for Human Development.

Related links

Ending Violence Against Women in Timor-Leste

Up to $32 million, 2014-2022

Australia's Nabilan: Ending Violence Against Women program is implemented by The Asia Foundation and works across government and civil-society organisations to prevent violence as well as provide services and access to justice for survivors of violence.

By 2017, Nabilan had supported local partners to provide more than 17,000 services to women and children affected by violence since 2014. These services include legal aid, counselling and safe housing. As a result of the program's work with the justice system through continued legal education for judges and prosecutors, and court monitoring, courts are applying tougher sentences for perpetrators. In 2015-16, Nabilan undertook the first nation-wide prevalence study on violence against women and children which has influenced government policy, including the national action plan on gender-based violence, and is informing activities of local and international partners.  In 2016-17, Nabilan expanded its violence prevention work to 2494 people (1268 women and 1226 men). Surveys before and after the interventions confirmed that interventions have changed attitudes towards gender equality and violence.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Violence against Women in Melanesia and Timor-Leste 2011 Study
Beyond Fragility & Inequity: Women's Experiences of the Economic Dimensions of Domestic Violence in Timor-Leste 2015 Research
Understanding Violence Against Women and and Children in Timor-Leste: Findings from the Nabilan Baseline Study 2016 Report
Nabilan Program Progress Report January-June 2017 2017 Report
Ending violence against women through community action: A reflection on research, ethics and practice 2017 Report
Nabilan Program: Ending Violence Against Women in Timor-Leste - Progress report, 1 July – 31 December 2017, Volume 1 2017 Report
Nabilan Phase 2 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan 2018 Plan
Nabilan Six Monthly Progress Briefing: January to June 2018 2018  Briefing
Nabilan Phase 2: Program Document 2018 Report 

National Village Development Program (PNDS) and PNDS Support Program

Up to $48.4 million, 2012-2018

The Timor-Leste Government's National Village Development Program (Programa Nasional Desenvolvimentu Suku—PNDS) provides annual grants of around US$50,000 to communities across Timor-Leste for small scale infrastructure projects. These projects include building or refurbishing water systems, irrigation channels, bridges, motorbike paths or market places, as well as refurbishment of schools or health posts. The program uses a community-driven development approach that empowers local communities to lead the decision-making process regarding their projects, and guides communities to build and manage their infrastructure.

Australia does not directly fund grants, but assists the Government through the PNDS Support Program to establish operational procedures, corporate systems such as finance and human resource management and monitoring and evaluation processes. Australia's support also fosters Timor-Leste Government leadership and management of the program.

Our support to PNDS has helped more than 250,000 people be involved in decisions about how to develop and improve their villages since the start of the program in 2012.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Program Operations Manual—Programa Nasional Dezenvolvimentu Suku 2011 Operations manual
Community driven development and PNDS—overview slides 2013 Overview slides
PNDS and DFAT's support program—slides 2013 Overview slides
National Program for Village Development (PNDS) briefing (Timor-Leste) 2013 Briefing
National Program for Village Development Support Program (PNDSSP)—Investment Design Summary 2013 Design summary
National Program for Village Development Support Program (PNDSSP)—Investment Design Summary (Tetum) 2013 Design summary
Draft PNDS implementation schedule 2013 Progress report
National Program for Suco Development (PNDS) Support Program—Quarter 4 report 2013 Progress report
PNDS interim phase : contract completion report 2014 Completion report
Monitoring and review group report #1 2014 Independent monitoring report
Monitoring and review group report #2 2014 Independent monitoring report
PNDS six monthly progress report 2015 Progress report
Technical Evaluation of Infrastructure 2015 2015 Technical evaluation
Monitoring and review group report #3 2016 Independent monitoring report
The Economic Impacts of PNDS Infrastructure Projects 2016 Study report
Technical Evaluation of Infrastructure 2016 2016 Technical evaluation
National Program for Village Development Support Program (PNDS-SP): mid-term review final report and management response 2017 Review report and management response
Timor-Leste National Program for Village Development (PNDS): Technical Evaluation of Infrastructure 2017 2017 Evaluation
Timor-Leste National Program for Village Development Support Program (PNDS-SP) Annual Progress Report (2016-2017) 2017 Progress report

* 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: 1 February 2019