Improving livelihoods and economic development


We support Timor-Leste to improve its economy by creating jobs and a stronger private sector, increasing rural incomes and helping more people become workforce ready.

Australia supports the Timor-Leste Government to improve the business environment and promote private sector development by putting in place new laws and policies that encourage investment, make it easier to set up and run businesses and increase commercial certainty.

Australia partners with business to help develop emerging industries in important areas including agribusiness, manufacturing and tourism. We also work with farmers to improve production, access markets and increase household income.

Australia supports people to get the training, skills and advanced education that Timorese businesses need. This includes helping people make the most of opportunities to get skills and income by doing seasonal work in Australia, supporting the delivery of vocational education in hospitality and tourism, and developing future leaders in government and industry by studying at Australian universities through the Australia Awards program.

Related initiatives

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

Up to $25 million, 2016-2021

Australia's TOMAK program will reduce malnutrition and improve commercial farming opportunities for rural households. TOMAK partners with farmers – and particularly women in farming families – to improve productivity, and to increase the amount and variety of nutritious foods for sale. TOMAK also helps communities understand the importance of good nutrition. TOMAK's work will lead to improved health, and more resilient households who can earn an income from the food they grow. The program is implemented by Adam Smith International together with a number of government, non-government and private sector organisations.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
TOMAK Investment Concept 2014 Concept note
TOMAK Investment Design 2015 Design document
TOMAK Monitoring and Review Group Report #1 2016 Independent monitoring report
TOMAK First Annual Progress Report 2017 Progress report

Related links

Roads for Development Support Program

Phase I $36 million, 2012-2016 and Phase II up to $26 million, 2017-2021

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

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

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

Related links

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Timor-Leste Roads for Development ILO–Concept Note 2011 Concept
Timor-Leste Roads for Development design document 2011 Design
Roads for Development—Six-monthly Progress Report to June 2012 (Timor-Leste) 2012 Progress report
Roads for Development—Six-monthly Progress Report to December 2012 2012 Progress report
Timor-Leste Roads for Development (R4D) Program: Final Mid-Term Review Report 2014 Mid-term review
Timor-Leste Roads for Development (R4D) Program: Final Mid-Term Review Report - DFAT management response 2015 Management response
Phase II (2017-2020) Design Update Annex 2016 Design
Roads for Development – Phase 1 Final Evaluation 2017 End of program review
Phase II Mid-Term Review final report and DFAT management response 2018 Mid-term review and management response

Market Development Facility

$18.1 million to Timor-Leste from 2013-2021

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

A second phase of MDF commenced in 2017.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Timor-Leste Market Development Facility Phase II Investment Design 2016 Design
Kick-starting inclusive growth: Timor-Leste's Transition to a Post-Conflict, Post-Oil Economy 2017 Report
Market Development Facility Activity Completion Report 2017 Report

Related links

Workforce Development Program

Up to A$17 million, 2014-2020

Australia's Workforce Development Program Timor-Leste supports scholarship opportunities for tertiary study in Australia, access to vocational training to help young Timorese find employment and supports Timor-Leste to increase its participation in Australia's labour mobility programs, including the Seasonal Worker Programme and the Pacific Labour Scheme.

Related documents*

Name of document

Year published Type
Government Graduate Internships Evaluation Report 2015 Review
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Report 2016 Report
Timor-Leste Australia Alumni Engagement Strategy 2017-19 2017 Report
Workforce Development Strategic Review 2018 Review

Related links


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

Last Updated: 21 October 2019