The Office of Development Effectiveness
ODE is currently working on the following evaluations.
Meta-evaluation of DFAT's support for skills development
The meta-evaluation looks at a selection of bilateral and regional skills development investments in the Pacific and Timor-Leste and identifies factors that contribute to success. The meta-evaluation synthesizes existing program evaluations. It was completed in 2019 and will be published on the DFAT website in 2020.
Pacific Health Programs 2008-2017
Between 2008 and 2017, Australia invested $1.4 billion in official Overseas Development Aid (ODA) aimed at improving health outcomes in the Pacific and Papua New Guinea (PNG), making Australia the major funder of health assistance in the Pacific. This ODE evaluation provides an independent assessment of the effectiveness of DFAT's health assistance in the Pacific in terms of its contribution to strengthening country-level health systems and services in eight Pacific island countries. The findings will inform bilateral and regional programming in the future and improve cross-sectoral collaboration. This evaluation was completed in 2019 and will be published on the DFAT website in 2020.
Delivery of Australian Aid Objectives through Multilateral Organisations
The Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) is currently finalising an evaluation on how Australia has promoted 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper priorities through exerting influence within multilateral organisations. The evaluation covered a broadly representative sample of 13 multilateral organisations including multilateral development banks, special purpose funds, and United Nations agencies. This evaluation was listed on the 2019 Annual Aid Evaluation Plan as a strategic evaluation to be published in 2019.
As a separate exercise to this ODE evaluation, the Department has been tasked by the Prime Minister to conduct an audit of Australia’s engagement with the UN and international standard setting organisations. The Department has also been asked by the Foreign Minister to develop a new development policy and performance framework. Both of these are due to be finalised in early 2020.
Given the timing of these other related activities, the ODE and Independent Evaluation Committee have agreed that ODE’s evaluation will be published in early 2020 so that it can include the Department’s management response to the evaluation. This will allow the response to take into account work stemming from the multilateral audit and new development policy and performance framework.
Pacific Economic Infrastructure
The Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) is undertaking a strategic evaluation of Australia's official development assistance (ODA) for economic infrastructure development in the Pacific from 2008-2018. This ODE evaluation will provide evidence for DFAT and its infrastructure investment partners about how Australia can maximise development outcomes and promote Australia's strategic and policy priorities through its economic infrastructure investments in the Pacific. The evaluation will assess how Australia can best work bilaterally with partner Governments and/or through the Multilateral Development Banks to deliver quality infrastructure assistance, and identify priority areas of infrastructure development where Australia can add the most value in the Pacific.
Conflict Prevention and Peace Building
This evaluation will assess DFAT's engagement in conflict prevention and peace building through diplomacy, trade, aid, and security. The evaluation will examine policy settings, institutional settings and Whole-of-Government engagement practices to inform the review and development of policies and contribute to international knowledge sharing of good practice engagement. The evaluation reviews performance against three good practice areas: integrated analysis, prevention, Women Peace and Security (WPS) and Australia's roles as a catalyst for peace through a case study and systems analysis approach.
Literacy in Melanesia case study
Education is a fundamental building block of development, and DFAT has made large investments in support of improved education outcomes. There are persistently poor results for literacy in Melanesia. For example, the PILNA 2018 report finds that one in four (24%) Year 6 students did not meet the minimum expectations for Year 4 in literacy, seriously limiting their prospects for educational success in future.
ODE will commence with a contained-scope, strengths-based case study to identify and explore the drivers of student literacy outcomes in Melanesian countries as a basis for strengthening Australia’s contribution.
Flexible and adaptive management
ODE will commission a short evaluation investigating DFAT’s management of facilities and other flexible and adaptive programs across various components of the aid management cycle, including pre-design analytical work, design, budgeting and contracting, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and learning and policy dialogue. The monitoring and evaluation component will look specifically at good practice for flexible and adaptive programs, focussing on innovative approaches to measuring progress and impact in these programs that has broader application across a range of DFAT programs. ODE expects to publish the final evaluation in late 2020 or early 2021, with interim products in 2020.