The Office of Development Effectiveness
Lessons from Australian Aid report
This major report provides an independent perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian aid program. Lessons from Australian Aid synthesises findings from six recent strategic evaluations conducted by ODE. It also analyses the findings from 2012-13 performance reporting undertaken by DFAT program managers, and quality-assures these products. The report contains useful lessons for DFAT aid managers, grouped around three main themes:
- Well-informed policy dialogue with Australia's development partners helps create high-quality policy frameworks. As a result, Australian aid reaches more of the poor.
- Government isn't the only development partner–DFAT should keep building strong relationships with the private sector and civil society as well, to leverage high-quality outcomes.
- In low-capacity settings, building the capacity of institutions (rather than individuals) in ways that are tailored and paced to reflect local realities holds most potential for success.
While these lessons are not new to international development, they continue to be relevant to the Australian aid program. They also pose a challenge for all other major donors. Applying the report's lessons consistently across the aid program should improve the effectiveness and impact of Australia's development assistance.