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The Office of Development Effectiveness

Skilling-up in Timor-Leste and Pacific island countries: Meta-evaluation of DFAT’s support for skills development

Skills development is a critical component of Australia’s development cooperation programs in our region. Our skills programs help ensure local labour markets are well-supported with work ready training graduates, and people from the region are well-prepared to take up labour mobility opportunities in Australia and other countries.

This meta-evaluation assessed 11 evaluations of skills investments in Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste to determine the relevance of Australian support and the results we’ve achieved, including factors that both contributed to, and constrained, effective program delivery. It highlights lessons learned to improve Australian support for skills development, and is provided as a resource for DFAT skills program managers and partners.

Good practice Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) investments:

  • build on long-term engagement in the sector, and maintain strong local partnerships, including with counterpart governments, other TVET providers and private sector employers
  • understand context, including local and international labour market needs, employer capacity and workforce literacy and numeracy levels, and adapt training programs as required
  • appropriately resource key elements of the performance framework, including investing in a realistic design appropriate to context, and ensuring relevant data is available and used to measure performance over time
  • support the development of skilled and experienced local and Australian DFAT staff with knowledge in the sector to build relationships, engage in policy dialogue and promote continuous program improvement
  • ensure equitable participation in training programs by women, people with a disability and people in remote locations
  • strategically link bilateral programs with opportunities presented at the regional level, including through Australian Pacific Train Coalition (APTC).

Evaluation

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