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Australia’s development program — performance assessment

The Australian Government is committed to delivering a high quality, effective development program that is responsive to partner needs, achieves results, and is informed by robust monitoring, evaluation and learning.

We will achieve this by fostering a strong performance-based culture that generates robust data on performance, drives improvement and promotes accountability.

Our performance culture will be underpinned by:

  • effective senior leadership and governance, and
  • strengthened monitoring, evaluation and learning approaches that use evidence to learn and adapt.

A new performance and delivery framework will drive reform and improve how we: plan, design, deliver and communicate our results; provide timely and transparent information on investments and performance; and deliver accountability to the Australian Parliament and public.

The framework will have four main elements:

  • A strengthened approach to country and regional planning that will deepen our consultation with partners, enhance oversight and set out shared objectives, expected outcomes, and approaches to evaluation and learning.
  • An expanded and more ambitious set of performance indicators which include targets to drive key reforms under a three-tier framework that tracks our regional context (Tier 1), what we do (Tier 2) and how our work aligns with the SDGs (Tier 3).
  • Strategic Partnership Agreements with multilateral organisations
  • Investment-level monitoring and evaluation systems

Assessment and Reporting under Australia's Performance and Delivery Framework

Level Policy settings Performance assessment
Whole of Development Program International Development Policy Three tier indicator framework
Country and Regional Programs Development Partnership Plans Annual reporting 
Mid-cycle strategic review 
Multilateral Programs Strategic Partnership Frameworks Periodic multilateral performance assessment
Investments Aid Programming Guide Investment reports
Independent evaluations
Impact assessments

The above framework will be supported by a reporting regime that includes the DFAT Annual Report, Annual bilateral Development Partnership talks, Annual Performance of Australian Development Cooperation Report and an Online data portal.

Context and Results of Australia's Development Program

A three-tier framework will be used to track progress against Australia's International Development Policy.

Tier 1 – Indo-Pacific development context - Tier 1 indicators track the context and risk in which Australia works by measuring the regional development context. Improvements over time for Tier 1 indicators are the outcome of collective efforts by countries and their development partners, including Australia.

Tier 2 – Australia's contribution to development - Tier 2 results are annual results directly attributable to Australian development efforts, organised against the priority areas of the new development policy. Technical Notes are available for Tier 2 indicators. Implementing partners who require a copy of technical notes to support reporting can contact their DFAT investment/agreement manager.

Tier 3 – Australia's contribution to development - Tier 3 indicators track how we work including our progress against key performance targets and commitments.

Reporting on implementation of Australia's International Development Policy: A development program fit for our times will occur through the annual Performance of Australian Development Cooperation (PADC) report. Performance information, drawn from the three tiers of indicators and country, global and multilateral program assessments will be reported in the DFAT Annual Report.

Country and regional programs, global programs and multilateral organisations

Australia's development program is delivered through country and regional programs, global programs and multilateral organisations.

Under Australia's International Development Policy more in-depth and expanded Country and Regional Development Performance Plans (DPPs) which set out shared objectives, expected outcomes, and approaches to evaluation and learning based on consultation with partners will be developed. Country and Regional DPPs are expected to be published by the end of 2024. Implementation of DPPs will be assessed via Mid-term Reviews which will be published.

Our global programs and work with multilateral organisations will be regularly assessed to ensure they deliver against COVID-19 Development Strategy objectives. Global programs include the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, Australian Volunteers Program and Australia Awards. Each will report against specific performance frameworks. Strategic Partnership Agreements will drive outcomes expected from our partnerships with multilateral organisations.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Effective monitoring, evaluation and learning are critical to achieving results, ensuring our programs continue to innovate, improve, and reflect best practice.

We will continue to undertake robust annual assessments of the effectiveness and efficiency of individual investments and Independent evaluations to generate evidence and learning.

To strengthen our approach to evaluation and learning, we will:

  • introduce multi-year evaluation planning and increase the number of sector and thematic evaluations
  • expand our approach to evaluations to require strategically significant investments to complete follow-up impact assessments after completion

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