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Australia’s development program — performance assessment

The Australian Government is committed to delivering a targeted and high quality development program that supports preparedness, response and recovery from COVID-19 in the Indo Pacific. Australia’s approach will be defined by setting clear objectives for all programs and closely monitoring progress against them, in alignment with the Government’s broader focus on effective implementation.

A contemporary performance system

The performance system that supports the COVID-19 Development Strategy has three central elements:

  • A three-tier framework for reporting on the overall context, annual results and effectiveness of Australia’s COVID-19 development response efforts
  • Whole of Government COVID-19 Development Response country and regional plans setting out expected outcomes, key results and supporting investments
  • Performance indicators for global programs and strategic partnership agreements with multilateral organisations.


Table 1: Performance system flow chart

Context and results of Australia’s development program

Tier 1 - Indo-Pacific development context
Fragility in the region
Political rights and civil liberties
Fiscal sustainability
Poverty in the region
Export volumes
Economic growth in the region
Pandemic spread
Disaster risk reduction
Climate change adaptation
Violence against women
Tier 2 - Australia’s contribution to development
Health Security
Health Systems and preparedness
Infectious disease outbreak response
Medical products
Sexual and reproductive health
Emergency assistance
Improved governance
Social protection measures
Violence against women
School enrolments
Food security
Economic Recovery
Economic policy support
Economic empowerment
Supply chain support
Budget support
Tier 3 - Operational and organisational effectiveness
Gender equality and social inclusion

A three-tier framework will be used to track progress against the COVID-19 Development Strategy:

Tier 1 Indo-Pacific development context

These indicators present selected development outcomes critical for the region’s recovery from COVID-19. 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

These are annual results directly attributable to Australian development efforts, organised against the action areas of the COVID-19 Development Strategy.

Tier 3 Operational and organisational effectiveness

These are selected measures of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s and other government department’s operational and organisational effectiveness in delivering Australia’s development program.

Reporting on Australia’s implementation of the COVID-19 Development Strategy will occur through an annual Ministerial Statement. ODA-specific performance information, drawn from the three tiers 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.

A new approach will be introduced in 2020-21 for planning and reporting on country and regional programs. COVID-19 Development Response Plans will be prepared for country and regional programs that are mutually agreed with partner governments. These plans will be whole-of-government, responsive to partner country preparedness and response plans and include expected outcomes and key results/performance indicators. A brief summary of progress will be prepared annually.

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.

Underpinning Australia’s development cooperation program is a commitment to monitoring, evaluation, research, learning and adaptation (MERLA). Regular and systematic MERLA is essential to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of our programs, support adaptive management of investments, provide the basis for reporting to Parliament and the public, and contribute to dialogue with our development partners.

Country and Regional Development Program Progress Reports

Country and Regional Development Program Progress Reports are a key element of the performance system for Australia’s development program. Progress Reports:

  • set out key COVID-19 and other highlights for individual country and regional programs
  • report progress against 2019-20 performance indicators.

Progress Reports can be found on the Where we deliver our Development Program page.

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