Skip to main content

Development assistance in Timor-Leste

Flag of Timor-Leste

Stability in Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste, a young nation, is working to strengthen its institutions that underpin stability and security. We are working with Timor-Leste to expand programs that deliver opportunities and services to people, especially in rural areas.

We partner with the Timor-Leste Government on investments that help to enhance people’s trust in their government. We are building on our long-running partnerships, which have improved coordination and logistics for the COVID-19 response, to foster more effective and gender-responsive security institutions.

Australia is working with Timor-Leste to strengthen and expand social protection programs that support households and communities, including people with disabilities, young children and pregnant mothers.

To promote food security, we are supporting farmers to grow and market their products and respond to pest and disease threats, so that supplies of nutritious food are not interrupted.

We continue to support essential services to respond to violence against women and children (VAWC), which is likely to increase at times of movement restrictions and heightened strain on households. We support communities and the government to take action to prevent VAWC. We also support local advocates and maintain our own advocacy so that the voices of women and girls are amplified and considered in policies and programs.

TOMAK (To'os ba Moris Diak) – Farming for Prosperity

Up to $30 million, 2016-2022

Australia's TOMAK program seeks to reduce malnutrition and improve commercial farming opportunities for rural households. TOMAK partners with farmers – and particularly women – to improve productivity, and to increase the amount and variety of nutritious foods for sale. TOMAK also helps communities understand the importance of good nutrition. TOMAK's work will lead to improved food security, improved health and more resilient households who can earn an income from the food they grow. This is important to help manage the impacts of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste. The program is implemented by Adam Smith International together with a number of government, non-government and private sector organisations.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
TOMAK Investment Design 2015 Design document
TOMAK Guiding Strategy [PDF] 2016 Strategy
TOMAK Monitoring and Review Group Report 2016 Independent monitoring report
TOMAK First Annual Progress Report 2017 Progress report
TOMAK Social and behaviour change strategy [PDF] 2019 Report

Related links

Nabilan: Ending Violence Against Women in Timor-Leste

$32 million, 2014-2022

Australia's Nabilan: Ending Violence Against Women program is implemented by The Asia Foundation and works across government and civil-society organisations in Timor-Leste to prevent violence as well as provide services and access to justice for survivors of violence.

By 2020, Nabilan had supported local partners to provide just under 45,000 services to women and children affected by violence since 2014. These services include legal aid, counselling and safe housing. As a result of the program's work with the justice system through continued legal education for judges and prosecutors, and court monitoring, courts are applying tougher sentences for perpetrators.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Understanding Violence Against Women and Children in Timor-Leste: Findings from the Nabilan Baseline Study 2016 Report
Nabilan Program Progress Report January-June 2017 2017 Report
Ending violence against women through community action: A reflection on research, ethics and practice 2017 Report
Nabilan Program: Ending Violence Against Women in Timor-Leste - Progress report, 1 July – 31 December 2017, Volume 1 2017 Report
Nabilan Phase 2 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan 2018 Plan
Nabilan Six Monthly Progress Briefing: January to June 2018 2018 Briefing
Nabilan Phase 2: Program Document 2018 Report
Nabilan Program Annual Report 2018 Report
Nabilan Progress Briefing, January – July 2019 2019 Progress report
Nabilan Independent Review (2021) 2021 Independent evaluation
Nabilan Independent Review - Summary (2021) 2021 Independent evaluation

Social protection

An extensive body of international evidence demonstrates the positive impact of well-designed social assistance programs on poverty, improved nutrition, maternal infant and young child health and outcomes as well as access, attendance and performance at school.

Australia’s partnership with Timor-Leste on social protection focuses on increasing the access and coverage of social transfer programs for the elderly, people with disabilities and vulnerable families. Implemented though the Partnership for Human Development, we take a systems approach – strengthening the policies, programs, people and institutions involved in social transfers, working closely with the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion.

Through this partnership Australia played a critical role in supporting Timor-Leste to deliver USD63.7 million in emergency COVID-19 payments to 95 per cent (around 298,000) of households, stimulating the economy and bolstering food security at a time when this was most needed.

For more information on our work in this area, visit the Partnership for Human Development section on the Health security in Timor-Leste page.

Timor-Leste Police Development Program

$27.5 million, 2018-23

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) implements the Timor-Leste Police Development Program (TLPDP) in cooperation with Timor-Leste’s national police service (Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste or PNTL). The long-term objective is to support the PNTL to deliver skilled and professional policing services, which respond effectively to community needs, and contribute to a stable and secure Timor-Leste. Australia has provided support to PNTL through the TLPDP since 2004.

The core components that help to achieve that objective are:

  • PNTL’s governance, self-improvement systems and organisational leadership are capable, legitimate and accountable
  • effective operational policing services are delivered through enhanced capability and capacity
  • improved community engagement and collaborations enable the delivery of responsive policing services.

Related documents

Name of document Year published Type
Timor-Leste Police Development Program – 2018-2022 Design 2018 Design
Mission Performance Report: July – December 2018 2019 Report
Mission Performance Report: January – July 2019 2020 Report
Mission Performance Report: July – December 2019 2020 Report
TLPDP Joint Independent Evaluation and Management Response 2022 Evaluation


Back to top