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Australia’s Support to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA): mid-term review report and management response

Summary of publication

Australia provides grant financing of $5 million (2018-2023) to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). DFAT commissioned Clear Horizon to conduct a Mid-Term Review (MTR) of Australia’s Support to ERIA over the period July to December 2020. The MTR aimed to provide DFAT with information to enable and inform decision-making regarding the direction of the current program and possible future programming. The review also considered the program’s mechanisms, a key risk management strategy, analysis and integration of cross cutting issues such as gender, program management approach and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for the program.

The review was conducted before the 1 February 2021 military coup in Myanmar, as were all the activities it considered. In response to the coup, the Australian Government is redirecting elements of its development assistance in Myanmar, and this may affect how some of the recommendations of the review are taken forward.

The review’s overall finding is that “There is sufficient evidence to suggest the program is having a positive impact in the region. The program has effectively pivoted to respond to COVID-19 in delivering results linked to both ASEAN and Australian priorities in a resources-efficient manner. Building networks should ensure the ongoing sustainability of the investment in ERIA.”

DFAT welcomes the findings of the review which highlight the usefulness of current support and the effectiveness of program’s pivot to COVID-19 response. DFAT acknowledges room for improvement in incorporating gender analysis and welcomed the specific recommendations made to that end. The majority of the review’s recommendations were intended to inform the current program. The review also offered several recommendations for potential future support, including that Australia fund a further phase of support to ERIA once the current phase finishes in June 2023.

Full publication

DFAT management response

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