Strategic review and management response of Australia’s support for peacebuilding in conflict-affected Mindanao 2020
Date of publication: 24 November 2020
Summary of strategic review
This review was commissioned to assess the effectiveness of Australia’s support for peace in Muslim Mindanao under the Peacebuilding in Conflict-Affected Mindanao investment and its ongoing appropriateness in the current political context. The review also served as the mandated mid-term review of the bilateral Australian Partnerships for Peace (APP) Program. It also informs the future direction of the current Peacebuilding in Conflict-Affected Mindanao program and Australia’s broader support for peace and stability. The review was consistent with DFAT’s Conflict Analysis for Conflict Sensitive Programming Guidance. It covered the different programs and projects from July 2017 to December 2019. The review and consultations took place from January to May 2020 in Manila, Cotabato City, Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City and Zamboanga City.
Overall, the investment has been effective in achieving its objectives while adjusting to the changing context in the Bangsamoro over the past three years, particularly with passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and the siege of the city of Marawi. The Review also confirms the current need to continue the following: a) technical assistance to support effective governance for the BARMM government, b) support to the normalisation process (through which Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants and their families are demobilized and reintegrated into the broader community, part of the broader Peace Process) c) sustaining support to peacebuilding constituents such as local civil society organisations, academia, media and other groups; and d) preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) efforts.
Summary of management response
DFAT welcomes the evaluation findings and acknowledges the fourteen recommendations, several of which have already been implemented. The recommendations revolve around better ways of working to sustain peace and build stronger institutions. This includes strengthening coordination between external stakeholders, national, BARMM and local governments, and other donors supporting the peace process; strengthening institutions through building better coalitions for reform and peace among different stakeholders; and continuing support the participation of marginalized groups (i.e. indigenous peoples, women, children, and the internally displaced); and retaining bilateral flexibility in activities.
DFAT will consider the key lessons learned in future programming: improving the coordination of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) activities amongst implementing partners, and linking work to the broader National Action Plan on P/CVE; further strengthening gender action plans and implementing disability plans; and ensuring a geographic balance of interventions across the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.