OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews

ISSN :
2309-7132 (online)
ISSN :
2309-7124 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/23097132
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The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each DAC member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review.

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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Australia 2013

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
06 June 2014
Pages :
124
ISBN :
9789264196186 (PDF) ; 9789264204447 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264196186-en

Hide / Show Abstract

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review.

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    Abbreviations and acronyms
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    • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-australia-2013/australia-s-aid-at-a-glance_9789264196186-2-en
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    Australia's aid at a glance
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    Context of Australia's Peer Review

    The Commonwealth of Australia, a federal democracy with a population of 22.6 million in 2011, stands out among OECD countries for having experienced 21 years of uninterrupted growth up to 2012 (OECD, 2012). Annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) was 2.2% on average in 2010 and 2011. The OECD Economic Survey concludes that Australia has been able to weather the global economic crisis thanks to sound macroeconomic policies and its proximity to a dynamic China, which imports large quantities of Australian resources – particularly iron ore and coal. The economic survey sees a positive medium-term outlook for the Australian economy (OECD, 2012).

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    The DAC's main findings and recommendations
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    • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-australia-2013/towards-a-comprehensive-australian-development-effort_9789264196186-5-en
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    Towards a comprehensive Australian development effort

    Australia is making great efforts to promote development through avenues other than its aid programme: it is engaging more strategically on global issues internationally, and contributes through high-level political leadership to implementing global public policies such as climate change and peace and stability. Australia’s ambition to match its growing weight in the global economy with shouldering a fair share of the burden in addressing global development challenges is commendable.

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    Australia's vision and policies for development co-operation

    Clear political directives, policies and strategies shape Australia’s development co-operation and are in line with international commitments and guidance. The 2008 peer review applauded Australia’s strategic focus on poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and its continuous engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states. Since then, Australia has made considerable progress in "institutionalising" its policy in An Effective Aid Program for Australia. This is supported by a four-year strategy to guide future increases in the aid budget - the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework, which lasts until 2016.

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    • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-australia-2013/allocating-australia-s-official-development-assistance_9789264196186-7-en
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    Allocating Australia's official development assistance

    The Australian Government is committed to the goal of giving 0.5% of its gross national income as ODA and continues to scale up its aid to meet this goal. In 2011, Australia was the ninth largest DAC donor, delivering USD 4.98 billion in official development assistance. In real terms, this represents a very positive 29% increase in ODA since 2007. Regrettably, and despite the economy’s positive medium-term outlook, Australia has pushed back the target date for reaching this goal from 2015/16 to 2016/17. Its decision to use AUD 375 million of the aid budget for in-country refugee costs has also resulted in a significant reallocation of AusAID’s regular programming. It is important that Australia is transparent about what refugee costs will be counted as ODA over the coming years and how they are calculated, while avoiding future in-year reprogramming of the aid programme to ensure predictability.

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    Managing Australia's development co-operation

    Australia has focused strategically on reforming the institutional system to make it more capable of delivering an effective aid programme. Consolidating this impressive organisational reform and making information management and accounting systems fit for purpose need to be prioritised to ensure effective implementation. Australia has implemented the DAC 2008 recommendations on organisation and management.

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    • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-australia-2013/australia-delivering-and-participating-in-development-co-operation_9789264196186-9-en
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    Australia delivering, and participating in, development co-operation

    Australia has made good progress since the last peer review in improving the overall predictability of its aid, in negotiating mutually-accountable high-level partnerships with its priority countries and aligning the objectives of its co-operation to partners’ development priorities. In addition, Australia’s aid is fully untied. To increase the quality of its assistance further, in line with commitments made in the Busan Partnership for Effective Development, Australia needs to makes its country level aid allocations more transparent and predictable over the medium-term. It also needs to achieve the objective it has set for using country systems and increase, more broadly, the share of aid provided through programme-based approaches, while continuing to analyse and manage the risks it needs to take in order to achieve development results.

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    Results and accountability of Australia's development co-operation

    There is a major drive in AusAID to build a stronger culture of managing for results. AusAID updated its Performance Management and Evaluation Policy in 2012 building on a well-established and good quality system. The new approach to results-based management is work-in-progress. Country programmes are increasingly using performance assessment frameworks to strengthen results reporting. The headline results targets that Australia has set and will report against annually in its Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness are part of the results framework. AusAID is aware that when it reports on results to Government, Parliament and the public it needs to give a comprehensive picture of its development co-operation, of development results being achieved by and with partners as well as challenges while also learning lessons that can be applied to new programmes and projects. This is a challenge for all DAC members.

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    Australia's humanitarian assistance

    The 2008 peer review asked Australia to incorporate emerging themes into its new humanitarian policy, and to accompany the policy with an implementation plan – this has been done. A disaster risk reduction policy, underpinned by an implementation plan, was also requested and these are now in place. Australia also takes a holistic approach to recovery. Australia could build on this progress by scaling up its success stories in disaster risk reduction, sharing its tools and learning with other donors, and focusing on expanding its risk reduction programmes beyond Indonesia and the Philippines.

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      Progress since the 2009 DAC peer review recommendations
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-australia-2013/oecd-statistics-on-official-development-assistance_9789264196186-13-en
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      OECD statistics on official development assistance
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-australia-2013/field-visit-to-the-philippines_9789264196186-14-en
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      Field visit to the Philippines
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/development/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-australia-2013/organisational-structure-of-ausaid_9789264196186-15-en
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      Organisational structure of AUSAID
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