copy the linklink copied!4. Austria’s structure and systems

This chapter considers whether Austria’s institutional arrangements support its development co-operation objectives. It focuses on the system as a whole and assesses whether Austria has the necessary capabilities in place to deliver its development co-operation effectively and to contribute to sustainable development.

The chapter begins by looking at authority, mandate and co-ordination, assessing whether responsibility for development co-operation is clearly defined, and whether the system is well co-ordinated and led with clear, complementary mandates, as part of a whole-of-government approach – at headquarters and in partner countries. It then focuses on systems, and whether Austria has clear and relevant processes and mechanisms in place. Finally, it explores capacity across the Austrian development co-operation system, considering whether Austria has the necessary skills and knowledge where needed to manage and deliver its development co-operation, and the effectiveness of its human resources management system.

    
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In Brief

The Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs leads on Austria’s development policy and includes a broad range of stakeholders in the process of developing each three-year programme. But the ministry is not empowered to lead Austria’s official development assistance (ODA) and is only responsible and accountable for its own ODA activities and those of the Austrian Development Agency. Other Austrian development actors exercise authority, responsibility and accountability over their own activities. Austria’s five thematic priorities lend a degree of coherence, but achieving a coherent geographic focus is challenging. Greater efforts are needed to achieve a whole-of-government approach. Broadening the mandate of the Co-ordination Offices might help to improve coherence and complementarity in Austria’s priority partner countries and territories.

Austria’s main development actors have the necessary systems in place to decide, procure, contract and ensure the quality of development co-operation activities. Austria is making efforts to address the lack of systematic and dynamic risk management in its activities. While there is a comprehensive process in place to manage internal corruption risks, more is needed to manage external, contextual corruption risks. Innovation remains a work in progress.

Austria has increased the number of staff in the main institutions delivering development co-operation. In particular, Austrian Development Cooperation, which is managed by ADA, is respected for the quality and commitment of its staff at headquarters and in the field. Greater devolution of responsibility to the field is clearly needed and Austria would benefit from greater investment in the capabilities of its development staff. Locally engaged staff face particular challenges, including terms and conditions of employment, and training.

copy the linklink copied!Authority, mandate and co-ordination

Austria’s fragmented development co-operation system lacks co-ordination

The Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or MFA) is responsible for leading and, drawing up in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance, the three-year programmes on Austria’s development policy (Government of Austria, 2002[1]). The MFA included a broad range of stakeholders in developing the three-year programme for 2019-2021 (MFA, 2019[2]). While this achieves buy-in to the policy by these actors, it does not guarantee that they will apply it in their official development assistance (ODA) activities (Chapter 2).

In the Austrian development co-operation system, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not empowered to co-ordinate the development co-operation activities of other development actors. There is no single ODA budget appropriation. Responsibility and accountability for development co-operation sits with individual development actors (Annex D), each of which has their own mandate and budget, and are therefore able to operate independently.1 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs only exercises leadership, responsibility and accountability over its own ODA activities and those of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), including ADA’s management of Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) (Chapter 2).2

Austria’s Federal Act on Development Cooperation (Government of Austria, 2002[1]) requires that ODA provided by the Federal Government aligns with the act’s three objectives and four principles of development policy (Chapter 2), and with the guidelines of the three-year programme on development policy. However, this does not lead to a coherent, co-ordinated approach to Austria’s ODA, as each of the last three Development Assistance Committee (DAC) peer reviews has pointed out (OECD, 2004[3]) (OECD, 2009[4]) (OECD, 2015[5]).

The five thematic priorities of the current three-year programme (Chapter 2) apply directly to Austrian Development Cooperation and thus to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Development Agency. The document notes that other ministries implement the thematic and geographic priorities “within their own purview” and an annex lists fields of activity agreed to by all stakeholders (MFA, 2019[2]). This serves to broaden rather than concentrate the sectors supported by Austria (Chapters 2 and 3).

Achieving a whole-of-government approach in priority countries is challenging

In its recent three-year programmes, Austria “aims to act coherently in a whole-of-government approach” (MFA, 2019[2]). Despite the differing mandates, priorities and financing instruments of its development actors, Austria is achieving a degree of coherence around its five thematic priorities. This is assisted by reciprocal participation of staff on supervisory boards and committees of the Austrian Development Agency, the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) and the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (the export credit agency, OeKB),3 and through regular, informal exchanges amongst staff of the key development organisations (MFA, 2019[6]).

Achieving a coherent geographic focus is proving more difficult, however. Austrian Development Cooperation focuses on the 11 priority countries and territories and key regions specified in the three-year programme. However, these priorities are not necessarily a good match for other Austrian actors (Chapter 3).4

In the previous three-year programme, Austria presented a whole-of-government approach in its 11 priority countries, territories and regions, stating its objectives, expected results, indicators and the actors Austria works with (MFA, 2016[7]). This was updated in 2017 with an ODA matrix outlining which Austrian public actors are involved in regions and priority countries and territories and detailing links between activities in each thematic area and the Sustainable Development Goals (MFA, 2017[8]). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided not to update the matrix annually and the current three-year programme does not repeat this approach. As a first step towards a coherent, whole-of-government approach, Austria might focus on coherence and complementarity in its priority countries and territories. This could be achieved by broadening the mandate of Co-ordination Offices from their current focus on Austrian Development Cooperation, enabling them to oversee and co-ordinate all of Austria’s development assistance. This would require additional resources.

copy the linklink copied!Systems

ADA and OeEB have systems in place to manage development co-operation

Table 4.1 outlines and assesses the relevant systems in place to implement ODA, and to encourage innovation and adaptability across Austria’s development co-operation system.

The accreditation requirements with the European Commission (EC) in 2008 and the Green Climate Fund in 2018 have led to systems improvements in ADA, such as the recently approved Environment, Gender and Social Impact Management System. The European Commission’s latest pillar assessment in 2015 confirmed ADA’s ability to undertake indirect management of European Commission-funded activities.5 Such improvements benefit Austrian Development Co-operation and enhance ADA’s readiness to engage in delegated co-operation with the EC, the Green Climate Fund and other donors. However, concerns were raised in Kosovo over the constraints imposed by ADA’s limited ability to commit funds for longer periods, which may limit Austria’s ability to enter into common frameworks with donors used to longer-term investments (Annex C).

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Table 4.1. Assessment of Austria’s development co-operation systems

Yes

No

Comment

Clear and transparent processes and procedures are in place to make decisions on:

  • Programming

ADC programming based on three-year programme; programme/project cycle management is systematic.

MFA, FMF, OeEB and OeKB have specific mandates and apply clear processes and procedures.

Annual approval required for ADA work plan; ADA and ADC Co-ordination Offices have limited financial authority.

  • policies (Chapter 2)

Each stakeholder sets its own policies and strategies.

  • partnerships (Chapters 2 and 5)

Each stakeholder has its rationale and process for choosing partners.

Systems are in place to assure the quality of development co-operation, including:

  • audit

Strict audit procedures applied by ADA, OeEB and OeKB; FMEIA and FMF rely on partners’ audit function.

  • mainstreaming cross-cutting issues (Chapter 2)

Environment, Gender and Social Impact Management System in ADA; OeEB uses International Finance Corporation environmental and social risk assessment.

Ensuring quality during implementation is challenging for ADA; OeEB developing a gender action plan. Consideration could be given to mainstreaming anti-corruption and other governance issues.

Systems support the member to implement its policies and commitments in a fair and efficient way:

  • procurement

Rigorous approach applied by ADA, OeEB; Austrian legal requirements met by all.

OeKB soft loan financing is provided as tied aid credits.

  • Contracting

  • agreement-making

Adequate and relevant systems and processes to assess and adapt to risks, including:

  • strategic

  • reputational

  • programming

ADA introducing a new risk management system.

  • Security

ADA assesses risks to staff and partners.

  • Corruption

Austria’s anti-corruption strategy applies to all stakeholders; whistle-blower systems in place in ADA, OeEB and OeKB

Better management of external contextual risks is required; training on corruption risks is not always timely or comprehensive, for both staff and implementing partners

  • sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment

Harassment implicitly included in codes of conduct.

Codes of conduct do not address sexual exploitation and abuse.

Innovation and adaptation

  • The leadership and internal system promote a culture of experimentation and adaptability to changes in the development landscape

Austria is conscious of changes in the development landscape; its recent focus has centred on responding to migration challenges rather than other challenges.

  • Capabilities exist to introduce, encourage, measure and scale up innovation in development co-operation.

Austria is open to innovation but achieving it remains a work in progress.

Note: Green triangles refer to good practice; orange circles point to areas where progress is being made but more could be done; red triangles refer to areas where progress is needed; ADC: Austrian Development Co-operation.

Source: developed by the OECD Secretariat following the structure of the DAC Peer Review Reference Guide, on the basis of documentation provided by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB), the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (OeKB).

In developing its systems and procedures, OeEB draws on good practice by the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (of which it is a wholly-owned subsidiary), the Association of bilateral European Development Finance Institutions and its members, and the International Finance Corporation.

Systems are in place for each ministry to manage decisions about, and financing of, multilateral and regional institutions. Austrian ministries rely on the systems and procedures of these institutions to procure, contract and ensure the quality of development co-operation activities.

Systems and procedures developed by ADA and the OeEB may well be appropriate for other Austrian development actors to use. For example, as OeEB develops its gender action plan, it could draw on ADA’s updated approach to managing gender, while ADA’s updated approach to risk management could prove useful for federal ministries, and provincial and local communities.

The new risk management framework will be more systematic and dynamic

Austria assesses risk when preparing country strategies and is committed to managing risk in the implementation of its development co-operation projects. It introduced analysis of the potential for conflict as early as 2006 (Chapter 7). The current system includes a number of risk management tools (such as risk matrices, partner assessments, etc.), but these are neither consistently nor systematically used. In Kosovo, for example, a mid-term review of the ADC Kosovo strategy revealed that half of all assessed projects did not contain risk and mitigation frameworks.

Austria is making efforts to address the lack of systematic and dynamic risk management in its activities. The planned roll-out of a new risk management system by the end of 2019 is an opportunity to better identify, assess, mitigate and report on risks. The revised general risk framework, which aims to balance opportunities with uncertainties and risks, requires early identification and assessment in the programme cycle of at least one, and up to eight, main risks, and their ongoing monitoring and reporting. The potential for this framework to better inform the management of risks will be highly dependent on guidance and training provided to staff. Further, given limited human and financial resources, it will be important to apply risk management and due diligence in a proportionate and pragmatic manner, focusing, for example, on those risks that could be the most detrimental to development.

Internal corruption is managed well, but external, contextual corruption risks need more attention

Corruption is a recurring risk. Austria places a particularly high premium on internal risk management. There is a strong focus on fiduciary and reputational risk management across Austria’s development co-operation, and a number of mechanisms and tools to prevent and detect corruption have been adopted. These include codes of conduct; measures to prevent conflict of interest; training, audit and control mechanisms; partner appraisals; and reporting mechanisms.

In terms of detecting and reporting corruption, an Ombudsman and whistleblowing mechanism were introduced to ADA in 2016. Several training courses and internal and external awareness-raising measures accompanied this introduction, and these have also rolled out to other actors. Allegations of corruption have started to be reported through this system, but there is scope for improvement, and ongoing refinements will enable it to be more systematically, and exclusively, used in the future.

While internal corruption risks are comprehensively covered, the management of external, contextual corruption risks, such as sector or programme-specific risk management, could be improved. Political economy analysis, regular consultation of diagnostics and assessments produced by partner country actors (e.g. findings and recommendations of the National Audit Office or the National Anti-Corruption Agency), greater donor co-ordination and active information sharing of corruption-related issues could be more systematically used (Annex C). This would help to ensure that Austrian development efforts mitigate corruption risks across sector programmes, fully capture the risks posed by the operating environment, and do not unintentionally fuel corrupt practices. Performing corruption risk assessments on all projects would also help to ensure that Austria’s development projects and programmes are more efficient and effective.

Innovation is encouraged but not yet institutionalised

During its European Union Presidency in 2018, Austria focused on harnessing the opportunities of innovation and digitisation. This focus underpins the encouragement that Austrian development actors – particularly ADA and OeEB – give to their implementing partners to innovate. For example, ADA includes innovation as a criterion for its strategic partnerships with civil society organisations and businesses (Chapter 5). However, it is too early to measure the impact of Austria’s support for innovation. In addition, moving from encouraging and creating space for innovation, as the agency does, to institutionalising innovation across Austrian Development Cooperation, is in the early stages.

copy the linklink copied!Capabilities throughout the system

Development co-operation staff are respected for their professionalism despite a number of challenges

Austria has skilled and committed staff working in its development co-operation institutions. Co-ordination Office personnel are appreciated for their flexibility as well as their close and constructive collaboration with implementing partners, as seen in Kosovo (Annex C). Multilateral institutions consulted for this review also remarked on the professionalism and expertise of Austrian staff.

Since 2013, OeEB and ADA have increased their staff contingent significantly, bringing to 389.5 the number of full-time equivalents working on development co-operation (Table 4.2). The biggest growth in permanent staff numbers since 2013 has been in OeEB. ADA has significantly enhanced its field presence, hiring international and local project staff to enable it to implement a growing number of delegated co-operation projects. An additional ten experts are employed in Vienna, and the agency is also hiring trainees, bringing to 159 the number of full-time equivalent permanent staff. However, there is concern that the agency’s administrative budget6 is insufficient to cover the costs of its growing responsibilities, such as for statistical reporting, the provision of services to federal ministries,7 and the strategic development of new business areas such as engagement with the Green Climate Fund. While increased delegated co-operation activities generate additional project related financial and human resources, it is not a way to substantially contribute to the core budget or increase technical expertise. In addition, as seen in Kosovo, budgetary constraints mean that ADA is not able to offer competitive terms and conditions of employment or invest properly in training locally engaged staff (Annex C). There are also limitations to what ADA can realistically achieve in humanitarian assistance: one staff member follows humanitarian issues but not full-time. This is a bottleneck for Austria given its growing focus on crisis contexts.

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Table 4.2. Human resources dedicated to Austria’s development co-operation

Type of staff

2019

Percentage all institutions

2013

2009

Austrian Development Agency

Experts

Headquarters

93

83

87

Field Offices

International staff

12

16

23

Field Offices

Project staff (international)

8

-

-

Field Offices

Project staff (local)

44

-

-

Support

Field Offices

45

45

52

Trainees

Headquarters

6

-

-

Field Offices

3

-

-

Total staff

211

54.2%

129

162

Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs

Experts and diplomats

Headquarters

24

22

21

Trainees

Headquarters

4

3

2

Support

Headquarters

9

8

10

Total staff

37

9.5%

33

24

Federal Ministry of Finance

Experts

Headquarters

Financial experts

13

10

10

IFI Offices

IFI Board

3

-

-

Experts in IFI

7

5

6

Junior Professional Officers

World Bank

10

-

-

Total staff

33

8.5%

15

16

Development Bank of Austria

Experts

Headquarters

57

29

11

Support

Headquarters

3

3

2

Total staff

60

15.4%

32

13

Other Austrian institutions (9)

Headquarters

41

Field Offices

7.5

Total staff

-

48.5

12.5%

TOTAL

389.5

100

209

215

Note: “Other Austrian institutions” comprise the federal ministries of defence; digital and economic affairs; the interior; labour, social affairs, health and consumer protection; education, science and research; and sustainability and tourism; as well as the Federal Chancellery; the Austrian Economic Chamber and regional governments. Arrows indicate the extent to which staff numbers have increased in the four main institutions. IFI experts and World Bank Junior Professional Officers are financed by, but do not report directly to, the Ministry of Finance.

Source: OECD (2015), OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Austria 2015, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264227958-en; MFA (2019), DAC Peer Review Memorandum.

Managing many small and short-term projects, as is the case for Austrian Development Co-operation,8 creates administrative challenges.9 An evaluation of ADA in 2019 will be an opportunity to reflect on whether its institutional model is fit for purpose. In particular, it should consider the very limited financial responsibility devolved to Co-ordination Offices. If the Co-ordination Offices were mandated to oversee and co-ordinate a more coherent, whole-of-government approach, additional resources would clearly be required.

OeEB has doubled its number of experts at headquarters, reflecting its growing portfolio, and the Federal Ministry of Finance has increased its expertise in Vienna and in international financial institutions where it has also placed junior professional officers (Table 4.2).

While staff numbers in the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs have slightly increased, upcoming retirement of staff members with development expertise is expected to reduce capacity. The need for ministry staff to pass the general diplomatic entrance exam and legal constraints on hiring non-diplomats limit the ministry’s ability to bring expertise into Division VII from other ministries and ADA.10 Lessons might be drawn from successful staff exchanges with France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and ad-hoc exchanges in preparation for Austria’s roles as President of the European Union and Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Staff management systems are in place but training opportunities are limited

The main institutions responsible for Austria’s ODA each have human resource management systems in place to support induction and retention of staff. OeEB outsources aspects of human resource management to its parent company, the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG.

In the Ministry of Finance and the MFA there is a stronger focus on training of new recruits than on continuous skills development of existing staff. Young recruits participate in a one to two-year introductory training covering the broad range of activities undertaken by their respective ministries. They also participate in basic public service training provided by the Federal Academy for Public Management. As part of experiencing the variety of work undertaken by the Ministry of Finance, new recruits may spend time at the OeEB or the MFA. Before being confirmed as permanent staff, recruits have to pass the respective ministries’ examinations. Following this, specific training is discussed as part of the performance review process, although opportunities for training are limited. Ministry staff are able to participate in training offered by the Federal Finance and Diplomatic Academies.

The OeEB and ADA primarily employ experts. Following introductory training, bank staff are able to access the Academic Training Academy of the Association of European Development Finance Institutions, and staff exchanges with other association members are currently being piloted. ADA develops an annual staff training catalogue based on identified training needs which is delivered in Vienna. Vienna-based staff can also participate in approved external training, for which ADA often pays. ADA’s annual conference also includes a series of training opportunities for staff in Vienna and Heads of Co-operation Offices; these can also participate in training offered by the learn4dev network.11 ADA recently collaborated with its German and Swiss counterparts to deliver seminars to staff and colleagues from ministries and civil society organisations.

ADA has also designed a training course on conflict sensitivity that is available on a voluntary basis to all its staff and partners. The course is also held in the field, such as in Kosovo. This is good practice, and there is scope to open up such training opportunities to Austria’s embassy staff and make them mandatory, given the focus on conflict risk in Austria’s programming (Chapter 7). ADA has also developed a series of focus papers on a broad range of topics relevant for development co-operation, including when working in fragile contexts.12 These are good products that could be extended to humanitarian assistance and disseminated beyond ADA staff (ADA, 2019[9]).

Locally engaged staff face particular challenges, including skill building

The limited administrative resources available to ADA affect locally engaged staff in Co-operation Offices. As seen in Kosovo (Annex C), compared to the terms and conditions of employment for embassy staff (employed by the MFA) – such as medical cover for family members and the number of public holidays – locally engaged staff employed by ADA are worse off. It is difficult for colleagues in Vienna to represent the interests of locally engaged staff, as they are not part of the staff union. In addition, locally engaged staff salaries are not competitive with those offered by other donors, running the risk that staff may be enticed to leave.

Locally engaged staff in Co-operation Offices have limited opportunities for formal training and budgets are small. In Kosovo, for example, the EUR 500 annual training budget that was established when there was one staff member has not increased, despite a tripling in the number of local staff. Programme managers attend training weeks in Vienna every two years, as do administration and finance managers. Staff are able to participate in online training and webinars, and occasional additional formal training opportunities do arise. However, attendance needs to be weighed against the impact of absence on already heavy workloads. The former practice of holding regional meetings has been discontinued. Visitors from headquarters brief staff on recent developments and are able to provide informal training as time permits.

Limited access by locally engaged staff to the grant management system adds an additional burden. While full access (as is practised by many DAC members as part of decentralisation to their field offices) would bring efficiency gains, this should not mean an increase in staff’s already heavy workloads.

References

[9] ADA (2019), Strategies for implementing and focus papers, https://www.entwicklung.at/en/media-centre/publications/strategies-for-implementing-focus-papers/ (accessed on 26 July 2019).

[1] Government of Austria (2002), Bundesgesetz über die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (Entwicklungszusammenarbeitsgesetz, EZA-G), https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20001847 (accessed on 22 July 2019).

[6] MFA (2019), DAC Peer Review Memorandum, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Vienna.

[10] MFA (2019), ODA Report 2017, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, https://www.entwicklung.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/Publikationen/ODA-Berichte/Englisch/ODA-Report_2017.pdf (accessed on 5 August 2019).

[2] MFA (2019), Working together. For our world. Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2019-2021, https://www.entwicklung.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/Publikationen/3_JP/Englisch/3JP_2019-2021_EN.pdf (accessed on 25 June 2019).

[8] MFA (2017), The future needs development. Development needs a future. Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2016-2018, Update 2017, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, https://www.entwicklung.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/Publikationen/3_JP/Englisch/2016-2018_3-YP_UPDATE_2017.pdf (accessed on 17 July 2019).

[7] MFA (2016), The future needs development. Development needs a future. Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2016-2018, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, https://www.entwicklung.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Dokumente/Publikationen/3_JP/Englisch/2016-2018_3-YP.pdf (accessed on 17 July 2019).

[11] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2016), Activity Planning Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington, https://www.mfat.govt.nz/assets/Aid-Prog-docs/Tools-and-guides/Activity-Planning-Policy.pdf (accessed on 1 August 2019).

[5] OECD (2015), OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Austria 2015, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264227958-en.

[12] OECD (2015), OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: New Zealand 2015, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264235588-en.

[4] OECD (2009), Austria: Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review, OECD, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/42857127.pdf (accessed on 16 July 2019).

[3] OECD (2004), DAC Peer Review Austria, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/34225768.pdf (accessed on 16 July 2019).

Notes

← 1. Contributions overseen by the Ministry of Finance, including from the development bank and export credit agency, represented 56% of total ODA in 2017. Contributions of five other ministries, and the federal states (Länder) comprised 26.5%.

← 2. In 2017, the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Development Agency – which are jointly responsible for Austrian Development Cooperation – comprised only 17.5% of total ODA disbursements, and just 27% of net bilateral ODA (MFA, 2019[10]).

← 3. ADA’s Supervisory Board is chaired by MFA and has representatives from MFA, the Federal Ministries of Finance, Sustainability and Tourism, Digital and Economic Affairs, Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection. The OeEB’s Business Development Board includes representatives from ADA, MFA and the Federal Ministry of Finance. Representatives from ADA and MFA are represented on the Export Financing Committee. ADA’s advisory committee for business partnerships projects includes representatives from MFA, OeEB, and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

← 4. In 2016-17, 48% of ADA’s projects were implemented in these 11 countries and territories and Ukraine (42% of ADA’s disbursements). Just 1% of the OeEB’s projects (5% of disbursements) were in Austria’s priority countries and territories. The Federal Ministry of Finance funded 169 projects, 4% of which were in priority countries and territories (10% of disbursements), as were 17% of the 789 projects supported by provincial governments and local communities (1% of disbursements). Other ministries’ support in partner countries and territories was significantly lower, averaging between 1 and 7%. The Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG provides financing on concessional terms for a range of developing countries, but these do not include Albania, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, or Mozambique, all of which are priority countries.

← 5. Pillar assessments cover: internal control; accounting; independent external audit; provision of financing to third parties – grants, procurement and financial instruments; publication of information on recipients; and protection of personal data. See https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/funding/about-funding-and-procedures/audit-and-control/pillar-assessments_en.

← 6. ADA’s administrative budget ranged from USD 10.2 million in 2016 to USD 12.1 million in 2015, averaging USD 11.3 million over the period 2014-17.

← 7. ADA reports having worked 2 000 hours providing services to five federal ministries in 2018.

← 8. In 2017, ADA provided USD 116.8 million to 683 projects, with an average expenditure of USD 171 010.

← 9. Faced with a similar situation, New Zealand pursued a progressive shift from small, administratively expensive aid projects to larger, higher impact, more comprehensive initiatives. Projects initially had to have a minimum value of USD 349 650 (NZD 500 000) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2016[11]). As a result New Zealand reduced the number of activities funded by 33% in 2012. Staff were further encouraged to focus on activities of greater value – more than USD 4.05 million (NZD 5 million) – programmed for at least five years (OECD, 2015[12]).

← 10. While such exchanges can occur, they are rare. For example, the ministry occasionally calls on staff from ADA to provide it with capacity. MFA staff are able to apply to be the head of an ADC Co-ordination Office, returning to the ministry once their assignment has ended.

← 11. ADA is one of 30 members of the learn4dev network. See http://www.learn4dev.net/public/about.

← 12. See https://www.entwicklung.at/en/media-centre/publications/strategies-for-implementing-focus-papers/.

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