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Your say on Australian aid...

posted by: Gateway Team, 20 Apr 2011, 10:57 AM     category: 1. Structure of program

Thank you to everyone for sharing your views and insights on the Australian aid program here on http://aid.collabor8.net. Together, since January 2011, you've contributed to 130+ comments, almost 30 posts, and generated some great, interesting and thought-provoking discussions.

Voting: In March 2011, you voted on your top ideas. That's been 3,300+ votes. Thanks, everyone. Of all your ideas, 1/3 were for your top 5 ideas and 1/2 were for your top 10 ideas.  Here they are:

  1. 349 votes - idea 8: disability inclusive
  2. 215 votes - idea 24: disability in structure
  3. 160 votes - idea 1: give to the poorest
  4. 157 votes - idea 6: sectors - basics first
  5. 153 votes - idea 9: integrating sectors

For the report on aid.collabor8.net and all your other votes on ideas, please check out the Gateway site: http://www.developmentgateway.com.au

Thanks from the Gateway Team

 
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idea 29: partner procurement

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:18 PM     category: 5. Reviews, evaluation & risk

1 person noted another donor, ADB’s, focus on strengthening partner country’s procurement capacity in Asia and the Pacific, and suggested this as a focus for AusAID. They suggested public procurement reform as a thematic sector in AusAID rather than under governance or PFM. 1 person suggested funds through local community groups and local NGOs as they viewed them as more ‘efficient and effective in acquitting funds and making a difference [than governments]’...

[refer TOR 5B]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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idea 28: for recurrent funding

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:17 PM     category: 5. Reviews, evaluation & risk

2 people noted a historical taboo against funding ‘recurrent expenditure’ (and a reticence for donors to use partner country systems where they are weak and threaten implementation). They suggest ‘allowing the resources to be allocated to where the bottleneck is,… often in the recurrent budget’.  Another person expressed the view that it is very difficult to get recurrent funding in to the national recipient country budget...

[refer TOR 5B]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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idea 27: strengthen evaluations

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:16 PM     category: 5. Reviews, evaluation & risk

1 person suggested AusAID has a reasonable evaluation policy, but that it lacks sound implementation. In particular, they suggest: more open and formal responses to evaluations; the better use of data (and its analysis); and more follow-up on monitoring and evaluation plans. They also suggest a greater position-accountability in AusAID for monitoring and reporting on programs. 1 person suggests capacity building for ODE so they can measure and evaluate for disability inclusive development...

[refer TOR 5A]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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idea 26: donor coordination

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:13 PM     category: 4. Organisational structure

4 people expressed the view that ‘donors trip over each other’, and suggested agencies need to ensure their structures seek to overcome a ‘great deal of overlap… spending money on the same projects… [lack of] sharing of information’. 1 person suggested focusing resources more intensively on some forgotten countries or promising reformers would improve donor coordination.

1 person noted examples of doubling aid to avoid, e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan and PNG, characterized by ‘lots of TA, a parallel civil service of local consultants, MCs and NGOs ignoring Government’. Another person suggested that 'while the paris declaration expresses an intent or hope that donors will collaborate with each other in signatory countries', they believe donors rarely collaborate...

[refer TOR 4C]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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idea 25: whole of govt. approach

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:11 PM     category: 4. Organisational structure

1 person suggested that aid could be best delivered under an independent authority within the Foreign affairs portfolio, working across portfolios to ensure that the best and most relevant sectoral information is incorporated into aid programs.  They suggested a governing board would enable the authority to have more freedom to focus on effectiveness and the distance from cabinet may provide more flexibility and freedom to innovate with reduced political risk...

[refer TOR 4B]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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idea 24. disability in structure

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:11 PM     category: 4. Organisational structure

2 people recommended disability inclusive development initiatives for AusAID, including a dedicated team in this area, an ‘Ambassador’ for this area at DDG-level, and further devolution and explanation of the ‘Development for All’ strategy to Posts and government departments...

[refer TOR 4A]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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idea 23: australians & our aid

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:07 PM     category: 4. Organisational structure

1 consultant believed country partners valued Australians’ ‘informality, friendliness and competence’, though noted some Australians’ over-confidence in positions, and also an AusAID reputation for being ‘expensive,  inflexible and isolated institutionally… a paternalistic institution’...

[ref TOR 4A]

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idea 22: ask 'whose perception'?

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:06 PM     category: 3. Efficiency & effectiveness

This idea covers perceptions - donor vs partner government vs beneficiary.

2 people noted the difference in concepts of aid effectiveness between donors and recipients. Another suggested broadening our thinking of effectiveness to include other factors from the recipient perspective, like trade policy and investment. 1 person suggested that unexpected outcomes can denote a program’s effectiveness – as assessed by a participant, rather than a project manager or donor’s view. 1 person suggested Australia ‘move to a more authentic ‘development partnership’ to enable a more equal partnership, better public understanding of aid, clearer direction to program managers. To do this, they suggest Australia make its aid expectations clearer...

[refer TOR 3]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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idea 21: help public understand

posted by: ADG, 24 Mar 2011, 16:01 PM     category: 3. Efficiency & effectiveness

1 person suggested AusAID prepare the Australian public for the reality of aid as a ‘high risk venture… that they will lose money and that this is necessary’, and that it is difficult to give aid for preventative reasons. Another suggested finding the ‘hard data (actual numbers) on success is difficult to come by’...

[refer TOR 3]

Do you strongly agree? If so, please vote here.

 
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