In November 2010, the Australian Government commissioned an independent review of the Australian aid program, the first since 1996.
The Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness wascompleted in April 2011 and concluded that Australia had a “good aid program” and that Australiais “an effective performer by global donor standards”. It also made 39 recommendations to drive future improvement as the aid program expands to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015–16. TheGovernment’s response to the review, “An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference – Delivering real results” sets out the Government’s overall aid strategy through to 2015. In light of the work of the Independent Review and the Government’s response, AusAID’s Office for Development Effectiveness (ODE) will not publish its Annual Review of Development Effectiveness in 2011.
However, during 2010–11 ODE did undertake a range of assessments focusing on the effectiveness and quality of Australian aid. These will be published as two separate but related papers, one providing an analysis of Australia’s self assessed performance, and the other asynthesis of international evidence on its quality. This paper comprises the external analysis of the Australian aid program.
Drawing largely from an analysis by the Brookings Institution,1 the paper includes comparisons with international best practice and with other donors and multilateral agencies working in fragile states and in the Asia‑Pacific. It also examines Australia’s humanitarian aid, and the Australian Government’s broader commitment to development. The report confirms the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness’ finding that the Australian aid program is “an effective performer by global donor standards”. Indeed the analysis shows that Australia’s performance is among the world’s best when compared to other donors focused on Australia’s primary areas of interest.