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Australia's Timor-Leste Strategy Evaluation

Client: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (AusAID)

In 2012, AusAID engaged Sustineo to evaluate Australia’s aid program in developing and implementing strategies for aid for Timor-Leste, covering the period from 2009 until 2013. The evaluation employed a mixed-methods approach, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. Qualitative analysis drew on existing sources including independent completion reports, annual performance reviews, and 95 semi-structured key informant interviews. The Sustineo team carried out the semi-structured interviews in Australia and Timor-Leste, and involved a range of key informants involved in Australia’s aid program.

The project identified a range of lessons learned from the Timor-Leste program. These findings assisted in informing future directions for the Timor-Leste country program, as well as providing guidance for country strategy development and execution in the broader aid program. Central to this was the identification of strategies that were appropriate to the Timor-Leste context.

Sustineo’s capacity to identify a multi-disciplinary team with complementary skills and experience ensured that the evaluation was conduct by personnel with deep expertise and understanding of the Timor-Leste and program context. Our skill in mixed-methods research ensured that a comprehensive data set was identified to conduct the evaluation, and our implementation of data triangulation processes ensured that the findings and recommendations were based on rigorous analysis. Our understanding of the need to tailor context specific approaches to engagement, built on our commitment to genuine interaction, inclusion and participation, ensured that deep engagement was achieved with project stakeholders and strong, open lines of communication were maintained with AusAID. Close consultation with the client, and excellent project management support, ensured that the final product was of the highest quality and maximised the utility of the evaluation for AusAID’s needs.