Client name: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Office of Development Effectiveness

Project name: Evaluation of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program

Duration: 2015

Location: Australia, Asia Pacific

Coffey evaluated the Australian Non-Government Organisation Cooperation Program, to determine if the program is an effective mechanism to assist NGOs to reduce poverty and support sustainable development.  

Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are a vital element in the delivery of aid to developing countries, and the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) is a key mechanism to deliver Australian aid funding to NGOs working across Asia Pacific. As Australia's longer running NGO program, the ANCP is a partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and NGOs, and the program spans multiple countries and regions. 

In 2015, Coffey's Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Practice was engaged to asses the effectiveness of the ANCP mechanism as a method for NGOs to deliver aid programs. The evaluation aimed to: 

1. Assess the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the ANCP

2. Assess the results of delivering aid through the ANCP

3. Make recommendations for improvements to the management of the ANCP.

Our research determined that the ANCP is a highly valued program that offers flexibility and helps to extend the reach of the Australian aid program. The program contains positive features and is relevant to the Australian Government’s aid and foreign policy priorities. The program allows NGOs to reach and support beneficiaries that go beyond bilateral aid programs and deliver effective development activities from community grass roots level to the national policy level.

As part of our evaluation we provided key recommendations to improve the impact of the ANCP, including the need to address the complexity and limited transparency with funding arrangements, and offered recommendations about opportunities for increased knowledge sharing and learning across partnerships and the overall program. 

The full report and DFAT’s response to our evaluation can be found at https://dfat.gov.au/aid/how-we-measure-performance/ode/other-work/Pages/evaluation-of-the-australian-ngo-cooperation-program.aspx