Sunday, 28 April 2013
Since October 2012, the AAPF has been tracking progress against its Performance Assessment Framework (PAF). Structured around the Facility’s three objectives (to achieve development, relationship and partnership benefits), the PAF uses activity-generated monitoring and evaluation (M&E) data to report on the AAPF’s performance.
The rationale for creating and maintaining the PAF is threefold. Firstly, it helps the Facility to define what needs to be measured at the activity level, which can then be tracked against benchmarks for each performance indicator. Secondly, it helps to frame each activity’s M&E questions. Thirdly, it ensures that the management team can make comparisons between activities’ performances and experiences to guide the design of future activities.
The M&E team has split the PAF’s development category into the AAPF’s key sectors – mining governance, agriculture and food security and public policy. The PAF sets out desired outcomes for each sector. As the AAPF is a demand-driven facility, it is difficult to predict upfront which activities the Facility will support. Therefore, determining what the AAPF can and cannot measure is challenging. The PAF helps to define where the Facility fits into AusAID’s program choices for each sector and what contribution the AAPF will make. It also provides an indication of the types of performance indicators that activity designs need to integrate into their M&E systems to produce a minimum level of information for accountability, learning and management needs. Ultimately, the Facility’s intermediate outcomes accord with relevant Australian whole-of-government sectoral outcomes.
For instance, the PAF demonstrates that the AAPF is addressing its development objective in the public policy sector by contributing to Australia’s commitment to ensure that the ‘democratic process is enhanced’ in partner countries. The Facility is strengthening public institutions with central roles in the democratic process by supporting: 42 countries to increase awareness of effective electoral processes; three countries to improve specific components of public financial management; two countries to strengthen capacity in peace building; and one country to improve its parliamentary processes. Furthermore, the AAPF has supported a range of targeted initiatives around counter-piracy and combating the use of cellphone technology in corruption.
The relationship and partnership components assess how well the Facility has engaged with partner countries. The AAPF is achieving positive outcomes in terms of the relationship objective, according to various PAF indicators. The PAF helps to ensure that the Facility achieves its objective to offer relevant assistance to African countries – quality assurance reviewers rated all activity designs as satisfactory or better for relevance during quality assessment at inception. As a result, Australia is increasing its visibility in Africa – 86 per cent of AAPF participants surveyed have reported that their involvement had enhanced their awareness of what Australia can offer. Furthermore, 85 per cent of participants surveyed reported that they intended to maintain contact with Australian individuals or institutions.