Australian Government, 2012‑13 Budget

5. Other Government Departments

5.1. Summary of aid programs delivered by OGDs

Table 3: Aid delivered by Australian government agencies other than AusAID

Table 3: Aid delivered by Australian government agencies other than AusAID

Note: This list is based on the most recent machinery of government changes, as outlined in the Administrative Arrangements Order of 9 February 2012.

Other Government Departments (OGDs) — that is, Commonwealth, State and Territory government departments and agencies excluding AusAID — play an important role in the delivery of Australia's aid program. Australia's whole‑of‑government approach to aid delivery has been praised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its strength has been forged through a decade of cooperative work in East Timor, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea (PNG), in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami, and more recently in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness (see Section 6.2), which will be prepared by AusAID, will encompass a review of the performance of all federal agencies that deliver ODA. Oversight will be provided by the Development Effectiveness Steering Committee (DESC), which is a cross-agency committee that advises the Australian Government on major aid policy and aid budget priorities and concerns. The DESC is chaired by AusAID's Director General. The DESC will oversee work across all government agencies that deliver aid by developing and applying consistent approaches to planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation.

Table 3 above shows ODA-eligible expenditure by OGDs in 2012‑13, from monies appropriated directly to those departments and agencies. The Australian Federal Police (with support from the Attorney-General's Department) accounts for close to 35 per cent of the aid expenditure of other agencies, with large overseas programs in the Pacific, East Timor and Afghanistan. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Departments of Immigration and Citizenship and Defence also manage large aid programs which support food security and refugee protection.

OGDs will undertake the following types of ODA-eligible activities in 2012‑13.

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

AFP programs in 2012‑13 will continue to build and consolidate previous work conducted in Asia and the Pacific. Key priorities will include support to coalition efforts in Afghanistan, to develop the Afghan National Police and support Afghan rule of law. In partnership with the Attorney-General's Department, AFP has entered the second program phase of consolidation and development of the Pacific Police Development Program, which will support law enforcement and rule of law programs, with a particular focus on PNG, Nauru, Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga. AFP support will also be extended to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) until December 2012.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

DIAC will continue to help other partner countries improve their capacity to prevent people smuggling through training, knowledge sharing, technical cooperation, and strengthening border management. A major activity will be the management and care of irregular migrants in Indonesia. Additional funding in 2012‑13 will also be provided to cater for 700,000 displaced Afghans returning from Iran over the next two years. DIAC will continue building the capacity of developing countries to manage migration in the Middle East, South East Asia and the Pacific. Through the Bali Process and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), DIAC plays a strategic role in supporting cooperative regional initiatives to address people smuggling, people trafficking, transnational crime and border management through technical workshops, training and exchanges. DIAC also makes a number of significant contributions to strengthen international protection, refugee issues and managed migration through partnerships with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

DFAT will continue to manage Australia's assessed contributions to the United Nations in 2012‑13, including for United Nations peacekeeping operations. DFAT will also continue to manage a number of ODA-eligible country and regional activities in Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. For example, in Indonesia, DFAT funds programs to promote tolerance and respect for human rights, as well as teacher training programs at six State Islamic universities. DFAT also plays a lead role in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). With funding from AusAID since the 1980s, DFAT manages the Direct Aid Program small grants to community groups and non‑government organisations for projects that promote development at the community level.

The Treasury

In 2012‑13, the Treasury's ODA expenditure will include payments of previously agreed capital increases to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development of the World Bank Group, and the Asian Development Bank, to fund a range of development activities in ODA-eligible countries. Treasury will continue to provide deployees under RAMSI and the Strongim Gavman Program in PNG. This will continue to develop capacity in the PNG and Solomon Islands economic and finance ministries to promote sustainable economic development.

Department of Defence

Defence's ODA-eligible expenditure predominantly relates to the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) and activities conducted by the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), deployed to Afghanistan under Operation Slipper. The DCP provides institution‑building assistance to enhance the national security capabilities of other nations. It includes work with the AFP to build the policing capacities of our regional neighbours, work to remove unexploded remnants of war (which in the past has included work in Solomon Islands, PNG, Vanuatu and Malaysia), and a select range of infrastructure development projects in Vanuatu, Kiribati, and Tuvalu. The Afghanistan PRT is a team of civilian and military personnel working together to facilitate the delivery of stability, governance and development activities at the provincial and district level. Examples of their ongoing work includes a Trade Training School offering a variety of trade courses for local Afghans, and a variety of reconstruction projects, aimed at enhancing health, education and other vital infrastructure.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)

DAFF's ODA activities span across countries in Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. DAFF also manages Australia's annual membership contribution to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, to support its work in international trade, international policy forums, and collection and dissemination of global data and information on food, agriculture and rural development. In 2012‑13, DAFF will support a number of developing countries to achieve animal welfare standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health. ODA is also provided through the International Agriculture Cooperation program, which facilitates improvements in bilateral market access, trade and improved biosecurity for Australia's agriculture, fisheries, forestry and processed food industries.

Attorney-General's Department

In 2012‑13, the Attorney-General's Department will support countries in Asia and the Pacific. Key priorities include strengthening domestic crime and policing laws, responding to requests for assistance arising under the recently established United Nations Convention Against Corruption Implementation Review Mechanism, the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime and the Financial Action Task Force recommendations to combat money laundering. The Attorney‑General's Department provides assistance in partnership with the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre. The rule of law aid work of the Attorney-General's portfolio supports the development of effective governance.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)

DEEWR administers the Australian Government's annual contributions to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Australia is a founding member of the ILO and maintains a strong relationship with the organisation. Australia is currently Chair of the ILO's governing body for 2011‑12. Additional funding is provided through the Australian Government-ILO Partnership Agreement 2010-15, jointly administered by AusAID and DEEWR. The partnership provides $15 million from 2010 to 2012 to support ILO technical assistance programs which promote sustainable development and decent work in the Asia-Pacific region.

5.2. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

Total ODA for ACIAR in 2012‑13 is estimated at $100 million. ACIAR is a statutory authority that operates as part of the Australian Government's development assistance program. ACIAR's programs align with the policies and strategic goals outlined in An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference — Delivering real results. ACIAR's strategic goal is improving food security by lifting agricultural productivity.

The Centre contributes to the strategic goals of the Australian aid program through effective agricultural research, underpinning improved productivity, which in turn promotes sustainable economic development. Three broad themes underpin ACIAR's research:

  • agricultural productivity growth in smallholder systems;
  • developing market integration for smallholder livelihoods to enable market participation; and
  • human and institutional capacity building to strengthen national research institutions.

In 2012‑13, ACIAR will strengthen the Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC), increasing its scope and footprint in Africa. The focus of AIFSC's activities will be utilising Australian research capacity, technical and policy expertise in areas of national comparative advantage, including tropical, subtropical and temperate agriculture. The initiative expands the work of ACIAR, initially in African countries. It will also enhance Australia's existing $100 million African Food Security Initiative (AFSI). The Centre will also examine opportunities to broaden its geographic reach beyond Africa in 2012‑13.

ACIAR's research expenditure by region in 2012‑13 will be in the Mekong countries and China (28 per cent), Africa (24 per cent), Indonesia, East Timor and the Philippines (18 per cent), Papua New Guinea and the Pacific (17 per cent), and South and West Asia (13 per cent). ACIAR's Annual Operational Plan provides further details of the Centre's priorities and programs for the 2012‑13 financial year. ACIAR's bilateral work will further key programs under the Food Security Through Rural Development Initiative. Ongoing country programs will operate in developing countries in the Asia‑Pacific region, and parts of Africa. Priorities for 2012‑13 are outlined in ACIAR's Annual Operational Plan and include the activities outlined in Table 4 below.

Estimated ODA in 2012‑13 $100 million

Table 4: ACIAR programs in 2012‑13

Program Focus

Country and regional programs

  • Improving crop varieties and supporting seed distribution systems to further the dissemination of new varieties of staple crops in East Timor; implementing research under the Australia-Pakistan Agricultural Sector Linkages Program to support pro-poor outcomes; fostering sustainable agricultural practices in North Africa, including in Egyptian and Tunisian cropping sectors; and supporting women in agriculture groups in PNG by enhancing their business skills.
  • Implementation of the 'Sustainable intensification of maize-legume cropping systems in eastern and southern Africa' project, lifting the productivity of maize-legume systems through introduction of productive varieties and strengthening value chains in five east-African countries. The project is expected to improve maize and legume productivity by 30 per cent and to reduce the expected downside yield risk by 30 per cent on approximately 500,000 farms within 10 years.
  • Developing high-value agricultural, forestry and fisheries products in the Pacific through the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development initiative. The initiative is working to underpin the competitiveness of targeted high-value agriculture, fisheries and forestry products.
  • Improving the productivity of rice-based farming systems in South Asia and South East Asia, concentrating on adapting existing technologies to improve yields. The food security program focuses on rice-based farming systems in both lowland and upland areas, along with technical and agribusiness research collaboration to understand and develop domestic and export market opportunities for rice, cattle and other agricultural products.
  • Climate change adaptation in the rice-based farming systems of the Mekong and South Asia, through the integration of a suite of improved technologies and varieties. This program is developing strategies that enable policy makers to deliver more effective climate adaptation programs relevant to farmer livelihoods and food security. At the same time it is building capacity of farming households in selected regions of each of the four partner countries, enabling them to adapt their rice‑based cropping systems to accommodate climate variability and climate change.

Multilateral programs

The Australian Government, through ACIAR, directs financial support to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This is a group of not for profit research centres with a mandate to help the poor. It is intended that funding be provided to the CGIAR multi-donor trust fund. Funding will be allocated on an unrestricted basis, through three Windows: funding without earmarks, funding earmarked for specific research areas and funding earmarked for specific centres. The CGIAR Reform process is expected to conclude with 15 CGIAR Research Programs finalised during 2012‑13.

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