Evaluation of development programmes

Australia - DAC Evaluation Network Member


Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE)

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

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Organisation Background


In late 2013 the Australian Government decided to integrate management of the aid programme into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in order to better align Australia’s diplomatic, trade and development efforts and provide a stronger platform for an improved aid programme. This was followed in June 2014 with the announcement of a new aid policy and performance reporting system. Policies and procedures relating to aid evaluation remained relatively consistent throughout this period, with the exception that Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) mandate was expanded to include a role in quality assuring the assessments made in DFAT’s annual Performance of Australian Aid report.

The ODE is an operationally independent unit within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). ODE builds stronger evidence for more effective aid. It assesses DFAT’s internal aid management systems, evaluates the performance of the Australian aid programme and contributes to evidence and debate about aid effectiveness. ODE’s work is subject to the external oversight of the Independent Evaluation Committee (IEC).

ODE is separate from other divisions in DFAT, with the Head of ODE reporting directly to a Deputy Secretary.

The IEC was established in 2012 to provide an additional element of independence, quality control and credibility to ODE’s work. It is an external advisory body consisting of three independent members (including the Chair) and one Departmental representative. The IEC reviews and endorses all ODE products, providing independent advice during their production. IEC external members are appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. ODE’s work plan covers two years and is formulated through a process of extensive consultation within and outside DFAT. The work plan is endorsed by the IEC, approved by the Secretary DFAT and published on ODE’s website.

                  Australia's Evaluation Profile

Australia's Evaluation Reports (DAC Evaluation Resource Centre)