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Home Features Inside DFAT’s independent evaluation experiment
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DEPARTMENTSDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade
TAGS APS, AusAID, Canberra Evaluation Forum, CEF, DFAT, Evaluation, foreign aid, Institute of Public Administration Australia, IPAA ACT Branch, monitoring and evaluation, Public administration
When AusAID joined DFAT, it brought one of the federal government’s most successful evaluation teams with it and its only independent evaluation committee. Now the department is considering what other areas beyond foreign aid could do with evaluation.
The key to a successful evaluation unit is the right balance between accountability and learning, according to the bureaucrat who keeps an eye on the performance of Australia’s foreign aid program.
Setting up a panel of independent evaluation experts as advisors isn’t a bad idea either, according to Dereck Rooken-Smith, an assistant secretary with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who heads up the Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE).
Unique in the federal bureaucracy, ODE runs all its evaluation and performance assessment work past an Independent Evaluation Committee, which has played a highly beneficial role over the past three years.
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Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.
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