Working with non-government organisations
Working with non-government organisations (NGOs) is an integral part of Australia’s approach to achieving the five strategic goals of the aid program outlined in An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference—Delivering real results.
NGOs are effective in reaching the most marginalised and vulnerable. The Australian Government partners with and funds Australian NGOs to work with communities and vulnerable people in more than 50 countries across Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Australian NGOs bring particular strengths to the aid program. Some have been working in international aid and development for more than 60 years. They mobilise public support and voluntary contributions for aid, and work in areas which are difficult to access such as conflict affected regions. Many also have expertise in working in emergency situations where fast and flexible responses are essential.
Many Australian NGOs receive funding through the AusAID—NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). The ANCP supports more than 40 accredited Australian NGOs to undertake community-based development work. The Australian Government will double funding to the ANCP, increasing from $69 million in 2010–11 to at least $150 million by 2014–15.
The four-year budget strategy outlined in Australia’s Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework to 2015–16 anticipates that total funding to NGOs will increase from roughly $500 million in 2011–12 to between $700 and $800 million by 2015–16.
New AusAID Civil Society Engagement Framework
AusAID has developed a new AusAID Civil Society Engagement Framework in consultation with the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) [external website]. The Framework commits to an agency-wide approach to engaging with Australian, international and local civil society organisations (CSOs). The Framework sets out how we will work more effectively with CSOs to alleviate poverty.
Click here to download a copy of the Civil Society Engagement Framework.
What will the Framework do?
As the Australian aid program grows, AusAID’s engagement with civil society will change in significant ways. The Framework provides a sharper focus on: effectiveness, results, sustainability, risk reduction, efficiency and value for money, diversity and innovation. It is designed to harness and strengthen the relationship between government and civil society across the globe as we continue our work in aid and development and achieve the Australian aid program goal of helping people overcome poverty.
It sets out a substantial program of approaches and action, including improving accreditation for small and niche NGOs, developing a way to guide funding to CSOs with the aim of achieving improved efficiency and value for money, launching a civil society portal, implementing a due diligence framework for non-accredited CSOs and learning from NGOs as we increase our engagement with the business community.
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Australia's National Compact
The Civil Society Engagement Framework also supports Australia’s National Compact with NGOs. The National Compact: working together is an agreement between the Australian Government and not-for-profit groups to find better ways of working together based on mutual trust, respect and collaboration.
The Civil Society Engagement Framework and National Compact share similar principles for working together, and emphasise the importance of open communication and better coordination of policies, programs and services to achieving the best outcomes for individuals and communities.
The National Compact also seeks to strengthen Australia’s not-for-profit sector through greater public trust and confidence, and streamlined ways to report to government. AusAID is working closely with the new Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) to reduce unnecessary regulatory obligations on charities participating in the aid program.
AusAID has nominated Deputy Director General, James Batley, to be a National Compact Advocate for the Agency. Advocates foster a culture that promotes the participation of not-for-profit organisations in policy development and implementation. Advocates also oversee any complaints that have been made by not-for-profit organisations regarding non-compliance with the National Compact.
To contact AusAID about National Compact matters, people are invited to email us at NationalCompact@ausaid.gov.au.
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