AusAID CDC Members

Committee for Development
A Joint Committee of the Australian Agency for International Development and
Australian Non-Government Organisations
Minutes of the 135th CDC Meeting held on 21th November 2012
AusAID CDC Members
Mr Gary Powell (Chair)
Mr Russell Miles
NGO Members
Mr Andrew Newmarch (World Vision)
Ms Misha Coleman (Act for Peace)
Mr Rob Floyd (UnitingWorld)
Guest Presenters
Peter Fennell (AusAID)
Romaine Kwesius (AusAID)
Susan Harris-Rimmer (ACFID)
Evelyn Loh (AusAID)
Paula Claudianos (AusAID)
Ms Katharina Dollmann (AusAID)
Mr Chris Wark (ACFID)
Ms Christina Munzer (AusAID)
Rev John Deane (ABM)
Mr Simon Cann-Evans (AusAID)
Welcome Remarks
The Chair acknowledged the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people who are the
traditional owners of the land upon which the meeting takes place.
Welcome to Rob Floyd, Associate Director of International Programming for
UnitingWorld as a new CDC member, replacing Adam Laidlaw.
The Chair noted the withdrawal of Adam Laidlaw and thanked him for his
contribution to the CDC.
Apologies from Reverend John Deane and Simon Cann-Evans.
The Chair noted AusAID has one vacancy on the CDC. AusAID is currently
seeking nominations from Office for Development Effectiveness (ODE).
Conflict Check
The Chair asked for conflict of interests to be identified.
CDC Member Andrew Newmarch informed the meeting he had a conflict with the
item on the Agenda to discuss the Organisational Review of World Vision. In
accordance with standard procedure, it was agreed that Andrew would absent
himself for this agenda item.
Acceptance of Previous Minutes
The relationship between the minutes and action log was clarified given the
unclear follow up on the head agreement issue.
Action item: Child protection policy to be added to the action log and discussed at
the next CDC meeting or out of session
Update on outstanding action items (from Actions Log)
It was noted that reviewing the Terms of Reference (TOR) have been on the
action log for some time. It was again noted that most of the TOR still had current
application, and reflect current CDC operations: they are from 2009 and it was
agreed that it may be appropriate to revisit them in 2013.
The CDC noted that any revision to the TORs needs to ensure that the CDC is
seen as advisory for the sector and not a decision making body.
CDC representatives noted there was some discussion as to whether the CDC
was the correct place to have certain conversations regarding particular issues of
Government policy such as the CSEF which might be more appropriate for other
forums, such as the Ex-Com.
On the subject of the Due Diligence and development awareness raising (DAR)
in the action log, the Secretariat noted they would be addressed later in the
Action Item: CDC TORs to be reviewed in 2013.
Objectives of ANCP and Development Awareness Raising
Russell Miles, AusAID CDC representative, spoke to a paper on the Objectives of
ANCP and Development Awareness Raising (DAR), noting that it had already
been canvassed in the last meeting. The paper discussed proposed changes to
the ANCP, its goals and issues surrounding DAR. The CDC’s views were invited
on whether the approach was appropriate and on what strategies might be
suitable for communicating this to the sector.
Objective of ANCP
The matter of the objective of funding under the Partnership Agreement being
applied to the ANCP more broadly was discussed. At this stage the objective was
only reflected in the Partnership Agreement.
ANCP has grown from a $55 million program in 2009-10 to $150 million by
2014-15. A key challenge is how to balance the goal of continuing to support
NGOs own work with the requirement to align ANCP with AusAID’s strategic
goals. Ninety-five per cent of ANCP funds were already aligned to AusAID’s
strategic goals. CDC representatives described the challenge of managing this
alignment in the context of requirements to move to 50 NGOs within the ANCP by
The ACFID representative identified that the problem has always been at the
country level. It was outlined that the ACFID Ex-Com has discussed this in the
CSEF development process.
There is a tension resulting from the increased focus on results under the 5
strategic goals and the unique nature of ANCP which allocates funding in
proportion to the level of public support in the form of donations.
The language used to describe ANCP in the paper and the impact this may have
on the character of the ANCP program was discussed. The ANCP is unique,
given it enables NGOs to conduct their own programs, as AusAID funding under
the program is proportionate to the level of Australian public support enjoyed by
NGOs. Therefore, the language used to describe the objectives of the ANCP
should be carefully considered. The ANCP is a global program which is not
required to align with country strategies – rather the ANCP is required to align
with the broader Aid Program and the 5 strategic goals of AusAID as outlined in
the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework.
Action Item: NGO CDC members to refine the wording of the proposed goal of
ANCP to reflect the unique nature of ANCP and to submit to AusAID out of
It was agreed that any changes to the ANCP would be socialised through various
forums including ACFID Member Information forums (MIFs), Learning &
Development (L&D) programs and correspondence to all ANCP NGOs.
The timing of the 2013 ACFID MIF is currently being finalised and it was
proposed that this would be a good forum to present a session on preparing
ADPlans and other program reforms etc, in addition to a webinar. CDC
representatives noted that the MIF’s audience is broader than the ANCP NGO’s
and that this may include new organisations seeking to become accredited.
It was noted that the Office of Development Effectiveness proposed evaluation of
the ANCP will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the ANCP in 2014.
Development Awareness Raising (DAR)
Following the 2009 ANCP reforms, up to 10 per cent of ANCP allocations can be
used on approved DAR activities. Currently, there are few organisations using
more than 6-7 per cent. DAR regularly receives attention in the media and senate
estimates due to the perception of AusAID providing funding for lobbying for
increases to the aid program. Previous discussions with the large ANCP partners
(as part of the partnership re-negotiations) have proposed to reduce the
percentage of allocation for DAR.
CDC NGO representatives noted that the prohibition on the use of DAR funds to
increase “supporter base” is an area requiring more definition. The lack of clarity
between ‘constituency’ and ‘supporter base’ was noted - it is possible to reach
out to a constituency without the intention to increase the supporter base.
It was suggested that this requirement be removed as it may inhibit ANCP
members from fully using their DAR allocation.
It was noted that the requirement for AusAID to approve DAR publications before
their creation was not practical and was a further barrier to using DAR
AusAID explained that where DAR monies are not used they are spent on
development activities instead and do not represent a reduction in overall
allocation if not used.
AusAID informed the CDC that where DAR proposals are made, they are often of
poor quality and informed the CDC that in future, AdPlans including DAR
proposals will be publicly available on the AusAID website as part of the
transparency initiative.
AusAID suggested to work with a working group, on how to be more strategic
about applying for DAR before NGOs start drafting their ADPlans.
Action Item: AusAID to amend the DAR guidelines to provide greater clarity and
to include best practice examples of acceptable uses of DAR allocations.
AusAID will also work with the ACFID Global Education Working Group and to
hold DAR training to socialise and clarify appropriate DAR programming.
Recognised Development Expenditure (RDE) Guidelines
The CDC Secretariat informed members that AusAID had received two
submissions requesting reforms to the method of calculating RDE for the
purposes of allocating ANCP funding. These submissions related to microfinance
and the absence of any reference in the RDE guidelines to acknowledge
contributions made through financial mechanisms such as debt and equity. The
Secretariat noted that RDE is complex and should be treated with caution, and of
the need to consider impact in the context of broader reforms. Noting various
other issues with RDE, the secretariat recommended engaging a technical expert
to assess impacts and present a paper to the CDC next year.
The Chair acknowledged the need to have a better understanding of RDE and
considered the issue requires a deeper level of financial analysis including hybrid
forms of financing. The Chair noted that there is a lot that needs exploring and
queried the range of organisations working in the microfinance space and the
implications for funding under the program.
CDC NGO representatives noted that many NGOs do have components of their
work that are related to microfinance and as such reforming the methodology for
calculating RDE would impact a range of organisations – not just the two
organisations who have made submissions to AusAID.
CDC Secretariat noted there are a lot of factors as to how one calculates debt
and equity and this is linked to the broader question of what are the goals of the
CDC NGO representatives discussed how this is interesting as it is a means of
trying to recognise different forms of contribution from the public. The Chair
emphasised the need to look properly into the issue given the potential
implications on funding eligibility. The CDC Secretariat added that there is a need
to prioritise actions as there are many reforms currently underway. The
Guidelines in the context of changing modus operandi for accreditation mean
RDE should be included in the broader debate to ensure the holistic
consideration of all relevant issues.
CDC observers noted if AusAID has the intention of increasing the ANCP pool to
50 NGOs it is likely that some hybrid NGOs will be included. The issue of
microfinance has been raised by NGOs with ACFID on a number of occasions.
The CDC Secretariat described examples of income derived by organisations not
currently covered by the RDE guidelines including bequests. As RDE is a
measure of community support it was noted that support from those no longer
living presented challenges for the guidelines.
CDC agreed that any proposed changes to RDE such as these, may result in a
range of impacts which must be fully understood before finalising. Any revisions
to RDE also need to be considered in the context of the proposed ODE
evaluation and as part of the broader reforms to accreditation and the ANCP.
There was a suggestion to include a review of RDE as part of Project 2 under the
Civil Society Engagement Framework (CSEF).
These proposed revisions to RDE to be resolved in time for the 2014-15
Action Item: RDE to be reviewed in the context of the proposed ODE ANCP
evaluation and broader reforms taking place under the CSEF, for resolution
by the 2014-15 allocations.
Other Business
General discussion on times for meetings in 2013, with the following dates proposed:
Wednesday 20 February 2013
Wednesday 24 April 2013 (tbc)
Wednesday 24 July 2013 (tbc)
Wednesday 20 November 2013
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