Support NGOs as Valuable Partners
Atul Mrong (L), a former sponsored child (World Vision Australia) talks with Rohingya children in the Rohingya Camp. Atul is now Deputy Operations Director of World Vision’s Bangladesh Refugee Crisis Response in the camps. Photo: Jon Warren/World Vision.
NGOs are a vital partner in delivering Australia’s international development assistance, with strong experience and expertise and deep relationship with people and communities across the Indo-Pacific region.
As COVID-19 first spread in 2020, Australian NGOs provided a uniquely rapid, localised, and well coordinated critical support to communities across the Asia Pacific region. In many countries, the ability to do so was due to networks, knowledge, and relationships that have been built over decades. Yet maintaining a vibrant NGO sector in Australia and our region requires addressing a range of challenges to charity sustainability such as a flatlined aid budget, crowded charity fundraising environment, economic disruption, and new business models that are high cost but offer uncertain returns. NGOs also face challenges associated with public trust in charities and increasing public expectations and government regulation of charity accountabilities.
The Australian NGO Cooperation Program
The Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) has a 40-year track record as a civil society partnership that brings results, lasting impact, and enables testing of innovative responses to long term problems. DFAT’s own evaluation of the ANCP corroborates the effectiveness of the program’s approach. A 2015 review described the ANCP as “one of the best performing programs,” delivering 18.2 per cent of DFAT’s aggregate development results for only 2.7 per cent of the overall development program spend. The ANCP is currently undergoing an updated independent evaluation.
Advocacy to support NGOs as partners
In advocating for the role of NGOs as valuable partners to deliver Australia’s humanitarian assistance and development cooperation program, ACFID has highlighted the importance of flexible and predictable funding, streamlining compliance requirements, creating headroom for innovation and growth, and prioritising (including through funding) initiatives which aim to build and strengthen partnerships between government, NGOs and the private sector, as well as within and between NGOs themselves. You can read more about ACFID’s advocacy to support NGOs in our Advocacy Agenda.
ACFID also works to elevate the role of NGOs in development through advocating for civil society strengthening across our region.