Latest News - July to December 2014
Over this six month period David Swete Kelly is engaged in missions in Afghanistan and Timor Leste.
In Afghanistan, David will undertake a number of assignments.
1. In July he will work with Australia's Direct Aid Facility for Afghanistan (DAFA) to assist the Ministry for Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) to develop their Operational Plan for the MAIL Dry Land Farming Strategy (DLFS). This mission will involve extensive travel to the northern Provinces (Balkh, Sar-e Pol, Jowzjan, Samangan and Baghlan.
2. In August he will prepare the Annual Results Report for the ACIAR Research for Development Program. This is the first Annual Results Report and includes outcomes of ACIAR research programs in wheat, fodder and watershed management.
3. In October he will review final submissions for the Afghanistan Australia Community Resilience Scheme (AACRS). This involves resubmissions by two of the shrtlisted NGOs. If successful these agencies will join another three NGOs approved in an earlier round.
4. Also in October, he will join the inauguration of the AACRS and the launch of the DLFS in Kabul. Travel is tentatively planned to Bamyan and Daykundi.
In Timor Leste, David will complete the "Concept Mission" for Australia's future assistance to agriculture and rural development in August. This mission will include extensive travel throughout the country. If Australian Aid approves the Concept then David will lead a "Design Mission in November and December.
April to June 2014:
During this quarter RDSM remains active in three main projects covering Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Pakistan, and Fiji.
Work in Afghanistan is influenced by the transition activities of international security forces and the national elections. David Swete Kelly completed the redrafting of MAIL's Dry Land Strategy in Dec 2013. Following on from this a mission is planned for June 2014 to assist MAIL with scheduling dry land activities, contributing to the revision of National Priority Programs, and helping Australian Aid rethink its ongoing agriculture and rural development portfolio. Also in May David will undertake the reviews of project proposals for the Australian Afghanistan Community Resilience Scheme (AACRS).
In Timor Leste, David Swete Kelly continues his role as the Agriculture and Rural Development Adviser. After an inaugural mission in February and a follow up mission in Mar/April, the scene is now set for a Concept Mission to frame Australia's new agriculture program in July 2014. Consultations with partner agencies in Australia (CSIRO, ACIAR and DAFF) will occur in May.
Lastly ongoing support to Australia's Market Development Facility will see scheduled visits of the Independent Advisiory Group to Fiji and Pakistan in May. David Swete Kelly is a member of the two-person IAG.
July to September 2013:
Work over the next three months will focus on five areas:
1. In July ongoing support will be provided to the Afghanistan Program and particularly to the Australia Afghanistan Community Resilience Program as well as the ACIAR Collaboration.
2. RDSM will complete the design for the Mongolia Mining for Development Program and draft the Scope of Services for tendering.
3. The Scope of Services will be prepared for the South Asia Regional Platform
4. David Swete Kelly will undertake an Independent Advisory Group visit to the Market Development Facility in Timor Leste
5. David Swete Kelly, in conjunction with the University of Otago, will conduct the Independent Completion Report for AusAID's Vanuatu Lighting project.
April to June 2013:
In early April, David Swete Kelly will complete the draft design for the new AusAID Mongolia Mining for Development initiative. This activity aims to support Mongolia's public administration of mining as well as helping to address the social and environmental challenges that the associated rapid growth brings. The initial draft of the design will be finished in Mid April.
After this, RDSM Consulting has been contracted to support the mid-term review of the joint ACIAR/AusAID Agriculture Sector Linkages Project in Pakistan. David Swete Kelly joins with Keith Chapman to undertake the review, which will involve both Australian and Pakistan based consultations. Immediately after this, David will support the inauguration of the AusAID Market Development Facility in Pakistan.
Come May, David will lead a team to undertake the review of the Vanuatu Lighting project. This innovative project has seen the adoption of simple home PV lanterns across the country and the replacement of kerosene lanterns in many cases.
Finally in June, RDSM will finalise tender documents for a South Asia program of AusAID, wrap up the design for the Mongolia Mining for Development initiative, and take a break to celebrate the birth of a new grandson.
Jan to March 2012:
2012 begins with a full workload over the first three months. David Swete Kelly is to join forces with Paul Crawford to undertake the mid-term review of the AusAID CSIRO Research 4 Development initiative in Jan/Feb 2012. This will involve visits to five major projects in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Laos over three weeks before undertaking the write-up of the MTR outcomes.
Later in February David Swete Kelly will join ACIAR, ICARDA and AusAID in Amman, Jordan for the development of a new livestock fodder program in Iraq. This project will contribute to the Australia Iraq Agriculture Strategy which was completed by AusAID in 2011. David Swete Kelly will also appraise the proposal for an extension of the very successful Conservation Agriculture project in northern Iraq.
He then travels to Afghanistan for AusAID where he will visit a range of Provinces to assist AusAID to develop their Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy for the country.
Finally in March, David will visit Vanuatu to complete the review of the innovative Lighting Vanuatu program. While in Vanuatu he will attend the planned peer review of the second phase of the Vanuatu Transport Sector Support Program. RDSM assisted with the design of this new phase in late 2011 and finalised the draft in early January.
October to December 2011:
In early October RDSM completed a mission to Pakistan to update the Australia Pakistan Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy. This mission had brief meetings with most of the key government and donor players. All parties committed significant delegations to interact with the team. Australia is seen as a world leader in primary production in water scarce environments, and Pakistani stakeholders are very keen to see bilateral engagement increased. Pakistani stakeholders proactively seek Australian input in land, water, agriculture, livestock, agro-forestry, climate change adaptation and rangeland management. Australian models for social mobilisation of rural communities also create significant interest. The Australian Agriculture Sector Linkages Project has given stakeholders a taste of what is possible and there is a strong demand for more. The updated APARDS, including options for funding, will be finalised by the 18 November 2011. However, a summary of draft options was presented to AusAID on 17 October 2011 to allow AusAID's forward planning and budgeting processes to continue uninterrupted.
By mid December RDSM will complete the initial draft of the design for the second four year phase of the Australian funded Vanuatu Transport Sector Support Project. The fifteen year Vanuatu Transport Sector Support Program (VTSSP) is managed through AusAID’s Governance for Growth Program and its first three year, $17.3m phase focused on road maintenance and rehabilitation on the islands of Ambae, Malekula and Tanna as well as building priority capacity and institutional reform within MIPU and PWD. VTSSP Phase 1 has been overseen by the GfG Transport Coordinator (Peter Kelly) and supported by both a two year technical assistance contract with URS (commencing in September 2009) as well as a range of individual technical assistance facilitated by GfG. A concept paper for the second phase of VTSSP was drafted by GfG and approved by AusAID Peer Review to proceed to full design in August 2011. RDSM is leading the design team to now prepare a preliminary draft. Once completed, this draft will be assessed by an AusAID Peer Review Panel, who will then decide whether or not to proceed to implementation.
David Swete Kelly will also finalise the Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy for Iraq in November. The draft strategy was prepared earlier in the year but consultations on its finalisation have been delayed due to difficulties in travel. In late August a workshop was held with a visiting Irai delegation in Australia to resolve final issues.
Earlier in the year RDSM lead the design for the Vanuatu Electricity for Rural Development project to be funded by Australia. The design was Peer Reviewed and approved to proceed to implementation. David Swete Kelly will visit Vanuatu in late November to discuss the design with all stakeholders and finalise any lingering issues. Implementation is expected to commence in 2012.
Lastly David Swete Kelly is to join forces with Paul Crawford to undertake the mid-term review of the AusAID CSIRO Research 4 Development initiative in early 2012. A preliminary planning meeting with all teams will occur in Canberra in mid December.
July to September 2011
The major work for RDSM during this three months will be:
1. A review of current Australian rural development engagements in Afghanistan
2. Finalisation of implementation arrangements for AusAID's Iraq Agriculture strategy.
3. Finalisation of the design of the second phase of the Vanuatu Transport Sector Support Program.
April to June 2011:
RDSM will commence work with the AusAID Vanuatu program to manage the design of the second phase of the Vanuatu Transport Sector . The concept for this design has been approved and design work will commence in May (delayed from earlier in the year). RDSM will lead this design mission.
In late March, RDSM submitted the draft of AusAID's Agriculture Strategy for 2011 to 2014 in Iraq. AusAID has now sent this to key stakeholders for their input. It will then be Peer Reviewed by AusAID in late April. Provided that this goes smoothly then further work will commence on the implementation arrangements for the initiatives proposed under the strategy. As part of this process, and to support on going program implementation, RDSM has been mentoring the development of the M&E Plan for the recently inaugurated ACIAR Salinity Project in Iraq.
Finally David Swete Kelly continues his support to AusAID's agriculture strategy and program in Afghanistan. In April appraisals will be completed for an ACIAR Integrated Catchment Management Project proposed for the dryland cerial based production areas of the north, as well as a comprehensive program to support the Almond industry in Uruzgan proposed by the Blue Green World group. In late May it is proposed that RDSM, along with another consultant, undertake a desk review of all current and pipeline projects in Afghanistan, with a view to assessing their impact and strategic logic. This review will then be used to guide AusAID and ACIAR in deciding a future strategic framework for support to agriculture in Afghanistan.
JANUARY to MARCH 2011:
In January RDSM Consulting will lead a team to develop the new Lao PDR Country Operations Strategy for the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD). The mission includes specialists in poverty, value chains and natural resource management. RDSM's responsibility will be to coordinate the team efforts and prepare a cohesive and rigorous COSOP strategy.
In February David Swete Kelly will commence support to AusAID's Iraq program to develop a new agriculture strategy and implementation program for the country. This significant input will entail workshops with key Iraq Government stakeholders in Australia, a short mission in -country, followed by the preparation of concept and design documents for ongoing AusAID investment.
Lastly RDSM will commence work with the AusAID Vanuatu program to manage the design of the Vanuatu Electrification for Rural Development project. The concept for this design has been approved and design work will commence in February. RDSM will lead this design mission.
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2010:
In early October David Swete Kelly joined the Technical Assessment Panel to select candidates for the Australian Civilian Corp (Agriculture and Livelihoods cluster). This included both the assessment of applicants as well as a moderation meeting with other panel members.
The Pakistan Agricultural Linkages Program continues to evolve and ACIAR is finalising proposals for the five sub-projects during October/November. As these projects are completed David Swete Kelly will work with ACIAR to finalise the M&E Framework for the overall ASLP. Advice has also been provided to AusAID on modifications to the Sahad Rural Support Program to allow it to adjust activities during start-up in order to appropriately respond to recent flood damage in partner communities.
The major work for RDSM during this three months will be the cluster review of five rural development projects in Cambodia. These projects have been run by World Vision, ADRA, Care and Action AID under the AusAID NGO Partnerships Program in Cambodia. The review will entail extensive travel throughout Cambodia in November and the preparation of an independent Implementation Completion Report by early December.
JULY - SEPTEMBER 2010:
During July, Paul Crawford of Aid-IT (with input from David Swete Kelly) completed PACAP's final Quality Audit. The report was submitted to AusAID in early August. David Swete Kelly also completed a further in-country mission in August to finalise the Provincial FOCAS engagements in Surigao del Norte (August 4) and Agusan del Sur (August 6). PACAP held its final national forum for donors and national agencies on 7 September. By the end of September RDSM NZ will conclude its assistance to the Philippines Australia Community Assistance Program. AusAID is still finalising the design for a follow-on program and, until this is in place, will maintain three staff within the Embassy to deliver a small "bridging program" to communities.
Support for the implementation of Australia's Pakistan Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Strategy in Pakistan continues. Reviews of five ASLP proposals under the Pro-Poor Livelihoods component were completed in July and implementation should commence shortly. David Swete Kelly will be working with ACIAR's ASLP coordinator (Dr Greg Johnson) and others, to complete the M&E strategy for the program once ACIAR approves the final component sub-projects. Further work in Pakistan is currently under review given the devastating floods which have swept through the Indus catchment and floodplain during August. Many of the current programs (including the Sarhad Rural Support Program assistance in the north and ASLP) have had to reconsider their activities.
Planning is also underway to assist AusAID with its rural development framework in Afghanistan. Further progress and a possible mission will be decided shortly.
APRIL - JUNE 2010:
RDSM NZ continues with its assistance to the Philippines Australia Community Assistance Program. During April in-depth analysis of PACAP M&E data was undertaken and a draft of a comprehensive impact analysis was pepared. This work was undertaken in conjunction with Dr Paul Crawford of Aid-IT. AusAID has also advised PACAP of its desire to further extend the current phase of the program through until June 2011. David prepared the draft contract amendment for this extension.
RDSM NZ has also been asked to assist AusAID with strategic advice for their agriculture and rural development program in Afghanistan. This complements current support to the Pakistan program. In May, David will complete a review of the FAO's prposed Sustainable Agricultural Livelihoods Project in Bamiyan. David also continues with his support to AusAID's Pakistan program. In particular this will involve the finalisation of the Pakistan Australia Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy and one of the key activities envisaged underneath this - the ACIAR led Agricultural Sector Linkages Program.
Finally David Swete Kelly will undertake the appraisal of the design for the next phase of the AusAID/ACIAR Seeds of Life Program in East Timor.
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Afgahnistan Wheat and Maize Program
Seeds of Life