Evaluation Of Australian Assistance Provided During Crisis In Myanmar (2014-2017)

Australian Assistance Provided to Myanmar

Discuss about the Collection of Data and Its Relevancy for Australian Assistance.

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This report describes briefly the findings and recommendations of the evaluation of Australian assistance provided during crisis in Myanmar between 2014 to 2017. This assistance provided a huge aid programs that covers development, peace and several humanitarian programs in Myanmar.

Australia has always provided support to Myanmar and is one of the oldest donor and in recent years it has helped Myanmar during the transition period to democratic government. Even after democracy Myanmar is suffering from many challenging situation and needs humanitarian assistance (Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan: January – December 2017, 2017). This paper analyses relevancy, efficiency and effectiveness of assistance provided by Australia which particularly focused on two states called Rakhine and Kachin. It especially emphasizes on the performance of humanitarian programs in respect to current priorities and strategies.

the main purpose of the evaluation of the report is to analyses the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the Australian humanitarian assistance provided to Myanmar. The present scenario of Myanmar can be classified by the current circumstances in 3 different conditions such as, ongoing communal tensions disputes in the northern province, and displacement of citizens in Rakhine state and migration of refugee in the camps of Thailand (Development assistance in Myanmar, n.d.).

Hence this report mostly focusses on the two states of Myanmar i.e. Rakhine in southwest and Shan and Kachin situated in northern territory. The rationale of this report is to check relevancy, effectiveness and appropriateness of assistance provided by Australian in these states. 

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The humanitarian act of Australia was organized based on the several information and data it had on these two states of Myanmar. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) collected data on the number of displaced individual in Rakhine and Kachin that includes, children who were separated from their family members, data on family or domestic violence, data on health and reproductive related issues in women etc. according to these data the aids were divided in various factors to help and support these vulnerable people (Annan, 2017).

Over 120,000 from Kachin and Shan were in vulnerable conditions which also incudes 98,000 displaced individuals who had moved due to dispute in Myanmar and needed immediate help and support (Annan, 2017). More than 50% of these people lived away from the reach of government where there was no access of any kind of assistance or aid.

Evaluation of Assistance Provided by Australia

Approximately 78% of people living in camp in Kachina were children and women. Likewise, in Rakhine more than 400,000 were in vulnerable condition and were in urgent need of assistance.

Due to 2012 communal violence in Myanmar over 145,000 people were displaced and 120,000 among these people were scattered till the mid of 2017.About 79% of people in Internally Displaced Persons camp i.e. IDP camp were women and young children. Due to security operations in between 2016 and 2017 more people were displaced internally and over 70,000 people moved to Bangladesh (Burma: Ensure Aid Reaches Rohingya, 2017). This information helped in planning, designing and implementing the proper and effective humanitarian assistance to these vulnerable people.

For evaluation of report both approach i.e. quantitative as well as qualitative approach were used to triangulate important findings. Group discussions, desk review and stakeholder interviews were included in qualitative approach (Humanitarian Implementation Plan, 2017). Whilst Australian humanitarian funding allocations and OCHA financial tracking system data were included in quantitative approach.

It analyzed 113 documents that comprised of DFAT policy and strategy documents, UN and implementing partner strategy documents, humanitarian policy and guidance, and other papers like reports on gender-based violence, disability, political context) etc.

Semi structured interviews were held with 46 people i.e. 27 males and 19 females. The informants involved 7 Government of Myanmar representatives, 13 DFAT staff, 21 implementing partner representatives, 3 other stakeholders and 2 donor representatives. 

 It was organized to obtain the views of the affected people on effectiveness of service provided to them. 107 representatives of several communities were included in this discussion. Six people were involved from IDP’s camps and host community people from Rankine and Kachin states. 7 representatives of disabled people’s organization were involved in a consultation to understand the priorities and barriers of these people during the protracted crisis.  

Each participant was given informed consent before collecting data.  For photographs written consent was sought using DFAT process and forms. Translators were used to inform people who are visually impaired people. 

All the data and findings used in the evaluation report have been approved through triangulation.


There was a time constraint to visit Rakhine and Kachin states and only selected partner sites were allowed to visit (AID PROGRAM PERFORMANCE REPORT 2016-17 , 2017). The evaluation was completed in approximately 80 days. This evaluation could not provide proper analysis of effectiveness and efficiency of program and also could not validate all partner outputs and activities because reports of each partners varied in detail, comprehensiveness and format.  

Focus on States of Rakhine and Kachin

This humanitarian program of Australia is based on values of humanity and solidarity. The main objective is based on the fundamental principles of independence, equality, neutrality and impartiality. The aid d distributed without discrimination between any races, cultures, age group, nationality (Myanmar Humanitarian Crisis, n.d.). The DFAT identified women empowerment, disability inclusion, gender equality, monitoring evaluation and learning as a priority of all Australian aid provided to Myanmar. In recent years Australian aid has focus on gender equality and protection which has ensured dignity and safety of women and girls in many states in Myanmar.

So basically, the main objective of the organization that provides humanitarian aid is to maintain and restore dignity and safety of vulnerable people.

Involvement of other organization:

There are several other organizations that is providing humanitarian aid and support to people in Myanmar and each had their specific roles and functions. The organizations that participated in the evaluation are as follows:

UNHCR: United Nations High Commissioner is an agency for refugees. Since 1978, it has been providing support and help for Rohingya migrants (Rohingya emergency, 2017). It provides emergency aid, survivors of rape and violence, shelter materials, help and protection to children who are separated from their family members etc.

BRAC: Building Resources Across Communities provides hep and support to the Rohingya people by providing with child protection, health care and WASH services.

Doctors without Borders: It provides help by treating people suffering from severe dehydration, diarrhea, sexual violence, injuries etc. Despite restriction to access in these territories and worsen political condition, it has helped thousands of patients by treating them through mobile and fixed clinics it also supports for campaigns of Ministry of health vaccination.

UNICEF: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund provides water, food and shelter to needy people in Myanmar. Its main objective is to provide protection to women and children. It also supplies therapeutic foods and supplements for malnourished children and vaccination to children to prevent polio, rubella and measles (UNICEF Myanmar Humanitarian Situation Report #1 – 6 March 2018, 2018).

Save the children: It basically focusses on health of children and children right. It provides hygiene kits, tents, cooking materials to people affected by Rohingya crisis. It helps children of Myanmar by providing them access to basic services like education and healthcare (Rohingya Crisis, n.d.). It provides victims of these disputes by providing nutritious food, financial services, child rights, clean sanitation and water, community protection, TB and malaria control and AIDS treatment.

Evaluation Techniques

WFP: World Food Program provides food to the displaced individuals in Rakhine state.  It provides vulnerable people in Myanmar with unconditional food, cash assistance to those who are affected by intercommunal violence or disputes and to those people whose livelihood options are non-existent. It mainly focuses on conflict affected and internally displaced people in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan state. It provides food basket on monthly basis tat includes pulses, rice, salt or equivalent amount of cash. It also supports refugees of Myanmar returning from Thailand by providing cash for 6 months expenditure. 

The criteria that are used to evaluate the achievements and actions of Australian humanitarian aid are as follows (Overview of Australia’s aid program to Myanmar, n.d.):

  • Was the aid provided by Australia to Myanmar were relevant and appropriate?
  • Was it efficient and effective?
  • Did it help to restore the local and national leadership?

The main purpose of IFRC is to provide guidance on the evaluation process i.e. how it can be planned, managed, conducted or implemented.  The main objective of this framework is to promote ethical, reliable, useful and appropriate evaluation that contributes to learning and accountability of organization and its aim is to provide help to the people in need.

It is committed to provide document that is easily accessible to all the members. It helps members to understand framework properly so that they could participate in the evaluation process (IFRC Framework for Evaluation , 2011). This framework also shows the commitment and involvement of IFRC to enhance utility and significance of evaluation, practicing legitimate actions as most important actor in the humanitarian fields.

IFRC describes evaluation of any report as an objective and systematic assessment of any ongoing or completing programs or projects to obtain desired results. The main aim of IFRC is to determine significance of objectives, efficiency of its development, its effectiveness, sustainability and effect. The evaluation process must provide key information that are credible and useful and helps the organization to make proper and appropriate decisions that is beneficial to booth recipients and donors.

The main purpose of IFRC secretariat are as follows:

Improving its services and mission to support people in need:

Evaluation helps to improve performance of the organization through accurate and reliable assessment of failures and successes. It also provides information about the decision-making processes and management that includes strategic policy, planning and programming, budgeting, program design, report and implementation. It also helps to increase relevancy and improve impact of results, controlling the use of resources, to provide maximum satisfaction with the impact of their service.

Evaluation provides fundamental for learning to properly deliver and manage services and programmes. They also provide several opportunities to show and share learning and experiences and enhancing collaboration so that they could gain full benefit from their work and can build their strengths as a main actor in humanitarian work.

Other Organizations Providing Humanitarian Aid to Myanmar

Transparent and timely evaluation model responsibility to their stakeholders at different levels such as donors, government, beneficiaries, partner organizations, and other important stakeholders in these fields. Evaluation also helps to demonstrate whether the work has been done as agreed and in standard form. It also gives opportunities to stakeholders, mainly beneficiaries to supply input into and perfections of their work, openness to criticisms and desire to learn from past experiences and changing themselves according to needs.

Reliable evaluations are important for advocacy, resource mobilization and to recognize accomplishments. The promotion of a policy and program via evaluation cannot be perceived as a good marketing technique as evaluation provides incomplete and independent assessments of results and performance providing credibility to achievements. Evaluation also helps to demonstrate the returns from investment.

Australian humanitarian assistance is different from the framework of IFRC because it basically focusses on the services and programs provided to help people in Kachin and Rakhine. Its main priorities are women empowerment, gender equality, support against violence etc.

DFAT’s humanitarian strategy gives the framework for humanitarian action of Australia. This framework is designed to alleviate suffering, save lives of people and maintain dignity of people during disasters, disputes and humanitarian crises. It also helps to prevent and increase preparedness for occurrence of such incidents. 

The contribution of Australian service in the field of health care service was very low compared to its contribution in other sectors such as providing food, shelter, education, water, protection etc. It has provided monetary assistance to more than 15 hospital and established mobile clinic to provide medical help to needy people (Humanitarian aid in Myanmar, n.d.). It also focusses on safety of people by protecting them from any kind of harm and injuries like torture, killing, wounding from exploitation, inhumane treatment. It also protects people from deprivation such as denial medical care, water, shelter and food.

The DFAT also focusses on the protection and security agencies to provide protection to these vulnerable people and to find protection related issues such as substance issue, domestic or family violence, gender base violence, human trafficking etc. It also it also increased its investment to provide help on the issues like gender-based violence, reproductive and sexual health of female (Myanmar/Burma, 2018). Australian assistance programmes had not included disability inclusion, though it provided support to physically disable people by providing them ICRC supported health services. Before their services did not include any programs or assistance for people who are suffering from mental and psychosocial issues but UNFPA provided protection and support to women and girls who have mental health issues and those who are vulnerable to these issues.

Criteria for Evaluating Actions of Australian Humanitarian Aid

Lately partner programs have started addressing disability inclusion in their upcoming programs. The DRC has requested Australia to amend its contract to go through disability analysis. It is also working with several national and international organization like UNHCR to find disable people and provide need-based support and services.

The humanitarian assistance provided by Australia to the victims of protracted crisis in Myanmar was very efficient and satisfactory. It has spent over 40 million dollars through several programs to help people from affected region or territory (Aid Investment Plan Myanmar: 2015-2020, 2015). It helps and supports more than 500,00 0 people every year. It has huge contribution in helping people by infusing funds via several partners like several NGOs and UN that provides effective services to people in needs and follows humanitarian principle. The main achievement of Australian assistance provided in Myanmar after the dispute that had occurred in 2014 are as follows:

  • It provides food, relief aid and cash to more than 200,000 people in Kachin and Rakhine state.
  • It provided shelter to over 90,000 people.
  • It also provides knowledge about the risk of end mines to over fifteen thousand people.
  • It provides monetary transitions to over 10,000 households.
  • It helped to establish over 20 temporary educational services to educate over 3700 students.
  • It also provided training to teachers and supported to provide safer school environment that is free of any kind of violence.
  • It has helped over 95000 people by providing easy accessibility to water facilities.
  • It provided support to women by providing support against gender-based violence, domestic violence, discrimination and reproductive and sexual health services.


This report briefs the critical condition of people living in the states of Kachin and Rakhine and the need of humanitarian aid at these places. The total number of children, women and displaced people are more than 520,000 who are in the need of assistance. The rising conflict, tensions and violence has deteriorated the life of people living in these states and have forced them to migrate to other countries like Bangladesh, India etc. to escape the critical situation. The Australian aid mainly provided assistance to these two states as the number of casualties were more and are in dire need of support like food, water, shelter, education, health care services etc.

Australian with the help of other non-governmental and local organization provided financial aid and support to various sectors to help maximum number of people. this report also shows the several limitations of the evaluation and also includes efficiency, effectiveness and relevancy of it. 


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