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Home | Africa Capacity Bulletin | Africa Capacity Issue 8 | ACBF proves to be a valuable partner to Australia’s AACES program

ACBF proves to be a valuable partner to Australia’s AACES program

The African Capacity Building Foundation’s (ACBF) support as the Resource Facility Manager to the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) has been pointed as critical to the success of the AACES program . A recent performance assessment by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of ACBF’s support to AACES underlined the excellent capacity of the Foundation in steering the program towards achieving its objectives.

The ACBF’s role as the ‘Resource Facility Manager’ has been to provide timely, efficient, and effective logistical, administrative and technical support to AACES. In this respect, ACBF has supported the communication, coordination and management of AACES.

Since 2012 the AACES program has benefited 1,287,888 people. Among those, more than 248,650 people accessed maternal and child health services, above 337,900 have experienced improved agricultural productivity while 638,210 now have access to water, sanitation and hygiene services. The program focuses on marginalized communities, with particular attention to women, children, people with disability and people vulnerable to disaster. It is being implemented in the following countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The ACBF has helped develop mutual trust with AACES partners, enabling effective communication and collaboration among the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) under this program. The culture of collaboration, now entrenched in AACES, is a key element of an effective program delivering real results.  ACBF conducted two Partnership Surveys that recognized partnership as being an essential component of AACES. The surveys identified areas where partners wanted to see improvements. For example, the 2013 Partnership Survey results indicated that African NGOs wanted greater support for leadership and strategy development. Following this, staff from NGOs were encouraged and supported to take on leadership roles in the AACES Program Steering Committee and other forums. The Foundation has managed and supported the diverse relationships within the AACES partnership, resulting in improvements in communication between AACES NGOs and in the overall strengthening of the AACES partnership model. As an illustration, the development and management of Yammer - a shared online communication platform - has facilitated open and regular communication amongst partners.

The ACBF also improved visibility of the AACES work in the past years by producing three high quality AACES Annual Reports, which have been successful in informing and communicating with stakeholders the achievements of the program. The ACBF has also supported the launch and dissemination of the annual report through promotion of targeted media releases, linkage of the report on DFAT, ACBF and NGOs websites. Targeted support has also been provided to AACES NGOs to launch the report in their respective countries.  Field visits were organized and the communication capacity of AACES partners through training in photography, writing techniques, and documentation.

In other areas, the ACBF has provided technical input in thematic workshops on AACES priority themes such as disability, sustainability, gender, value for money and monitoring and evaluation. These workshops have provided AACES NGOs with opportunities to learn and share approaches to improve their work. Learning and sharing has also been improved through the common communication platform – Yammer – that supports online communication, sharing of experiences and resource dissemination among AACES partners, and is particularly valued by African partners.

To increase knowledge sharing, the ACBF also opened up its Virtual Library to AACES partners to enable them to access online knowledge resources on capacity development and other development topics.

The ACBF was contracted in January 2012 by the Australian Government to establish and manage a Resource Facility for the AACES program. AACES is a partnership of the Australian Government, ten Australian NGOs and their Africa-based partners. The 90 million Australian dollar program is funded by the Australian Government through DFAT.

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Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana