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Measuring the impact of the Aceh Government Transformation Program

In 2004, Aceh was struck by a huge tsunami causing wide-spread destruction and massive loss of life. ANUE managed an impact assessment of the Aceh Government Transformation Programme (AGTP) on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The objective of the two-year project was to assess the effectiveness of AGTP/UNDP innovations in strengthening governance systems in Aceh.

For five years, the Indonesian Agency for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Aceh and Nias (BRR) played the key role in managing post-tsunami reconstruction efforts in the province.

Then, in 2009, the agency transferred its authority to the Aceh provincial and local governments. Local agencies assumed responsibility for more than USD1 billion in grant money in addition to the coordination of programmes funded by the international community. This was to be an enormous challenge to the province of Aceh whose total budget was only USD300 million a few years earlier.

The USD14.5million AGTP was designed to strengthen the Aceh Government’s capacity and provide the strategic and essential support to the complex transition process.

Harnessing the expertise of ANU academics Peter McCawley, Ben Hillman and Edward Aspinall, the project undertook a multifaceted analytical approach to examine the measures taken by the AGTP. It also considered the development priorities for Aceh in the immediate future and outlined capacity-building needs for the longer term to ensure the sustainability of the post-tsunami recovery efforts.

ANUE worked with a range of stakeholders, including the Aceh Government, the Indonesian Government, and the international donor community to deliver six analytical papers and a completed monograph: Governance and Capacity Building in Post-Crisis Aceh.  The executive summary has been translated into Bahasa Indonesian.

The results of the impact assessment not only provide an overview of the success of the UNDP efforts in Aceh, but also add considerably to the body of knowledge on governance interventions in a post-crisis environment.