Annex 3: Country profile example—Timor-Leste

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November 21, 2006


  1. A former Portuguese colony bordering Indonesia’s province of West Timor with access to largely untapped underwater oil and gas resources, Timor-Leste opted for independence from Indonesia, an occupying power since Portuguese withdrawal in 1975, in a UN-supervised referendum in August 1999. The results of the referendum triggered widespread violence which displaced up to three-quarters of the population and destroyed the large majority of the country’s infrastructure. Violence was brought to an end by the deployment of an international peacekeeping force in September 1999 and the establishment of a UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) with full and exclusive powers over the country. UNTAET set up a first Transitional Government, composed of East Timorese and international representatives. Following elections of a 88-member Constituent Assembly, UNTAET appointed a second all-Timorese Transitional Government in August 2001, reflecting the Assembly elections and including independents and minority parties. Presidential elections were held in April 2002. In May 2002 Timor-Leste became formally independent and power was transferred to newly-elected President Xanana Gusmão, one of the leaders of the pro-independent movement. A Constitution was approved in 2002, following brief national consultations, and the Constituent Assembly transformed into a National Parliament. Executive power is exercised by a Prime Minister, appointed by the President, and a Council of Ministers. UNTAET was succeeded by a UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), which concluded its mandate in May 2005 and was succeeded by a small follow-on mission, the UN Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL). Unrest in Timor-Leste started again in February 2006, when hundreds of soldiers left their barracks and went on strike. Originating mostly from the western part of the country, the soldiers complained of regional discrimination in the attribution of promotion, which allegedly benefited soldiers originating from the East. At the end of May 2006, demonstrations by former soldiers ended in rioting, with several injuries and deaths, as well as property damage. The security conditions deteriorated significantly in some parts of the country, but mostly in the capital, and – at the request of the President, Prime Minister and President of the Parliament – Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Portugal sent troops and police officers to help restore order. In June 2006, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri resigned from office and Jose Ramos-Horta was appointed by the President in July 2006 as the new Prime Minister.


1. Partners have operational national development strategies

  1. Coherent long-term vision with medium-term strategy derived from vision

  1. Action has been taken to establish a long-term vision widely agreed within the country. In May 2002 the Government adopted a National Development Plan (NDP) which builds on and incorporates a Development Vision through 2020, based on broad consultations conducted during the transition period leading to independence.

  2. The NDP is the Government’s medium-term development strategy through 2007.1 It builds on a Matrix of Key Reconstruction Benchmarks and a transitional results matrix that was developed by UNTAET in June 2000 in collaboration with external partners and stakeholders. The Matrix of Key Reconstruction Benchmarks served as a tool for management of development policy and its dissemination through 2002. Following riots and demonstrations in December 2002, the Government issued Stability Priorities for immediate action in law and order, justice, decentralization, employment creation, and service delivery for poverty reduction. In 2003 the Government adopted a medium-term Road Map for the Implementation of the NDP, incorporating the Stability Priorities.

  3. Since August 2002, line ministries have prepared Annual Action Plans for NDP implementation in the respective sectors. The Government prepares an annual Letter of Development Policy and Action Matrix, based on the Annual Action Plans. In 2004 it adopted an Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Sector Policy. In October 2005 it finalized a Strategic Plan for Universal Primary Education through 2015 and a Five Year Road Strategy and Investment Program. The Government has policies for each sub-sector of health and has plans to prepare a National Health Strategy. Strategies are being developed for the remaining sectors out of a total of seventeen, with some more advanced than others.

  4. To start fulfilling a constitutional requirement to strengthen decentralization, in 2004 the Government piloted local district plans in two of the thirteen districts in which local government is organized, with the support of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and UNDP. However, the results from these pilot plans have not yet been presented to the Government; once results have been reported, the Government plans to fine-tune the process to extend the pilot to two more districts.

  1. Country specific development targets with holistic, balanced, and well sequenced strategy

  1. The NDP identifies a comprehensive set of development goals and targets which are in line with the MDGs, but it does not set local targets for their achievement. Some of these targets are ambitious and – despite noticeable improvements in reducing the increasing access to health and education – considerable efforts will be needed for the Government to be able to reduce the incidence of income poverty. The Government launched a MDG Report in 2004 and a summary report outlining progress was issued on the occasion of the UN 2005 World Summit in September 2005.

  2. The NDP focuses on four pillars: 1) creation of opportunities for economic participation; 2) delivery of basic social services; 3) provision of security of person and property, and protection against unforeseen shocks; and 4) empowerment of citizens and communities. It sets the pace for achieving development goals through a phased approach focused on the priority areas of education, health, agriculture, economy and employment, and infrastructure. The Road Map and Stability Program focuses on governance, service delivery for poverty reduction, and job creation.

  3. The NDP addresses five cross-cutting themes: 1) poverty reduction; 2) gender and help for youth; 3) peace and reconciliation; 4) cooperation among people; and 5) democracy and good governance. It also addresses the issue of the use of oil and gas revenues to produce a sustainable source of income for future generations.

c. Capacity and resources for implementation.

  1. The NDP includes a MTEF with indicative budget envelopes by sector for FY03-07. There is a Government Medium-Term Combined Sources budget (CFTL), consisting of the Consolidated Fund for East Timor (CFET), the un-disbursed parts of a Trust Fund for East Timor (TFET), the UN Assessed Contribution for technical assistance posts, and bilateral and multilateral assistance. The CFET is fully aligned with the NDP, but represented less than fifty percent of the Combined Sources budget. Public expenditures are broadly in line with NDP priorities and pro-poor budget allocation targets are being met. The combined education and health budgets accounted for over 35 percent of government recurrent expenditures in FY05. They accounted for 32 percent of the total recurrent CFTL budget in FY06, and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries accounted for 4.5 percent. Police and defense budgets were restricted to 20 percent of the recurrent CFTL budget.

  2. The Annual Action Plans prepared by line ministries inform budget preparation. They are presented to the Budget Review Committee of the Council of Ministers in conjunction with their budget submissions, providing an indication of how activities are linked back to overall NDP objectives and ensuring that resources are provided in line with priorities identified in the NDP. The development of seventeen Sector Investment Plans (SIPs) in 2005 and an accompanying MTEF are designed to facilitate NDP implementation. These SIPs – which build on sector strategies and clarify goals, strategies, and medium-term expenditure programs for 17 sectors (education; health; agriculture, fisheries and forestry; natural resources and environment; private sector development; power; communications; transport; water supply and sanitation; public sector management; local government and civil society; rights, equality and justice; security, peace building and reconciliation; external relations; other pillars of state; housing; social, civil and heritage protection) – have later been revised by the Council of Ministers based on updated intra- and inter-sector priorities, costing and external partner commitments for FY05/06-FY09/10. The Government is using the revised Sector Investment Programs for preparing a Combined Sources Budget fully in line with the NDP, and a MTEF, starting with the FY06/07 budget. Little action is being taken to introduce performance-based budgeting. Although some resources are made available to local communities, most public expenditures are planned and managed at the central level.

d. Participation of national stakeholders in strategy formulation and implementation

  1. A National Directorate of Planning and External Assistance Coordination (NDPEAC) within the Ministry of Planning and Finance coordinates NDP implementation. All national bodies prepare Quarterly Reporting Matrices on progress in implementation of the Annual Action Plans, which are consolidated by NDPEAC and submitted to the Council of Ministers. The Government has assigned an economic and social development officer to each of the 65 sub-districts in which local government is organized. It has also established eleven Sector Working Groups – chaired by the Government and including external partner representatives in the areas of agriculture; education and training; external relations, security, peace, and reconciliation; health care; infrastructure; local development; natural resources and environment; private sector development; public service; rights, equality, and justice; and social, civil, and heritage protection – to coordinate the implementation of Sector Investment Programs. However most of the Sector Working Groups are not operational and do not include stakeholders beyond government and Development Partner representatives. There is a MDG Committee, composed of Government and UN representatives, to coordinate MDG-related activities, and linked to NDP implementation structures.

  2. Overall mechanisms for consultation and participation on policy and strategy development and implementation are still in the initial stages of development; however it is likely that the new Government led by Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta will move quickly to foster greater consultation. There are some examples of successful consultation. For example, the National Education Policy was prepared following discussions at a National Education Congress held in October 2003 with the participation of about 600 teachers, headmasters, parents and other stakeholders. After broad consultations launched in November 2004 by the Government in both the eastern and the western regions of the country, a Petroleum Fund Act, consistent with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, was unanimously approved by Parliament in June 2005.

  3. In 2003, the President launched a National Dialogue involving a series of local and national public meetings to consult stakeholders on the future role of the UN in Timor-Leste, local government, justice, elections and veterans. Additionally, the Council of Ministers launched in 2003 a program of Open Government, ideally meeting one week out of every month in a different district to hold discussions with local stakeholders.

  4. In 2004, legislation was promulgated formalizing village councils’ role in community development. This legislation, to some extent, built on the work of the Community Empowerment Project, through which local councils were elected between February and November 2000, during the transition era, to identify community projects. Village elections were held between March and June 2005 and district elections were held nationwide between December 2004 and June 2005.

  5. CSOs, including the Catholic Church, played a key role in NDP consultations. They identified education and health as key priorities and shaped the Development Vision. Private schools run by the Catholic Church account for 12 percent of total enrolment. In addition to education, the Catholic Church also provides services in the health and agriculture sectors. CSOs are not represented in the Sector Working Groups charged with coordinating implementation of Sector Investment Programs. The NGO Forum, an umbrella organization for about 386 national community-based organizations and 122 international NGOs, is not involved in NDP and sector strategy implementation.

  6. Private sector representation was only marginally developed at the time of NDP consultations, and the private sector did not have a strong impact on the NDP. Private sector involvement is strengthening during NDP implementation. During 2005, the Government held several informal town-hall meetings with business people, mainly from small enterprises, leading to the first Business-Government Forum held in June 2005.

  7. As required by the Constitution, the National Parliament approved the NDP in May 2002 and is involved in implementation through approval of the relevant legislation and the budget. The public finance committee of the National Parliament meets with external partners providing budget support through a Consolidation Support Program (CSP). However, parliamentary involvement in budget discussion has proved problematic given the tight schedule for budget preparation. The budget is presented to the National Parliament in May for approval and presidential ratification before the beginning of the fiscal year in July. Quarterly budget execution reports and final audited accounts are also submitted to the National Parliament. Annual Action Plans and Quarterly Reporting Matrices prepared by line ministries are not examined by the National Assembly. There is no specific Parliamentary Committee charged with following poverty reduction issues; poverty reduction is considered a cross-cutting issue and is therefore addressed in various committees. There is little regular contact between parliamentary committees and the ministries which fall within their areas of oversight.


2. Reliable country systems

  1. Action has been taken to strengthen public expenditure management. Budget documents are comprehensive; they include external financing as well as information by agency and program. For the first time, the budget document for FY05 included detailed information on the net costs met by the government in providing goods and services (outlays) for capital expenditures, thus allowing for improved monitoring by Parliament and other stakeholders. In 2003 preliminary sector expenditure reviews informed FY04 budget preparation. During preparation of the FY05 budget, broad agreement on expenditure limits was reached at the Council of Ministers before budget and planning guidelines were circulated in a Budget Call Circular. Moreover, the Budget Call Circular was issued in November as compared to February in the previous year, to allow more time for preparation of submissions by line ministries. As a result, government agency submissions were largely in line with expenditure limits, thus strengthening the link between policy priorities and expenditures. A government-wide integrated financial management system is being studied. A financial management information system was installed in the Ministry of Planning and Finance by UNTAET. First, a treasury, cash and budget management system was introduced, followed by commitment control, procurement and asset management systems. However, these systems are not yet fully integrated, and not all government agencies have access to the system. Line ministries’ financial management systems are still at an early stage and shortage of experienced financial officers is a major constraint.

  2. The Ministry of Health has prepared a two-year program budget and identified output indicators to monitor budget implementation in each of the 13 districts, 5 hospitals and central specialist services under the Ministry’s responsibility. Budget committees in each line ministry have been established, providing an opportunity to link service delivery planning with the formulation of agency budgets. Budget execution remains, however, an open challenge mainly due to excessive centralization of expenditure management, procurement controls and limited communication between line ministries and the Ministry of Planning and Finance, mostly due to the lack of trained staff. There is significant under-spending in key priorities areas such as education, justice and roads. Over FY04, budget execution on a cash basis amounted to 75 percent. In April 2004 the Government established a cross-government commission, chaired by the Prime Minister, to address expenditure execution and oversight issues. There is, however, little evidence that the Commission is proving effective. Moreover, the lack of implementation and the under-spending of certain budget items like development capital result in carry-over which is not adequately reported, due to the system’s constraints. To address some of these issues and with the support of a number of external partners including the World Bank, the Government has designed and begun implementation of a multi-year Planning and Financial Management Capacity Building Program (PFMCBP) under the Ministry of Planning and Finance, which, among other objectives, is expected to improve budget execution.

  3. The Constitution requires the Government to establish a High Administrative, Tax and Audit Court with the function of external auditor. The Executive has appointed an external auditor, which submits a report on the Government financial statement and management report to the National Parliament and the Ministry of Planning and Finance. While the establishment of the High Administrative, Tax and Audit court is a difficult task given current capacity levels in the judiciary, discussions are underway to move the oversight of the audit from the Executive to the Court of Appeals.

  4. The Procurement Division of the MoPF has assigned two of its staff to every TFET-supported project, to provide capacity building for procurement. The Government approved a new procurement law which entered into force in January 2006 and whose provisions – allowing for more delegation to line ministries – are expected to ease some of the burden on central procurement staff and help to speed up the procurement process. However, progress has been limited. The necessary sub-regulations have not yet been put in place, and the system is not yet linked to the budget. The Council of Ministers has approved a change in the procurement practices based on a World Bank mission focusing on budget execution in July 2006. Procurement authority for up to US$100,000 has been delegated to the following ministries: Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture Forests and Fisheries and Ministry of Planning and Finance.

  5. Cases of alleged corruption have emerged in procurement and customs. The Office of the Inspector General has launched a program of investigations since its establishment in 2000, which led to 13 investigations in 2004. None of them has led to prosecution. In March 2005 the Prime Minister chaired a seminar on Building Integrity in the State to explore corruption and conflict of interest issues and possible actions with senior Government officials and external partners. The Government has expressed the intention to enhance the independence of public accounts’ audit by transferring management of their contracting from the Ministry of Planning and Finance to the Court of Appeals. In June 2005, as required by the Constitution, Parliament appointed an Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice – the Provedor. As an independent constitutional body, the Provedor has been given a comprehensive mandate to lead the implementation of a national anti-corruption strategy, which is still to be finalized, and to investigate all corruption complaints. The Provedor has plans to launch a survey of households, businesses, and public officials on their perceptions of corruption, to pinpoint areas where improvements are needed. Timor-Leste ranked 111th out of 163 on Transparency International’s 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index. It scored 2.6 out of 10, where 0 is most corrupt and 10 is most transparent. In Timor-Leste’s growing petroleum industry, the Government has undertaken several initiatives to increase transparency in oil revenue management. Timor-Leste has participated in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) since 2003. In 2005, it established a Petroleum Fund through which all petroleum revenues flow and whose activity is public and subject to periodic audits.

3. Aid flows are aligned on national priorities

    1. Government leadership of coordination

  1. Action has been taken to strengthen the Government’s role in leading development assistance coordination, building on strong coordination among external partners in the early phases of post-conflict reconstruction. Responsibility for coordination is shared by the Ministry of Planning and Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The Vice-Minister of Planning and Finance chairs twice-yearly meetings between government officials and external partners providing budget support through the CSP. Discussions are based on a results matrix of actions prepared, implemented and monitored by the Government. This process has an important degree of government ownership and includes substantial participation from line, sector ministries and agencies. Japan and the EC – which are not contributing to the CSP – are involved in the process and attend its review meetings. Involvement of mid-level government officials, as well as ministers and vice-ministers, is strengthening capacity to coordinate external assistance across government. The Ministry of Planning and Finance has also set up a registry of external assistance and regularly requests updated information from external partners. Those Sector Working Groups which are operational, established by the Government to coordinate implementation of the Sector Investment Programs, are also supporting coordination between the Government and external partners at the sectoral level. Most Sector Working Groups have been so far formal, with little opportunity for discussion. Many are not operational.

  2. Development Partners Meetings are held annually to discuss effective ways to combat poverty through meaningful coordination of efforts towards implementation of the NDP and aligning Development Partners’ efforts towards the country’s goals. These meetings – the first of which was held in Tokyo in September 1999 and co-chaired by UNTAET and the World Bank – have been held in Dili and co-chaired by the Government and the World Bank since May 2002. The last Development Partners Meeting was held in April 2006 and there have not yet been discussions on the possibility of relinquishing chairmanship to the Government.

b. Partners’ assistance strategy alignment

  1. Under emerging Government leadership, external partners are aligning their assistance with the NDP. The six major external partners are Australia, the EC, Japan, Norway, Portugal and the USA, accounting for approximately 80 percent of gross ODA in 2003-04. ODA accounted for 31.7 percent of GNI in 2004.2 The World Bank, ADB and UN agencies also play an active role. Portuguese cooperation has begun preparation of an Indicative Cooperation Program for 2006-09, which will, like its last Program for 2004-06, be fully aligned with the NDP. In 2005, the World Bank prepared a Country Assistance Strategy for FY06-08 supporting the NDP objectives of delivering sustainable services, creating productive employment and strengthening governance. ADB’s Country Strategy and Program Update 2006-08 supports directly the objectives of the NDP. AusAID’s Country Strategy for 2000-04 supported NDP formulation and early implementation, and AusAID is finalizing a new Country Strategy to further its support for NDP implementation. USAID’s Transition Strategy for FY01-04 supported the transition in line with Government priorities; in 2004 USAID prepared a new Country Strategy for 2005-09, which includes a MCA Threshold Program to help the country work toward MCA eligibility, based on NDP objectives. The Government is currently preparing a Compact for MCC review. The EC and the Government signed a bridging Country Assistance Strategy 2006-07, which includes support to capacity building and rural development. UNDP’s Country Program Outline 2003-05 – which realigned assistance from emergency rehabilitation to capacity building in line with the NDP – was extended in 2005 for an additional two-year period. In 2005, Norway and Timor-Leste signed an MOU for 2005-08 focusing on good governance and human rights, sustainable management of natural resources and budget support.

c. Partnership organization

  1. The main external partners have a well-established diplomatic and aid presence in Dili, allowing for long-term day-to-day engagement. USAID, AusAID, Portuguese Cooperation, JICA, GTZ, Brazil, China, Malaysia, and Ireland, have a well-established diplomatic and aid presence in Dili, allowing for long-term engagement on a day-to-day basis. The UK has had a presence in-country but will be closing its embassy shortly. The World Bank program is managed by a Country Director based in Sydney and a Country Office in Dili. The EC program is managed by a Delegation based in Indonesia and an Office in Dili. ADB’s program is managed from a Special Office with a Resident Representative in Dili. Most external partners do not, however, have sufficient local technical staff to actively participate in the Sector Working Groups.

4. Strengthen capacity by coordinated support

Coherent and coordinated capacity support

  1. The NDP identifies capacity building needs for each sector. It builds on a ten-year Public Sector Management Program developed by the first Transitional Government with the support of UNDP in 2001. However, external support to capacity building has been fragmented, conducted mainly through stand-alone projects and with little attention to ensuring consistency between the various interventions and follow-up with line ministries. Many capacity building efforts have entailed the appointment of individual advisors in ministries, and have not taken an institution-building approach. Where institution-building approaches have been taken from the outset, notably in the Ministry of Health and the Banking and Payments Authority, results have been significantly stronger. Under the leadership of a Capacity Development Coordination Unit, the Government developed a Capacity Building Strategy, based on an assessment of training demands from all Government agencies. However, this assessment has proved only marginally useful. Some ministries – including Health and Agriculture – have their own capacity development action plans, which, however, have still to be implemented. A number of external partners intend to support the five-year Planning and Financial Management Capacity Building Program, which has already become operational, with the support of a number of external partners and managed by the Government. The Program was designed around three pillars: 1) attitudes and behavior; 2) systems and processes; and 3) skills and knowledge. It will be articulated in a medium-term framework and an annual capacity-building program, defined in consultation with planning and finance units in ministries and districts.

5. Use of country systems.

Donor financing relying on country systems

  1. Multi-partner Transitional Support Programs (TSPs) for FY03, FY04, FY05 and the CSP for FY06-08 form the basis of a multi-donor budget and balance of payments support program, based on the Government Letter of Development Policy and Action Matrix, and with benchmarks linked to the NDP. The CSP builds on the earlier Matrix of Key Reconstruction Benchmarks, but provides direct support to the Government’s budget. While in the early years, the TSP financed approximately thirty percent of the national budget, no CSP disbursements occurred in FY06 due to the security situation. In FY07 the CSP is expected to disburse some US$20 million, equivalent to 6 percent of total projected expenditure. Although the Government is generating a budget surplus, it has requested a continuation of the CSP program as it sees critical the advice that the Bank can provide to assist in the prioritization of its poverty reduction program. Australia, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the UK, the USA and the World Bank co-finance the CSP through two Trust Funds administered by the World Bank. The ADB is joining the multi-partner team in bringing support to the infrastructure sector. Other external partners including Brazil, Canada, Japan, the EC and several UN agencies participated as observers in CSP preparation.

  2. Procurement procedures for TFET-supported projects are being adapted to ensure enhanced local content. However, external partners do not yet rely on national procurement and financial management systems to support implementation of the Government’s Sector Investment Programs, as these are still weak and need improvements to reduce fiduciary risks.

6. Strengthen capacity by avoiding parallel implementation structures

PIUs progressively phased out

  1. Project Implementation Units are being gradually integrated into line ministries and responsibility for project management transferred to line ministry personnel. For example, a Project Management Unit established in 2000 to coordinate implementation of a World Bank-financed Agriculture Rehabilitation project has been integrated into the organizational structure of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). The Permanent Secretary of MAFF is responsible for implementation of a 2004 World Bank-financed Third Agriculture Rehabilitation project; MAFF’s Budget Services and Procurement Unit, opportunely strengthened through previous agriculture projects, are responsible for all fiduciary aspects of project implementation; monitoring of field activities is conducted by MAFF Divisions. A PIU that was originally created for the TFET program, has now been integrated into the Ministry of Education and Culture. The World Bank, ADB and AusAID are collaborating on a joint effort to establish and operate whole-of-sector PMUs in the infrastructure ministries. The Government has requested that external partners move away from parallel PIUs and that these be integrated into the relevant sector ministries.

7. Aid is more predictable

Disbursements aligned with annual budgetary framework

  1. Under the CSP, external partners have agreed to monitor progress toward the provision of information to Government on annual and medium-term aid commitments as well as on disbursements, with appropriate classifications and on a time-schedule appropriate to the Government’s budget cycle. However, disbursements remain weakly aligned with the annual budgetary framework. Given the small percentage of development assistance provided through budget support, its unpredictability does not have a significant impact on the budget, but shows that there is room for improvement of aid predictability. All external financing is reflected in the Combined Sources Budget.

8. Aid is untied

  1. Since Development Partners are increasing the share of official development assistance they provide through the CSP and PFMCBP, untied aid is likely to increase. Norway provides untied aid with the exception of institutional technical cooperation and support through Norwegian NGOs.


9. Use of common arrangements or procedures

  1. External partners are coordinating their assistance around the Government’s Sector Investment Programs. However, this coordination has not yet led to harmonized approaches, such as shared financial management or procurement procedures.

10. Encouraging shared analysis

a. Joint missions

  1. Two-week joint external partner missions have been held every six months since the launch of the Multi-partner Transitional Support Program and are continuing now through CSP implementation, providing a forum in which government and external partners have been able to discuss policy issues, resolve coordination problems and formulate new programs of activities for the forthcoming year. During these missions, external partners providing budget support have been systematically meeting with the public finance committee of the National Parliament. Joint missions have also been conducted in the agriculture, health and education sectors, under Government coordination and leadership. In particular, joint government-donor missions take place twice a year to discuss, harmonize and align program priorities and assessments in the education and health sectors. In January 2006, at the request of the Government, UNOTIL, UNDP, the World Bank, UNDESA, Finland and Transparency International conducted a joint mission, to take stock of the current status of transparency and accountability in key public institutions and provide recommendations. The Government does not have a mechanism to track the number of missions and has not requested that more missions are conducted jointly.

b. Analytical partnership

  1. The Government and external partners, including UNDP, the World Bank, UNFPA, UNICEF, Irish Aid and USAID, have conducted some joint analytical work. They have completed a PER in June 2004, a CPAR in May 2003, a Poverty Assessment in early 2003, a Public Expenditure Management and Accountability Note in May 2002, as well as decentralization studies, land tenure studies, a Doing Business Survey, a Financial Services Sector Assessment, and labor market studies. UNESCO and Oxfam conducted a joint study on women’s literacy which has been distributed widely. Analytical sector studies have facilitated the preparation of sector policies and Sector Investment Programs in agriculture, education, health, roads, and power. As of October 2006, external partners have posted 10 documents on the Country Analytic Work website.3

Managing for results

11. Results oriented frameworks

    1. Quality of development information

  1. The quality and availability of data to monitor progress and inform decision making is improving, but its use and circulation across government institutions remain an open challenge. NDP formulation relied on a poverty assessment drawing on a village survey, a household expenditure survey and a PPA undertaken jointly by external partners with the support of East Timorese experts. A Census of Population and Housing was conducted in 2004. A Demographic and Health Survey was completed in December 2004. In October 2004 the National Directorate of Statistics produced the first issue of its national consumer price index. A UNICEF-sponsored multiple indicator cluster survey was conducted in 2002. The last Timorese Living Standards Measurement Survey was conducted in 2001 and another is planned for 2007. UNDP is undertaking a second PPA in 2006 to feed into the upcoming NDP.

b. Stakeholder access to development information

  1. Action has been taken to increase access to information on Government policies, but low literacy rates and limited knowledge of Portuguese, one of the official languages, pose significant challenges. The Government established a Government Information Office to provide training to ministries on information dissemination and communication with the public. A Freedom of Information Act has not yet been developed. Discussion on information policy with media representatives has not yet taken off.

  2. In 2002 a popular version of the NDP was distributed to every Timor-Leste household. Key messages of the NDP were disseminated to all households and schools in a booklet entitled “East Timor 2020: Our Nation, Our Future.” In 2003 the Government also circulated a short popularized publication, “Timor Leste: The Way We Are Now”, providing a summary of the socio-economic situation of the country in English, Portuguese and Tetum, the other official language. However, many government documents are often only published in Portuguese. Starting in 2006, the Government has plans to publish and disseminate development information in Portuguese and Tetum, while strengthening the teaching of Portuguese at schools, relying more heavily on television, radio and print media, which will be more widely available at the district level. Currently, eight community radio stations and a national radio station are important outlets for debates on development topics, given that over fifty percent of the adult population is illiterate. However, forty-six percent of the population has no access to any mass media. Portuguese cooperation is assisting the Government in expanding the reach of the national broadcast signal to six additional districts.

  3. The NDP – as well as the National Vision and the Road Map – are available on the website of the Prime Minister. Information on current policies and the budget in English, Portuguese and Tetum is available on the Ministry of Planning and Finance website in English. The National Directorate of Statistics website contains some information on the 2004 census, trade statistics and miscellaneous surveys. The Petroleum Transparency website has information on the new petroleum-related laws, as well as copies of the laws and quarterly reports on the Petroleum Fund’s operations.4

c. Coordinated country-level monitoring and evaluation

  1. Action has been taken to establish a country-level M&E system supported by all external partners. The TSP/CSP is providing a strong basis for a M&E system serving both national and external reporting requirements. Qualitative and quantitative indicators for NDP implementation build on the TSP/CSP Action Matrices and are monitored through the Quarterly Reporting Matrices prepared by country institutions and submitted to the Council of Ministers to monitor implementation of the Annual Action Plans. Monitoring of the CSP milestones and performance benchmarks, which were agreed upon by the Government in consultation with the National Parliament and civil society, will continue building on the quarterly reporting matrices. The Government prepares a single report for external partners and national institutions. The Ministry of Planning and Finance has developed a computerized system to facilitate tracking of the Quarterly Reporting Matrices. The National Directorate of Statistics has started identifying baselines for monitoring progress of NDP objectives.

Mutual accountability

Development effectiveness assessment frameworks

  1. Timor-Leste has signed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The Government has yet to devise a framework to assess aid effectiveness. Annual Action Plans include activities undertaken by external partners. However, they do not include specific indicators aimed at assessing progress towards measures taken by both Government and external partners for increased aid effectiveness in line with the Paris Declaration.


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__________ (2002), National Development Plan. Part II. Dili.

__________ (2002), National Development Plan. Part III. Dili.

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__________ (2006), Timor-Leste Human Development Report 2006. The Path out of Poverty. Integrated rural development. Dili.

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__________ (2004), Background Paper for the Timor-Leste and Development Partners Meeting, 18-19 May 2004. Dili.

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__________ (2004), Program Document for a Proposed Grant to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for the Third Transition Support Program. Washington DC.

_________ (2004), Third Agriculture Rehabilitation Project—Project Appraisal Document. Washington DC.

__________ (2005), Background Paper for the Timor-Leste and Development Partners Meeting, 25-26 April 2005. Dili.

__________ (2005), Country Assistance Strategy for the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for the Period FY06-FY08. Washington DC.

_________ (2005), Program Document for a Proposed Grant to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for a Consolidation Support Program (CSPI). Washington DC.

__________ (2005), Public Finance for Service Delivery. Project Information Document. Washington DC.

__________ (2005), Timor-Leste and Development Partner Meeting. April 25-26, 2005. Dili.

__________ (2005), Timor-Leste – Consolidation Support Program (CSP I). Washington DC.

__________ (2006), Background Paper for the Timor-Leste and Development Partners Meeting. Dili.

__________ (2006), Strengthening the Institutions of Governance in Timor-Leste. Washington DC.

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