Aims and Principles
The primary aims of Austria’s development cooperation are
- Safeguarding peace and human security
- Reducing global poverty
- Preserving the environment
Basic principles in all Austrian development programmes and projects are
- Ownership / Partnership
- Integration in the socio-cultural context
- Consideration for the needs of children and people with disabilities
- Gender equality
- Ownership, harmonisation & alignment
Development Cooperation Act
These priorities are enshrined in the new Development Cooperation Act that was passed by Parliament in 2002. This forms the basis for a coherent Austrian development policy with a list of specific goals that specify criteria for all the authorities involved.
Federal Development Cooperation Act (pdf, 67.71 kb)
Three-Year Programme 2006-2008 (pdf, 372.74 kb)
ADC priority regions* and ADC partner countries
- Central America: Nicaragua*, Guatemala, El Salvador
- West Africa/Sahel: Cape Verde*, Burkina Faso*, Senegal
- East Africa/The Great Lakes: Ethiopia*, Uganda*, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda
- Southern Africa: Mozambique*, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Republic of South Africa
- The Himalayas/Hindukush: Bhutan*, Nepal, Pakistan
- South-Eastern Europe/Western Balkan: Albania*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Macedonia*, Moldova*, Montenegro*, Serbia*, Kosovo*
- South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
- Other priority countries: Palestinian Territories*
- Special programmes: Afghanistan, Iraq, Western Sahara
- water and sanitation
- education and training, science and research for development
- rural development
- investment and employment, promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises; and
- conflict prevention and resolution, good governance and rule of law, development of democratic structures, decentralisation, strengthening human rights and human security
Austrian Development Agency
The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation and Cooperation with Eastern Europe (ADC). The ADA is responsible for the implementation of all bilateral programmes and projects in the ADC partner countries and administrates the corresponding budget.
Multilateral Development Cooperation
The globalisation of industry and the urgent challenges in the field of security policy demand global solutions and have also effected changes in international development policy. Emphasis is increasingly being placed on the incorporation of the developing countries in the global economy and in international cooperation structures, with the coordination of development policy within the framework of international organisations and institutions assuming an ever greater role.
As a member of the UN agencies, the World Bank and other development banks, the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, and the European Union, Austria is called upon to actively participate in the discussions.
This multilateral development cooperation plays an essential role in the Austrian development policy concept as a whole. Multilateral and bilateral programmes pursue the same goals and are interlinked, in order to make use of the synergies. Austria supports multilateral organisations through direct contributions and concrete programmes, as well as through the implementation of joint projects. In 2005, Austria spent 274.6 million euros on multilateral development cooperation, of which 21.7 million euros went to the United Nations, 177.5 million euros to the EU and 75.4 million euros to international financial and other institutions.
Total Multilateral Development Cooperation (pdf, 21.5 kb)
Multilateral ADC 2004 in Detail (pdf, 19.49 kb)
International development policy and the framework for international cooperation can progress only on a multilateral basis. Development themes are shaped increasingly at international conferences, which form the platform for development policy (e.g. Doha, Monterrey, Johannesburg). The political events and developments of the last few years have seen the growing emergence of new themes and focuses that are not always foreseeable but that nevertheless require rapid adaptation of Austrian development policy (e.g. Afghanistan or Iraq).
A unique feature of the United Nations system is that the development partners collaborate on an equal basis. It is in Austria’s interests as a prominent member and also one of the locations of the United Nations organizations that the United Nations development cooperation system works coherently and efficiently and remains as a functioning unit. Within the United Nations Austria maintains most active relations with the following organisations:
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)
- United Nations International Children`s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA)
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme (HABITAT)
- Junior Professional Officer (JPO)-Programme of the United Nations
Austria and the European Union's Development Policy read more
International Financial Institutions (IFIs) read more
Bilateral Development Cooperation
ADC programmes are implemented by ADA in close cooperation with development organisations and enterprises. On behalf of ADC the Austrian Development Agency also works with governments of partner countries and other donor countries. In order to ensure, that the Austrian activities are in line with local and international programmes, 15 ADC coordination and 2 liaison offices were set up and incorporated into Austria’s diplomatic missions structure.
By placing new emphasis on the private sector and development, ADA is focusing on economic development being a precondition for sustainable poverty reduction. ADA’s aim is to strengthen economic development in the partner countries and to increasingly involve Austrian potential in fulfilling this goal.
Sectors and Themes
1. Poverty reduction
Poverty reduction has always been one of the most essential issues and challenges of international development cooperation. Poverty is not only caused by an extremely unequal distribution of income ut in particular also by social, ethnic or religious discrimination (e.g. against indigenous populations, minorities, economically and socially marginalised groups, refugees, displaced persons etc.). The risk of poverty is particularly high for woman and children. Therefore any efforts to combat poverty have to go hand in hand with endeavours aimed at equality of women and men, democratic development, good governance and respect for human rights as well as preservation and maintenance of natural resources.
For a number of years, combating poverty has been a cross-cutting issue in the programme of the Austrian Development Cooperation and a central objective of Austria’s commitment. In order to ensure the effectiveness of its programme and project aid, the Austrian Development Cooperation focuses on
- selecting the poorest countries as priority and partner countries
- selecting especially needy regions, provinces and districts within these countries
- supporting decentralisation processes in the partner countries
- orienting policy approaches (sectoral activities) towards measures from which the poor benefit directly and
- selecting especially disadvantaged population groups (in particular women and children).
The key strategies of Austrian Educational Cooperation focus on measures which secure the on-site establishment and development of institutional and human resource capacities, support the build-up of international and regional networks.
For many years, Austria’s activities in the energy sector have focused on a small number of projects whose implementation requires a great amount of capital. It is in particular the poor and rural populations of developing countries for whom sufficient energy at a reasonable cost often is not available. According to the World Bank, about two billion people do not have access to modern forms of energy. read more
The end of the Cold War in 1989 did not, as had been expected, bring about a reduction in armed conflicts. More than two thirds of the poorest countries in the world are in conflict regions. Women and men play different roles as social actors and also have different needs and interests. In the three phases of a conflict (before, during and after) women can play different roles and work proactively to secure peace. Their activities often overlap the individual phases.
On 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution 1325, that demands the involvement of women and their concerns in all phases of a peace process. As a result of this Resolution increasing attention is being paid to the role of women in conflict prevention and peace-building and women are being involved in peace processes. Major progress has been made in participation and recognition, but the discussion on gender and conflict continues. On 8 August 2007 the Austrian Government passed the Austrian Action Plan to implement Resolution 1325, which forsees actions to be taken at the national, regional and the international levels. Detailled explanations on the issue as well as the text of the Security Council Resolution are contained in the Action Plan.
At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime — with the abuser usually someone known to her. Violence against women and girls is a universal problem of epidemic proportions. Perhaps the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today, it devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development.
Overview: Gender equality in Austrian Development Cooperation - The Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) contributes towards gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Policy document: Gender equality and empowerment of women - A policy designed to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women requires a considerable effort, in which ADC would like to be involved.
Public Meeting & Symposium: Building peace - empowering women - Gender Strategies to make UN Security Council Resolution 1325 work
5. Governance, Human Rights and Peacebuilding
Violence is a major contributory factor behind poverty. There can be neither development without peace nor peace without development. However, much still remains to be done to link development cooperation practically and operationally, politically and analytically, to human rights, the issue of gender, conflict prevention and the fight against terrorism as well as sustainable use of natural resources.
Development cooperation contributes to prevent crises through poverty reduction, promotion of socially sustainable economic structures, preservation of the natural environment and not least education. For the resources of development cooperation to take effect, increased endeavours are being made to develop coherent national and international policies, i.e. at the political and operational levels, with the aim to achieve consistent courses of action in the context of development cooperation, trade, defence and foreign policies. read more
6. Rural Development
The starting-point for activities in this sector tends to small-scale agriculture in generally remote and underdeveloped regions. The activities carried out usually aim at increasing productivity, diversifying output, safeguarding access to resources (land, capital, technology etc.), creating or improving infrastructure providing access to markets, and strengthening representative bodies.
Folder: Desenvolvimento Rural - Aspectos principais da Cooperação Austríaca para o Desenvolvimento, 2007
Folder: Rural Development - Setting priorities for the Austrian Development Cooperation, Folder, 2006
Austria has endorsed the Declaration of Rio (1992), the Agenda 21 and the four global Conventions on Climate, the Ozone Layer, Biological Diversity and Desertification, and has thus committed itself to maintain and support natural environments also in future. Since 1996 all projects and programmes are subject to an environmental impact assessment. In this way the Austrian Development Cooperation attempts to preclude any unintentional negative social or ecological consequences. read more
8. Water Supply and Sanitation
The policy of the Austrian Development Cooperation has always been characterized by three main goals: projects have to create concrete benefits for people, be sustainable and have to protect natural resources in the catchment area. In hardly any other area are these requirements better met than in the water and sanitation sector. With her comprehensive know-how in water management and water technology, Austria is able to make important contributions in improving the water situation in many parts of the world. read more
9. Private Sector Development
Economic growth is a prerequisite for development. Companies generate income and jobs. ADC seeks to improve the business environment, and to strengthen the private sector of its partner countries. ADC’s priority programme Private Sector and Development makes use of potential synergies between private businesses and official development cooperation to benefit both enterprises and the local population. read more