Reflections on the progress of a partnership

Last month saw the release of the inaugural Annual Report for AusAID’s Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES). The Road Less Travelled is being delivered by Anglican Overseas Aid (AOA) as part of this program.

The report is available on AusAID’s website and it highlights the progress made by all the partners in the first year of the program. Our Africa Program Advisor, Phillip Walker, is Chair of the AACES Program Steering Committee. He explains the partnership on the Engage blog, saying:

“AACES is unlike typical grant/donor relationships; it is a partnership agreement between AusAID, 10 Australian NGOs and their African partners. All parties value and support one another to get the best development outcomes in the African countries where we work.

“[It] recognises Australian NGOs’ positive record of working in Africa for some fifty years. Australian NGOs provide unique skills, have a strong base within the communities they work with and are there for the long haul.”

Naatena Lenayora, a mother from the pastoralist community of Samburu, Kenya, where The Road Less Travelled is supporting community-led initiatives to improve the health of women and children. Image: Jay Maheswaran

The $90 million program will be implemented over five years (2011-2016) in 11 African countries, and focuses on community-based interventions to improve food security, maternal and child health, and water and sanitation.

Maternal and child health programs delivered through AACES have already reached over 51,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than half of the world’s maternal deaths reportedly occur. This included helping at least 1,700 babies to be delivered through clean and safe practices.

For The Road Less Travelled, our focus is on reaching marginalised communities who lack access to quality health services. We work with nomadic pastoralist communities in Ethiopia and Kenya, with the main goal of improving the health of women and children through a strengths-based approach, which Phillip explains:

“…actively finds and promotes the capabilities and skills within each community to help them achieve their aspirations. This means involving an entire community in making and implementing the decisions that affect their lives.”

To learn more about the impressive results of the first year of AACES, read Phillip’s blog post or download the Annual Report from AusAID’s website.

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