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John Fargher and Associates Pty Limited complies with and is able to demonstrate compliance with the Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) Code of Ethics and the AES Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Evaluations. The company and its staff also comply with the American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators.

The following core values are what the company and its staff hold to be accountable for:

People-centeredness – we choose work and approaches that will improve the lives of women, men and children. We seek to be accountable for how our work and what it delivers affects people's lives, in ways that are meaningful to the people concerned.

Partnership – John Fargher and Associates Pty Limited and its staff commit to working with clients and the people they serve in partnership to achieve the mutually agreed outcomes in a collaborative and transparent way. We promote partnership and participatory approaches because we believe that people have the right to shape decisions that affect their lives. The large proportion of repeat business we enjoy is one indicator of our delivery on this core value.

Mutual accountability – we hold ourselves accountable for efficient and effective delivery of outputs set out in the terms of reference and engagement with partners in a ways that acknowledge the intermediate outcomes expected to emerge from those outputs. The consistently high advisor performance assessment ratings received by the company and its staff are independently verifiable evidence of this commitment to quality and accountability.

Effectiveness – we recognise that our outputs only contribute to development results if they are used and result in changed behaviour. We are committed to engagement with local people, beneficiaries and local level agencies to enhance ownership and understanding as well as communication of outputs to those most likely to put them in to use. One way we do this is to use the collective wisdom of multi-disciplinary teams to solve complex and emergent development challenges.

Efficiency – John Fargher and Associates Pty Limited and its staff value efficiency and commit to delivering the maximum quantity and quality of outputs for the available inputs.

Use of local knowledge and strengthened partner systems – we use approaches that value the knowledge and systems developed by local people; we build on local knowledge, traditions and learning to identify more appropriate and enduring solutions; and we work with partners, clients and the people they serve to strengthen their internal systems so that they are useful and form an effective part of our delivery. This important value leads to sustainability. Our long-term experience in Vietnam demonstrates our commitment to this core value and our practical delivery against it.

Sustainability through empowerment – we prefer to work with local professionals to ensure that and understanding of how we work is left behind as well as what we deliver. In particular, our approach is to strengthen the capability of individuals and institutions to contribute positive differences to the people we work with in the long-run. We work with individuals, groups and institutions to strengthen their performance in delivering positive change in people's lives.

Flexibility – consistent with these other core values, John Fargher and Associates Pty Limited and its staff recognise the importance of responding to context by being flexible. This leads to effectiveness and efficiency as well as true partnership if implemented in a mutually accountable environment.

Transparency – the way we work, the reasons for making the professional choices and judgements that we do, and the outputs we deliver are communicated clearly to ensure partnership and mutual accountability.

Working together

The staff of John Fargher + Associates demonstrate the ability to work collegially. They have lived and worked in collegiate and cross-cultural settings for their entire careers. John Fargher has worked in teams, led them and communicated effectively with both state and non-state partners since he started working in Iraq as an Agricultural Economist in 1980. Nicole Motteux grew up in rural Zimbabwe and completed her tertiary education in South Africa, with significant field work included in her postgraduate studies.

John and Nicole work effectively across cultures and communicate complex concepts to non-specialist audiences. They have worked in cross-cultural environments throughout their careers and they have developed confidence and competence in engaging with partners and counterparts in many different cultures and development contexts. John has long-term experience in African, Confucian, Islamic and Melanesian cultures as well as short-term experience in Polynesian cultures. Nicole has long-term experience in African and Confucian cultures as well as short-term experience in eastern European and Islamic cultures. They have gained the trust of staff at national ministry (e.g. Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs in PNG and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Vietnam); provincial agency (e.g. Department of Planning and Investment in Quang Ngai Province) and community levels (e.g. design and evaluation participants in more than 15 countries). These relationships span the climate change, education, governance, health, justice, rural development, transport and urban infrastructure sectors. Most of John’s assignments since 1995 have been as Team Leader, but he equally works well as a team member, responding to other leaders. Nicole has led field teams and also worked as a member of design, implementation and monitoring teams – with both national and international colleagues.

The developing country experience of John and Nicole ranges from village and household level (e.g. designing and implementing monitoring surveys in Cambodia, China, South Africa, Tanzania or Vietnam) through national level (e.g. capacity development for national statistical organisations in Vietnam) to regional and programmatic levels (e.g. designing CARE programs in the Mekong Delta and SE Vietnam, developing the Caribbean performance framework or evaluation of the Global Environment Facility). John and Nicole have planned and implemented field work, facilitated change and mentored counterparts in provincial and national agencies and co-managed activities with Ministry counterparts in conflict-affected areas (e.g. Aceh, Iraq, Papua, Mauritania, Zimbabwe); fragile states (e.g. PNG, Timor-Leste, Zimbabwe) and the poorest areas of middle-income countries (e.g. Eastern Cape of South Africa, Nusa Tenggara Timur and Papua Barat in Indonesia and Tay Nguyen in Vietnam). As qualified scientists with specialist training on social survey and evaluation methodology, John and Nicole are comfortable working in remote field locations and used to working with counterparts to prepare the logistics and planning required to mobilise, implement, report and finalise evaluation activities.

John has formal postgraduate training in organisational psychology and management that provide him with theoretical concepts and practical tools to support engagement with stakeholders. For example, he has used Myers Briggs and related tools to ensure balance when forming evaluation teams and negotiation trees when facilitating change as part of institutional strengthening and capacity development activities. Nicole has tertiary training in anthropology and advanced training in group engagement and participatory techniques from Institute of Development Studies in England.

John and Nicole have worked in cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams for most of their ODA work - as both a leader and a team-member. They actively support the trend towards greater involvement of partner country professionals – and increasing devolution to partner agencies and systems as well as new aid modalities – by facilitating their nomination and involvement in teams and mentoring those that are new to evaluations or short-term monitoring advisory roles. John has an active network of professional partners in Cambodia, Caribbean Region, China, Indonesia, PNG, Timor-Leste and Vietnam that enables him to form teams quickly. Similarly, Nicole has extensive networks throughout southern Africa and Vietnam that enable her to form local teams quickly. In his management roles John built on formal management training to further develop his interpersonal skills and approaches to staff engagement. Until 2009 this included 71 direct reports from 12 countries through URS as well as the VAMESP II project team of 10 local staff and 18 counterparts in Vietnam. The Independent Completion Report for VAMESP II identified John’s ability to gain the trust of national ministry counterparts as one of the key factors in the projects effectiveness. This has also been identified on several occasions by AusAID in annual contractor performance reviews.

One of the methods John and Nicole use most commonly to gain the trust of staff and maintain interpersonal relationships is a regular program of communication. Using telephone, email and face-to-face methods, this takes the form of team meetings, structured and informal one-on-one meetings and larger-group meetings to review and manage operations, periodically review strategy and tactics for change management; and conduct quarterly reviews of output quality and progress against medium-term plans. This reinforces evidence-based management as well as facilitating engagement with teams. In addition, a structured program of mentoring is conducted for those selected to work with John and Nicole – integrating professional development, output delivery and broader sustainability issues.