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Strategic programming

Knowledge and expertise

The staff of John Fargher + Associates have knowledge and expertise appropriate to strategic programming needs of donor clients and the private sector. John Fargher has formal qualifications in agricultural science (BAgSc 1980), economics (MNatRes (Economics) 1996) and management (Oxford Advanced Management Program 1998). As a specialist in strategic programming and performance management, he also undertook specialist training in evaluation at Oxford University (1998), with the World Bank Institute (2004) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (2004).

With more than 27 years of experience as a development professional, and with post-graduate qualifications in economics and management, as well as 15 years senior management and multilateral bank experience, John Fargher has relevant qualifications for, and advanced knowledge of, aid programming, strategy development and design. He has development experience in Africa (north, horn, east, south and west), Middle East, Asia, SE Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean. John has lived and worked in cross-cultural contexts for long-term program postings as well as worked in more than 40 countries for short and medium-term development tasks [cross-link to world map]. His expertise covers the whole aid programming cycle – from strategic planning and portfolio analysis, through concept and design to implementation and management for development results. Since 1995 he has increasingly worked in performance management, monitoring and evaluation with a focus on aid effectiveness.

John’s post-graduate qualifications in strategic thinking, negotiation and cross-cultural communication enable him to undertake strategic analysis and policy development on aid programming and design – expertise he has supplied to multinational resource companies, AusAID, DFID, GIZ, Government of Vietnam, and the World Bank.

High-level analytical and strategic-thinking skills, combined with the capacity to engage with a wide range of stakeholders from senior cabinet members to partners in a cross-cultural communication context, have supported his work in this area for AusAID and other GoA agencies. He has advanced skills and knowledge in program theory (theory of change and program logic) as well as other strategic programming/planning methodologies such as logical frameworks. John also has an advanced understanding of the operational context of international development and aid effectiveness principles – having worked with OECD DAC and Government of Vietnam around the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action. He has worked with projects, programs, facilities, multi-donor trust funds, and budget support modalities as well as with a wide range of donors including ADB, AusAID, DFID, GIZ, JICA and World Bank.

John’s technical and programming expertise has been applied to design quality initiatives at both strategic and operational level – ranging from small regional initiatives (e.g. Tanzania US$6m Coastal Livelihoods Program) to very large strategic investments (e.g. Turkey US$180m Eastern Anatolia Watershed Management Project). The design work is informed by a practical understanding of program theory – applied using various tools including logical frameworks (all World Bank and DFID work), theory of change analysis (most recent AusAID work) and program logic models (recent AusAID work in Indonesia, PNG and Vanuatu).

The focus of John’s knowledge and expertise is providing evidence and well-informed professional opinion to support client agencies make informed decisions on aid delivery mechanisms, partnership approaches and governance arrangements – skills that were honed in Vietnam between 2004 and 2008 when John supported the Ministry of Planning and Investment in contributing to negotiations for the Paris Declaration and proclamation of the Hanoi Core Statement (the first national response to the Paris Declaration).

Demonstrated experience
The staff of John Fargher + Associates demonstrate experience relevant to the strategic programming needs of donor clients and the private sector. The experience of John Fargher includes high-level analysis and strategic thinking for international development and public policy. Through engagements with Australian governments, donor agencies and the private sector he has analysed data and prepared information that supports innovation, policy development and management – ranging from replenishment of the Global Environment Facility in 2001 to advising on the national plantation forestry policy in 1995-96. Under the AusAID Monitoring and Evaluation Expert Panel (MEEP – Facilitation Panel 2009 - 2012) John planned, led and implemented 11 evaluations; developed 6 performance assessment frameworks from program (e.g. Australia Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction) to sector (e.g. AusAID WASH) and portfolio levels (e.g. AusAID Latin America and Caribbean). This included quantitative and qualitative analyses of data to identify lessons learned and collaborate with evaluation participants and stakeholders to use information to support management for development effectiveness.

Before that he led more than 10 evaluations and supported the analysis of monitoring data for development projects in Armenia, China, Indonesia, PNG, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Turkey and Vietnam. Under the MEEP Panel John led and implemented analysis to support design processes in rural development, law & justice, education and climate change sectors in 5 countries. He was also engaged as the independent peer reviewer for 5 designs and 2 evaluation plans since 2009 – for AusAID, World Bank and Australian Sports Commission. Before 2009, John led or contributed to 9 design missions for World Bank, AusAID, DFID, GTZ and USAID. His strategic analysis skills were recognised in 2011 when he was appointed to the 3-person team asked to assess changes in IFAD and to make recommendations on whether or not Australia should re-engage with the organisation. Similarly, in 2001, he was engaged on the team evaluating the Global Environment Facility. John worked with AusAID to map national data to quality at implementation (QAI) formats in Vietnam. He regularly uses statistical analysis software such as SPSS and MS Excel.

This experience required advanced skills in cross-cultural communication and negotiation as well as an ability to communicate complex concepts by breaking them down into practical elements that partners could understand and own. John’s experience building relationships at senior levels of government or development organisations includes close work with Government of Vietnam senior leaders (2004-2008) as well as negotiating with donor leaders to harmonise performance systems in Vietnam – experience and skills being used again in late 2012 to scale-up performance management in Vietnam to the entire public investment program.

As his CV shows [cross-link to JDF CV], John has worked with AusAID, ADB, DFID, GIZ, JBIC, JICA, USAID and World Bank as well as multinational corporations and civil society groups. He has worked on projects, programs, multi-donor trust funds, SWAps and targeted budget support. John led the international development business for an international development contractor for 10 years until 2009. John has development experience in Africa (north, horn, east, south and west), Middle East, Asia, SE Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

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