Timor Leste is a newly independent country with a turbulent history of occupation, in which human rights were neglected and local capacity remained undeveloped. Economically, Timor-Leste is among the poorest countries of the world, although oil and gas reserves have provided a growing source of wealth. Political instability has continued post-independence with the most serious violence in 2006, when widespread unrest led to the resignation of the Prime Minister and a major humanitarian crisis.
After the 2007 elections the new government introduced a fresh programme of National Priorities, but political insecurity continues as marked by the attempted assassination of the President in February 2008. Irish Aid, along with other development partners, has therefore faced a complex challenge in addressing major development concerns within a new and fragile state, especially in 2006, when its new country strategy faced fresh implementation challenges. Nevertheless, these experiences over the past five years do provide an important learning environment for Irish Aid, and this evaluation seeks to draw out such lessons through its assessment of how well IA approached and delivered its country programme.
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