Support for National Program for Village Development

Project team attending a meeting, seated in blue chairs arranged in a circle

We believe communities develop best when they’re empowered to make decisions and drive their own development needs.

Cardno provides technical support to the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) to implement the Programa Nasional Dezenvolvimentu Suku (PNDS), which focusses on village level community driven development. The GoTL provides sucos (villages) with annual grants to plan, construct and manage their own small-scale infrastructure projects.  

Following our work to successfuly support the PNDS-SP Interim Phase in 2012 – 2014, Cardno was contracted to provide continued support for this dynamic program. PNDS-SP is more than halfway through an eight-year implementation period, with an estimated USD$300 million funded by the GoTL. The Program channels funding directly to all 442 sucos in Timor-Leste to empower communities to construct, rehabilitate and maintain basic tertiary infrastructure.  

Cardno is a key member of a collaborative effort between the PNDS Secretariat, key GoTL ministries, the Australian Government and other development partners (principally the World Bank and The Asia Foundation). While the Australian Government takes a lead role on policy and relationship management with GoTL, Cardno is providing management support services to the Australian Embassy and the Ministry of State Administration, with technical assistance provided through field support teams working across all Timor-Leste municipalities, and advisory support at the national level across a range of technical areas.  

Our team delivers operational support to the Program and oversees the recruitment and management of the support team, including human resources development, public financial management, community driven development, monitoring and evaluation, gender and social inclusion. We’re also providing risk management and work-planning advisory support, managing logistics and procurement, delivering financial management and monitoring, and generating outcomes-focused program evaluation.  

Cardno takes a flexible and responsive approach to meet the Program’s support demands and to foster local participation that ensures development is truly community driven. Our team is also responsible for safely managing large advisory teams dispersed across multiple locations, including many remote work sites, while also coordinating large procurement projects, which come with their own logistical challenges.  

The PNDS-SP exemplifies how community-driven development can empower villages to plan, implement and maintain small-scale infrastructure projects that attract broad community participation. When communities can construct, rehabilitate and maintain basic tertiary infrastructure, they can also raise local living standards and promote inclusive community governance.  

To date, Cardno has helped the PNDS-SP achieve a number of outcomes:  

  • transitioned from an Interim Phase to a full Implementation Phase 
  • contracted large support and advisory teams and managed all administrative, logistical and operational personnel, including recruiting, contracting, mobilising and supporting all TA personnel 
  • provided full operations support to the Australian Government and PNDS Secretariat  
  • prepared full operations documentation 
  • developed the implementation M&E system.