The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation and Cooperation with Eastern Europe. ADA is responsible for the implementation of projects and programmes as well as the administration of the respective budget. The working basis is the Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy, which is elaborated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. This programme is based on the Development Cooperation Act, in which sustainable economic and social development in line with the principle of environmental protection is enshrined as the central goal.
The three major goals are reducing global poverty, safeguarding peace and human security as well as preserving the environment. The areas of activity are water and sanitation, rural development, energy, the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, education, and the promotion of good governance. The Austrian Development Cooperation especially acknowledges that access and availability to water and sanitation is vital to make progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) recognises the crucial role of science and research in the development process, and in the management of freshwater ecosystems, water supply, sanitation, hygiene and the integrated management of water resources in particular. ADA primarily focuses on strengthening the scientific human resource capacities and potential. Another emphasis lies on promoting education and follow-up training of experts and researchers, as well as on the development and advancement of regional and supra-regional institutions and networks. ADA’s major infrastructure water and sanitation projects are usually accompanied by research performed through MSc and PhD thesis.
The Austrian Development Agency is currently evaluating and revising the Sector Policies and Strategies in Education (including Research) and in Water. The leading participation of ADA in several activities and in particular the coordinating role of ADA in the ERA-NET work package 4 will support the elaboration of a harmonised approach (e.g., with other EU development cooperation agencies as well as between the two sectors within ADA) in these two sectors (i.e. education & research and water & sanitation).