Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) - Annual Dialogue


The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), through its Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP), responds to some of the key development challenges in South Asia by strengthening trans-boundary cooperation to promote more inclusive, accelerated and resilient economic growth. The SDIP aims to increase water, food and energy security in South Asia with particular attention to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, including women and girls.

ICIMOD is hosting the first Annual Dialogue of SDIP partners in Kathmandu on 21-22 August 2014. The meeting aims to review progress of the SDIP in the first year of implementation, identify the contribution of partners to food, energy and water security in the region, and allow SDIP partners to share experiences and identify opportunities for further collaboration.

Goal and expected outcomes of the first Annual Dialogue event

  • An informed and reflective discussion between SDIP partners on where and how change is taking place in the development space where the investment portfolio is engaged.

Outcomes of the dialogue event are:

  • The annual collective (re)assessment of the heat, pace and extent of change evident within transboundary cooperation on water, agriculture and energy, and the positioning of the portfolio based on this assessment (through facilitated discussion with partners);
  • Within the context of the portfolio of SDIP partners, share experiences, and pursue further opportunities for collaboration;
  • Consensus on the key policy issues (food, water and energy security) that portfolio partners are seeking to influence over the next 12 months and beyond;
  • SDIP partners have the opportunity to raise issues or questions relevant to the SDIP or the development landscape more broadly;
  • Partners are clear on the new Australian Government Aid Management Framework, including benchmarks and performance indicators, and how this links to portfolio level M&E;
  • Partners leave the event with a broader perspective and new insights on the dynamics of change in landscape development in the three basins. 
  • The discussion at the Annual Dialogue will critically inform the process of drafting by Team DFAT of the SDIP Annual Report, which provides a portfolio level view on the pace and extent of change, value addition of the portfolio approach and value addition of ‘Team DFAT’ partnering. The discussion may also flag information sources of interest to the next iteration of the Snapshot.

Day 1: 21 August 2014


Time Activity Focus

Session 1:

Welcome/ Introduction

  • Confirm agenda
  • Short verbal updates from portfolio partners on key changes (organizationally and observations of the development context) in their SDIP related work (since the group last met in February 2014)
Dialogue Facilitator(s)

Portfolio partners
H.E. Glenn White, Australian Ambassador to Nepal


Session 2:

Australian Government Aid Management Framework

  • Overview of key aid policy changes – where and how SDIP connects.
10:15 Session 3:

Architecture for the dialogue
  • Rationale for the dialogue – DFAT’s Annual Review point. Introduction to the structure and logic for discussion groups organized around the three basins.
MORNING TEA BREAK – Partner Information Market Place

Session 4:

Our understanding of change - facilitated discussion on ‘the change’ (development outcomes): where is change occurring, the nature of this change and what is driving this change.

An opportunity to bring out what is happening at Basin level and the interplay between change processes affecting water/ energy/ agriculture.

  • Three – in parallel - group facilitated discussions, looking from the different vantage points within the portfolio at the change space for water, agriculture and energy in each of the basins (Discussion framed and stimulated by room documents provided by Team DFAT)
12:30-13:30 LUNCH

Session 5:

Our understanding of change: Basin perspective continues

  • Basin Group facilitated discussions continue and conclude
15:00-15:30 AFTERNOON TEA BREAK – Partner Information Market Place

Session 6:

1st Open space session

  • As directed by partners.

Session 7:

Plenary – our understanding of the change space

  • Plenary session which looks across the discussion and emerging consensus/ different perspectives on what we know and understand about change.
17:30 CLOSE

Day 2: 22 August 2014


Time Activity Focus

Session 1:

Positioning for Day 2

  • Synthesis of what emerged from Day 1 dialogue and how Day 2 builds from this platform

Session 2:

What can be achieved

  • Group discussions – within same Basin groups (representation within individual partners may vary) – building on the framing from Day 1 discussion. Focus on the way in which the past/ current/ planned engagement of the partners within the change space brings different entry points and points of synergy/ overlap to be capitalized on/ addressed. Discussion framed by powerpoint slides (max 3/basin) provided by partners depicting the nature of their engagement (past/ current/ planned) in the particular change space.
MORNING TEA BREAK – Partner Information Market Place
11:15 Session 3:

Plenary – what can be achieved?
Discussion on implications (dialogue on change) – includes confirmation of the key policy issues that DFAT and other portfolio partners will be seeking to influence over coming 12 months.
  • Plenary session which looks across the discussion and taking a cross basin perspective the emerging consensus/ different perspectives on aspects of portfolio engagement in the change space given our understanding - addresses the ‘so what’ question.


13:30 Session 4:

Institutional strengthening
  • Introduction (with illustrated examples) to the approach underway on Organisation Improvement outcomes for portfolio partners
14:15 Session 5:

Effective partnering
  • Discussions and emerging themes from the Partnership Health checks and recent early review of the partnering process
15:00-15:30 AFTERNOON TEA BREAK – Partner Information Market Place
15:30 Session 6:

2nd Open space session
  • As directed by partners.
16:30 Session 7:

Moving forward with the Portfolio
  • Keeping in view the expected and potential wider benefits of the Portfolio Approach
  • The importance of the Annual Dialogue – what should 2015 be offering?
  • Summing up and close
17:30 CLOSE