The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program funded from Australia’s aid budget. It has the flexibility to work with local communities in developing countries on projects that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development consistent with Australia’s national interest. It sits alongside Australia’s longer-term country and multilateral development strategies and with its wide geographical reach plays an important role in supporting local community efforts towards poverty reduction across the globe.
Who can apply for what?
DAP funding is available to community groups, reputable local, international or Australian NGOs, private sector entities, academic institutions, research bodies, libraries, museums, or other organizations engaged in development activities on a not-for-profit basis.
*In certain circumstances DAP funding can be provided through local government agencies.
The High Commission accepts project proposals from all of its countries of accreditation: Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Gambia, Niger, and Nigeria.
The maximum amount of money an NGO can receive over the lifespan of a project is 60,000 Australian Dollars (approximately USD 43,878). The Direct Aid Program funds projects in the following areas:
- gender equality;
- women empowerment;
- people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups;
- promotion of human rights;
- water and sanitation;
- preservation of culture;
- humanitarian and disaster relief operations and
- skill and capacity building activities.
How does the application process work?
To apply for funding within the Direct Aid Program, you need to submit a proposal through an online application process before midnight Friday, 31st of August, 2018.
The proposal has to be submitted through a homepage called Smarty Grants. Make sure you have a good internet connection when you want to apply to all the information can be transmitted.
What does the Australian Embassy want to see in your application?
Even though the maximum amount you can apply for is AU$ 60,000, projects that apply for AU$ 20,000 – 40,000 have the best chances to be chosen. Also, projects with a high co-payment by the NGO and the beneficiaries will be favored.
The Australian Embassy also would like to see projects that have a practical and tangible development or humanitarian outcome and proposals need to demonstrate this clearly. Proposal defining the sustainability of the project is given high penchant by Australian Embassy.
The online form covers the usual parts of a proposal (background, justification, project description, expected outcomes, risks, budget, beneficiaries etc.), so you should have all this information at hand. You can save the form at any point of the process, so don´t rush.
While you should, of course, submit all necessary information, you should also try to keep it as brief as possible. When things are not clear, pictures can often help to explain the situation.
- You will need to submit digital copies of a proof of your organization’s legal registration, so make sure you have scans of all of them and save it in pdf or jpg format (recommended file size is 5 MB)
- If you have not received DAP funding previously, you need to provide details of two referees, from outside your organization that can vouch for your work ethics and the experiences you already have. They cannot be your current/former employees, board member nor current project partners.
- You need to submit the contact information of two people in your NGO.
- You need to specify the exact amount of money the project will cost and the contribution of your NGO and your beneficiaries will make. Showing diversified funding sources is highly recommended as it shows the sustainability of your project as NGO as a whole.
- You need to submit a complete breakdown of what the money will be spent on. Ensure all costs quoted in the budget are in the same currency type as the Total Project Cost. Therefore, make sure you have these numbers at hand. Remember DAP funding cannot be used for recurrent costs.
- Public outreach is very important for the Australian Embassy, so you should make sure to include a modest amount for marketing of their contribution in your budget.
- If your project works with children, you need to have child protection guidelines in place and you have to submit a digital copy of them during the application process.
Furthermore, project activities should in most cases be implementable within one year from the receipt of funding
If you feel like your project fits this bill, you can fill out the submission form here by 31st August.