Australian High Commission
Republic of Kenya

Development Cooperation

Development Cooperation 

The Australian Government's overseas aid program is a Federal Government funded program that reduces poverty in developing countries. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australian Aid manages the program. 

Australia's Development Assistance to Africa

Australia's assistance to Africa is aimed to support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. For general information about Australia's development assistance to Africa, please click here. The High Commission in Kenya coordinates small grants schemes for Eastern African countries. The small grants programs in Eastern Africa are listed below:

The Direct Aid Program 

What is the Direct Aid Program?

The Direct Aid Program is designed to provide financial assistance to eligible groups or organisations undertaking suitable small scale development projects. Projects can be in any sector (eg community health, education, small scale infrastructure, sanitation, rural development, environmental development, gender equality, conferences and training activities, and cultural and sporting activities) but must aim to alleviate basic humanitarian hardships, have a developmental outcome and be implemented within a relatively short period of time. In certain cases, consideration may be given to contributions to disaster relief operations.  Non-Governmental Organisations in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda are eligible to apply. Guidelines to the Direct Aid Program can be found on the following website: -

It is imperative that projects have defined and realistic objectives and clear outcomes.  DAP grants are awarded to a maximum of AUD 60,000 (USD 44,220). However, applicants are encouraged to apply for funding in the range of AUD 5,000 (USD 3,685) to AUD 30,000 (USD 22,110).

Projects must be self-sustaining and recurrent/ongoing costs will not be supported (e.g. salaries/rental/utility costs), nor will micro credit schemes or any other project that involves return of money.

How do you apply for the Direct Aid Program?

We now have an online form for applications for Round 2 of the 2016-17 financial year accessible at: . The 2016-17 major application round closed on 21 August 2016. This second application round will open on 16 January and close on 3 February.

The application form requires applicants to include the following information:

  • background on the group/organisation requesting assistance
  • a description of the project and its objectives
  • an accurate financial breakdown of costs involved (invoices must be attached to substantiate costings)
  • A Risk Management strategy that (if relevant) includes assessment of risks to children
  • timeframe for implementing the project
  • copy of organisation’s registration certificate
  • referees

Final decisions on funding of projects will depend on various factors, including the cost of an individual project, its merits in comparison to other requests for assistance, and of course, the availability of funds under the Direct Aid Program.  Approved projects will be subject to stringent monitoring, including financial acquittal which should be complete and fully accounted by 30 June in the current financial year.  Any funds not expended by that date must be returned to the High Commission. Please note that only successful applicants are contacted regarding the outcome of the selection process.

The applicant should undertake to keep the community in the project area informed that the funding was provided by the Australian Government and, where possible, some form of permanent reminder should be created, identifying Australian Government support for the project.

For further information please email:

The Australia Africa Community Grants Scheme

The Australia Africa Community Grants Scheme (AACGS) is administered by the Australian Government and has supported community-based activities across Africa. Grants have been provided to non-government organisations for projects that promote sustainable economic and social development. Proposals are currently not being accepted for AACGS funding. Interested organisations should monitor this website for any future funding opportunities.

Sorghum Field Day in Mwingi Central District by Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International

Australia Awards Scholarships

The Australia Awards Scholarships program provides opportunities for people from developing countries to undertake full-time postgraduate study in Australia or participate in short courses (Australia Awards Africa Fellowships) offered under the program.  Fields of study are targeted to address agreed priority human resource and development needs of recipient countries.

Australia Awards Small Grants Scheme

The Australia Awards Small Grants Scheme was established in 2011 to support alumni as they become involved in development activities in their home country. Three of the eligible areas of funding under the grant are seed-funding for the establishment of Alumni Associations, support for small-scale projects with a clear development benefit to African countries, and support for one-off professional development activities for individual alumni. The awarded projects fall in key sectors in Africa’s development efforts, including education and agriculture. For more information on the Small Grants Scheme and the two rounds of funding, click on the links below.

First round of Grant Awards in 2013

Second round of Grant Awards in 2013

Alumni Stories

  • Drawing on leadership skills to contribute to healthcare reforms in Kenya –  Dr Angela Nyambura Gichaga.  Dr Gichaga was awarded an Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Master of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Adelaide in South Australia in 2012 and is now the Health Economist in the Directorate of Policy, Planning and Healthcare Financing (Monitoring & Evaluation) Unit within Kenya’s Ministry of Health.
  • From rural Kenya and “knowing nothing about geology”, Australia Awards Alumnus Joseph Kuria is now part of the mapping, exploration and resource estimation within Kenya’s mining sector.  He is currently taking part in the Emerging Leaders in African Mining (ELAM) programme run by IM4DC.
  • As a long standing alumnus of the Australia Awards Africa program, Mr Stephen Karingi has spent the past 15 years contributing to economic policy at a national, regional and global level. He is currently the Director for Regional Integration and Trade at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). 
  • Mr Saidi Mkwawa\'s Australia Award experience has exposed him to the potential for Australia-Africa linkages in the mining sector, and the benefits of practical training opportunities.
  • Mr Chris Lubangakene received a scholarship from the Australian Government to study a Master of Engineering Science in Metallurgy that has enabled him to make numerous contributions to the mining sector in his home country of Uganda.
  • Dr Francis Mhimbira completed a Master of Epidemiology at the University of Melbourne in 2010 with the help of a full scholarship from the Australian government. He speaks of his passion to advance his career in clinical research to help fight tuberculosis.
  • Mr Francis Musavi, an alumni of the Australia Awards Africa Fellowship program, is a Plant Protection Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture. He speaks of how the Fellowship enabled him to influence better post-harvest management measures among farmers and officials at the Ministry.
  • Mr Martin Nyakinye is the Chief Superintending Geologist at the Ministry of Mining in Kenya. He speaks on how an Australian Government-funded Fellowship has impacted his work in strengthening the technical capacity of the mining sector. 
  • Dr. Josphert Kimatu, an Australia Awards alumni, is an innovative and passionate man who has devoted his life to improving food security through research. He speaks of his experience in Australia and his current work in Machakos, eastern Kenya.
NGO Cooperation Program

The NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) subsidises Australian NGO community development activities which directly and tangibly alleviate poverty in developing countries.  The major focus of the activity must be at least one of the following:  basic education and training, primary health care, water supply and sanitation, income generation, rural and other poor, disadvantaged groups (particularly women and children), good governance and promotion of civil society, capacity strengthening of local NGOs, sustainable management of the environment and natural resources, renewable energy and appropriate technology.

Note: If you have any further queries about any of the above grant programs, please send an email to, clearly identifying which program you are enquiring about.