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, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are eligible to apply. Guidelines to the Direct Aid Program can be found on the following website: http://dfat.gov.au/aid/topics/development-issues/direct-aid-program/Pages/direct-aid-program.aspx
It is imperative that projects have defined and realistic objectives and clear outcomes. Funding is generally in the range of AUD 5,000 to AUD 30,000. Projects seeking financial assistance at the lower end of this range are also encouraged.
Projects must be self-sustaining and recurrent/ongoing costs will not be supported (e.g. salaries/rental/utility costs, micro credit schemes or any other project that involves return of money, etc).
How do you apply for the Direct Aid Program?
We now have an online form for applications for the 2016-17 financial year, accessible at: https://dap.smartygrants.com.au/DAPRoundOne201617 . The 2016-17 major application round opens July 25 and closes August 21 2016. 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
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 May in the current financial year. Any funds not expended by that date must be returned to the High Commission.
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.
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