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 (e.g. 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. Guidelines to the Direct Aid Program can be found on the following website: http://dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/direct-aid-program/Pages/direct-aid-program.aspx .
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: https://dap.smartygrants.com.au/2017NairobiDAPRound2. 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
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.
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.
A Note on the Shortlisting Process
The Australian High Commission appoints a DAP Committee to undertake a shortlisting and final selection process. For every DAP round hundreds of applications are usually received and the committee can only select a small percentage to fund. You will only be notified if your project is successful. Due to the high number of applications the committee is unable to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants. Please note that being unsuccessful does not necessarily mean your application was not of a high quality. The DAP Committee makes funding decisions based on a range of factors and does not have the funds available to fund every good project. The committee may also decide not to fund an organisation that has received funds from a recent DAP round and provide an opportunity for another organisation instead.
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