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Australian Aid: Friendship Grants

Friendship Grants: Round 1

This page provides information regarding Round One of Australian Aid: Friendship Grants program.

On this page:

Next steps for Round 1 Friendship Grant Recipients

This section provides information on the next steps for Round 1 Friendship Grant recipients.


November 2018 Successful and unsuccessful applicants notified
December 2018 Signing of grant agreements between DFAT and successful applicants
February 2019 DFAT Friendship Grants briefing — compulsory for grant recipients
June 2019 Mid-term reports due from grant recipients
January 2020* Final reports due from grant recipients
February 2020* Friendship Grants Learning Forum — compulsory for grant recipients. Round 1 Friendship Grant funding expended.

* Subject to change

Grant agreement

Friendship Grant recipients are required to sign a legally binding agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

DFAT Friendship Grants Briefing and Learning Forum

Successful applicants will send one person from their Australian community organisation (ACO) to the mandatory briefing from 6 to 7 February 2019 and Learning Forum in February 2020, both in Canberra. Funding for one ACO representative to attend the Friendship Grants Briefing and Learning Forum can come from the 'Administration Costs' component of Grant funding. Please see the Guidelines [PDF 1.37 MB] | [Word 1.28 MB] for further details.


Friendship Grant recipients must complete a mid-term and final report on their Activity. You can download the report templates below, which may be subject to minor changes.

Monitoring and evaluation guidance has been drafted to help Friendship Grant recipients with their reporting to DFAT. It is also provided here so that you and your in-country community partners are aware of how DFAT expects you to collect data to report on the progress of your Activity and explain the change(s) that occurred in the community as a result.

Round 1: Friendship Grants Monitoring and Evaluation Guidance Note [PDF 150 KB] | [Word 170 KB]

Round 1 Friendship Grant recipients

In the highly competitive first round of Friendship Grants, applications were received from community organisations from every state and territory in Australia.

DFAT awarded 46 grants to Australian community organisations to expand or enhance their international development activities in 15 countries in our region.

Friendship Grant recipients deliver activities in a range of sectors including health care, rural development and disability inclusion, addressing at least 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Applicants self-selected which SDG their activity will address. Successful applications have been grouped according to these SDGs.

Round 1 Friendship Grant recipients [PDF 850 KB] | [Word 285 KB]

Round 1 Program Information

Applications for Round 1 closed at 6:00pm (AEST) on 28 August 2018.


Applicants were encouraged to carefully read the Round One Friendship Grants Guidelines before starting an application.

Round 1: Application guidelines [PDF 1.37 MB] | [Word 1.28 MB]

Applicants were also encouraged to read the DFAT documents listed in the Friendship Grants Guidelines, including the Australian Government's development policy Australian aid: promoting prosperity, increasing stability, reducing poverty.

Round 1: Preview application form [PDF 208 KB] | [Word 95 KB]

Selection process

Friendship Grant recipients were selected through a merit-based selection process in-line with Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017. The Friendship Grants program aims to reflect the geographic, cultural and organisational diversity of Australia.


Location of activities

Eligible Australian community organisations were encouraged to apply for Round 1 Friendship Grant funding for activities undertaken in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries in the Indo-Pacific region as outlined below.

DFAT will not fund any activities in locations listed as "do not travel" or "reconsider your need to travel" on Smartraveller.

Australian community organisations eligible to apply for a grant included:

Australian community organisations that are not currently accredited with DFAT and have:

  • A proven record in implementing international development activities in ODA-eligible countries in the Indo-Pacific region (as outlined above), and
  • A letter of support from an in-country authority as well as existing relationships with in-country partner communities that assist in the planning implementation of activities on the ground.

These included:

Organisations not eligible to apply for a grant included:

Activities eligible for funding included:

  • Development activities which build on existing projects to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people in a way that is sustainable, and
  • Development activities that assist and strengthen an overseas community's capacity or socio-economic situation such as:
    • Income generation — including microfinance, microenterprise or small business development
    • Basic education and training — including literacy, primary, and vocational training
    • Gender equality — including women's economic empowerment and leadership, and ending violence against women and girls
    • Disability inclusion
    • Healthcare — including primary healthcare
    • Water supply and sanitation — including providing access to safe water and maintaining or improving water quality
    • Protection and promotion of human rights — including improving economic, social and cultural rights, the rights of people with a disability, and addressing indigenous disadvantage
    • Rural development — including the development of agriculture and basic services
    • Sustainable environmental and natural resource management
    • Preparedness for, and long-term recovery from, natural disasters, and
    • Climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Australian Aid: Friendship Grants activities should align with the Australian aid program's overarching goals and priorities (such as gender equality and disability inclusion).

Activities not eligible for funding included:

  • Research, conferences, seminars, training events and/or exchanges to Australia or partner country
  • Costs associated with participants attending events
  • Substantial freight of goods and supplied to the overseas country
  • Major capital expenditure (purchase of buildings or land)
  • Activities in high-risk locations (including all locations listed as "do not travel" or "reconsider your need to travel" on Smartraveller)
  • Activities that involve unskilled volunteers supporting orphanages or residential care institutions
  • Evangelism or missionary outreach, or similar activities by political organisations, or
  • Activities that are determined to be contrary to the interests of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Grant size, number of applications and duration

Applicants could apply for a grant of $30,000 to $60,000 and were allowed to submit one application per round. Grants will be expended within 12 months.

Matched funding

Australian community organisations were required to match funding at a minimum ratio of $1 Australian community organisation funds to $5 Australian Aid: Friendship Grants funds. The match from Australian community organisations could be either financial or in-kind, including volunteer hours.

Risk mitigation and due diligence

Australian community organisations must meet DFAT's safeguards and due diligence requirements to participate in program.

Round 1 Frequently Asked Questions

Final frequently asked questions 28 August 2018 [PDF 272 KB] | [Word 173 KB]

Debrief on Round 1 applications

Debrief on Round 1 applications [PDF 164 KB] | [Word 132 KB]

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