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Australian Aid: Friendship Grants

Round 2 – Program Information

Round 2 Outcomes – postponed until further notice

We have made the decision to postpone the announcement and awarding of the Round 2 Friendship Grants due to the uncertainty and rapidly changing situation associated with COVID-19, including around travel arrangements.

An announcement will be made as soon as possible about the program.


Applicants were encouraged to carefully read the Round Two Friendship Grants Guidelines before commencing the application process.

Application guidelines [PDF 637 KB] | [Word 1.30 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, the DFAT Child Protection Policy, and DFAT's Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH) Policy.

Application preview form [PDF 217 KB]

Selection process

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


The Round 2 Australian Aid: Friendship Grants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document should be read in conjunction with the Round 2 Friendship Grants Guidelines and Application Form.

The FAQ document was last updated on 21 August 2019.

Frequently asked questions 21 August 2019 [PDF 889 KB] | [Word 155 KB]


Location of activities

Eligible Australian community organisations were encouraged to apply for Round 2 Friendship Grant funding for activities undertaken in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries in the Indo-Pacific region as outlined below.

  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kiribati
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Niue
  • Republic of Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • The Philippines
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Fortuna

The list of countries is subject to change on the basis of ODA-eligibility and Australian Government travel advice.

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:

Not-for-profit Australian community organisations or local government entities that:

  • have a proven record in implementing international development work in eligible countries in the Indo-Pacific
  • have an existing relationship(s) with and in-country implementing partner(s), and
  • are currently registered with the appropriate regulatory authority as per the Round 2 Guidelines.

Round 1 recipients were also eligible to apply for Round 2.

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
  • Humanitarian and disaster relief activities (disaster relief needs to arrive as soon as possible after the event so is not eligible)
  • Activity items that have already been paid for, or ordered
  • 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 are 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 can 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 the program.

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