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Non-government organisations (NGOs)

Engaging with the department

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The department has a variety of mechanisms for engaging with and supporting civil society – organisations, individuals and community groups – from high level strategic partnerships to small grants schemes managed in partner countries.

A critical element of our engagement is the dialogue with Australian aid and development NGOs, a partnership with the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), through country and thematic strategies, development programs and projects, and through responses to humanitarian emergencies.

The following department funding programs provide further opportunities for civil society organisations (CSOs) to become involved in Australia's aid program.

Funding opportunities

The Australian NGO Cooperation Program

For four decades the Australian Government has provided funding to Australian development NGOs through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.

Direct Aid Program (DAP)

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) [external website] is a flexible small grants program funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which is administered through Australia's overseas diplomatic posts.

The DAP may provide funding to civil society groups to pursue small-scale development projects and provide humanitarian assistance in developing countries, in line with Australia's national interest and public diplomacy objectives. Applications for local in-country projects should be directed to, and are considered at the respective Australian High Commission or Embassy.

Australia Awards

Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. They offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and for high-achieving Australians to do the same overseas. The Awards not only develop skills and knowledge but also build enduring people-to-people links between Australia, our regional neighbours and the broader international community.

Australian Awards Scholarships

Australia Awards Scholarships provide opportunities for people from developing countries, particularly those countries located in the Indo-Pacific region, to undertake full time undergraduate or postgraduate study at participating Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions. Award recipients are required to return home for two years after they have completed their studies, so they can contribute to the development of their country.

The study and research opportunities provided by Australia Awards Scholarships develop skills and knowledge of individuals to drive change and contribute to the development outcomes of their own country.

Australia Awards Fellowships

Australia Awards Fellowships provide opportunities for short-term study, research and professional development activities, hosted by Australian organisations, and unlike Australia Awards Scholarships, do not lead to academic qualifications. By providing opportunities for Fellows to undertake short term study and professional development in Australia, they aim to:

  • strengthen partnerships and links between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries, in support of Australia's economic diplomacy and public diplomacy objectives
  • increase the capacity of developing countries to advance priority foreign affairs and development issues of shared interest at the country, sub-regional and regional levels.

Fellowships are for current and future leaders and mid-career professionals, who will be in a position to advance priority foreign affairs and development issues.

Australian Volunteers

Australian Volunteers for International Development [external website]

The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program provides the Australian community with opportunities to share skills and foster linkages with people and organisations in developing countries. Under the program, the Australian Government works in partnership with AVI and Scope Global – organisations with extensive experience in international volunteering. The AVID program is a one-stop entry point to Australian volunteering.

For more information, see the AVID page.

Tenders and other business opportunities

For more information, please see the department's tenders page.

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