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Direct Aid Program (DAP)

Direct Aid Program factsheet 2016-17

Women in field picking carrots
Photo: Zimbabwe Development Democracy Trust

What is the Direct Aid Program (DAP)?

DAP is a small grants program managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that works directly with communities in developing countries. It focuses on supporting small-scale aid activities that deliver practical and tangible results. In 2016-17 Australia supported 863 DAP projects in 112 countries. Projects helped people with disabilities, provided small-scale infrastructure, encouraged community income generation and improved people's health.

  • Countries: 112
  • Total projects: 863
  • Funding: $22 million
  • Average project: $25,000

DAP supports local community efforts towards poverty reduction and engages a wide range of partners including non-government organisations, community groups, schools, health facilities and local governments. Through helping people in need we can show Australia is a supportive and trusted partner in addressing aid challenges in partner countries.

Where do we provide support?

We supported 863 projects in 2016-17 - about one quarter of the total were in Africa.

Africa: 211, Asia: 158, South/Central Asia: 111, Pacific: 106, Latin America/Caribbean: 104, Europe: 77, Middle East: 69, Multilateral: 27

"Multilateral" refers to a separate component of DAP called the International Development Fund. This is managed by selected Australian multilateral posts (those involved with the United Nations and World Trade Organisation) and helps developing countries to engage more effectively with these organisations.

What type of projects does DAP support?

Almost one third of DAP projects helped children and adults improve their education.

Education: 31%, Agriculture/Industry: 16%, Health: 16%, Civil Society (includes gender equality, human rights and disability): 15%, Water/Sanitation: 9%, Social Services (including sport/culture): 6%, Other: 7%

Direct Aid Program case studies

Wheelchair basketball in India

India fielded a women's para sporting team at an international competition for the first time with support from the Australian Consulate General in Chennai. The Consulate worked with the Women's Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India to train and upskill India's first women's wheelchair basketball team and prepare them for upcoming international para sporting games.

Players first attended a six day training camp in Thailand in April 2017. The camp provided an opportunity for people with varying physical disabilities to learn and train with international coaches and teams.

Australian Paralympian and coach, Brad Ness, then worked with the teams at a second training camp held in Chennai. Through sharing his own journey, Brad was a crowd favourite and was able to build confidence in the teams (both male and female) and refine their game knowledge and skills using his strong international experience.

33 year-old Karthiki Patel became wheelchair-bound following a car accident in 2008. "I suffered a spinal cord injury. I was already a basketball player and when I found out about wheelchair basketball I didn't have second thoughts about joining the camp," says Karthiki, adding that wheelchair basketball is tougher than regular basketball. "It took a while for me to get the hang of it. In regular basketball, you think where you want to go within the court, your feet take you there."

Game of wheelchair basketball
Photo: Australian Consulate General, Chennai

Helping victims of domestic violence in Peru

The Australian Embassy in Peru is helping a group of 58 women in northern Peru escape the cycle of domestic violence. They are being trained in hairdressing and cosmetic services so that they can build self-confidence and become economically independent.

The project provides skills training as well as a full kit with all the necessary equipment. Graduates are now gaining employment or creating their own businesses in order to support themselves (and their children).

The project also includes a nursery, so that women who have children can attend the classes. The local government, having seen the benefits of this initiative, has committed to replicate it with two other groups of women. The original group of women are teaching what they have learnt to other women, multiplying the impact of this investment.

Through the project, the Australian Embassy, Peruvian NGOs and local authorities have successfully promoted key messages on gender equality and domestic violence, benefitting not only the project recipients but contributing to wider public awareness of these issues.

Women in classrom
Photo: AyudaPeru

First ever Africa Science Buskers Festival at the Embassy in Harare

Education plus entrepreneurship equals a bright future for African schoolchildren. Friday 3 March 2017 was a big day for science in Africa as the first ever Africa Science Buskers Festival took off at the Australian Embassy in Harare.

Jointly organised by the Embassy and the Zimbabwe Science Fair, the festival promoted science education with schools from all over Zimbabwe, as well as Zambia and South Africa, 'busking' for first prize with their best scientific presentations.

Out of 213 entries, 20 finalist teams from both junior and senior schools competed in the event. The projects and designs from Africa's innovators of the future included a nano fertilizer, self-cleaning car paint, a hydraulic gate-opening system and an innovative solar water pump. The then, Australian Ambassador Suzanne McCourt took the opportunity to celebrate women in science with many projects coming from young women, including the senior school winner Carol van Rooyen.

The Embassy organised the Festival with local Zimbabwean, Knowledge Chikundi, who was inspired by Australian scientist Dr Graham Walker's previous Science Circus Tours to Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Mauritius. Mr Chikundi has also been granted an Australia Awards Fellowship where he will receive specialist science leadership training in Australia.

Young student presenting display to others
Photo: Australian Embassy, Harare
Last Updated: 11 February 2019
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