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Direct Aid Program (DAP)

Direct Aid Program

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small grants program funded from Australia's aid budget. It has the flexibility to work with local communities in developing countries on projects that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development consistent with Australia's national interest.

It sits alongside Australia's longer-term country and multilateral development strategies and with its wide geographical reach plays an important role in supporting local community efforts towards poverty reduction across the globe.

The program is founded on a set of principles which:

  • advance developmental outcomes in countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) through projects primarily focused on practical and tangible results. This may include projects which support good governance, human rights and those with a strong advocacy component,
  • support Australia's wider foreign and trade policy interests and public diplomacy objectives, including promoting a distinctive and positive image of Australia, and
  • allow for a wide geographic reach reflecting that Australia has global interests and that DAP provides an effective way to build relationships and maintain Australia's profile.

DAP projects cover a range of sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, environmental protection, women's empowerment and gender equality, supporting people with disabilities, economic livelihoods, food security and human rights.

DAP projects engage a wide range of partners including community groups, non-government organisations, educational institutions 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.

In 2019-20, over 230 projects were funded in over 60 countries.

Who can apply for DAP funding?

Funding is available on a not-for-profit basis to community groups, NGOs and other entities engaged in development activities in countries that are eligible for ODA.

There is no minimum amount that a single DAP project can receive but the maximum is $60,000 over the life of the project (dependent on the country). Activities can run up to a maximum of two years.

The management of the Direct Aid Program varies from mission to mission. To find out more about how the program is managed in a particular country, please contact the Australian mission overseas that administers DAP in that country.

Stories about projects funded by the DAP can also be found on the social media of the Australian mission overseas that administers DAP.

For Australian mission contact details see our overseas embassies and consulates listing.

Photo: Zimbabwe Development Democracy Trust
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