Australian High Commission

Direct Aid Program


The Direct Aid Program is a flexible small grants program funded by the Australian Government and managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) overseas posts. The program aims to support projects with a strong development focus that complement Australia's broader aid program which contributes to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. DAP supports projects that provide direct benefits to those most in need in the local community, including vulnerable or disadvantaged groups, women, children and youth and people with disabilities. From time to time, DAP also supports one-off initiatives to community groups with discrete inputs such as books for libraries or school furniture.

Important note: DAP program and application requirements can change from year-to-year. Please do not rely on information that does not appear on this website or that you did not receive directly from the High Commission.


Who can apply?

DAP 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 official development assistance. 


How much can I apply for?

Applicants can apply for a maximum of AUD60,000 (around FJD $89,000) over the life of the project. Projects must be delivered within six months of funding. Projects requiring funding over AUD60,000 may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


What activities are eligible for DAP Support?

DAP activities should primarily be aimed at achieving practical and tangible outcomes of high development impact. DAP is able to fund activities that have a direct, practical and immediate impact, including capacity building programs in the areas of governance and human rights engagement.  We will favourably consider projects:

  • in the areas of community or rural development, education, gender equality, disabilities, youth, human rights, the environment, small-scale infrastructure, economic empowerment and ad hoc humanitarian relief;
  • where applicants and their communities make a contribution in labour, materials, transport or cash;
  • that involve sporting activities targeting a disadvantaged group;
  • that enhance educational and cultural exchanges and people-to-people links;
  • that are achievable and have sustainable outcomes;
  • that provide educational or occupational/skills training and have a clear plan for measuring the success of the training.

We will generally NOT fund the following:

  • cash grant programs or micro-credit schemes or projects that involve the return of money;
  • commercial ventures;
  • purchase of major assets, e.g. vehicles, boats;
  • Australian or overseas study tours;
  • international travel;
  • sponsorship of major sporting tournaments or cultural displays that do not have a clear developmental benefit;
  • staff salaries;
  • routine, recurring running costs and administrative expenses including office rental and utility costs, spare parts, routine maintenance;
  • freight of goods, except where the applicant demonstrates that it is not possible to source the same items locally.


Expectations for accountability, transparency and reporting

We require a high degree of transparency and accountability in all projects. Applications must demonstrate that the risk of wastage, administration costs and other costs not delivering direct benefit to the target community will be minimised.  

Should your project be successful, you will be required to:

  • sign a contract specifying the terms and conditions of the grant
  • keep full financial records of all expenditure, including receipts
  • submit a progress report within six months of receiving your funding
  • submit a final report at the project’s completion
  • allow and facilitate a visit by Australian High Commission representatives to the project site.




When can I apply?

The Australian High Commission’s DAP program operates on the Australian financial year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June.  The DAP is currently closed. Information on future funding opportunities under the Direct Aid Program will be communicated on the Australian High Commission website.

How will applications be assessed?

After the submission deadline, the DAP Committee will assess the applications against the following criteria:

  • the costs and the development benefits of the project;
  • whether it has achievable and sustainable outcomes;
  • the soundness of the project's objectives and design;
  • the practicability of the proposed implementation arrangements, and;
  • whether the project conforms to the objectives of the Direct Aid Program.

During this process, we may ask the applicant for more information.


How can I apply?

All applications for the 2023-24 DAP must be submitted through Smartygrants, our new online grants management system. Smartygrants operates on a web-based platform and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

Apply here - click on the link to begin your application process -  DAP Smartygrants Link: Suva Direct Aid Program 2023-2024. 


What do I do if I need help?

If you have any questions while completing your application, please contact us via email at [email protected]. Make sure to include your application number in your email subject.