Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Direct Aid Program (DAP)

Direct Aid Program (DAP)

Direct Aid Program (DAP) – New Delhi

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small grants program funded by the Australian Government and managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The Australian High Commission-managed DAP program supports projects that have a strong development focus, contribute to poverty reduction, and strengthen communities in India and Bhutan. Over the past decade, DAP has built linkages and fostered relationships between Australia and these communities.  

Who can apply?
DAP funding is available on a not-for-profit basis to NGOs and academic institutions engaged in development activities. For projects in India, applicants must have current Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) approval. Information about obtaining FCRA approval can be found here.

The Australian High Commission in New Delhi supports small-scale, sustainable development projects in north India (see below for a list of states covered) and Bhutan.

States covered by the Australian High Commission in New Delhi: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.  

If the project is in Goa, Gujarat or Maharashtra, queries should be directed to the Australian Consulate in Mumbai at

If the project is in Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry or Tamil Nadu, queries should be directed to the Australian Consulate in Chennai at

What activities are eligible for DAP Support?

DAP activities should aim to achieve practical and tangible outcomes of high development impact. DAP funding can also support capacity building programs in the areas of governance and human rights engagement.  The Australian High Commission in New Delhi will favourably consider projects:

  • in the areas of community and/or rural development, education, gender equality, disability, youth, human rights, the environment, small-scale infrastructure, economic empowerment and ad hoc humanitarian relief
  • that provide educational or occupational/skills training
  • that are achievable and have sustainable outcomes
  • that act as a catalyst for additional development of the community or serve as a model for similar development elsewhere 
  • that enhance educational and cultural exchanges and people-to-people links, and
  • where applicants and their communities make a contribution in labour, materials, transport or cash.

    We will generally NOT fund the following:

  • cash grants or micro-credit schemes or projects that involve the return of money
  • commercial ventures
  • purchase of major assets, eg vehicles
  • 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

    Funding and timeframes

    Grants are typically provided up to 15 Lakh INR or BTN equivalent. The majority of grant funding must be used to cover the direct project expenses (excluding staff salaries). Five percent of the grant can be allocated to administrative expenses required to deliver the project. Funding recipients must meet some of the project costs from their own funds or in-kind support.

    Projects should be self-contained, with finite time lines. They must run for no longer than 12 months and should be self-sustainable beyond the term of the grant.

    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.

    Assessment of applications

    Projects must be clearly defined with specific outputs. Applications will be approved or rejected on the basis of:

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

    How can we apply?

    The Australian High Commission’s DAP program operates on the Australian financial year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June. In 2016-17, we will open two application rounds over this period.

  • Round 1 was open from 1 July 2016 to 31 October 2016
  • Round 2 will open from 1 February 2017 to 12 March 2017

All applications for the 2016-17 DAP program 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.

Applications under the 2016/17 DAP program will be reviewed through a two-stage process.

  • Stage 1 – All interested and eligible applicants are invited to complete a short, project proposal form. This stage is designed to provide a brief overview of your intended project.
  • Stage 2 – Organisations that have submitted project proposals that meet our DAP criteria and the requirements of our program will be invited to submit a more thorough application form.

Apply here - follow the link to begin your application process -

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