Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Direct Aid Program (DAP) – New Delhi Grants 2021

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 New Delhi manages the DAP in northern India. It supports projects that have a strong development focus, contribute to poverty reduction, and strengthen communities in India. 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) registration and the applications should be in line with its latest Amendment Rules. Information about obtaining FCRA approval and notices 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).

States covered by the Australian High Commission in New Delhi:  Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

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

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

If the project is in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal, queries should be directed to the Australian Consulate in Kolkata at [email protected]

What activities are eligible for DAP Support?

DAP activities should aim to achieve practical and tangible outcomes of high development impact. Under Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, both the countries are committed towards building a prosperous, open and stable post COVID-19 world by promoting inclusive global and regional institutions and engagements that promote stability, innovation and economic and social security based on shared interests.

DAP 2021-22 will aim to channelise this commitment through supporting developmental initiatives (across the sub-themes below) that have long-term, sustainable outcomes, thus reaffirming Australia and India’s mutual understanding, trust, common interests and the shared values on democracy and rule of law.

·         Education, innovation & entrepreneurship: under education, projects that work towards increasing access and awareness on the new medium of learning during COVID-19. Under skill and entrepreneurship, projects that promote micro and small-scale industries that have been impacted due to COVID-19, and dovetail with India’s self-reliance mission

·         Gender equality: projects that address gender-sensitive COVID-19 issues including women’s health and nutrition requirements, economic empowerment and help end violence and discrimination and are consistent with Australia’s Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment strategy

·         Agricultural productivity and Water: under agriculture, projects that support productivity in India’s agricultural sector, and/or demonstrate Australia’s expertise and support for Indian agricultural exports. Australia and India have been formally collaborating on water management since 2009.

Water scarcity and water security is part of our bilateral cooperation and DAP is open to supporting projects that enable access and sustainable use of drinking water

·         Public Administration and Governance: projects that promote good governance models and facilitate access and awareness on government schemes and programs through advocacy and capacity building, especially tailored to COVID-19 requirements.

We welcome projects that also consider immediate COVID-19 relief, rehabilitation and response measures as well as focus on health and disability inclusion within the above priority themes.

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, e.g. vehicles
  • Australian or overseas study tours
  • International travel (allowed in exceptional cases only if integral to project outputs)
  • sponsorship of major sporting tournaments or cultural displays that do not have a clear developmental benefit
  • staff salaries with an exception to stipends/training or consultation fee paid specifically for a project activity
  • construction activities
  • routine, recurring or running costs and administrative expenses including office rental and utility costs, spare parts, routine maintenance

The proposals must be clearly defined with specific outputs. The approval and rejection of a proposal might be on the basis of:

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

Funding and timeframes

Grants are typically provided up to 20 Lakh INR. The majority of grant funding must be used to cover the direct project expenses (excluding staff salaries). Any administrative costs given by the application should comply with current FCRA rules. Funding recipients must meet some of the project costs from their own funds or in-kind support.

Projects should be self-contained, with finite timelines. Except in exceptional circumstances and only with prior approval, the projects may 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
  • follow all due diligence requirements of the High Commission including furnishing reference details and FCRA designated State Bank of India account details where the funds will be posted
  • 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, where safe to do so.

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 (in relation to the priority areas)
  • achievable and sustainable outcomes
  • soundness of the project's objectives and design
  • the practicability of the proposed implementation arrangements
  • whether the project conforms with the objectives of the Direct Aid Program, and
  • compliance with domestic rules and policies regarding foreign funding

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. We will be commencing the 2021-22 DAP Application Round on Monday 27 September 2021 and close it on Friday 5 November 2021.

All DAP applications must be submitted through our online grants management system SmartyGrants. The portal operates on a web-based platform and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

Applications are usually reviewed through a one-stage process wherein all applicants are encouraged to submit a full application in the format available on SmartyGrants. Information on FCRA registration and financial audit statements for the previous two years is mandatory for all applicants.

Apply here - follow the link to begin your application process – Link:

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