Australian Consulate-General
Chennai, India

Direct Aid Programme (DAP) - FAQs

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) provides small grants for activities that support development and strengthen communities in India. The Consulate-General in Chennai supports small-scale, sustainable development projects in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territories of Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar Islands with grants averaging around INR 10 lakhs.

1. What sort of projects do we fund?

We welcome high quality applications that will support development and strengthen communities in South India across all sectors. Proposed projects should focus on any of the following key areas:

  • community health
  • education
  • training and capacity building (with a strong focus on governance and human rights)
  • environmental sustainability with a development focus (irrigation, urban planning and rejuvenation and water conservation)
  • women’s empowerment and gender equality
  • road safety
  • small-scale infrastructure projects

Regardless of the type of project, all applicants should consider the impact of the project on women, children or other disadvantaged groups, such as people with disabilities. The proposal should contain measurable performance indicators.

Projects should be self-sustainable. Applications should demonstrate a commitment on the part of local authorities and/or beneficiaries to implement and sustain the project beyond the term of the grant. You must demonstrate the ability to meet ongoing costs of the project or program after the term of the grant.

Recipients of DAP funds are expected to make a reasonable contribution of their own to the activity in either cash and/or kind. The type and level of contribution must be indicated in the project proposal.

2. Who is eligible to apply?

DAP funding is available to individuals, community groups, academic institutions and NGOs engaged in development activities on a not-for-profit basis.

For project proposals in India -  To receive a DAP grant, all organisations must have  a valid Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) approval.

3. What funds are available and how can they be used?

Grants provided are typically around INR 10 Lakh and at least 90 percent of the value of the grant must directly benefit the target community.

Partner organisations must meet some of the project costs with their own funds or in-kind support. Organisations are allowed to submit more than one project proposal in one funding round.

The funds can only be utilised for purposes agreed upon by the DAP grant recipient and us. If your project changes as it is implemented, any reallocation of grant funds must be submitted to the respective DAP Committee for re-approval. Unused funds must be returned at the end of the project.

No additional funds will be provided for the same project year on year.

Building or construction related projects should meet Australian standards. Asbestos must not be used as a building or construction material.

DAP funds cannot be used for:

DAP funds cannot be used to directly fund micro credit schemes. Grant funds cannot be used to fund salaries of NGO staff. Less than 10 percent of the grant can be used to cover administrative costs for the program, including for example, electricity bills or office rental.

4. How long can the project run for?

A DAP grant cannot exceed one year. 

5. What are our expectations for accountability, transparency and reporting?

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

6. How will you find out if an application is successful?

We receive a high volume of excellent quality applications and we take the time to consider the merits of each. Only those organisations whose projects are shortlisted will be contacted. If you have not heard from us within six months of submission, please consider your application unsuccessful.

7. Should the project application be successful, you will be required to:

  • Sign a contract with us specifying the terms and conditions of the grant
  • Provide an electronic copy of your application
  • Keep full financial records of all expenditure (including receipts)
  • Submit a progress report within six months of receiving your funding
  • Submit a full financial report on completion of the project
  • Where possible, allow and facilitate a visit by Australian representatives to the project site.


Using the Australian-Aid Identifier

The project should be identifiable as being sponsored by the Australian Government. You must let us know how you intend to meet this requirement. A small amount of funding may be requested to help badge your program as Australian funded i.e. by erecting a plaque, using stickers, or stamping books as donated by the Australian Government.

Once the project is approved, recipients will be advised on where to access and the correct usage of the Australian-Aid identifier that can be used in the branding and publicity materials of the project.