Australian High Commission
Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, eSwatini

Development Cooperation in Africa

The Australian aid program

The Australian Government's aid program aims to reduce poverty and contribute to sustainable economic growth in developing countries. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade manages the Australian aid program.

Australia's development assistance to Africa

Australia's development assistance to Africa

Australia Awards, a cornerstone of the Australian Government’s development assistance program for Africa, provide access to postgraduate education, training and professional development opportunities for suitably qualified Africans from eligible countries.

Australia Awards in Africa

Small grants - Direct Aid Program


The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small-grants scheme which aims to support non-profit organisations working in local communities on activities which support sustainable and equitable development. The Australian High Commission in Pretoria currently prioritises funding projects with a focus on:

  1. Human Rights: Disability Inclusiveness / Gender Rights & Women’s Empowerment / LGBTI issues
  2. Education and Skills Development
  3. Environment and water conservation
  4.  Foreign policy

As a general rule, the following projects are not funded through DAP:

  • payment of ongoing staff salaries of core organisational staff. Note: contractor salaries that are part of the actual project can be considered but should not constitute a major cost component
  • grants programs run by other governments or organisations
  • micro-credit schemes or any other project that involves return of money or loans for cash
  • administrative costs not directly related to project implementation
  • purchase of vehicles, purchase or rental of property or land
  • routine, recurring and/or running costs including: office rent, electricity, water, phone, internet, etc.; routine maintenance and repairs (including of equipment such as photocopiers, computers, stoves, fridges etc.) and office or equipment insurance; or
  • commercial ventures.

The Australian High Commission in Pretoria disburses DAP funding to projects in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini. The Australian High Commission will consider applications from community groups, international or Australian NGOs, and other civil society actors that are lawfully operating in any of these countries. We will also consider applications from academic institutions, research bodies, or other organisations engaged in development activities on a not-for-profit basis.

Please note the application process includes two stages:  The first step is the completion of an Expression of Interest online which provides high level information on your intended project. These will be shortlisted by the DAP selection committee who will invite selected applicants to submit a comprehensive application at the second stage online. Only shortlisted applicants will be notified.

Note that organisations invited to submit a full DAP application will not be guaranteed funding as success will depend on the quality of the application as well as the funds available.

While applicants can apply for a maximum of AUD50,000, most successful projects will receive between AUD25,000 to AUD40,000.


Indicative DAP Timeline (this may be subject to change):

  • 3 June: DAP Call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs)
  • 5 July: Expression of Interest submission deadline - Unsuccessful EOIs will not be notified
  • 12 August: DAP Selection Committee shortlists EOIs and invites a select group of organisations to submit comprehensive applications.
  • 16 September:  Deadline for submission of comprehensive applications
  • End September: Successful projects notified
  • October- November: Grant agreements finalised and Funds disbursed

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.

If you have any further queries about DAP, please send an email to

Australian Volunteers for International Development

The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an Australian Government initiative. Australian Volunteers International (AVI) is one of three delivery partners for the AVID program. AVI regularly seeks positions for a wide range of assignments, including organisational management and health positions. Volunteers are provided with airfares, accommodation and modest living allowances, together with extensive briefing and support. Airfares, accommodation, modest living allowances and extensive briefing and support are provided.

Australian Volunteers for International Development