Australian High Commission
Trinidad and Tobago
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Christopher (Kitts) and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas

Direct Aid Program

What is the Direct Aid Program?

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program through which the Australian Government supports development projects that contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

The Australian High Commission in Port of Spain administers DAP in the Caribbean.

Who can apply?

Community groups, NGOs, local government organisations and other entities engaged in development activities on a not-for-profit basis in the countries listed below are eligible to apply for funding through DAP:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname

All payments to successful applicants, however, will only be transferred into registered NGO or entity accounts (i.e. payments will not be made into personal accounts). 

What projects are eligible?

DAP activities should have achievable and sustainable development outcomes for the communities involved. In 2019-20, DAP will support projects that focus on:

  • addressing community health challenges and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) e.g. health screening services, public health campaigns, sporting projects etc.
  • promoting human rights, including projects that empower women, youth, Indigenous communities and people with disability e.g. capacity building training etc.
  • improving access to safe water and levels of sanitation and hygiene in communities e.g. water tanks/systems, sanitation facilities etc.
  • promoting sustainable environmental practices e.g. protection of coral reefs, sustainable fishing and sustainable agricultural practices etc.

Preference will be given to projects where applicants and their communities make a contribution to the project (e.g. by providing labour, materials, transport or monetary support)

The following expenses are NOT eligible for funding:

  • grants programs run by governments or organisations
  • micro-credit schemes or any project that involves return of money or loans of cash
  • staff salaries for implementing organisations
  • administrative costs not directly related to project implementation
  • rent or purchase of land
  • purchase of vehicles or fuel  
  • routine, recurring and/or running costs including: office rental and utility costs; routine maintenance and repairs (including of equipment such as photocopiers, computers, stoves, fridges etc.) and office or equipment insurance
  • commercial ventures
  • catering
  • accommodation
  • transport, including flights, taxis and vehicle hire (although some costs may be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • sponsorship of major sporting tournaments or cultural displays that do not have clear development outcomes
  • direct support for governments

How much can I apply for?

Projects are generally between AUD5,000 and AUD40,000. 

Eligible applicants may apply for funding of up to a maximum AUD60,000, but projects over AUD30,000 must be delivered in partnership with established entities and have a strong project design with a detailed budget, project timeline and risk management strategy.

As outlined above, all payments to successful applicants will only be transferred into registered NGO or entity accounts (i.e. payments will not be transferred into personal accounts).

Projects generally run for less than 12 months but may, if necessary, run for a maximum of two years (with funding allocated in the first year).

When can I apply?

The High Commission will administer DAP in the Caribbean in two funding rounds in 2019-20:

  • Round One: Applications will open on Saturday 14 September 2019 and close on Sunday 20 October 2019. 
  • Round Two: Applications will open on Saturday 7 December 2019 and close on Sunday 12 January 2020.

How can I apply?

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

What do I need to include in my application?

  • a detailed budget using the DAP Budget Template
  • quotes for all items listed in the budget
  • a detailed project timeline using the DAP Project Timeline Template
  • for NGOs: a copy of your NGO registration
  • for projects involving children or contact with children: the organisation’s Child Protection Policy (if one does not exist, the applicant must create one)
  • for infrastructure projects: proof of land ownership (copy of land title/lease) or a letter of permission from the land owner
  • for first-time applicants: a financial statement for last financial year
  • for projects exceeding AUD30,000 or 12 months: a risk management strategy

How are applications assessed?

The High Commission assesses applications against the following criteria:

  • the project meets the requirements of DAP
  • the project aligns with the identified themes for 2019-20
  • the project has achievable and sustainable development outcomes
  • the cost of the project relative to the development outcomes
  • the completeness of the project application
  • the practicality of the project’s implementation arrangements

    During the assessment process, the High Commission may seek further information from the applicant.

What do I do if I need help?

If you have any questions about DAP or the application process, please call the High Commission during business hours on +1 868 822 5450, or email the High Commission at Please include your application number, if relevant, in your email subject.

For general enquiries, please utilise our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.