Australian Consulate-General
Kolkata, India

Direct Aid Program

Direct Aid Program (DAP) – Kolkata

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 Consulate-General in Kolkata manages the DAP in east and north east 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.  

In 2020-21, DAP supported economic and social development initiatives in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Odisha.


  • In West Bengal, ActionAid is empowering female domestic workers through training on digital literacy, rights awareness and skill mapping, enabling their economic independence.


  • In Tripura, Oisho Bani Society has helped create livelihood generation opportunities for women farmers from tribal communities, providing them with training and investment in pisciculture and animal husbandry.


  • In Odisha, the success of the Indian Institute of Education and Care’s project on the use of community radio for inclusive education of special needs students has led to the state government integrating these radio episodes in its education curriculum for wider dissemination.


Who can apply? 
DAP funding is available to community groups, NGOs and academic institutions engaged in development activities on a not-for-profit basis. 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 Consulate-General in Kolkata supports small-scale, sustainable development projects in east and north east India (see below for a list of states covered).

States covered by the Australian Consulate-General in Kolkata: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal.


What activities are eligible for DAP support?

DAP activities should aim to achieve practical and tangible outcomes of high development impact. In 2021-22 we aim to work with partners on high quality projects on five thematic areas:

·         Education, innovation & entrepreneurship: under education, projects that work towards increasing access to education and learning opportunities. Under skills and entrepreneurship, projects that promote micro and small scale industries that have been impacted due to COVID-19.

·         Gender equality and women’s empowerment: projects that address gender-sensitive issues including women’s health and nutrition requirements, economic empowerment and that help end violence and discrimination.

·         Water and sanitation: projects that work towards access to safe drinking water and create awareness of good sanitation and hygiene practices.

·         Agricultural productivity: projects that directly support productivity in India’s agricultural sector and its communities.

·         Environmental conservation: projects that promote sustainable conservation practices. 


We welcome projects that also consider health and/or diversity (including indigenous, LGBTQI+ 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
  • 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.


Projects must be clearly defined with specific outputs. Applications will be approved 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

DAP grants are typically 3,00,000 INR to 4,00,000 INR each, with some flexibility in case of justified project expenses. 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 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
  • follow all due diligence requirements of the Australian High Commission / Consulate-General 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 Government representatives to the project site, where safe to do so.


How can we apply?

The Australian Consulate-General Kolkata’s DAP operates on the Australian financial year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June. The 2021-22 DAP Application Round will open on Friday 6 August 2021 and close on Friday 3 September 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.

All applicants will be notified about the outcome of their applications via email by the end of October 2021.


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

If you have any questions while completing your application, please contact [email protected] . Do include your application number in your email subject.