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.  

Since 2020-21, Australian Consulate-General Kolkata’s DAP projects have supported economic and social development initiatives in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Odisha, Nagaland, Jharkhand and Manipur, growing in reach with each passing year.  In 2022-23, the Consulate-General supported partners on the following projects:


  • In Assam, South Asian Forum for Environment is helping women in the wetlands area to recycle collected waste in craft and utility items and set up platforms for their marketing and sale, providing an alternative livelihood option to the women while also creating awareness of the circular economy


  • In Tripura, Social Upliftment for Development and Health Action has women’s health is at the centre of its intervention, organising screening clinics in rural areas for early detection of breast cancer, and awareness-building through guidance and counselling


  • In Jharkhand, Future Hope is empowering young women through sport and leadership skills, improving their access to education and building self-confidence to assume greater roles in their communities


  • In Odisha, Pragati is supporting sustainable agricultural practices through creating livelihood opportunities for small and marginal farmers on half acre farms by installing irrigation facilities and solar pumps, ensuring nutritional and food security


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 2023-24 we aim to work with partners on high quality projects on four thematic areas:

·         Education, innovation and entrepreneurship: both Australia and India are committed to supporting education and research collaboration, through knowledge exchange and innovation.  Kolkata’s DAP will prioritise education access particularly to the under-served communities.  DAP will prioritise projects which provide pathways between skill training and marketing and entrepreneurship. 

·         Climate Action and environmental conservation: DAP will focus on projects that promote sustainable conservation practices and minimise the depletion of natural resources and barriers.  In particular we will focus on greening initiatives that are self-sustaining.  Projects which demonstrate awareness about the positive environmental impact of their activity will be considered favourably in DAP assessments.

·         Indigenous Economic Security: In line with the Australian government’s commitment to support the rights of indigenous peoples around the world, DAP will support programs that maximise economic opportunities for indigenous people, and promote sustainable development for all indigenous peoples.

·         Gender diversity and women’s empowerment: The Australian Government’s commitment to gender equality is at the heart of Australia’s International Development Policy.  Gender Equality is integral to advancing Australia’s national interests and reflects Australian values of fairness and substantive equality.  Consistent with Australia’s Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment strategy, the DAP program seeks to address the following:

  • promote women’s health and nutrition requirements
  • promote women’s economic empowerment
  • promote women’s status in their communities, and
  • help end violence against women and girls. 

              DAP will encourage innovative and sustainable ideas that promote diversity in all its forms - indigenous inclusion, LGBTQIA+ and disability                  rights

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

·         consideration of environmental impact

·         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 typically range up to 10 lakh INR, 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 timelines. 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 2023-24 DAP Application Round will open on Tuesday 17 October 2023 and close on Friday 17 November 2023.

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 January 2023.


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


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