Australian Embassy
Cabo Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea Bissau

Direct Aid Program – Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe


Direct Aid Program (DAP) 2023-2024

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).

DAP supports local community efforts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. DAP projects engage a wide range of partners including community groups, non-government organisations, educational institutions, health facilities and local governments. 

DAP projects cover a range of sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, environmental protection and blue economy, women's empowerment and gender equality, supporting people with disabilities, economic livelihoods, digital initiatives, food security and human rights. Through helping people in need, Australia demonstrates that it is a supportive and trusted partner in addressing global aid challenges in partner countries.

Who can apply? 

The Australian Embassy in Lisbon supports DAP projects in Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe.

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

What activities are eligible for DAP Support?

DAP activities should aim to achieve practical and tangible outcomes of high development impact.

Projects should be self-contained, with finite timelines. Except in exceptional circumstances and only with prior approval, the DAP projects may run for up to one year and should be self-sustainable beyond the term of the grant. Organisations with existing DAP grants are not eligible to apply.

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 (allowed in exceptional cases only if integral to project outputs)
  • sponsorship of major sporting tournaments or cultural displays that do not have a clear developmental benefit
  • staff salaries with an exception to stipends/training or consultation fee paid specifically for a project activity
  • construction activities
  • routine, recurring or running costs and administrative expenses including office rental and utility costs, spare parts, routine maintenance.

Applicants are encouraged to co-contribute to the project for better advocacy and accountability and only 5 per cent of the total DAP budget can be used for administrative expenses.

Funding and timeframes

Grants are typically provided up to EUR 15,000.00. The majority of grant funding must be used to cover the direct project expenses (excluding staff salaries). Funding recipients must meet some of the project costs from their own funds or in-kind support.

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 Embassy including providing reference details
  • 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 Embassy representatives to the project site, where safe to do so.

Assessment of applications

Projects must be clearly defined with specific outputs. Applications will be approved or rejected on the basis of:

  • the costs and the development benefits of the project
  • 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 domestic rules and policies regarding foreign funding.

How can you apply?

The Australian Embassy’s DAP program operates on the Australian financial year, which runs from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.

The 2023-24 DAP Application Round opened on Tuesday 12  September 2023 and closes on Wednesday 15 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.

Apply here - follow the link to begin your application process

If you have any questions while completing your application, please contact

Ensure you include your application number in the email subject.