The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small grants program funded from Australia's aid budget. It has the flexibility to work with local communities in developing countries on projects that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development consistent with Australia's national interest.
It sits alongside Australia's longer-term country and multilateral development strategies and plays an important role in supporting local community efforts towards poverty reduction across the globe.
The program is founded on a set of principles which:
- advance developmental outcomes in countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) through projects primarily focused on practical and tangible results. This may include projects which support good governance, human rights and those with a strong advocacy component,
- support Australia's wider foreign and trade policy interests and public diplomacy objectives, including promoting a distinctive and positive image of Australia, and
- allow for a wide geographic reach reflecting that Australia has global interests and that DAP provides an effective way to build relationships and maintain Australia's profile.
In Samoa, the Australian High Commission invites DAP proposals in the following sectors:
Economic empowerment: creating economic opportunity through vocational training and empowering women for self-sustaining income generation;
Community health: including water, sanitation and hygiene. Promotion of primary health care and healthy lifestyles to help prevent non-communicable diseases and help support health education services;
Education: contribute to improving educational standards in preschools, primary and high schools, reading and study centres;
Inclusion: gender equality and social inclusion activities, including for people with a disbility, promotion of child protection and ending violence against women and children.
Human rights: promotion of human rights including freedom of speech, cultural and economic rights.
Good Governance: encourage accountability, transparency, consensus, the views of minorities and the voices of the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making.
Funding is available on a not-for-profit basis to individuals, community groups, NGOs and other entities engaged in development activities in Samoa.
Applications for the Direct Aid Program 2018-19 have now closed. The Australian High Commission will advise when applications for 2019-20 are being accepted.