Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives

DAP Sri Lanka

The Direct Aid Program Sri Lanka and Maldives

Read in Sinhala

Read in Tamil


The Direct Aid Program

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program available on a not-for-profit basis to local community groups to provide immediate relief for marginalised communities. The DAP aims to advance developmental objectives and address humanitarian hardship where it is needed most.

Focus Areas

We accept high quality applications that have development focus and are aimed at strengthening communities in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

The Direct Aid Program is open to funding projects focussed on:

• Small-scale income-generation
• Community health and sanitation
• Education and vocational training
• Small scale infrastructure
• Rural development
• Women’s empowerment
• Human rights training/education and governance
• Post-war recovery

Special attention will be given to the needs of women, children, disabled persons, elderly persons and other vulnerable groups.

In some circumstances, projects related to the preservation of culture, and sporting projects with clear developmental links will also be considered for DAP funding.


The Direct Aid Program is governed by number of guidelines that applications must to be considered for funding. These are:

• DAP activities should be of high developmental impact. Applications should clearly detail the expected development impact;
• involve beneficiaries participation in design, implementation and monitoring;
• Recipients of DAP funds are expected to make a reasonable contribution of their own to the activity in either cash and/or kind. The type and level of contribution must be indicated in the project proposal.
• projects should be oriented towards self-help and be sustainable;
• submissions should demonstrate the approval of local authorities for the project;
• appropriate institutional support arrangements must be described, for example the level of recurrent costs generated and evidence of capacity to sustain these costs in the longer term;
• applications should demonstrate a commitment on the part of local authorities and/or beneficiaries to implement and sustain the project beyond the term of the grant.
• the proposal should contain measurable performance indicators and monitoring mechanisms
• building or construction related projects should meet Australian standards. Asbestos must not be used as a building or construction material
• if a project involves working with children, the organisation must implement a child protection policy


In Sri Lanka and Maldives, DAP funding is available to legally registered community groups and NGOs, academic institutions and local government institutions engaged in development activities on a not-for-profit basis.

Organisations can submit more than one project proposal for consideration in one funding round.

The following areas will not be funded by DAP:

• Conferences in Sri Lanka and Maldives or overseas study tours
• academic training in Australia
• items of a recurrent nature such as staff salaries, office rentals and utility costs
• spare parts, supplies, maintenance and repairs
• payment of consultants and advisers, where they constitute a major cost component
• micro credit schemes
• the administration cost of the project must be less than 10% of the value of the project. DAP will not fund salaries, rent or other overheads of NGOs. Only costs related to project will be funded.


DAP projects are typically valued at LKR 3,000,000. Organisations who wish to submit applications for projects of a higher value should contact the Australian High Commission for advice (telephone numbers are provided below).


DAP grants are given for one year. Projects with duration up to two years can be considered depending on the nature of the project. Organisations interested in applying for long-term projects are advised to contact the Australian High Commission before making an application.

Accountability, Transparency and Reporting

The Australian High Commission requires a high degree of transparency and accountability of any project that is received DAP grants. Proposals must demonstrate that the risk of wastage, administration costs and other costs not delivering direct benefit to the target community will be minimised.

An organisation receiving DAP funding will be required to:

• sign a contract with agreeing to the terms and conditions of the grant;
• provide an electronic copy of your application
• keep full financial records of all expenditure (including receipts)
• submit a progress report within six months of receiving your funding and
• submit a full financial report on completion of the project, including receipts

Application Process

Organisations must complete the DAP application form to make a request for funding.

The DAP application form - English, Sinhala, Tamil

Applications can be submitted at any time and will be considered for grant rounds which take place throughout the year. For 2016, there will be grant rounds in September, December and March.

Applications should demonstrate:

• Clearly explained objectives of the project and who will benefit
• Description of how the project will be implemented
• Detail what practical experience your organisation has in successfully implementing similar projects
• Provide an itemised budget of realistic and reasonable costs
• Include contact details (including e-mail addresses) of referees and previous donors who can speak positively and knowledgably about your organisation
• Explain how you will acknowledge the source of funding (you may allocate a small amount of funding to help badge your program as Australian Government funded, e.g. stamping donated books or media outreach)


Applications can be submitted via email or hardcopy:



DAP Administrator
Australian High Commission
21, Srimath R. G. Senanayake Mawatha
Colombo 7

We receive a high volume of excellent quality applications and we take the time to consider the merits of each.

Only those organisations whose projects are short listed will be contacted. 



Please direct questions about projects based in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Uva Provinces to:

Mr Namal Perera
T: + 94 11 2463242

Please direct questions about projects based in the  Central, Northern, Eastern, North-Western and North-Central Provinces and Maldives to:

Ms Sonali Karunaratne
T: + 94 11 2463301