Working with non-government organisations

The Australian Government has worked with Australian, international and local civil society organisations for more 40 years to support the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

The aid program directly funds more than 200 Australian, local and international civil society organisations and non-government organisations (NGOs) across the globe.

DFAT works with NGOs every day. DFAT and NGOs: Effective Development Partners, outlines the Australian Government’s approach to working with NGOs to support the Government’s development activities. The framework guides DFAT’s engagement with NGOs and how we will work with local, international and Australian NGOs to achieve the goals of the Australian aid program.

NGOs, as civil society actors, can be powerful agents for change, and the emergence of an informed and engaged civil society is an important development outcome in its own right. It enables communities to play an active role in the development process – from helping shape policy and partnerships to ensuring that programs are inclusive, relevant and effective for the community.

NGOs can bring valuable connections to communities, often comprehensive understandings of poverty in local contexts, and development expertise to Australia’s development efforts. NGOs are key to achieving DFAT’s objectives of enhanced engagement of the private sector across all areas of the aid program.

How we give aid

Complex development challenges require partnerships between government, the private sector, civil society and others. The new global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasises that the knowledge, expertise and finance of all must be harnessed to achieve our goals.

DFAT works with effective partners who are aligned with our priorities, sharing ideas, expertise and finance to maximise the impact of our development activities. Our choice of partner type is informed by value for money, including an analysis of the benefits of working with different development actors in pursuing our objectives in a particular context.

When DFAT works with NGOs we seek to fully realise the added benefits working with NGOs should bring, including building on local knowledge and connections. development expertise, and ability to influence change.

More information on how DFAT works with NGOs:

Aid related tenders and grants

A list of funding opportunities open to NGOs and CSOs can be found on the Engaging with the Department page.