The Australian aid program values partnerships with civil society organisations including non-government organisations (NGOs). Civil society organisations can be powerful agents for change—as partners in delivering better services for the poorest members of society, and as enablers of social inclusion. They can also advocate for more effective, accountable and transparent governments. Civil society organisations promote community level engagement, build the capacity of civil society more broadly and strengthen people to people links. Australian NGOs have longstanding connections, expertise and experience in Africa. They are working with communities across the African continent. According to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), around a third of all public donations made by Australians in 2013-14 for development projects overseas went to projects in Africa.
Australia’s development assistance delivers the following programs through civil society partners:
- Australian NGO Cooperation Program
- Direct Aid Program.
Australian NGO Cooperation Program in Africa
$21 million, 2016-2017
$21 million, 2017-18 Budget Estimate
Australia supports accredited Australian NGOs to deliver cost effective, practical and direct poverty reduction programs through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). The ANCP will directly support community-level economic development, facilitating access to markets, improving livelihoods for women and working to strengthen links between communities, government and the private sector.
In 2017-18, an estimated $21 million will be provided for community development projects across 30 African countries. In 2016-17, ANCP supported 28 Australian NGOs to deliver 90 projects in 21 African countries, to the value of approximately $21 million.
Direct Aid Program in Africa
$6.6 million 2017-2018 Budget Estimate
The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program managed by Australian diplomatic missions across Africa (and other regions). The aim is to advance developmental objectives and address humanitarian hardship in developing countries, while at the same time supporting Australia’s wider foreign and trade policy interests and public diplomacy objectives. DAP funding is available on a not-for-profit basis to individuals, community groups, NGOs and other entities engaged in development activities.
The 2017-18 DAP allocation to African countries is estimated at $6.6 million, representing 30 per cent of global DAP funding. This is expected to fund around 200 projects across Africa.