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Civil Society Project Funding

Irish Aid provides project funding through an annual competitive grant round for NGO's engaged in development work, in particular priority areas. In 2016, over €1.1 million in funding was approved for 13 partners.     

Access to water in Inhambane province, Mozambique


What is project funding?

Irish Aid's project funding, known as the Civil Society Fund (CSF), provides annual and multi-annual grants to NGOs for small to medium-sized projects in some of the world's poorest regions. This grant enables NGOs to undertake innovative development projects in a range of areas including human rights, health, education, gender, water and sanitation, and food security.

Why we provide project funding?

The CSF supports the implementation of Irish Aid's Civil Society Policy and all interventions funded have a strong focus on achieving results for communities in the poorest parts of the world.

The CSF also ensures that Ireland's overseas development funding contributes to the Government's stated development policy priorities outlined in Ireland's Policy for International Development 'One World, One Future' which was launched in 2013.

How we realise policy objectives through the project grant?

The Civil Society Fund (CSF) aims to support small and medium-sized Irish non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and invited international NGOs to carry out development projects of between one and three years duration.

The Civil Society Fund aims to support:

  • an enabling environment for civil society to organise and engage with government and its own broader constituencies,
  • the role of civil society in (i) promoting participation and good governance, (ii) ensuring pro-poor service delivery and pro-poor growth, and (iii) globally and nationally, to build a constituency for development, human rights and social justice.

In 2017, Irish Aid are seeking applications that most clearly outline how proposed projects will primarily contribute to a maximum of two of the High Level Outcomes of the One World, One Future Framework for Action. The Outcomes are conducive to a range of projects, including projects relating to hunger, inclusive economic growth, health, education, gender, governance, human rights, etc. It is not expected that projects will contribute to all Outcomes. One or two of the most relevant Outcomes should be chosen.

In line with the Irish Aid Volunteering Initiative, the Civil Society Fund is also looking to support innovative initiatives that support the achievement of Irish Aid's key objectives in relation to poverty reduction.


Project partners

Who are our project partners?

In 2016, over €1.1 million in funding was approved for 13 partners. Successful applicants were those who responded to Irish Aid's priority areas, which include reducing global hunger, the promotion of human rights and gender equality and prevention of gender based violence.

Organisation Name

Approved for 2016

Anti-Slavery International






ECPAT International


Fields of life


Friends in Ireland


Habitat for Humanity Irl




Irish Family Planning Association


Irish Foundation For Co-operative Development




Martin Ennals Foundation




Civil Society Fund 2018 Round

The 2018 Civil Society Fund Round will not be advertised this September. It will likely be advertised in October or November. Please monitor the website for updates.

Key Documents

Application process

The Civil Society Fund 2017 Round is now closed for Applications.

Further Information

Appraisal of applications will take place in Quarter 1 2017 and notification of funding decisions will issue in Quarter 2 2017.

Please note that individual meetings cannot be held with applicant organisations while the call is active and Irish Aid officials will not be available to answer questions or provide clarifications on an individual basis.

Any attempt to influence the outcome of the decision-making process in relation to grant applications will result in disqualification.

Questions or queries in relation to the Round should be addressed directly to 'Civil Society Funding' on the contact us page on the Irish Aid website and the FAQs will be updated.


Focus on results

Organisations who receive CSF grants are responsible for effective and ongoing monitoring throughout the course of the funding period. 

Each project grant is based on a contract and an agreed set of results. The organisations must report on the progress towards the expected results annually to Irish Aid through the annual reporting process.

Reporting requirements

Irish Aid monitoring of CSF grants includes:

  • Annual report on results and expenditure
  • Audited accounts to be submitted annually

Read more about Civil Society funding

See our 2015 Annual Report for a list of organisations that received funding through the main civil society funding schemes administered by Irish Aid HQ.