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Civil Society Project Funding

Irish Aid provides project funding through an annual competitive grant round for NGOs engaged in development work, in particular priority areas. In 2013, over €1.66 million in funding was approved for 17 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.  The main priorities for the Civil Society Fund in 2014 will reflect these policy priorities

How we realise policy objectives through the project grant?

The main priorities for the Civil Society Fund in 2014 as outlined in the CSF Annual Grant 2014 Guidelines are:

  • reducing global hunger, including those focused on mitigating the impact of environmental and climate change, in particular for women and smallholder farmer associations;
  • addressing discrimination and inequalities faced by certain vulnerable groups, with an emphasis on responding to a) gender inequality and b) the needs of people living with a disability;
  • promotion and protection of human rights principles and standards with a focus on strengthening the participation and representation of poor and marginalised people in the international human rights system and the protection of human rights defenders.  Irish Aid also wishes to support the protection and promotion of civil society space more broadly;
  • Strengthening volunteering practice and increasing the number of quality volunteering opportunities, particularly for experienced professionals in the areas of health, education and governance. Proven capacity in this areas will need to be emphasised. This priority area is in line with the Irish Aid Volunteering Initiative which was launched in October 2013


The focus of Irish Aid’s work is in sub-Saharan Africa and priority is given to organisations working in that region.

Project partners

Who are our project partners?

Irish Aid currently has 41 partners in receipt of a project grant.

In 2013, over €1.66 million in funding was approved for 17 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 inequality and prevention of gender based violence.

The successful NGOs and the grant amounts approved in 2013 are as follows:


Funding Allocation



Christina Noble Children's Foundation


ECPAT International


Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation


Global Witness Trust


International Commission of Jurists


International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)


Irish Family Planning Association


Irish National Teachers Organisation


Martin Ennals Foundation


Nepal leprosy Trust (NLT)


The Social & Health Education Project


The Spiritan Zambia Orphan Fund


The Support Africa Foundation


UCC - Department of Food Business & Development, UCC







Apply for Funding

How to apply for project funding?

Irish Aid issues an annual call for project grant proposals. The CSF scheme is open to Irish-based organisations and invited International organisations only.

Grants are allocated for projects and the maximum ceiling is €200,000 per year for up to 3 years. All proposals need to have a strong focus on results for individuals and communities in the poorest parts of the world. 

Eligibility and Expression of interest

The CSF 2014 scheme was open to organisations which met the Eligibility Criteria set out in Section 5 of the CSF 2014 Guidelines for Applicant Organisations.

The closing date for submission of Eligibility Criteria Form is now CLOSED.

Organisations which did not meet the deadline for submitting an Eligibility Criteria Form of 9th December, 2013 will not be considered in the round.

Application Form Information

The date for submission of the CSF 2014 Application Form is now CLOSED.  

Applications which were received from organisations by deadline of 16th January, 2014 and which met the eligibility criteria have been forwarded for appraisal.

Applications which were not received after the deadline date will not be considered in the round.

Irish Aid require one original hard copy of the Application Form, signed by the legal representative of the organisation (e.g. the chair of the board of trustees) to be sent to the address below: 

Civil Society Fund,
Development Education and Civil Society Section,
Irish Aid,
Riverstone House,
25-27 Henry Street,

Further Information 

Consideration of applications by Civil Society Approvals Committee will be in early March 2014.

Notification of funding decisions to applicant organisations will be issued in mid-April 2014.

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.

Questions or queries should be addressed directly to 'Civil Society Funding' on the contact us page on the Irish Aid website.

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

A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document is available below.

Please find below relevant documents for Irish Aid’s Civil Society Annual Grant 2014.

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 Annex 19 of the Irish Aid Annual Report for a list of organisations that received funding through the main civil society funding schemes administered by Irish Aid HQ.