About UK Aid Direct

A five-year, £150 million programme that currently reaches more than 11 million beneficiaries

Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), UK Aid Direct was established in 2014 as a successor to the Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF), which was created in 2010.

UK Aid Direct is a challenge fund designed to support the UK’s commitments to achieving the Global Goals. UK Aid Direct currently reaches more than 11 million people, with more than 140 live grants across 34 different countries. Funding rounds will continue until 2020.

The aim of UK Aid Direct is to fund small- and medium-sized national and international civil society organisations (CSOs) to reduce poverty and work towards achieving the Global Goals. Specifically, UK Aid Direct funding reaches the most marginalised and vulnerable populations, supporting the DFID agenda to ‘leave no one behind’.

This agenda can be achieved through funding projects that encompass service delivery, economic empowerment, strengthening accountability or generating social change.

Experience proves that small CSOs can:

  • Work with communities and local institutions to adapt activities to ensure effective delivery
  • Add significantly to the richness and diversity of development, both in the UK and in developing countries
  • Adopt innovative and new approaches
  • Have high levels of beneficiary accountability

These elements enhance the delivery of results and help to ensure sustainability. 

UK Aid Direct will adapt to changing contexts, based on learning and evidence generated through its portfolio of grants.

Capturing, documenting and sharing this learning and evidence is central to the work of UK Aid Direct.

As a flexible fund, UK Aid Direct is designed to be an adaptive and demand-led fund that responds to DFID priorities of:

  • Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  • Strengthening resilience and response to crisis
  • Promoting global prosperity
  • Tackling extreme poverty and helping the world’s most vulnerable
  • Delivering value for money