Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the management and reporting of current grants:
- How do I know what documents to send UK Aid Direct and when I should send them?
Please refer to your grant arrangement. This forms the agreement between DFID and your organisation. It is an important document and you must keep a copy of it as part of your project documentation. You should read and familiarise yourself with the document as it will give you information about a range of questions you may have. Your grant arrangement sets out the expectations of you as a grant holder and what is required to ensure that your grant is compliant.
- Can I hold more than one UK Aid Direct grant at any one time?
Yes. The maximum number of live grants per organisations will depend on the different grant types – Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) grant, Community Partnership grant and Impact grant. Please visit the specific criteria pages in the How to apply section for each grant type for more information.
- How do I acknowledge that UK Aid Direct is funding my project?
It is a requirement for all projects in receipt of UK Aid Direct funding to acknowledge the funding in all written materials and verbal statements. Please refer to the visibility statement of your grant agreement which gives an overview of where you need to include acknowledgement.
- How can I contact the team at MannionDaniels?
You will be assigned a Performance and Risk Manager (PRM) who will be your main point of contact throughout the lifetime of your grant. If your organisation holds more than one grant, you will have the same PRM for each grant. You will be given the name and contact details for your PRM and should contact them in the first instance for everything relating to those grant.
If you have any general queries that are not related to your grant, please use the grant holder e-mail address email@example.com. This e-mail is monitored on a daily basis.
- Once I have made the refinements to my logframe following my baseline survey, will I need to make any further changes to it?
When your logframe has been agreed between yourself and your PRM, this will be the final version that we will ask you to report back against for your annual report. However, if there are any significant changes to your project in the meantime, you may need to make changes to your logframe. Your PRM can discuss this with you.
- There are a number of additional specific conditions that appear in my grant arrangement. Do I have to complete these within a certain time frame?
Your grant arrangement gives details of any specific conditions that have been identified for your grant during the due diligence and grant set-up phase. The timelines for your specific conditions will be stated in your grant agreement. If you have any questions in relation to these, please contact your PRM as soon as possible.
- I am required to complete an Memorandum of Understanding for my grant. Where can I find further information to help me do this?
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a document which sets out the agreement between the organisation that holds the grant and any partner organisation administering DFID funds as part of this grant. You should draft an MoU for your project and send this to your Performance and Risk Manager for agreement within 30 days of your project start date. MoU guidance and a sample MoU template can be provided.
- What does the annual reporting process involve and what are the timescales?
As part of the annual reporting process for UK Aid Direct, grant holders will be required to submit their Annual Review report on the anniversary of their grant start date. Additionally, grant holders are also required to submit a lighter touch interim report 6 months after their start date. For DFID year-end reporting purposes, you will be required to submit a statement of expenditure form by the 30th April of that financial year.
If your project is due to finish within 3 months of your Annual Review being due, you will not be required to complete the Annual Review, as the Project Completion Report (PCR) will replace this requirement. For DFID year-end reporting purposes, you will need to submit a Statement of Expenditure form by 30 April. Your annual Financial Report should be submitted with your PCR.
- What reporting will I need to send at the end of my project?
When your project is nearing completion, your PRM will send you a set of project closure documents. They will be sent to you approximately two months prior to your project end date.
We will ask that you return these documents no later than three months after your project end date. You are required to submit your final evaluation document at the same time.
- Will I need to send our annual audited accounts to UK Aid Direct?
Yes, we require a set of your organisation’s accounts for each year that you receive DFID funding. A signed set of audited accounts should be sent to us within 6 months of your financial year end. Your accounts should show clearly the funding from DFID. If you hold more than one grant, the amounts should be shown separately.
Please e-mail them to your PRM. There is no need to send a hard copy in the post. Please refer to your Grant Arrangement for further details.
Changes to your project
- Do I need to tell UK Aid Direct about any other changes to my project?
Yes. You will need to contact your PRM to inform them of any significant change to your project or your organisation. Changes can include changes to key activities that affect outputs, budget revisions, changes to authorised signatories, bank account changes, an organisational name change, key staffing changes etc.
Please tell us about any change as soon as possible and do not leave it until the end of the reporting year or the end of the project. Please refer to Section 26 x & xi of your grant arrangement for further details.
- What do I do if there is a change in the implementing partner arrangements for my project?
Please contact your PRM to discuss this as soon as you are aware that there will be a change in your project partners. Your PRM will ask you to explain more detail about this and will agree next steps with you.
- What documentation will I need to send to UK Aid Direct at the end of my project?
At the end of your project you will be required to send the following documents within 3 months of your project ending:
- Project Completion Report – narrative
- Final Evaluation report
- Final Logframe
- Risk Matrix
- Project Photos including write ups
- Final Financial Completion Form
- Statement of Expenditure
- Asset Inventory Form
- What do I do if I require a no-cost extension for my project?
The start and end date of your project can be found in your Grant Arrangement. The lifetime of the grant is limited to 3 years (for grants awarded before 2016) or up to 5 years (for Impact grants awarded after 2016). However in exceptional circumstances there may be a justification to extend the life of your grant in order to ensure that all project activities are completed in line with the original proposal. If you feel that there may be a need to extend the end date of the project, please notify your PRM at least 6 months before the existing end date. You will need to provide justification for the request and assurance that costs will remain within the original budget allocation.
The PRM will review the request and submit it to DFID for approval. Once DFID has given written approval, the PRM will let you know and issue a revised Grant Arrangement.
- How do I prepare for my project’s final evaluation?
There are 2 documents offering guidance to help you to prepare for your final evaluation. These will be included in the project closure package to be sent by your PRM prior to your project end date.
Your project evaluation should be sent to your PRM, together with your project closure documents, no later than 3 months after your project end date. If you think that you won’t be able to meet this timescale, please contact your PRM to discuss this.
- What do I need to do at the end of my project?
You will need to make sure that your project is ready to end and that all project activities are due to finish by the end date on your grant arrangement.
Your project milestones should have all been met unless an alternative arrangement has been agreed with the Fund Manager via your PRM.
Arrangements should be in place for the transfer or disposal of any remaining assets that have been purchased with UK Aid Direct funding.
- How do I submit a claim for payment?
When making your claim for payment, please ensure that the Fund Manager has the correct bank account details for your organisation. Please inform your Performance and Risk Manager (PRM) if your bank account details have changed.
Please note that an ‘Advance’ payment means that funds will be transferred to your account three months earlier than if you were claiming in Arrears (DFID’s preferred payment method). It does not mean funds will be transferred in advance of the quarter you are claiming for. An ‘Arrears’ payment means that funds will be transferred to your account in the quarter after you have incurred expenditure.
If you are claiming in advance, please use the Advance Claim Form. If you are claiming in Arrears, please use the Arrears Claim Form. If you are unsure which form to use, please speak to your PRM.
It is essential that a final copy of your claim form is received by the Fund Manager eight UK working days before the end of the month to enable payment in the next calendar month. Any claims received after the deadline will be held and processed with the batch received in the following month.
You will need to submit the following documents:
- A draft Excel copy of the claim
- A signed scanned copy of the claim
- A signed scanned copy of the Quarterly Compliance Statement
- Where necessary, you may be required to submit a Statement of Expenditure as well
- Can I carry over underspend from one year to the next?
All DFID funding should be spent within the relevant allocated financial year. Moving funds from one year to another is not encouraged by DFID. Carry over requests will not be considered unless the grantee can prove exceptional circumstances beyond their control prevented project expenditure from taking place.
In reference to exceptional circumstances beyond a grant holder’s control, this would include the following;
- Outbreak of Ebola or other deadly disease
- Military Coup or outbreaks of violence
- Extreme natural disaster
If you think that you will not be able to spend all of your allocated DFID funds within the project year for which it has been given, please contact your PRM as early as possible to discuss this. If you think that you have a justification to carry over any funds, you will need to complete a carry-over request with your end of year claim and this will need to be approved by DFID. Carry forwards due to exchange rate gains cannot be considered.
If your carry over request is approved you will receive a revised grant arrangement reflecting the revised annual budget amounts.
Any funds that are unspent and not carried over into the next financial year will be lost and will be offset in the new financial year budget.
- What do I need to do if the project bank account details change?
If you have changed your bank account details since your grant was set up, please inform your PRM and follow the guidelines in the bank account details form included in your original grant arrangement. We will also need a letter of good standing from your new bank.
- What happens if the budget for my project needs to be revised?
Grant holders can reallocate their budget by up to 10% of the value of a budget sub heading within any financial year without fund manager approval. See your grant arrangement.
If you need to change your budget by more than 10%, or move funds between budget sub headings, please contact your PRM to discuss this further. We will ask you to submit a budget revision request giving us details of the budget amounts you wish to change and details to support your request.
All budget revision requests will require agreement from the Fund Manager.
- What do I need to do if there is a change in exchange rates during my project year?
Exchange rates are liable to change at any time during the lifetime of the project. We expect organisations to calculate their exchange rate in accordance with their organisation’s policy. Fluctuations can be dealt with using the budget revision process.
Please note that exchange rate gains cannot be carried over into the next financial year and must be utilised in the year they are incurred.
- If my plans for match funding for my project change, what action should I take?
If your original sources of match funding cannot be secured, please contact your PRM as soon as possible to discuss the issue, explain the situation, and what action you are taking. Please tell your PRM what your plans are to replace your original source of match funding.
- What happens if I overspend on my project?
The amount of grant awarded cannot be increased. It is the responsibility of the grant holder to ensure that project spend is in line with the agreed budget.
Where you have match funding, consider offsetting your overspends using your match funding portion.
International Aid Transparency Initiative Standards (IATI)
- What is IATI?
The International Aid Transparency Standard (IATI) is a global open data initiative which provides information on aid spending and effectiveness in one common format. It is used by a wide range of organisations, from donors and governments, to aid practitioners and project partners to track aid spending. You can view IATI data in its XML format or as visualisations. DFID visualise all of its IATI data on dev-tracker.
This video helps to explain what IATI is and why donors require grant holders to publish to IATI.
- What does IATI stand for and where can I find further information and support for this aspect of my grant?
IATI stands for ‘International Aid Transparency Initiative Standards’. IATI is a global open data initiative which provides one common place for all information about aid spending and effectiveness.
All Impact and Community Partnership grant holders in receipt of funding from UK Aid Direct are required to be IATI compliant and must publish information about their DFID funded project to IATI within 6 months of signing your Accountable Grant Agreement. These grant holders are also expected to support their downstream project partners to publish to the IATI Standard.
Grant holders funded through the Small Charities Challenge Fund will be encouraged and offered support to publish to the IATI standard, however, it is not a contractual requirement.
Information and links to documentation and sources of support on all of the above can be found on the BOND IATI website (link opens in a new tab) or in the IATI Guidance Note available in the Grant Holder Resources section of the website.
You can also find information about DFID’s minimum requirements and timescales for publishing on the gov.uk website (link opens in a new tab).
- Where can I find guidance on how to publish to IATI?
Most organisations use a piece of free software to publish to IATI (as opposed to trying to write XML themselves), this is called AidStream. There is step-by-step guidance on how to publish to IATI via AidStream on Bond’s website.
There’s also a comprehensive Q and A on Bond’s website which includes information about IATI and DFID.
If you have any specific questions relating to publishing you can get in contact with Bond through firstname.lastname@example.org.
MannionDaniels also has a dedicated IATI focal person who you can contact for guidance and support with your publishing.
If you have specific questions about DFID and deadlines please contact your Performance and Risk Manager.
- How and when do I publish on the IATI Registry?
All Impact and Community Partnership grant holders in receipt of funding from UK Aid Direct are required to be IATI compliant. This means publishing information on a grant to DFID’s minimum technical requirements.
Grant holders funded through the Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) will be encouraged and offered support to publish to the IATI standard, however, it will not be a requirement stipulated in their Accountable Grant Agreement.
All Impact and Community Partnership grant holders are expected to publish on IATI every quarter and within 6 months of signing your Accountable Grant Agreement.
Your IATI compliance will be monitored by the Fund Manager and you will be expected to confirm your compliance when you submit your signed quarterly claim.
The information grant holders are expected to publish on IATI includes basic project details such as title, description, start and end dates and project partners, as well as financial information including incoming funds, expenditure and disbursements.
Grant holders are also required to add information pertaining to their organisation including an organisation budget and open document. Details of the requirements can be found on the GOV.UK website (link opens in a new tab).
If you are unable to publish on IATI for any reason, you will need to inform your Performance and Risk Manager (PRM) as soon as possible, as it could impact on you receiving your disbursement.
If you require support with this aspect of your grant, you can contact either your Fund Manager or Bond (link opens in a new tab) for guidance and answers.
- What does DFID need grant holders to publish to IATI?
All grant holders in receipt of funding from UK Aid Direct are required to be IATI compliant. This means publishing information on a grant to DFID’s minimum technical requirements. This includes basic project information such as title, description, start and end dates and project partners, as well as financial information including incoming funds, expenditure and disbursements.
DFID requires you to publish information every quarter and within 6 months of signing your Accountable Grant Agreement.
Grant holders are also required to add information pertaining to their organisation including an organisation’s budget and open document. Details of the requirements can be found on the GOV.UK website (link opens in a new tab).
- What should I do if I suspect that the DFID funds are being used inappropriately or fraudulently?
If you suspect that the DFID funds are being misappropriated or used in ways other than for what they were intended, please contact your PRM immediately to share your concerns. Your information will be treated confidentially.
All grant holders in receipt of DFID funds must have clear and robust financial accounting controls which should include reference to anti-bribery, corruption and fraud policies. Please refer to the Fraud and Corruption section of your grant arrangement for further information in relation to this.