Optimising the use of natural resources on World Environment Day

On World Environment Day, we take a closer look at the work of a grant holder that is securing economic empowerment for thousands of households in Zimbabwe through the commercialisation of indigenous species.

In a country with over 6,000 plant species, less than 1% has typically been used commercially. This is where Hilfswerk Austria International-Zimbabwe, a UK Aid Direct grant holder, stepped in.

The UK Aid Direct funded project focuses on creating alternative income opportunities for smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe from natural species and high value crops.

Partnering with Bio-Innovation Zimbabwe and Organic Africa Pvt Ltd, the project optimises the use of natural resources that would usually go to waste, for example: Amaranth, Cassava, Resurrection Bush, Lippia Javanica, Moringa, Stevia, Ximenia, Mongongo, Bamboo, Bambara Nuts and Wild Melon.

At the beginning of the project, extensive GIS mapping was carried out to establish the distribution and density of all the plants.

Products were then developed, tested, and launched. They are now sold both locally and internationally at fairs and markets.

The farmers were trained in sustainable harvesting, storage and processing and were organically and fair trade certified.

selling-at-market Read more >

Do you need support publishing your organisation’s data on the International Aid Transparency Initiative Registry?


The UK Aid Direct team has been notified of a course designed for organisations receiving funds where IATI is a requirement.

Run by BOND – the UK membership body for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in international development – the course will be held on Tuesday 11 July 2017 in London and places are limited.

By the end of the workshop, you should be able to:

  • explain to colleagues the context of the IATI open data standard, how other organisations are using it to communicate about their projects and how the data is used around the world
  • articulate the types of information you will be sharing via IATI and the risks and opportunities associated with this, and how to meet DFID and Netherlands MFA requirements
  • set up a sustainable business process for IATI data publishing
  • have practical experience of using the software and publishing your first set of IATI data

To find out more and book your place see BOND’s website here

If you have any other questions or comments about your IATI publishing for the UK Aid Direct team, please submit the details here.

November 2016 funding round

About this particular funding round, as well as general feedback on concept notes received

This particular funding round had a very broad focus.

Applicants were asked to consider:

  • how they would address the Global Goals
  • how they would respond to DFID’s strategic priorities
  • how their proposals would contribute towards the goals of UK Aid Direct

Proposals addressing the following issues were particularly encouraged:

  • family planning
  • nutrition
  • ending modern slavery

Applicants could be apply for 2 different types of grants:

  • Community partnership grants, aimed at UK organisations with a turnover over under £1 million, for grants of up to £250,000
  • Impact grants, aimed at organisations implementing in countries DFID consider to be of high or moderate fragility or in one of the lowest 50 HDI countries. These organisations have to have a turnover of under £10 million and grants were available for up to £4 million

The funding round process for this round is a 2-stage process.

A total of 591 concept notes were received for both grant types.

Of those, 122 were shortlisted and invited to submit a full application.

An independent review of those shortlisted full applications is currently taking place.

Click here to read PDF of general feedback provided by the UK Aid Direct technical team and reviewers, for the concept note stage of applications.