Africa’s Women Development Fund 2018 Call for Proposal: Round 3

Application Deadline: July 24, 2018

The African Women’s Development Fund was established in 2000, as an Africa-wide philanthropic, grant making initiative to support the realisation and fulfilment of African women’s rights through funding of autonomous women’s organisations on the continent. AWDF works towards the creation of healthy, just and inclusive societies framed by equality, peace and respect for women’s rights. Since its founding, AWDF has awarded more than US$40 million in grants.

Looking at the history of change, we know that women’s organisations, and the movements that they are part of, are central actors in crafting this just world.  AWDF invests in women’s rights organisations as leaders in advancing women’s rights, and as a core force for demanding accountability and respect, protection and fulfilment of rights for all women from duty bearers at all levels. We know that women’s organisations and movements not only keep gender equality on the agenda but also push for laws and policies to be comprehensive, progressive and inclusive of the concerns of diverse groups of women.

AWDF is one of four Women’s Funds from the Global South managing the Leading from the South Fund– a funding initiative created to resource women’s rights activism in the global South over 4 years, initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It supports activism devised, implemented, and led by women’s rights organisations in the global South. The LFS fund is being implemented by four women’s funds: Three are Regional Funds: African Women’s Development Fund (Africa and the Middle East Region), Fondo Mujeres del Sur (Latin America and the Caribbean) and Women’s Fund Asia (Asia); and one global fund AYNI – the Indigenous Women’s Fund.

AWDF is mandated to fund in all 54 African countries. Under the Leading from the South initiative AWDF has expanded its grantmaking mandate to include selected countries in the Middle East (see below for list of eligible countries).

In the first two years of the Leading from the South initiative, AWDF awarded grants to 55 organisations. For further insight into our grantmaking, please watch our LFS video here.


Through Leading from the South, AWDF will award grants that advance the following three impact areas:

  1. Eliminate violence against women and girls & sustain respect for women’s bodily integrity and autonomy
  2. Protect full economic rights and justice for women
  3. Expand democratic space; sustain inclusive governance and equal political participation of women


Who can apply

  • AWDF accepts applications from women’s rights organisations registered and working in DAC recipient countries in Africa and the Middle East (see country list in section II).
  • AWDF funds women-led, women’s organisations as a priority. Organisations must have:
    • a track record of work on women’s rights,
    • a woman as organisational director/lead
    • a majority (at least 70%) of women staff
    • at least 70% women involved in the governing board/body
    • a stated commitment to women’s rights/gender equality in the organisational mission/vision/values
    • At least 70% of programmatic resources must be dedicated to direct programming on women’s rights;
    • the project applied for will be managed by a woman


  • For Ananse and Pamoja grants, we will also consider applications from networks/coalitions formed by three or more women’s groups. In this case applications will be made by one lead organisation who will be responsible for administering and reporting on use of funds. Funds can only be distributed by the lead to a maximum of 4 named partner/network members who must also be based in the two regions.
  • Organisations must demonstrate their capacity and financial management systems to effectively implement and account for grant funding and programme delivery.
  • Organisations must have registration status that enables them to receive funds from foreign sources.
  • Organisations must have been in existence for at least 3 years.


Political parties, religious institutions, government bodies, for-profit organisations and individuals are not eligible for funding either independently or as part of a consortium.

Eligible activities

Activities to be considered for funding:

  • Campaigns to advance specific women’s rights agendas, law and policy change
  • Training to build core advocacy/social change skills
  • Media and communications campaigns
  • Action-research and knowledge production with an advocacy focus
  • Alliance and movement-building
  • Strategic litigation
  • Engaging the regional/international human rights system and international treaty bodies
  • Interventions to change public attitudes on key policy issues

Activities not eligible for funding:

  • Direct service provision
  • Party-political campaigning
  • Activities aimed at proselytizing/religious conversion
  • Scholarships
  • Construction and purchase of buildings and land
  • Profit and income generating activities and microfinance
  • Grantmaking (Note that grantmaking activities will not be eligible; however, funded networks or consortia will be eligible to disburse funds within their network /consortium for up to 4 partners for programmatic activities).

Eligible Countries

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central Africa, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Grants will be awarded in the range of US$20,000 to US$ 500,000 a year, in line with the three categories.


  1. All grant applications must be submitted to AWDF by 24 July 2018. AWDF will acknowledge receipt by email for all applications received.
  2. Please ensure that you only use the correct, updated application forms. Using the wrong form (including forms from previous rounds) could disqualify you.
  3. Submitted applications will be reviewed by AWDF’s experienced Programme Officers and managers with the support of qualified regional technical advisors. The final decision for the grants will be made by the AWDF board with contributions from technical advisors.
  4. Short-listing, review and selection process will take approximately 15 weeks from the submission deadline. Successful applicants will be contacted the week of 19 November 2018.
  5. Grants will be disbursed in January 2019
  6. Note that we are not able to provide feedback on individual applications.

To apply, download the relevant forms, guidelines, budget and financial management templates below:

LFS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

LFS Round 3 Guidelines (English)

LFS 2018 Application Form: Yalla

LFS 2018 Application Form : Ananse

LFS 2018 Application Form: Pamoja

Download Budget Template here

Download Financial Management Questionnaire Here

For more info

Visit Africa’s women development fund application guidelines webpage