Manaaki is a NZ$6 million fund for NZ NGOs working with in-country partners to support vulnerable and/or marginalised people and groups.

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Information on Manaaki

Manaaki is the New Zealand Aid Programme’s streamlined contestable fund, which was launched in March 2019 as a two-year pilot for registered New Zealand non-governmental organisations (NZNGOs) seeking co-investment for smaller-scale development activities. Following an end-of-pilot review, a third round of Manaaki has been launched.

The name Manaaki reflects the fund’s focus on “uplifting mana through listening to, supporting and empowering” vulnerable, marginalised and hard to reach communities.

Manaaki currently has one funding round each year, with approved activities receiving MFAT co-investment of between NZ$100,000 and NZ$1.25 million.

NZ$12 million of MFAT co-investment was allocated to 13 activities across rounds one and two. NZ$6 million in MFAT co-investment is available in round three (year three).

Applications must target priority developing countries, reach vulnerable and/or marginalised people and groups, and demonstrate how proposed activities will deliver impact that aligns with, or complements, New Zealand Aid Programme priorities.

Applications for Manaaki round three closed 31 May 2021. An announcement on Manaaki round four will be made in the near future.

Manaaki Round Three

Round three of Manaaki opened on 25 February 2021, with the following timeline:

  1. Concepts are due by 31 May 2021
  2. Concepts will be assessed between June and August 2021
  3. Due diligence (for NGOs not previously assessed) between August and October 2021
  4. Activity design, appraisal and contracting will be completed between September 2021 and May 2022
  5. Implementation will start from April 2022 onward.

In light of the uncertainty around the ongoing impact of COVID-19, round three includes two questions in relation to COVID-19. 

If you would like to apply for funding to work with a non-CSO partner, please get in touch to discuss this prior to submitting an application and/or if you have other questions in relation to Manaaki or any other MFAT activities, please do reach out to us at

Manaaki Round Two

The second round of Manaaki closed 29 May 2020 with 12 applications.  Seven NZNGOs are currently completing Activity designs under round two. Five of the activities focus on the Pacific (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa/Tokelau and Vanuatu), with a portfolio spanning sustainable fisheries, climate and community resilience, health, water, sanitation and hygiene. Two activities in Myanmar and Cambodia focus on financial inclusion and economic empowerment/human rights. More information on the successful applicants’ activities can be found below.

In response to the impact caused by COVID-19, and feedback received from NGO partners, the deadline for the second round of Manaaki, was extended from 30 March to 29 May 2020.

NGOs successful in round two are expected to enter implementation in mid-2021.

Manaaki end-of-pilot review

An internal, desk-based review of the Manaaki two-year pilot was conducted in late 2020 to gather lessons and inputs to inform the direction of Manaaki beyond the pilot. With Round 1 Manaaki activities in early implementation, the review was mainly process oriented and included analysing:

  • feedback from the NGO sector (gathered during meetings and in response to an email request); MFAT staff; Council for International Development and organisations assessing due diligence and applications
  • interviews with 10 NGOs - successful and unsuccessful applicants and NGOs that did not apply
  • secondary information including Round 1 and 2 concepts and designs.

A further review of Manaaki will be undertaken as part of the Partnering for Impact (P4I) mid-term review – with early Manaaki activity results expected to be available at that time.

As a result of the review, Manaaki round three has been launched with changes that include:

  1. Human rights has been added as an eligible sector for applications for South East Asia
  2. Non-climate change environmental issues have been added as an eligible sector across Manaaki’s geographic focus areas
  3. Word limits have been increased in both the concept and design documents
  4. Clarifications and improvements have been made to Manaaki guidelines and documents.

Manaaki Round One

The first round of Manaaki closed 10 May 2019 with nine applications received. Five NZNGOs were successful in securing funding under round one. All of the activities focused on the Pacific (Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu), with a portfolio spanning education for children and people living with disabilities, health, disaster risk resilience, water, sanitation and hygiene, and human rights. See more information on the successful applicants’ activities below.

NGOs successful in round one entered implementation in mid-2020.

Manaaki review of round one

An interim review was completed in late 2019 to ensure lessons learned from round one could inform improvements to round two.

Key changes resulting from the review included increasing the maximum MFAT co-investment level to NZ$1.25 million, increasing the overall funding allocation to NZ$6 million each annum, and broadening the criteria that NZNGOs must work with in-country civil society organisations i.e. MFAT will consider funding a NZNGO working with an in-country partner which is not a civil society organisation (such as local or national government) where it aligns with the principles and intent of the fund and there is a strong rationale presented

Reporting Templates

Please see here for information on Manaaki reporting templates.


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