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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Updated 02 December 2022

We heard at all three Manaaki Fund wānanga (workshops) that the current deadline for Manaaki Round Five concept notes will be hard to meet due to annual leave of New Zealand based staff and in-country partners too. In light of this we have looked at the timeframe for Manaaki submissions next year. We are pleased to confirm that the deadline for Manaaki Round Five will now be 11am Wednesday 1 March 2023.

We have taken your feedback into account and will look to launch round six a little earlier to provide more time for concept note development.

We look forward to receiving your concept notes.

Updated 01 November 2022

We are pleased to have formally launched Manaaki Round 5 on 1 November 2022, with applications due by 11am on Wednesday, 1 February 2023.

We recognise that gender equality is core to effective, inclusive and sustainable development. For this reason we have made changes to the focus of Manaaki for Round Five to place greater weighting on gender-focused activities.

To assist NGOs in determining whether to apply for Manaaki and to provide updates on round five, we will hold a series of Manaaki and NZNGO engagement wānanga (workshops) in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington from 22-24 November.

You are welcome to contact us via with any questions/comments.

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, MFAT launched a third round of Manaaki in 2021.

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

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 complement, New Zealand Aid Programme priorities.

Guidelines, templates and tools

Please see here(external link) for information on Manaaki reporting templates.

Manaaki applications and portfolios - rounds one-four

NZ$21 million of MFAT co-investment has been allocated to 22 activities across Manaaki rounds one-four. Five of the activities were in design as at 25 January 2022, two were completing due diligence and 15 activities were in implementation.

  • Manaaki round four closed 11 May 2022 with ten applications. Six of the seven activities recommended to proceed focus on the Pacific with the other in Viet Nam. The round four portfolio spans climate change, human and inclusive development, and economic resilience.
  • Manaaki round three closed 31 May 2021 with six applications.  Two of the four activities recommended to proceed focus on the Pacific with the other two in Laos and Timor-Leste. The round three portfolio spans climate change and non-climate environmental issues, human and inclusive development and economic resilience.
  • Manaaki round two closed 29 May 2020 with 12 applications.  Five of the seven activities recommended to proceed 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.
  • Manaaki round one closed 10 May 2019 with nine applications. All five of the activities recommended to proceed focus 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.

Reviews of Manaaki – an adaptive approach

The design of Manaaki was informed by the evaluation of the former contestable fund for NGOs called Partnerships for International Development (PFID) as well as extensive consultations with the sector and international best practise. The Manaaki design, its templates and its guidance have also been updated as a result of lessons learned during the pilot phase via two review processes.  These processes enabled Manaaki to take an adaptive approach rather than wait for a longer term evaluation.

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.

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.

As a result of the review, Manaaki round three was launched with changes that included:

  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 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.


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