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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What is the Manaaki Fund?

Manaaki is a streamlined contestable fund for registered New Zealand non-governmental organisations (NZNGOs) seeking co-investment for smaller-scale development activities. 

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 regular funding rounds, 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 International Development Cooperation priorities.

Round Six is now closed.

Guidelines, templates and tools

See information on Manaaki reporting templates.

Manaaki Climate Round

Climate change represents an existential threat to communities in the Pacific and further afield. Inclusive, community-level climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives that support local aspirations and build on local capabilities, including indigenous knowledge, is key to sustainable development impact.

Through the Manaaki Climate Round, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade aims to enhance resilience at the community level by ensuring climate finance reaches the community and supports community climate change mitigation and adaptation. Partnering with NZNGOs and CSOs will ensure that local partners and communities are at the forefront of climate-related initiatives.

The Manaaki Climate Round is now closed.

Manaaki applications and portfolios - rounds one-five and climate round

NZ$31 million of MFAT co-investment has been allocated to 30 activities across Manaaki rounds one-five and Climate. Sixteen of the activities were in design as at 20 November 2023, one completing due diligence and twelve activities were in implementation.

  • Manaaki Climate round closed 1 August 2023 with eight applications. Six of the eight activities recommended to proceed focus on the Pacific. The climate round portfolio spans climate change adaptation and mitigation, human and inclusive development and economic resilience.
  • Manaaki round five closed 1 March 2023 with seven applications. Five of the seven activities recommended to proceed focus on the Pacific. The round five portfolio spans climate change, human and inclusive development.
  • 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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