The Partnerships Fund is available for New Zealand organisations to contribute ideas, knowledge and skills to activities that achieve sustainable economic development in developing countries.


Please note that if you have any issues accessing any links or documents on this page, please email the Partnerships and Funds Team at

The Partnerships Fund supports partnerships led by New Zealand-based organisations to develop and deliver locally owned responses to development challenges in countries as identified in the New Zealand Aid Programme Strategic Plan. The Partnerships Fund has a core focus on sustainable economic development with a focus on the Pacific.

The Partnerships Fund is contestable – applicants must apply for funding by presenting a case or ‘concept’.  Activities have to be in keeping with the strategy and priorities of the New Zealand Aid Programme, and must include partnerships with local organisations in the developing country (in-country partners).

The Partnerships Fund is available to New Zealand non-government organisations (i.e. registered charities or other not for profit organisations), private sector and state sector organisations. Applications must meet a number of criteria, including alignment with the New Zealand Aid Programme’s country-specific investment priorities, development goals, and demonstrate the New Zealand contribution.

A number of people are involved in appraising applications to the Partnerships Fund, including the International Development Advisory and Selection Panel, an independent group that provides advice to the New Zealand Aid Programme.

There are two funding rounds every year. Interested organisations are encouraged to discuss their proposed concept with MFAT’s Partnerships and Funds Team at an early stage.

Read about the criteria for the Partnerships Fund

Case studies of development activities 

Partnerships Fund Guidelines

Interested organisations are encouraged to read the full Partnerships Fund Guidelines before making a decision to apply to the Partnerships Fund. The guidelines provide detailed information about the criteria, who may apply, and how the application and selection process work.

Partnerships Fund Guidelines  - April 2017 [PDF, 557 KB]

Interested organisations are also encouraged to read the New Zealand Aid Programme Strategic Plan which provides information on the strategic direction, country programmes and investment priorities of the Aid Programme.

New Zealand Aid Programme Strategic Plan [PDF, 3.4 MB]

Support in applying to the Partnerships Fund

We encourage organisations considering applying to the fund to get in touch with MFAT’s Partnerships and Funds Team at an early stage to discuss their proposed concept. The team can provide further information and guidance in applying to the fund. Organisations should also use their own New Zealand and in-country networks to identify and discuss the concept with relevant stakeholders.

Email us at

Use our tools, templates and guides to help you  

Important dates 2017

  • Friday 28 July, midday closing date for Round 11 Draft Partnerships Fund Concept applications. For Partners who would like to recieve high level  feedback on their application, prior to submitting it to the Round.
  • Friday 25 August, midday – closing date for Round 11 Partnerships Fund Concept applications (including applications for the Innovation Window).

Pacific Private Sector Window (PPSW) applications

  • Friday 18 August, midday – closing date for Round 11 Draft PPSW Concept applications. For Partners who would like to recieve high level feedback on their application, prior to submitting it to the Round.

  • Friday 15 September, midday – closing date for PPSW applications.

For any queries get in touch with the Partnerships and Funds Team at 

Pacific Private Sector Window update.

The final round of the Pacific Private Sector Window pilot closed on Friday 15 September 2017.  MFAT is currently considering an alternative approach to working in partnership with the private sector to solve development challenges. Decisions on this new approach are expected in early 2018.  In the meantime, private sector firms that are looking to invest in new or expanded business activities in the Pacific that will also deliver important development benefits such as essential goods and services, and increased quality employment in Pacific countries, should contact

Funding to test and develop new and innovative ideas

The Innovation Window is a specific window within the Partnerships Fund to provide financial assistance to eligible New Zealand organisations to research, test and develop a new and innovative development idea.

The objective of this funding is to support partners to further develop a new idea or innovative development intervention, with the view to subsequently submit a fully developed concept application to a future Partnerships Fund round (under standard fund criteria and processes).

The focus of the Innovation Window is on sustainable economic development in the Pacific.

Applications that target economic development investment priority areas will be prioritised for selection.

MFAT will consider applications to the Innovation Window of up $100,000, of which applicants must contribute at least 10% of the total cost.

For information on the Innovation Window see the following link. For any queries email us at

Innovation window guidance and application form [DOCX, 137 KB]