Assessment criteria

Assessment criteria

Applications will be particularly welcomed on:

  1. Disability
  2. Health
  3. Women’s empowerment
  4. Youth/youth employment
  5. Prosperity
  6. Ending modern slavery
  7. Girls’ education
  8. Oceans and plastics

Applications containing an element of innovation and technology for development across all themes will also be particularly encouraged.

All applications must demonstrate a link between the subject area and a clear developmental outcome for vulnerable and marginalised people.

Applications will need to include both a project proposal on how the funding will be spent and a communications appeal proposal on how the fundraising aspect of the funding will be raised and how the project will be communicated to the UK public.

If the application is successful DFID will match all eligible donations from the public from your organisation’s appeal:

  • Over an agreed appeal period of up to 3 months
  • Up to a maximum of £2 million, subject to due diligence assessment

The funding round is a 2-stage process.

At both concept note stage and full application stage equal weighting will be given to scoring of both the communication and appeals strategy as well as the development project proposal.

At concept note stage development proposals will be assessed against:

  1. project context and relevance
  2. organisational capacity
  3. sustainability and costs
  4. risks and mitigation

Full development project proposals will be assessed against key criteria related to:

  1. contextual analysis
  2. measuring impact, outcomes and outputs, how the impact addresses the Global Goals and UK Aid Match priorities
  3. project approach / methodology, including stakeholder engagement and beneficiary feedback mechanisms
  4. sustainability
  5. risk management
  6. organisational capability
  7. monitoring and evaluation
  8. learning
  9. detailed budget
  10. value for money
  11. gender and diversity
  12. environmental impact

Communications plan

At concept note stage, your appeal communications will be assessed for eligibility including:

  • the opportunities to view provided by both your appeal and your reporting back communications through pro bono communications partnerships
  • agreement to incorporate the UK Aid Match message and logo into all appeal communications to ensure the public are aware of match funding whenever they are prompted to donate
  • convincing communications partnership(s) that provide a variety of channels for communicating your appeal and for raising at least £100,000, with accompanying proof of partner commitment

At full proposal stage, your communications plan must demonstrate that you are ready to run an appeal. It will be scored taking into account:

Convincing and creative selection of partners and channels

We will look for evidence that you:

  • thoroughly explore the audiences, channels and partners that are a good fit for your appeal
  • strategically select a range of partners and channels that will effectively reach your target audiences, so that an individual has a number and varieties of opportunities to view
  • ensure your partners contribute in a way that provides opportunities to view that are meaningful and effective, and brings more than audience numbers to your appeal
  • equip partners to deliver your appeal and UK Aid Match, and
  • keep them on message, such as by giving them a ‘song sheet’ or message framework/platform to use

Strength, creativity and clarity of messages

We will look for evidence that you:

  • develop main messages about sustainable development rather than traditional 'aid'. For example, messages and content that demonstrate how, with a little help, people can be empowered to support themselves and their communities, in the long term
  • make sure your appeal gives beneficiaries a voice and/or portrays them in a dignified, empathetic manner, rather than as helpless or incapable, or with endless need
  • ensure your UK Aid Match messages emphasise the fact that it is support from the public that enables match funding to take place
  • make sure your UK Aid Match messages are well integrated and consider testing them with your audiences
  • your messages should engage the public and help advance the argument that development works
  • try and develop messages that provide an engaging new way of looking at an issue
  • a potential donor should know what their donation and match funding will be used to achieve and who will benefit
  • messages about what money will buy must be consistent with your programme bid
  • it must be clear that donations will be doubled
  • your appeal should accurately reflect how match funding will be used and is this consistent with the match funding agreement

Depth of engagement

We will look for evidence that:

  • your appeal should offer audiences a number of repeat opportunities to view across a variety of channels (vs an isolated, single opportunity)
  • content must be of a high quality and depth
  • audiences should have the opportunity to see more in-depth information about your appeal (e.g. articles in addition to any advertisements)
  • you should give your audiences the opportunity to actively engage with, share and discuss appeal content
  • your appeal should aim to engage your audience with the issues beyond donating

Reporting back to the public

We will look for evidence that:

  • you have a credible plan, and with your partners committed to, reporting back to the public on how their response to the appeal and UK aid have been used
  • you are including opportunities to hear from people that have benefitted

Sharing people’s stories

It is essential that all people included in your materials and content, whether members of staff, the public or people who have benefited from your projects, give appropriate permissions for this usage. Please consider both safeguarding best practice and GDPR compliance when sharing people’s stories.


If successful in your application you must ensure that DFID gives approval at every stage of your appeal development, as outlined in Section 4. DFID must approve your key messages document before any other materials can be approved. Each piece of material must also be approved, including UK Aid Match messaging and logo in each context.