Response to public consultation on the Poverty Impact Fund

Summary of and Response to the Public Consultation on the Poverty Impact Fund (now renamed the Global Poverty Action Fund)

On 29 July 2010, the Department for International Development (DFID) launched a public consultation on the new Poverty Impact Fund, inviting views from those with an interest in civil society funding.  The consultation ran for 8 weeks and ended on 22 September 2010.

The fund, now renamed Global Poverty Action Fund, is designed to support poverty reduction projects focused on service delivery in support of the Millennium Development Goals in poor countries.

The specific questions asked were:-

1. What are your views on the overall design and scope of the Poverty Impact Fund?

2. What are your comments on particular elements of the design:

  • The size of the grants under each window
  • The number of grants that can be held by a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) at any one time
  • Matched funding levels?

Consultation responses

DFID received 122 responses to the consultation:  106 from UK based organisations (e.g. charities, not-for-profit organisations, diaspora groups, focus groups) and individuals, 16 from overseas.

There was widespread support for the Fund, particularly from smaller organisations that have often found it difficult to access DFID funding.  The “Design & scope” (103) and “Matched funding” (97) questions elicited the most comments.

The main issues raised, and DFID’s responses, are shown below.

Design and scope
Funding split across the windows: Increase the allocations to innovation beyond the 10%/90% as previously set out. Response: The funding allocations are indicative and remain flexible.  If there are a large number of high quality innovation projects and fewer high quality impact projects, DFID will adjust the allocations as appropriate.
Terminology - greater clarity around terms, in particular the objectives of the ‘innovation’ and ‘impact’ windows. Larger organisations can be innovative and smaller organisations can have an impact so the titles are misleading. Response: For this fund DFID is willing to take higher risks under the innovation window, encouraging innovative approaches without over-committing funding. The Impact window is for more tried and tested approaches that will deliver tangible results.
Definition of service delivery –advocacy should be permitted – even if advocacy to deliver services. Response: The Fund maintains a strong focus on service delivery but complementary elements such as advocacy (particularly local level advocacy) can be included where it helps achieve or sustain the service.
Project duration - call for Impact Window project length to be increased from 3 years. Response: DFID will consider during the mid-term review of the fund.
Sustainability of projects once funding ends. Response: Sustainability is a key criterion against which project proposals are judged.


Size of grant
Grant value: Change the maximum grant level. Response: DFID have increased the size of Impact Window grants to a maximum of £4m over 3 years - project funding at scale to have a greater impact.
Matched funding

Innovation: Matched funding is prohibitive for smaller (often very innovative) organisations as they do not have matched funding at these levels.

Impact: Prohibitive for small medium-sized organisations who would need to secure the higher level.

Suggest that matched funding element is removed, or at the very least levels reduced.

Response: DFID have removed the matched funding requirement for the Innovation window, so that smaller,  organisations that this fund aims to support are not excluded. 

DFID have reduced the matched funding requirement for the Impact window to a minimum of 25%. However, those organisations which offer a higher level of matched funding have a greater chance of being successful in their applications.


other miscellaneous issues raised

Concern around implications for the Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF)

Response: The CSCF continues. Now in its tenth year, it is currently being evaluated.

There should be support for smaller charities through the application process Response: Clear instructions will be provided alongside the project application forms in the form of FAQs

Next Steps:

The Global Poverty Action Fund has now been launched. If your organisation is interested in applying for the fund, please follow the link.

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is available alongside the Fund application forms. These FAQs are designed to provide clarification on issues raised during the consultation, as well as on the application process itself.

Last updated: 25 Oct 2010