Name of funding agency: DFID
Name of grant programme: India’s Poorest Areas Civil Society Programme (PACS)
Background: The purpose of the PACS programme is to build capacities of CSOs in the poorest districts of India to facilitate marginalised communities in realising their entitlements. The PACS programme concentrates on the 100 poorest districts with the lowest social, economic and political indicators across the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra. Since 2001, PACS has supported networks of CSOs aiming to increase the capacity of poor people to demand and use political, economic, and social and human rights instruments and services to improve their lives.
Types of Grant: The grants provide full funding for Civil Society Projects.
Grant Size: The estimated annual budget for projects can range between INR 1,000,000 (Rs.10 Lakhs) and INR 4,000,000 (INR 40 Lakhs). The scale of the funding will depend upon the scale of the project and the outcomes envisaged.
Own Contribution: The Programme covers up to 100% of the total project cost.
Funding Priorities:
• Strengthen demand for improved delivery of services
• Make service providers more responsive and accountable
• Address the different forms of barriers and discrimination socially excluded groups face in claiming services and benefits.
The programme’s main thematic priorities are:
• Livelihood Rights
• Right to basic services on education, health and Nutrition
The Fund covers the following geographic areas: Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh.
Eligibility Criteria: Only CSOs who are registered under FCRA and under Section 12AA of Income Tax Act can apply for support under PACS.
Guidelines: Detailed guidelines along with Concept Note Format are available and can be downloaded from the announcement section of the website .
Project Duration: The duration of the projects should not be less than one year and can be for maximum up to four years.
Deadline: Application deadlines are published with each call for proposal.
Application and Procedures: The process of getting support from PACS programme involves the following stages:
1. Submission of concept note within timeline as announced in the call for concept notes in prescribed format and according to concept note guidelines as available on
2. Screening of concept notes, followed by evaluation, and approval of concept notes by the Regional Project Selection Committee.
3. Pre-funding appraisal of CSOs/CSO networks whose concept notes have been approved by the Regional Project Selection Committee.
4. On successful completion of prefunding appraisal, CSOs will be invited to submit detailed project proposal.
5. Screening and approval of submitted Project Proposals by the Project Screening Committee.
6. Award of contract to CSOs whose project proposals are finally approved by DEA, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.