Research Grants

U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self Help Program & African Development Foundation Small Grants for African Organisations 2018

Published by
Ifeoma Chime

The U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help and U.S. African Development Foundation programs (SSH/ADF) share the goal of providing small-scale assistance directly to Zambian community-based organizations as part of an ongoing commitment by the U.S. government to support Zambian-driven development activities at the local level.

Application Deadline: 28th February , 2018.

Eligible Countries: Zambia

About the Award: Due to their shared missions, the two programs (SSH/ADF) are combined into one application and granting process. This program is highly competitive. We seek to support projects that demonstrate a high likelihood of success through their application.


Type: Grants

Eligibility: In order to be considered, applicants must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Must be a registered community-based organization (individuals and for profit businesses are not eligible).
  2. The project should be a single activity that helps improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community or village level, and have long-lived value. A successful proposal should also demonstrate the likelihood that it will be sustained over a long period.
  3. Funding is limited to one project, which, once started, must be completed within ten (10) months or less. Grantees should recognize that funding is granted (not loaned) and on a one-time basis only. (Communities may only benefit once from the SSH/ADF grant program).
  4. Projects should be high-impact, benefiting the greatest number of people possible. Projects which directly benefit only a limited number of people are discouraged.
  5. Project proposals should respect the environmental norms for small projects and not adversely affect protected or other sensitive environmental areas, threatened or endangered species and their habitat.
  6. The project must not replace or supplement activities normally supplied by the Zambian government, such as providing supplies for a district hospital, etc.
  7. Substantial community participation in activity is required. Contributions may include labor, materials (bricks, sand, gravel, seeds, etc.), land, buildings, or money to ensure the success of the project.
  8. Projects must be within the community’s ability to plan, execute, and maintain. The U.S. Embassy provides financial support only. Requests for large-scale agriculture or construction projects or for expensive equipment will not be priority projects.
  9. Managers of a project should have evidence that they are financially responsible and will be able to account for any funds disbursed to their organizations. Having a bank account or establishing credit with vendors are examples of such evidence.
  10. The requested amount for implementing activities must be reasonable; project budgets range from US$ 500 to US$15,000.
  11. Successful applicants must have the ability to send one representative to Lusaka to attend the half-day grant signing ceremony and workshop.

SSH/ADF funds cannot be used for:

  1. A project activity that is not clearly identified and described.
  2. Revolving loan projects.
  3. Projects that are partially funded by another donor or from the Government of Zambia.
  4. More than one project for any organization.
  5. Continuing former USAID or other USG projects.
  6. Religious or military activities, as well as projects related to police, prisons, or other law enforcement.

Note: The U.S. Embassy will not provide funding for the following items:

  • Any recurring operating costs such as rent, salaries, administrative, travel or operating costs, ongoing training/educational needs, etc.;
  • Research, publishing materials, projects that solely provide trainings or sensitizations
  • Creating, continuing or supplementing technical assistance programs;
  • Duplicate other U.S. Government assistance programs;
  • Pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides;
  • Personal training, education or travel, unless directly related to project;
  • Motor vehicles;
  • Surveillance equipment;
  • Office equipment or supplies, such as duplicating machines, printers and computers;
  • Expensive electronic equipment such as cameras
  • Abortion equipment or services; and
  • Luxury goods or gambling equipment.

If your organization seeks funds to support HIV/AIDS related activities, such as providing food to orphans and vulnerable children, training caregivers to people living with HIV/AIDS, or conduct workshops on prevention, SSH/ADF is NOT the program for you.

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: Please note that program funding remains contingent on U.S. Congressional approval and is not guaranteed.

How to Apply: 

  • The application is available here in PDF format.
  • Please email the small grants coordinator ( for a copy of the application in Word format.

Submit completed applications with attachments by February 28, 2018 via email; or by postal mail to:

SSH/ADF Small Grants Coordinator
Embassy of the United States of America
P.O. Box 320065, Lusaka, Zambia, 10101

Please read the grant guidelines and instructions thoroughly before completing the application form.

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Award Providers: US Embassy in Zambia

Important Notes: If your organization seeks funds to support HIV/AIDS related activities, such as providing food to orphans and vulnerable children, training caregivers to people living with HIV/AIDS, or conduct workshops on prevention, SSH/ADF is NOT the program for you. Instead, please see the PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) Small Grants Program information

This post was last modified on November 30, 2017 2:32 am