Co-Investment Grants

Grant award amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis and only once a thorough evaluation of a project proposal is conducted. As a general guide, and unless otherwise stated, Prospero is unlikely to award a grant that is below £10,000 and it is extremely unlikely that we would award a grant above £100,000.

Within this range (£10,000-£100,000), the value of the potential Prospero contribution to an intervention partnership is limited by the rule that (with one or two very specific exceptions) we can grant a maximum of 50% of the assessed “eligible project proposal budget”.

Applicants should also note that grants above £75,000 attract additional scrutiny and require additional approvals, so in the event that such applications are recommended for approval, they are likely to take longer to award than smaller grants.

View Diagram (Total Investment Project Budget)

All expenditure included in the total investment project budget must be allowable, necessary and reasonable.


DFID publishes a list of items to which DFID funding cannot be applied under any circumstances (e.g. the purchase of military equipment). Any item not included in this list is regarded as allowable. Prospero will advise any applicant where such restrictions are likely to apply and can provide the list of unallowable expenditure to any applicant on request.


Prospero scrutinises the number and specification of items included in the project budget to determine whether each item is necessary to the successful implementation of the project (e.g. could a second hand truck do the job just as well as a new truck).


Once we have established that a given item is necessary to the successful implementation of the project, we look at the cost included in the project budget and undertake several checks to ensure that the cost per item is reasonable. If necessary, we will seek expert advice (e.g. for complex or bespoke machinery).

It is important to note that grant applications are assessed on a competitive basis. Prospero has a limited intervention budget and we allocate that budget to create a portfolio of intervention partnerships that will maximise the total development returns on our total investment.

In practice this means that (all other things being equal) for any given development return, the higher the Prospero contribution requested, the less competitive the grant application becomes in comparison to other applications.

For this reason, applicants should regard the maximum 50% contribution as a ceiling. Without jeopardising project implementation, we encourage applicants to request lower contributions from Prospero in order to make their applications more competitive.