ipaf banner

Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility - IPAF

Strengthening indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations


The next IPAF call for proposal is foreseen for the first half of 2022


The Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) is an innovative funding instrument that indigenous communities can use to find solutions to the challenges they face. The objective of the Facility is to strengthen indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations. It finances small projects that foster self-driven development.

IPAF supports projects designed and implemented by indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations through small grants ranging from US$20,000 up to US$50,000 for a maximum duration of two years. Supported projects build on indigenous peoples’ culture, identity, knowledge and natural resources. The objective is to build a direct partnership with indigenous peoples to enable them and their communities to design and implement grass-root development projects based on their own perspectives. IPAF is one of the instruments to implement the principles of engagement of IFAD Policy on indigenous peoples.

At the global level, IPAF is directed both operationally and strategically by a board mostly consisting of indigenous leaders. At a regional level IPAF is co-managed and coordinated by regional indigenous peoples’ organizations as the implementing partners. The IPAF comprises three main components:

  1. Empowering indigenous peoples' grassroots organizations
  2. Strengthening indigenous peoples' networks and linking them with the global indigenous movement
  3. Knowledge Management

Through projects being implemented worldwide IPAF has contributed to improving the livelihoods of indigenous peoples' communities in the following areas:

  • Improve sustainable agricultural practises, develop new off-farm enterprises and enhanced market access
  • Develop capacity on indigenous peoples' rights, revitalize cultural heritage and traditional knowledge
  • Map indigenous territories and cultures
  • Empower indigenous women
  • Boost disaster and climate change risk management based on traditional knowledge  and practices
  • Preserve and promote local varieties of traditional crops.

The call for proposals for the fifth cycle closed in June 2018, the next call for proposals is planned for 2021.

More information about IPAF can be found in the IPAF assessment of 2019: The Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) Assessment of the performance of the fourth IPAF cycle. Among other things, the performance assessment provides detailed information on the direct beneficiaries and the activities.

ipaf experts


IPAF Secretariat


News and stories

News and stories

Indigenous youth in agriculture during COVID-19

August 2020 - STORY
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to re-examine everything: their priorities, their jobs, even their roles in society.

Promoting the rights perspective for indigenous peoples

February 2019 - BLOG
Over the years international support for indigenous peoples has grown, also sanctioned by international declarations.

IPAF Call for Proposals 2018

February 2018 - NEWS
Established in 2006, IFAD’s Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) is a unique facility based on the principle of Indigenous Peoples' self-determined development within the framework of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Related publications

Related publications

Good practices in IFAD’s engagement with indigenous peoples

February 2021
This publication shares good practices for engagement with indigenous peoples as described in IFAD's investment projects as well as in the small projects financed through the Indigenous Peoples’ Assistance Facility (IPAF).

The Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility: Linking grass-roots indigenous peoples’ organizations and the international community

February 2019
Indigenous and tribal peoples and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented among the rural poor. Many of the poorest communities of indigenous peoples are difficult to reach through mainstream development programmes.

The Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) - Assessment of the performance of the fourth IPAF cycle

February 2019
In 2017 IFAD commissioned an assessment of the fourth IPAF cycle with the aim to review and analyse the performance of regional partners in implementing the Facility and the results achieved in the execution of IPAF-funded projects between 2015 and 2018.

Related videos

Related videos

Indigenous Peoples’ solutions for climate action: Announcing the 6th call for proposals of IPAF
The Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF)
Indigenous Peoples' Forum 2019 interviews
Indigenous Peoples' Forum 2019 interviews in Spanish
International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) 2020: Proyectos 1
International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) 2020: Proyectos 3
International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) 2020: Immaculata
International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) 2020: Yohanis
International Indigenous Women's Forum (FIMI) 2020: Video final

Photo stories

Photo stories

2021 Gender Awards: Five IFAD-supported projects transforming women’s roles in rural communities

March 2022 - PHOTO
Every year, we recognize a project from each of our regions that empowers rural women and girls. Here, we present the winners of the 2021 Gender Awards.

Creating smoke-free kitchens in Nepal through Indigenous community empowerment

August 2021 - PHOTO
EcoHimal Nepal is a national non-government organization that works with rural mountain communities. They developed a project with NELHOS, another local organization funded by IFAD, in Rukuma and Chepuwa villages of Bhotkhola Rural municipality to develop ‘’smoke-free kitchens’’.

Youth leaders working towards transformative rural development

August 2020 - PHOTO
From climate action groups to political institutions, youth are taking on leading roles and bringing new perspectives into the table – showing they are not only the future, but also the present.

Six ways investing in rural communities makes people healthier

April 2020 - PHOTO
Malnutrition causes health problems and losses in economic productivity. Over the course of their lifetimes, malnourished individuals can earn 10 per cent less than those who are well-nourished.

Indigenous communities in Malaysia building capacity for resilience through IPAF

August 2019 - PHOTO
The Jakun people is the largest group of the Orang Asli Indigenous Peoples of Malaysia. They have an amazing partnership between people and the forest - looking after it and using only what they need to live. But their traditional livelihoods are at risk.

Asset Publisher

IPAF regional implementation partners

Asset Publisher