Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility - IPAF

Strengthening indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations

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. 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.

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.


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IPAF Secretariat

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News and stories

News and stories

Indigenous Peoples partner with IFAD, Sweden’s Sida, and Packard Foundation to build resilience and adapt to climate change

November 2023 - NEWS

As the climate crisis intensifies and the world seeks sustainable solutions, IFAD, together with its partners the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Packard Foundation, have today announced the recipients of the Indigenous Peoples' Assistance Facility grants.

Giving Indigenous Peoples the recognition they deserve: Why updates to IFAD's policy matter

February 2023 - BLOG

IFAD’s updated Policy on Engagement with Indigenous Peoples enshrines the value of their traditions and supports the crucial role they play in the world. We spoke with three experts to get an insight into the policy.

Call for Proposals: Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF)

August 2022 - NEWS

The sixth IPAF cycle focuses on advancing indigenous peoples’ conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity for adaptation and resilience to climate change.

Related publications

Related publications

Assessment of the performance of the fifth Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility cycle: Summary

February 2023

This assessment reviews the performance of regional partners and documents the results of Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) funded projects between 2018 and 2021.

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.

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.

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