Women leading and influencing

Leadership Fund


Women’s Development Leadership Program participants and alumni are eligible to apply for funding to develop and implement real-world leadership projects through the WLI Leadership Fund.  

Addressing real challenges in the Pacific region (in health, education, agriculture and food security, and safety and protection), WLI Leadership Fund project teams apply skills and knowledge learned on Award and collaborate around shared interest and expertise to:

  • scope, design and cost a proposed activity, through to implementation and reporting,  
  • work with local leaders and other actors – including men – in their countries, to ensure their proposed activity adds value and addresses a clear need, and 
  • practice thinking and working politically, utilising networks and other WLI leadership tools and concepts.    

Evolution of the WLI Leadership Fund

The WLI Leadership Fund first launched in 2020 as the WLI Leadership for COVID-19 Response and Recovery initiative, enabling WLI participants and alumni to work together to make a direct positive contribution to the COVID-19 response in their countries. 

The experiences of WLI alumni who designed and delivered these projects during the pandemic are the focus of a research paper on support for women's developmental leadership

In 2022, the Fund was re-launched as the WLI Leadership Fund. While it continues to include the capacity to provide small 'project'-style grants, the Fund also allows for the ongoing provision of small amounts of opportunistic funding (ranging from AU$100 - $10,000) to support different types of leadership action in-country.

This may include, but not be limited to:

  • Provision of technical advice or research support on a specific policy or development issue;
  • Discrete funds to convene a meeting between alumni and other stakeholders on key issues;
  • Strategic alumni engagements, events and community service projects (where these are not offered by other program areas); and
  • Establishment of women's professional bodies (e.g. women engineers) to grow networks and /or undertake advocacy on sectoral issues.

Like Tier 3 Workplace Internships, access to Leadership Fund opportunities is open on an ongoing basis, allowing Pacific-based alumni to apply for support year-round. The amount of funding provided will depend upon the nature and scope of the proposed activity.

Women's Developmental Leadership Program participants and alumni can apply to access the WLI Leadership Fund through the WLI Leaders Hub.