Streamlining international development funding

Improving the impact and outcomes of international aid with fast, rational and accessible tools.

The client.

MannionDaniels are Global Health and Social Care Experts that support governments, communities and organisations to deliver public health services that benefit the people who need them most.

In the past this industry has been held back by complex process and its talented teams have been enveloped by lengthy paper trails.

The challenge. 

MannionDaniels invited us to begin the development of a bespoke grant application management system, SMILE, in September 2014.

The project.

The SMILE system enable teams to: 

Run unlimited funding rounds concurrently.

Collect worldwide applications through a single interface, optimised for the audience. 

Review all applications online and communicate quickly and effectively with applicants and administrators worldwide. 

Analyse full applicant data and download or share excel reports. 

Key features.

Application management.

Spirit’s flexible application management tool allows teams across multiple continents to create complex, multi-stage applications and peer-review workflows online.

Data management.

Dispersed teams can rapidly manage the collation of technical, geographic, demographic and financial data on thousands of companies, allowing them to make intelligent decisions in record time. 

Finance management.

The integrated budget and work planning toolset is built into the application workflow.It provides a highly organised dataset for financial management, planning and reporting across the entire fund portfolio.

Team workflows.

Spirit makes global task distribution simple by fully integrating task tracking, auditing and performance management. 

Document storage.

Spirit's strict access controls and automatic auditing, ensure safe and instant access for distributed teams. Users have access to a secure repository of all documentation across the fund portfolio.


The platform is delivered in two languages with the capacity to add new languages as they are needed. The internationalisation of all functionality is quick and simple to maintain or extend.

Everything is possible.

The SMILE system has reduced admin by half and increased the number of applications processed per funding round exponentially. Ultimately, this enables MannionDaniels to fulfil its goal of ensuring funding is available to those whose needs are greatest, regardless of location or size. 

As a result of SMILE’s outstanding success, MannionDaniels have now been awarded the £150m UK Aid Direct fund by the UK Government's Department for International Development.

Today, we continue to deliver breakthrough digital infrastructure projects for clients of all sizes. If you’d like to know more, or if this is the kind of project you’d like to get involved with please get in touch.  

David Daniels

The SMILE system has rapidly transformed our organisation by streamlining the release, collection, review and analysis of grant funding for charities worldwide. 

Deep Blue Sky's expertise was essential in guiding us through our first steps into the digital space and their ongoing development of the SMILE system is integral to the rapid growth of our fund management practice.

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David Daniels
Director / MannionDaniels

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