Information available to the Ghana News Agency information indicates that the shortlisted institutions include 15 media institutions; 46 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the Open Components; and seven other CSOs for the Strategic components.
The overall indicative budgets for the three calls are: Media Component – US$600,000.00; Open Component – US$1.5m; and Strategic Component – US$500,000.
A source at Star Ghana explained that all the shortlisted applicants had gone through due diligence exercises, as part of the application process, to ensure that the applicants were in a position to deliver on their projects.
The due diligence exercise was to validate information provided by the applicants; assess the organisation’s capacity (Human and Technical Resources); review the project budget, the organisation’s internal governance, financial, monitoring and evaluation systems.
The shortlisted applications, together with findings from the Due Diligence Consultant, would be presented to the Steering Committee for vetting, final approval or otherwise by February 26.
This would be followed by a grants signing ceremony to officially announce the successful applicants; and the signing off contracts to begin the project implementation process by March 10, 2016.
The source said 38 media institutions were able to submit proposals by the January 17 deadline; whilst 171 CSOs submitted proposals for the Open Component and additional 12 institutions submitted for the Strategic Component.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, the Programme Director/Team Leader of STAR-Ghana, expressed the organisation’s appreciation to all bodies, which submitted applications for the 2016 Election Call.
“We acknowledge, with regret, that not as much time as we would have wished was afforded applicants to submit their proposals,” he said.
“This was because, in our judgment, any implementation process that commenced after the end of the second week in March 2016, would have been seriously pressed for time within which to carry out the programme objectives before November 7, 2016, when elections are planned to take place.
“We wish to assure those organisations that did not make it this time round that there will be other calls in the future. They should not be discouraged by the results of this call from submitting applications in respect of future calls.”
He explained that STAR-Ghana had a vision to see an active and engaged civil society capable of articulating citizens’ demands and an effective State, which was responsive and accountable to its citizens.
He said STAR-Ghana’s goal was to develop a vibrant, well-informed and assertive civil society, able to contribute to transformational national development and inclusive access to high quality, accountable public services for all Ghanaian citizens.
In December, 2015, STAR-Ghana announced its first call for proposals to support initiatives towards the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
It was opened to all registered Ghanaian Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Media Houses/Organisations.
Mr Ibrahim-Tanko explained that the second phase of STAR-Ghana’s programme, was a five-year programme being funded by UK Aid, DANIDA and the EU with a total budget of £22million.
It is being managed by a consortium led by Christian Aid, with Mango, Social Development Direct, Overseas Development Institute, Nkum Associates and On Our Radar as partners.
The consortium brings together a range and depth of expertise combined with a shared vision to establish STAR-Ghana as a Ghanaian-owned and led entity mobilising active citizens and civil society around accountability.
The current phase of STAR-Ghana builds on previous programmes including the first phase of the STAR-Ghana programme (2010-2015); the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (G-rap) (2005-2011); KASA (2008-2010); the Rights and Voice Initiative (RAVI) (2004-2010); and the Civil Society Governance Fund (CSGF) (2004-2010).
Mr Ibrahim Tanko said the key shift from its predecessor programme was the new strategic focus on facilitating and supporting processes and interventions, which aimed at systemic changes in socio-economic and political institutions/structures in Ghana.
STAR-Ghana would, therefore, act as the Convener, Catalyst and Coordinator of civil society action towards systemic and transformational change.