Launch of the STAR Ghana Foundation: Promoting Active Citizenship for Change
The launch of the STAR Ghana Foundation is a landmark event that represents a real innovation in the world of civil society and philanthropy in West Africa. The STAR-Ghana Programme is already well-regarded in Ghanaian development circles as a high-performing donor grant-making facility.
Established in 2011, the Programme works to advance transformative, inclusive change by strengthening civil society, accountability and active citizenship. Its core donors are the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union and Danida (Danish Development Cooperation). The STAR-Ghana Programme has been managed by a Ghanaian-led Steering Committee and Programme Management Team in partnership with an international consortium led by Christian Aid with Social Development Direct, Humentum, the Overseas Development Institute, and Nkum Associates. STAR-Ghana has built an impressive record of achievement and programme delivery. Since the commencement of STAR-Ghana Phase 2 in October 2015, there has been a systematic investment of time and effort to lay the groundwork for the launch of an independent Foundation in tandem with a very active civil society partnership programme (focused on critical themes like inclusive elections, gender and inclusion, media, anti-corruption and local governance).
Consistent with the programme’s bold commitment to transparency and ‘co-creation,’ the Ghanaian-led STAR-Ghana Steering Committee undertook a comprehensive series of national stakeholder consultations. A strong consensus emerged from these consultations endorsing the establishment of an independent STAR Ghana Foundation. Stakeholders confirmed the Foundation’s vision, mission and programme would fill critical gaps in Ghana’s civil society space, adding value to the work of civil society organisations (CSOs). Civil society stakeholders welcome the Foundation’s mission-driven commitment to grow the resource base for CSOs and to strengthen social change philanthropy in Ghana. Intensive efforts have been devoted to the development of the policies, strategies, systems, human resources and governance structures required to deliver an effective Public Trust. In October 2018, a Governing Council for the Foundation was chosen through a rigorous and open process. Twenty-five eminent Ghanaian leaders from across sectors became founder subscribers and the Foundation was legally registered and launched in November 2018.
SDDirect’s Managing Director and Founder, Sue Phillips, sent the following message of support to mark the launch:
Social Development Direct is honoured to be a partner with the STAR Ghana Foundation and wants to send our sincere congratulations on the launch of the Foundation. The launch is a milestone in the journey of STAR-Ghana since 2011 and is a significant development in the landscape of civil society, active citizenship and philanthropy in Africa. In times like these, the Foundation and its mission could not be more timely.
As an organisation that is all about inclusive development, we share the Foundation’s commitment to put gender equality and social inclusion at the heart of its work. As a STAR-Ghana Consortium partner, we have a keen awareness of the immense collective effort that has given life to the STAR Ghana Foundation – including the Steering Committee, the Programme Management Team, Christian Aid and other consortium partners, and the Funders Committee. For us, the STAR Ghana Foundation partnership is a model of good development practice, and we look forward to our continued collaboration as the Foundation and its new Governing Council build for the future.