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A reflection on STAR -Ghana’s journey towards an independent national Trust


Barry Smith, Senior Institutional Strategy Adviser on the multi-donor funded STAR-Ghana programme (and SDDirect’s portfolio lead for Governance, Voice & Accountability), reflects on STAR-Ghana’s trajectory towards its launch in September/October 2018 as independent national Trust.

Established in 2011, STAR-Ghana is well regarded in Ghanaian development circles as a high-performing donor grant-making facility working to advance transformative, inclusive social change by strengthening civil society, accountability and active citizenship. DFID’s 2017 Annual Review gave STAR-Ghana an A+ rating, praising its trail-blazing voyage into previously un-charted territory in Ghana.  The metamorphosis of STAR-Ghana into a locally-owned and led national Trust – a national centre for civil society, active citizenship and philanthropy - is a landmark event. In this article, Barry Smith outlines STAR-Ghana’s journey, the programme’s unique contribution to date, and some key lessons generated along the way. The article argues that the emergence of an independent STAR-Ghana represents a major shift in the landscape for active citizenship, civil society and philanthropy in Ghana and Africa.  

Read the full article here.



STAR-Ghana’s core donors are the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union and Danida (Danish Development Cooperation). Currently, with a budget of almost £23 million (2015-2020), it is managed by a Ghanaian-led Steering Committee (SC) and Programme Management Team (PMT) in partnership with an international consortium led by Christian Aid with Social Development Direct, Humentum, the Overseas Development Institute, and Nkum Associates.