VOICE GHANA had the opportunity to receive a number of grants from STAR-Ghana and its partners since 2011 and ever since our relationship had developed into a partnership par excellence. I can say with certainty that STAR-Ghana is a rare grantor because it did everything possible to train and build capacities for its grantees so that they can perform successfully and creditably. Our sustainability grant support for instance, can attest to this. The grant was meant to support VOICE GHANA to put the necessary administrative systems and operational strategies in place, and to build VOICE GHANA into an independent and robust Civil Society Organization.
Besides, other technical supports we received through a number of Service Providers from STAR Ghana, enabled us to develop the following administration and operational tools for use:
- Strategic Plan 2014-2018,
- Communication Strategy,
- Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework,
- Education Advocacy Strategy 2014-2017,
- Sustainability Entrepreneurial Plan,
- Human Resource Plan, and
- VOICE GHANA Policy and Procedures Manual including Financial Management Policy.
Further, a number of Quality Assurance and Auditing assignments that were commissioned by STAR Ghana, offered us another learning platform to learn skills in evidence based programming in improving upon the quality of our work including our financial management and administration.
As the Director of VOICE GHANA, I have benefited a lot from series of capacity building support that were packaged with the progrmmes we are implementing. Among them was a 3-week DANIDA Fellowship Programme in Copenhagen, Denmark in May 2013, and the current STAR Ghana Leadership Development Programme, which runs until January 2015.
Other staff of VOICE GHANA had also benefited from series of capacity building workshops organized by STAR Ghana, and this enabled them to gain more knowledge and experiences in delivering on their mandates. It is interesting to note that STAR-Ghana works with “military fervor” and precision, and this has helped us develop the skill of being on time and always ready to undertake exercises.
I would count myself very lucky having experienced the training STAR-Ghana gave VOICE GHANA. This support has offered me strong leadership qualities and enables me to have good rapport with my team, and to support individual staff. I can also relate well to people from varied backgrounds and value people’s ideas and feedback. I have further gained good governance approach that allows me to give room to my peers and subordinates to develop their initiatives.
I am now responsive to constructive criticism, and have great capacity for self-evaluation. I am equally responsive to supervision and mentoring of staff, strategic planning, performance and financial management, policy formulation, resource development, and change management as a result of the capacity building support. Last but not least, the diurnal reports I had to review from my staff to STAR-Ghana have made me develop solid IT skills in project management, policy analysis and research.
Indeed, the STAR Ghana capacity building support has contributed significantly to my personal development and that of the staff, and this has transmuted into the capacity and steady growth of VOICE GHANA over the years. The support has also positioned VOICE GHANA now as a robust and credible civil society organization, championing disability issues among others in Ghana.