Archive for September, 2011

STARS Foundation’s Impact Awards 2012: $100,000 of grant funding to NGOs

September 21, 2011 5 comments

The STARS Foundation is now open to accepting applications for the STARS Impact Awards 2012, which offer $100,000 of unrestricted funding in addition to providing tailored consultancy support and media training, content and access to NGOs across Africa, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific regions.
The STARS Impact Awards aim to identify and support local NGOs that achieve excellence in the provision of services to disadvantaged children and that demonstrate effective management practices.
There are six Impact Awards in total: three Awards for Africa-Middle East and three for Asia-Pacific, across the categories of Health, Education and Protection.
Each Impact Award provides a package of support comprising:
• US$100,000 of unrestricted funding – Giving recipient organisations the flexibility to respond more effectively to the challenges they face and to the needs of the children they serve
• Tailored consultancy support – Offering recipient organisations access to training or skills and helping them to maximise the benefits of their Award
• Media training, content and access – Providing recipient organisations with the tools and opportunities to use the Award to enhance their profile
This year, the STARS Foundation has partnered with the Ashmore Foundation to increase the number of Awards it intends to offer to 14.
Eligible organizations from 19 countries can submit proposals for funding. These countries have been selected on the basis of their estimated under-five mortality rate (U5MR) which is a critical indicator of the well-being of children. STARS targets countries with the highest under-five mortality rates according to the UNICEF report and rankings of 2009. The list of countries is available at this link.
Applications can be submitted online or by email or you can post it to the STARS Foundation office. The deadline for submission of proposals is 7 November 2011. For more information, visit this link.
Unofficial guidance on how to access and write the application form for the STARS Impact Awards 2012 funding,

Categories: General

Partnerships key to development

September 18, 2011 2 comments
Thabo Mbeki 2003

Image via Wikipedia

Partnerships between the government and private sector are required to speed up development in Africa. Partnerships for development are among the most promising and potentially effective options for Africa’s growth. Noting that the private sector was playing an increasingly important role. We have come to the conclusion that all actors, governments, private sector, civil society and international community can do more to facilitate the spread of successful partnerships models across countries and sectors and that doing so is in their own self interest, says the Africa Progress Panel.

Africa has been through a donor era where development centered on donor funding and projects. Thabo Mbeki has been commonly known to say that, “Africa must help itself. This requires Africa to move away from donor mentality to finding lasting permanent solutions for its problems. Only African know the depth of their issues and so it is fitting that Africans work together to find lasting solutions that will translate from government into business through to civil society.

The report adds that private partnerships were experiencing a well deserved renaissance. The UK government for one realizes the need for it to partner with the private sector in order to achieve its development targets. No government can solve its national problems on its own. By not harnessing partnerships many opportunities for development are being missed. The report also adds that African governments bore the main responsibility for the continents development and needed to work harder to create the right conditions and incentives for partnerships. Government alone does not have the capacity and means to achieve the development that is required. Development organizations, ngo’s, the government and business are all pulling in different directions and fail to achieve the desired social change. Social change will benefit all stakeholders is not just an issue on the government agenda.

Zimbabwe has seen a great dependence on donor funds and organisation. Business in sectors where large profits are being realized there is no direct impact on social change. The Chiyadzwa diamond mines have left communities worse off than they were before. Individuals are reaping the rewards while those in the area have been relocated and left to fend for themselves without any substantial compensation or benefit. Mining has however been noted as having a very small impact on nations as minerals are imported raw and processed abroad. The profits are taken off shore and never have an impact on local communities.

The report urges businesses to modify their models so they target the poor or integrate local communities and producers into their value chain. The mining sector in the case of Zimbabwe can do more than just provide jobs to the community but can contribute to society through much needed health and education investments that have been shown to propel people into the middle class.

Each stakeholder has a part to play. Civil society groups play a key role in developing partnerships and ensuring that deals are accountable. They can also play a role in mediating or brokering partnerships. However while pressing the importance of partnerships the report offers emphasis that there are not a magic potion for all of Africa’s problems. Good governance and strong political leadership are the most important ingredients in African success as seen with Botswana.

Categories: Development