Funding Windows


WINDOW 3: Innovative Training


WINDOW 3: Innovative Training

Grant Upper Ceiling

Maximum Grant Element

Key Focus Areas

GHS 500,000

70% (matching grant of 30% of the total costs of the project)

  • Agribusiness and renewable energy
  • Other areas with great potentials

Key points:

  • Support for the development of new and innovative training particularly in agribusiness and renewable energy
  • Open to both public and private training institutions
  • Priority will be given to development of training courses that include marginalised groups including women.

1. Focus of Window 3

The objective of this window is to develop new innovative models for delivery of training and new training concepts. Funding will focus on innovative proposals from training providers that respond to economic demand, especially in the priority sectors of agriculture and renewable energy. Under this window, SDF may provide financing to training institutions such as public or private training institutes, higher education institutes, incubators, accelerators, technology centres, or business advisory centres - that may not have an explicit linkage with a firm - for expenditure on training innovations.

The key focus areas for funding are agribusiness and renewable energy although others areas with good potential to improving productivity and competitiveness will be considered.

Innovative training is defined as training that is not available in Ghana at the time of application. There are several ways in which training programmes or training concepts can be innovative. They may either cater for groups that have not been catered for before, the mode of training may be new in a Ghanaian context, or the actual content of the training may be novel. While the applicant must make probable that a demand for the training exists, it is not a prerequisite for support under Window 3 that the applicant has entered a partnership with an enterprise in the private sector. Hence, the grantee in this case is the immediate provider of the innovative training.

2. Eligible training activities

Priority will be given to short and medium-term training programmes that intend to introduce new subjects or modes of training not yet available in Ghana. Priority will be given to training programmes that are intended to be aligned to the National TVET Qualification Framework, but this is not a pre-condition for support. Training activities related to the National Apprenticeship Programme will be given special attention pro-vided the content or target group is innovative, pre-employment training can be sup-ported by the SDF.

While the SDF does not support longer term apprenticeship training under Window 3, specific shorter intensive technical or theoretical training activities focusing on new areas of knowledge and subjects are eligible for support.

Training activities sponsored through Window 3 will primarily focus on the practical skills, but relevant theoretical training will be sponsored as well. Innovation ways of providing entrepreneurship and basic management training are eligible for support as well.

3. Grant award process

Projects to be funded under Window 3 will pass through a two stage selection process in accordance with the guidelines of the SDF Manual. The first stage is submission of a concept note indicating the skills challenges to be addressed and the proposed way to do this. The SDF Secretariat will screen the notes and decide which ideas are eligible for the next stage, preparation of a full project proposal. Hence, for concept notes that have passed the screening, the second stage is preparation of a fully-fledged proposal.

Intermediary service providers selected by the SDF are available to assist prospective applicants with the preparation of the full proposal in accordance with the SDF Guide-lines. For successful applicants, the SDF meets the cost of this assistance.

The proposals will be subject to an evaluation by two external evaluators. The final decision on which projects to fund rests with the SDF Steering Committee. The grant agreement to be prepared on the basis of the approved project proposal will spell out the details of the project including the details of the implementation.

4. Ceilings and co-funding requirements

The upper ceiling for SDF grants under Window 3 is GHC 500,000. Window 3 will require a matching grant of at least 30% co-financing for private training institutions and in-kind support for public institutions (for instance through the use of staff-time or the use of existing facilities for additional training programmes).

Under Window 3, the SDF may allow acquisition of equipment in cases where this is vital for the implementation of the approved training programme. Equipment, text books and other learning materials acquired under the grant agreement become the property of the grantee upon the completion of the training. The grant agreement will specified the exact conditions under which the support has been given.

5. Eligible applications

Criteria for selecting proposals will focus on governance of formal training institutions, their mandate to carry out institutional reform, existing links with industry, particularly in priority economic sectors and their ability to introduce innovations such as new short courses, or set up partnerships with industry as well as the financial or in-kind contribution of the training providers to the new activities.

Hence, in order to qualify for support under Window 3, the application must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The applicant must be registered by COTVET
  • The training provider must be a legally registered organisation
  • The applicant must have adequately qualified and experienced teaching staff at its disposal
  • The applicant must show how the training will lead to increased productivity and competitiveness of the targeted sectors
  • The applicant must have conducted an assessment of the expected demand for the training programme to be introduced and of its sustainability prospects
  • The applicant must indicate planned follow-up activities intended to ease the trainees entry into the labour market
  • The applicant must have the managerial capacity to manage the contract to be entered with the enterprise that receives the SDF grant
  • The applicant must provide the methodology for post-training monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness or otherwise of the training provided
  • The applicant must have a proven track record for implementation of training programmes toward the specified target groups.

Preference will be given to providers and institutions who document good results from their implementation of training programmes for the target groups specified.

In the event of subsequent funding requests, the training provider must provide documentation of performance on previous SDF contracts or their last assignment.

SDF does not support the following types of training programmes:

  • Seminars and conferences designed to stimulate discussions and/or keep participants abreast of the latest trends in skills upgrading.
  • Induction/orientation programmes.
  • Appreciation programmes of short duration.
  • Programmes specific to company procedures/policies.
  • Training for spiritual, cultural and social enhancement, e.g. religious studies and appreciation of music.
  • Professional-training programmes, involving the upgrading of personnel such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and architects.
  • Postgraduate training programmes, involving the pursuance of higher education leading to the award of an advanced diploma, graduate diploma, degree or post degree qualification.
  • Attachment of engineers and senior managers to advance their skills and knowledge in existing or new work areas.