The Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund is a programme set up to strengthen the advocacy capacity of private sector business groups and associations in Ghana. Supported by DANIDA (the lead Development Partner), USAID and DFID, the first phase of the programme run from 2004 to February 2010, during which the Fund provided a total of 362 advocacy grants to various business groups and associations within the ten regions of Ghana.
The second phase of the BUSAC Fund was a five-year extension to BUSAC Fund I and was intended to consolidate the gains made in BUSAC Fund I and to further spread the concept of advocacy to all sectors of the economy in all the regions of Ghana. With the support of its Development Partners, DANIDA, USAID and the EU, the second phase of the BUSAC Fund run from March 2010 to 30th June 2016, during which the Fund provided 435 advocacy grants worth over 17.6 million USD to various Private Sector Organizations (PSOs) across the ten regions of Ghana to enable them advocate the removal of barriers within the business environment. For BUSAC Fund Phase II, PSOs eligible for support included business associations, trade unions, media houses and farm-based organisations (FBOs).
What is BUSAC Fund III?
The third phase of the BUSAC Fund (BUSAC III) builds upon the experiences gained from its predecessors (BUSAC I & II) and is aimed at further improving the business environment in Ghana to facilitate private sector growth. This involves reducing the spread and concentrating on fewer, larger private sector associations that have nationwide membership as well as building the long term sustainability of the PSOs to continue with structured and evidence-based business advocacy in the absence of BUSAC Fund support. BUSAC Fund III is funded by DANIDA as the lead development partner, the EU and Feed the Future Ghana. As was the case in phases I and II, the Fund management for BUSAC III has been contracted by DANIDA to COWI from Denmark.
Under BUSAC Fund III, which will be implemented from July 2016 to December 2020, special attention will also be given to legal and rights based challenges within the broader range of sustainable agriculture and energy as well as the facilitation of private-public sector policy dialogue to help improve the Ghanaian business environment.
Furthermore, BUSAC Fund III will establish a rapid response facility to address advocacy issues calling for urgent action. BUSAC Fund III will also establish a facility to support the implementation of agreed regulatory reforms and practices (called post-advocacy actions).
Expected outcome and outputs of BUSAC Fund III The BUSAC Fund III Engagement will contribute to achievement of the SPSD III objective through the following two outcomes:
-Policies, laws and regulations relating to the private sector have been enhanced and contribute to an improved enabling environment for business at national and local levels,
-Strengthened institutional, technical and financial capacity of PSOs to pursue business advocacy actions and to become more sustainable.
BUSAC III is expected to achieve six main outputs:
-District and community level business constraints addressed through advocacy action
-Capacity of PSOs to undertake advocacy activities significantly increased
-Public-Private Dialogue Platforms created
-Increased attention to post-advocacy undertakings
-Increased capacity of PSOs to identify BDS needs of members and facilitate ways to address these
-Capacity of research institutions and think-tanks to provide evidence on private sector advocacy issue increased
In order to achieve its six expected outputs, BUSAC Fund III will support private sector advocacy through five funding mechanisms /windows.