KASA Initiative Ghana started operating in 2008 as a Civil Society Platform established by three International NGOs (CARE, SNV and ICCO) conceived initially as a project to support Civil Society, Research and Media Organizations to advocate in concerted effort towards equitable access, responsive, accountable and transparent governance in the Natural Resource and Environmental sector in Ghana.
Based on the increasing demand for the permanent existence of such a platform, KASA was registered in 2014 as an organisation limited by guarantee under Ghanaian law. KASA aims to ensure effective participation in responsible environment and natural resource governance for the realisation of rights of people particularly the marginalised to maximize benefits in Ghana. KASA achieves this by facilitating interactions among CSOs on one hand, and among CSOs, state institutions and development partners on the other hand. KASA now consists of 7 networks and coalitions and a Secretariat that coordinates its activities.
Specifically, KASA specialises in promoting consultation and participation among CSOs and between CSOs and Government and Donors on NRE issues. It explores opportunities and creates platform for CSO – government engagement in the formulation and review of national policies as well as discourse analyses in NRE sector.
KASA has initiated a number of processes that have contributed to institutionalising and strengthening participation of civil society in policy review and coordinated engagement and concerted voice of CSOs in the NRE policy processes. Some of the relevant policies influenced include:
The Forest and Wildlife Policy of Ghana (2012); the Ghana National Climate Change Policy (2011); Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill (2010); review of Guidelines on the Utilization of Mineral Revenue; etc.
KASA facilitated the consultation and collating of inputs from CSOs for the formulation of Ghana’s Forest Investment Program, which seeks to address the drivers of deforestation and catalyse transformational change by providing upfront investment to support the REDD+ strategy.
Since 2009 KASA has been organising and coordinating CSO annual review of NRE sector performance. This has been recognized by Government and the donor community as an important policy dialogue space for engaging CSOs in the sector.
KASA facilitated the recognition and participation of CSOs in Government led annual NRE sector reviews which led to increased CSOs representation from two in 2008 to 16 in 2013. In addition, 14 CSOs coalitions/networks now have common platform for peer review, shared learning and joint advocacy on common issues.
KASA has been represented on the VPA and REDD+ national committees by Forest Watch Ghana which is a member of the Network.
KASA’s research and evidence based advocacy has been recognized by policy makers as important contribution to strengthening citizen participation, transparency, accountability in the management of natural resource in Ghana.