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GSDF will announce a call for “concept notes” (“pre-qualification notes”) once every year. Interested eligible companies, associations, training institutions, research centres, etc., are requested to express their intention to apply for GSDF grants by filling out a “pre-qualification application/concept note” and submit this to the GSDF via its online Grants Management System.

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GSDF applies a two-phased application and selection process.

The concept notes are subject to an internal screening by the GSDF Office. Applications are screened in a timely, fair, transparent, and objective manner and a written response sent to each applicant. Applicants whose concept notes pass the screening are invited to submit a full project proposal for consideration by the Fund.

The screening of the concept note (pre-qualification application) is conducted by two persons from the GSDF Office, e.g., the grant specialist and a grant officer, or by two grant officers. The threshold for being invited to submit a full proposal is a score of minimum 25 out of 35 points. Applicants who score below the threshold are rejected or invited to re-submit their application (concept note) in the next call. The following core criteria must be met by the application:

  • The pre-qualification application provides adequate information on the applying organisation.
  • The concept note provides an adequate indication of the planned activities, the expected outputs, the estimated costs of the implementation and the implementation procedures.
  • The principal activities of the applying organisation take place in Ghana.
  • The principal beneficiaries are Ghanaian citizens and permanently resident in Ghana.
  • The applicant is not involved in any type of illegal activities determined by Ghanaian law, harmful or exploitative of people (men, women, or children), harmful or hazardous to the environment, or inconsistent with the policies and purposes of the GSDF.
  • The applicant’s proposal is consistent with the GSDF strategic plans and Ghana’s strategic objectives, and meets GSDF’s triple bottom-line impact criteria (Producing Skilled Workforce, Introducing New Technology, and Creating Jobs).

Under Window 2, requests for support with a tentative budget below GHS equivalence of USD 3,000 are administratively rejected and the applicant advised to apply again in cooperation with other MSEs that have the same skills needs. The reason for this is a desire to keep a reasonable balance between the size of an investment and administrative costs.

Applicants requesting support under Windows 1 and 2 who pass the screening can obtain the assistance of an “Intermediary” to prepare the detailed project proposal.

Intermediaries, i.e., accredited service providers, fulfil two key functions in relation to the GSDF:
  • They assist selected applicants to prepare detailed project proposals, and
  • They assist applicants revise their project proposals where modifications are requested by the Technical Evaluators and/or GSDF Steering Committee.

The GSDF aims to minimise the risk of fraudulent practices as well as other forms of financial malpractices. A system for filing and processing of complaints has been put in place by the GSDF Office.

Although the GSDF Office does its utmost to make transparent and fair decisions, the risk always exists that a prospective beneficiary may not find the decision on his or her application justified. That is why formal procedures for complaints and grievances have been established.

Complaints should be addressed to the CTVET Director General. Complaints concerning the outcome of the screening of concept notes will be dealt with by the Chairman of the GSDF Steering Committee, who will conclude whether the grievance is warranted and possible consequences of the complaint. The GSDF Office will make all relevant documentation which are mostly stored in the online Grant Management system, available for the GSDF Steering Committee Chairman’s review.

Complaints concerning the outcome of the approval/rejection of applications by the GSDF Steering Committee will be considered by the Chairman of the CTVET Board, who will conclude whether the grievance is warranted and possible consequences of the complaint. As in this case, the GSDF Office will make all relevant documentation available for the CTVET Board Chairman’s review.

A format for complaints is included in the Appendix to these Guidelines. It is available on the CTVET website (

Find more guidelines on application on the Resources page