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Global Grant Community:  October’18 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the GGC team at The African Academy of Sciences.
Feedback from the Global Grant Community is that the launch of the new international standard for Good Financial Grant Practice (“GFGP”) and its associated portal based self-assessment system will be transformative of the way in which grantors undertake their financial due diligence of grantees. The following gives an update on the headlines since the last newsletter.
  • GFGP Standard – Collaboration with the Rwanda Standards Board
  • Conformity assessment and certification scheme;
  • Self-assessment portal and Go Live including subscription fees;
  • Official Launch in Pretoria
  • Future deliverables that are underway
GFGP Standard - Collaboration between the Rwanda Standards Board and the AAS.
In August’18 the Rwanda Standards Board and the AAS entered into a 3 year collaboration for the development and implementation of standards to benefit the Rwandan economy and continental Africa as a whole. The first standard to be implemented in Rwanda under the collaboration will be ARS 1651: 2018, Good Financial Grant Practice(GFGP)—Requirements.

We are also very pleased to announce that Rwanda has become the first country in the world to adopt the GFGP standard.  We understand that within a matter of weeks the GFGP standard will be available for download from the Rwanda Standards Board portal (www.rsb.gov.rw). 

Conformity Assessment & Certification to GFGP. 
The first version of the GFGP conformity assessment scheme has been drafted by the AAS in accordance with the relevant ISO guidelines (ISO 17067). In late Sept and early Oct’18 we held three Technical Working Group meetings, attended by a total of 30 grantors, grantees, auditors, and technical advisors from Africa, Europe and the USA, who reviewed the 300+ comments which they had submitted on the scheme.  Another round of TWG meetings is planned for late November to review the second iteration of the draft scheme. If the TWG deem the scheme is fit for purpose, it will be submitted to the ARSO Conformity Assessment Committee (CACO) in Q1’19, for further review and hopefully approval. Timing and funds permitting we also intend to run some parallel piloting studies with grantors, grantees and auditors and submit the findings to CACO for their consideration.

When the Certification Scheme has been approved by CACO it will be used by Accreditation Bodies to accredit Certification Bodies as being competent to audit and certify grantee organizations against the requirements of the GFGP standard. Organizations can then request accredited Certification Bodies to undertake an on-site audit of their compliance to the requirements of the GFGP standard.
We had hoped everything would be in place to enable certification bodies to commence certification audits in Q1’19, however, time frames within regulatory environments are difficult to predict, let alone control, and so Q2’19 now appears more realistic. If you were not involved in the first TWG’s that reviewed the first draft of the Certification Scheme and would like to contribute to the November TWG meetings or be involved in the piloting, please contact Vincent Nkundimana (v.nkundimana@aasciences.ac.ke)

Production of the assessment portal and “go live”
We have described to you previously that during the beta testing of the portal it became apparent that some, typically larger, grantee organizations manage grants in a multiplicity of ways depending on which department has received the award. Often policies are centralised but processes and procedures to implement these polices are developed by individual departments. In order to ensure that grantees are fairly assessed, and grantors have confidence that the assessment they are viewing represents those parts of the organization which administers their grants, it is critical to ensure the registration of the grantee in the portal reflects this diversity.  To enable the system to go live as soon as possible we are developing an interim solution for registration of these more complex grantees. We will shortly be communicating the “go live” date for the portal. There is considerable interest from a number of organizations in signing up to use the portal as part of their due diligence processes. During the Beta phase, some grantees have already benefited from being able to share their assessments.

Official launch of GFGP in Pretoria
We are pleased to inform you that the official launch the Good Financial Grant Practice standard (and the Global Grant Community) will occur during the AAS General Assembly in December ’18 in Pretoria, South Africa. To ensure the African GFGP grantee community is represented at its’ official launch we have run a  “Who wants to go to Pretoria “ competition,  to select the most suitable GFGP grantees from Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa who contributed their time and energies to the drafting and review of the standard. We are happy to congratulate the following winners who provided the best justifications as to why they should be selected to represent their regions at the  launch event  in Pretoria:
  1. Southern Africa: Asimenye Lucy Kayuni, Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical & Research Programme, Malawi 
  2. Western Africa: Kadiri Shakiru Babatunde, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Nigeria
  3. Central Africa: Carine Kades, Fondation Congolaise pour la Recherche Médicale, Republic of the Congo.
  4. Eastern Africa: Barmasai Titus, Sunrise Childrens Home, Kenya
We once again congratulate the winners.

Subscription to the Global Grant Community portal
As previously mentioned the investment to develop this initiative was funded by Wellcome, UKRI, NIHR and EDTCP, however, going forward, the operational costs and support for the Global Grant Community and the assessment portal will be provided by the GGC secretariat at the AAS. As the AAS is a not for profit organization the costs of running the GGC secretariat and continued access to the portal will need to be supported through payment of a subscription. Hence, if a grantor wishes to request a grantee to undertake a self-assessment to the requirements of the GFGP standard the grantor will pay a subscription fee to the AAS based on the number of pre-award assessments the grantor typically makes during the course of a year. In essence, the, grantors subscribe to a “bundle” of assessments - the more they buy then the more the average cost per assessment decreases. Ranging from $600 for each assessment for low volume users who may want to request up to 20 grantees to undertake an assessment reducing to $100 for each assessment for the very high volume “superusers” who may request up to 1000 assessments per annum. We have had feedback that there will be some grantees who may decide to take the initiative and pay for their own organizations to undertake a self- assessment. The cost of these “one off” assessments is also shown in the table and has been structured to the tier of the standard to which the organization wishes to assess themselves.

 
Subscription Type No. of assessments grantor intends to request per annum Annual Cost Cost per assessment
Super 1000 $100,000 $100
High 100 $40,000 $400
Medium 40 $20,000 $500
Low 20 $12,000 $600
Grantees or Grantors who wish to pay a “one off” subscription
 to assess their own organizations
Bronze Tier     $250
Silver Tier     $500
Gold Tier     $750
Platinum Tier     $1,000

To assist the GGC secretariat plan for what resources will be required to provide support to the GGC community when the system “goes live” it would be extremely helpful for us to have an understanding of the number of early adopter organizations who are likely to take out a subscription. As an incentive we are offering a 10% discount, on the above subscription costs, to any organization who emails the address below between now and the “go live” date indicating the subscription type their organization may wish to procure. This 10% discount will be deducted from your first invoice which will be issued after you place your order after the system goes live.

Future developments
Additional due diligence requirements
The grantor and grantee community are encouraging the GFGP team to initiate a new program of work to capitalize on their development methodology to harmonize and standardize grantors’ due diligence assurance framework questions which fall outside the scope of GFGP. These non GFGP assurance frameworks cover such areas as safeguarding, organizational capacity, ethics, data management etc. We are currently fund raising for this initiative. If you have not already expressed an interest and would like to be involved in the working groups, please contact Genny Kiff (g.kiff@wellcome.ac.uk)

Towards a common approach to using GFGP as part of Grantor due diligence.
A number of organisations are already using GFGP as a basis for their due diligence process and to help them identify opportunities to work with grantees to strengthen their financial governance over grants.  The output will be the production of guidelines ‘Towards a common approach to using the GGC and GFGP’.  It will provide guidelines to grantors on how to incorporate using the GGC and the GFGP standard into their due diligence processes and for grantees to get insight into how grantors might use GGC and GFGP. It should be noted that many organizations are both grantors and grantees.

If you have any queries or would like to learn more on any of the above please contact the GGC team.

Kind regards
The Global Grant Community team.
GlobalGrantCommunity@aasciences.ac.ke

 
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