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Global Grant Community:  April’18 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the April'18 newsletter from the GFGP team at the African Academy of Sciences.

The Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) standard
The 60 day public consultation on the Draft African GFGP Standard (DARS) concluded on the 19th April, and the next Technical Harmonization Committee (THC) meeting of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) will be held on the 2nd to 4th May to discuss the comments. The outcome of this meeting will be the Final Draft African Standard (FDARS), which should then progress through the final approval stages within ARSO for adoption as a new African Standard in June’18.

Piloting assessment and compliance at the Bronze tier
We have undertaken field trials in a range of Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) in urban and rural Kenya. The purpose of the trials was to gain insights into whether the compliance requirements of the Bronze tier of the standard are appropriate for these, smaller sized, often less formal, organisations. The trial protocol was for the CBO’s to undertake a self-assessment of their compliance, which was then followed up by site visits to verify the assessments.
The geographic spread of the organizations involved is shown below:       
The selection criteria for the organizations were an annual budget of less than $200k and less than 20 staff.
Of the 20 organizations contacted, 12 completed both the on line and on-site visits, a further 4 completed the on-line assessment but were lost to follow up, 3 did not respond to the invitation and 1 declined, citing they needed their donors approval before they could complete the assessment.
Of the 12 responders, their mean on line assessment score was a very credible 89% compliance to the requirements of the bronze tier, and it took the organizations an average of 40 minutes to complete the assessment. The on-site verification of the assessment responses reduced the mean compliance score by 10% to 79%. Some of the bigger variances were in the smallest organizations who either did not have dedicated finance / accounting staff, or did not fully understand the assessment question. It was also noted that several processes were not formalised and documented and hence could not be validated.
Many important lessons were learnt from this field testing which will either be submitted to the THC as comments on the standard or incorporated into the beta version of the assessment portal.

During April, we held a series of grantee workshops in Nairobi, Accra and Durban. In total the three workshops were attended by over 60 grantees from CBO’s, Non Governmental Organizations(NGO’s) and larger institutes from over 20 African countries.  The purpose of these workshops was to:-
  1. capture any final comments on the standard for submission to ARSO,
  2. review the design and functionality of the beta version of the assessment portal, 
  3. canvass the opinion of grantees of what they would like to see in a proposed new standard for Good Financial Grant Reporting.  
Invitations have been issued to grantors for a series of three, one day, workshops to be held in London on the 9th, 10th & 11th May’18.  There are a few places remaining for some of the dates and so if any grantors wish to be receive an invitation then please let us know at the email below, or

The purpose of these grantor workshops is to enable the GFGP team to:- 
  • give a live demonstration of the beta portal – to capture grantors views and comments.
  • obtain views on whether grantors, or groups of grantors, wish to have their own ‘micro site’ on the GFGP portal where they can ask grantees additional due diligence / assurance questions which are outside the scope of the GFGP standard.
  • present to the grantors the collated views of the grantees on harmonized grantor reporting.
  • have a discussion on the proposed subscription model for using the GFGP assessment  portal.   
“Go live” of the beta version of the assessment system
The beta portal, is a “works like and looks like” version which will be close to the final production version. 
Recommendations from the grantee workshops for improvements to the beta portal are being incorporated into the portal by the developers before the beta system goes live which will be on the 30th April’18.
Some of you may have completed assessments to GFGP in the alpha version of the portal. Please note, your information will not be lost as your assessment responses and documents in the alpha portal will be migrated to the beta version. Your user name and password will remain the same. 

GFGP Team has grown!
The AAS is pleased to inform you that in the last few weeks the GFGP secretariat has been significantly strengthened. The new team members are:-
Genny Kiff, ( Until the end of March’18, Genny was the CFO of the Wellcome Sanger Research Institute and for the last 2+ years has committed at least 0.2 FTE of her time to the GFGP program. Wellcome have generously agreed to second her to work full time on GFGP.

Vincent Nkundimana, ( Having worked with the Rwandan Standards Board(RSB) for over 5 years, Vincent brings a wealth of experience in planning and implementation of industry related policies at regional and international levels. Vincent has conducted a series of Capacity Building programmes in both public and private organizations on Standardization and Trade coupled with experience in International Organization for Standardization(ISO)   

Edward Abira, ( ) Edward has over  5 years’ experience in the deployment of platforms and consulting on various Management Information Systems projects in the private sector; ranging from payment platforms, CRM systems, ERPs, data analytics and business intelligence tools. He is passionate about promoting technology in Africa specifically machine learning, blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Kind regards,
The GFGP team.
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