The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and Management Accounting for NGOs (MANGO) today announced the launch of a strategic partnership. The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is developing an innovative pan-African standard in Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) for research and academic institutions and not for profit organisations. The GFGP is an initiative being implemented under the AAS’ Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) and in partnership with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO). The GFGP vision is to reduce the burden of audit to both funders and grant recipients and provide real assurance that funds are well managed. Mango will support the GFGP by contributing their extensive experience and expertise in training and capacity building of NGO across Africa and the world. Mango also aims to encourage other global initiatives, such as the World Humanitarian Summit, to consider supporting AAS and the GFGP as well. The news was announced alongside a ground breaking two-day workshop that saw 32 senior finance officials from 11 African countries gather at the AAS headquarters in Nairobi to develop what will initially be piloted as a pan-African standard in GFGP, with plans to expand its adoption globally.
Building trust between donors and local grantees is critical to building a more effective and efficient aid system
The partnership comes at a critical point in the global debate around humanitarian financing, following the publication this month of a key UN report revealing that, startlingly, “only 0.2 percent of reported humanitarian funding was channelled directly to national and local NGOs in 2014.” The statistic underscores a lack of trust between donors, local NGOs and research and academic institutions, symptomatic of deep-rooted perceptions concerning misuse of funds, corruption and fraud at the local level. This is despite that local NGOs and research and academic institutions are often more agile, effective, and create the biggest impact for those they serve. These local organisations would have a greater impact if they addressed their financial governance challenges and could give donors real assurance that they are making the most of their money. AESA Director Tom Kariuki says the initiative is Africa driven to build world class grant management capacities across the continent: “This is an African driven agenda to address obvious shortcomings of financial governance but with the potential for a global impact.” “A certification tool that will require organisations that receive grants to demonstrate the requisite professional and financial capacities to assure the funding partners and host country regulatory authorities will make African organisations even more attractive to funders and reduce the administrative burdens of having to undertake numerous separate annual audits demanded by a myriad of funders.
Funders will, in turn, be assured that their funds are going to recipient organisations with certified capacities to manage the grants.” Tim Boyes-Watson, executive director of MANGO, said “Funders in diverse sectors like medical research and humanitarian aid have realised they need to work more with local organisations, but are wasting too much time and money getting the assurance they need. The solution to this global problem is coming from Africa. We are delighted to be able to contribute our experience and expertise to help AAS develop a standard for Africa, which will eventually be adopted globally.”
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MANGO is a NGO and charity dedicated to strengthening the financial management and accountability of NGOs and their partners worldwide. They deliver award-winning financial management training, recruitment and consultancy services across the globe. They offer a wide range of free online tools, as well as a training bursary scheme for national NGOs. Mango also play a key role in thought leadership and advocacy on sector-wide financial management issues.
About the AAS
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a pan-African organisation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, that recognises individuals who have reached the highest level of excellence in their field of expertise and have made contributions to the advancement of the field in the continent. These individuals are recognised on merit and designated as fellows of the Academy. There are about 350 AAS Fellows and Associate Fellows who are proven science, technology and innovation leaders, policy advisors and thinkers most of whom live and work throughout the continent.
AESA is a platform for developing science strategies and funding health research in Africa that runs calls for proposals and proposal writing workshops, manages international and African grants and mentors grantees. It also serves as a think tank, setting and aligning an agenda for developing science in Africa. The AAS and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency created AESA. About the NEPAD agency The NEPAD Agency is a technical arm of the African Union that works to promote panAfrican socio-economic development. The agency played a key role in the development of the African Union’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa.
The African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) is Africa’s intergovernmental standards body formed by the African Union and UNECA to develop tools for standards development, standards harmonisation and to implement these systems to enhance Africa’s internal trading capacity, increase Africa’s product and service competitiveness globally, and uplift of the welfare of African consumers as well as standardisation forum for future prospects in international trade referencing.
For more about the Management Accounting for NGOs, refer to www.mango.org.uk.
To view other NGO press releases, refer to www.ngopulse.org/press-releases.