SARIMA, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Assurance and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) hosted a Research Management forum on the funding assurance landscape and interventions to strengthen the delivery of efficient and accountable research administration in Southern Africa. The Forum took place at the Protea Fire & Ice Hotel, Menlyn, Pretoria on 10 December 2018.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a new body which brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England. Operating across the whole of the UK, UKRI works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. Universities and research organisations across the world and are increasingly being funded, either directly or as part of sub-contracts from eligible UK research organisations, therefore there is need to be aware of the varying assurance landscapes in place. UKRI Funding Assurance provides assurance over the use of such public funds.
The forum allowed UKRI Funding Assurance to better understand how research administration is undertaken in southern Africa; with a focus on how risks are managed and mitigated in local research organisations, and what existing assurance processes are in place for funders. Furthermore, the forum also focused on the rollout of the Good Finance Grant Practice (GFGP) programme in southern Africa and first-hand experiences from research organisations which are working towards, or have obtained the GFGP assessment. Due to overwhelming interest, this forum was streamed live to allow broader participation. The Forum was attended by 37 people in person and 28 joined via live streaming, including representatives from countries outside of South Africa, such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Qatar, and the United Kingdom.