Grants and aids are important catalysts for development. They can be considered as investment in innovation shaping our future and wellbeing as a nation.It revitalizes the economy of the country. As government looks for ways to reduce spending, a focus should be placed on the dynamics of funding—and this requires deep visibility into the impact of grants. So what is more important, is not just the fund but how it is utilized to achieve the desired impact.Strategic investments help support local economies, create jobs, and attract private investments to better the lives of citizens.
It has been seen that the amount of funding and resources committed to an area directly affect the development, quality, and services related to it, whether it is education, healthcare, science & innovation, social development etc.However, simply increasing funding is not the answer, as outcomes of different areas has shown varying results. The mechanism of funding and the appropriation of funds is just as crucial and vital.
Therefore two vital things can be concluded;firstly, funding is needed to improve products, services, and innovative ideas and secondly, standard regulation mechanism that would enable smart monitoring to ensure that the funds are used appropriately to maximize their value.
The technological intervention in automation of the grant management system ensure smart & effective management of funds and grants, empowering stakeholders to work on the highest value activities.
The centralized web application allows easy accessibility of grant information for all the stakeholders. The business process automation engine helps in expediting the work flow process and making it paperless & contactless. The mobile ready features enhances its usability and accessibility of application.
The following represent the core functionality of the system:
Registration of Funding Sources: It helps the donor bodies or govt. agencies to create profile, record contribution for projects andenable easy monitoring / evaluation of the projects.
Managementof Call for Grants: The whole process is seamlessly managed starting from application, budget allocation, processing of the application to validating compliance as per the eligibility criteria.
Evaluation of Grant Proposals: This enables evaluation of the application on the basis of pre-configure criteria for prioritizing grant sanction and distribution as per the scores.
Management of Grants Awarded: This module helps in defining milestones & budget approved for deliverables while managing milestone extension, change of peers, request for additional budget.
Monitoring Outcomes: The module manages the approval of the submitted milestone progress and facilitates fund release on the milestone achieved.
Managing Closeout: This last module is responsible for closure of the contract facilitating submission of field visit report, re-submission in case of unsatisfactory progress, amendment to original contract and finally track the closeout status of grants & manage checklists.
Additional Functions: The analytical reports & dashboard supports decision making while document archival is beneficial for future references. In addition data encryption & role based access ensures security and communication module for alerts and notification keeps the stakeholders updated with information for easy tracking.
CSM has successfully implemented such a Grant Management System for the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST), Rwanda. Through this system, NCSTissues research permits and efficiently managesgrant life cycle under National Research and Innovation Fund (NRIF).
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