Good Financial Grant Practice

Standardising, simplifying and strengthening governance of grant funding

The Good Financial Grant Practice (GFGP) is a programme established to strengthen Africa’s research and development infrastructure by developing an innovative standard for the best practices in the management of funds awarded to grantees.

The GFGP seeks to develop a new and integrated system for the financial governance of grant funds awarded to grantees which will standardise, simplify and strengthen the governance of grant funding.

This new approach will include a self-assessment tool to support local NGOs, research institutions and academic centres. It will assist them in recognising potential areas for improvement and enable them to take steps to build their grant management capacity and resilience. This will hopefully attract more funding to these organisations as funders gain confidence of their ability to manage grants.

The GFGP system will consist of:

  1. A new international standard for the financial governance of international aid received by grantees
  2. A standardised assessment system which measures compliance to the GFGP standard

The goal is for the GFGP system to become the method of choice for the international funder community seeking to strengthen the risk assessment and governance of funds they award either directly or indirectly to awardees in low- and middle-income countries. The ultimate aim is for awardee organisations to become certified as working in compliance to the new standard – analogous to organisations being certified to ISO 9001.

The standard and assessment system will be available for large, small, public, private, local and international organisations – regardless of the size of the grant or their area of activity. The only common denominator is that one organisation is providing a grant / award to another and needs to assess and manage the financial risk of providing those funds.

Delivery of GFGP Programme will be achieved in four phases:

Phase 1. Develop the reference standard

Develop and publish a pan African standard for Good Financial Grant Practice.

  • October 2015 to June 2018
  • Inaugural funders: The Wellcome Trust & the Medical Research Council (UK)

Phase 2. Develop a system for pre-award assessment of recipients

Develop a web based assessment system for recipients of funds to measure their compliance to the GFGP standard

  • December 2016 to MId' 2018
  • Funders are the EU (EDCTP), MRC(UK), Department of Health(UK)

Phase 3. Funders and grantees access system and share assessment data

  • Mid’ 2018 and beyond
  • Grantors will pay for access to the system and request grantees to complete the self-assessments. Grantors will be able to access a database of completed grantee assessments
  • Grantees range from sophisticated and experienced entities to smaller charities / NGO’s with limited knowledge of financial governance

Phase 4. Harmonised reporting

Grantors and grantees have expressed intertest in harmonising grantor repoting requirements.

Why standards matter?


Currently, funders and grant awardees have to contend with:

  • Multiplicity of funders leading to multiple requests for assessments and audits
  • Awardeess range from sophisticated and experienced entities to smaller charities / NGO’s with limited knowledge of financial governance
  • Not all awardees have robust internal mechanisms for control of funds awarded, yet all funders have legal responsibilities for the funds they distribute

The GFGP seeks to change the status quo by:

  • Reducing the burden of multiple audits for grant awardees who often have a number of funders.
  • Supporting the harmonisation of donor requirements, and include a web-based self-assessment tool for research and academic institutions and NGOs to rank their grant management capacity
  • Creating a database of grant awardees to allow funders to search for recipients that have already been assessed
  • Enabling donors to save time and money currently spent on pre-assessment audits,and access a wider pool of potential partners / collaborators at the local level