Taking care of research funding

The University of Namibia’s overall research capacity has been strengthened following an agreement between the university and the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.
The so-called Master Agreement on Grant Management, was signed this week by the commission’s chief executive, Dr Eino Mvula, and the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Lazarus Hangula.
After the signing ceremony, the commission said “the ten-year agreement will ensure the efficient disbursement of funds to researchers based at UNAM. It also gives assurance that the grants will be managed in accordance with the institution’s existing financial management policies, and also the timely reporting of the project execution as part of their monitoring and evaluation process.”
“This agreement signifies the confidence that the commission places on the competence and capability of our institutions of higher learning in performing quality research. Our aim is to strengthen UNAM to become a research-intensive university. These collaborative efforts and many others initiated by all stakeholders, will undoubtedly contribute to make innovation a key driver for the achievements of the objectives and goals of the Harambee Prosperity Plan”, said Dr Mvula, at the signing ceremony.
“The NCRST has obtained an unqualified audit opinion since its inception in 2013 including the previous financial year, 2015/16 respectively. Some of the financial control mechanisms that is put into place includes the master funding agreements entered into between the NCRST and major funded research institutions, such as this with UNAM. These agreements outline the dual accountability and responsibility on the part of the NCRST and the funded research entities as well” he stated.
In line with the current strategic plan, the commission said it continues to improve its grant management processes and systems to ensure that these scarce resources reach deserving students and institution alike, to advance the science, technology and innovation agenda.
“In addition, the NCRST has an Internal Risk Assurance function which provides ongoing assurance on compliance to the approved NCRST Grants Rules and Procedures complied, further ensuring that the grant awards processes are above board” according to the commission.

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