COVID-19 has severely impacted health service management, necessitating proper grant management (GM) for effective project implementation. Management in health systems should offer the community better facilities using organizational communication in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Academia and research organizations are uniquely placed to generate a better understanding of the most pressing health problems in Bangladesh and other LMICs. In this review paper, we aim to highlight the SM at icddr,b, an international research organization located in Bangladesh and producing high-quality research that addresses health priorities, influencing policy and practice over four decades.
icddr,b is a unique health science organization model. One of its research goals is to write proposals to acquire grant awards with combined managerial inputs. The organization places great importance on developing high-standard research proposals. Scientists and collaborating institutions closely follow international ethical standards through the Research Review Committee and Ethical Review Committee. The Research Administration (RA) office provides GM support to the scientists of the Centre in implementing donor-funded research protocols.
The RA strives to ensure that the Centre utilizes grants in an appropriate and timely manner throughout the project’s duration. Donors are ensured of this through electronic submissions of grant proposals and updating institutional registrations required for electronic submissions by assigning grant numbers in the Management Information System (MIS). Project donors receive correspondence, and reminders are sent to Principal Investigators regarding timely submissions of narrative/technical reports. The organization has a well-designed central management setup with a Senior Leadership Team to assist the executive body under a Board of Trustees in overseeing research management – achieving a world-class Scientific Advisory Group and Central Management Systems. The administrative wings in the scientific divisions facilitate SM by using the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system -- centrally solving any arising challenges.
The institution also contributes to the capacity building of other collaborative partners during proposal submission or project implementation on GM. Setting long-term resources for capacity building, the institution will be able to exchange their experience to guide other institutions in LMICs and help establish lasting capable GM teams to secure international grants for supporting high-quality research in other LMICs.