Looking back 10 years and looking forward 5 years - as the INDEPTH Executive Director marks 10th anniversary (2007-2017)

Objective 4: To maintain the Network as one, ensure prudent financial management and seek financial sustainability of the Network

Summary: In the last decade, INDEPTH has expanded its network of member centres to more than 50 HDSS sites in 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. It has maintained a transparent and accountable governance, with a credible and international Board of trustees and allowing its funders and other stakeholders to serve as checks and balances. In the last decade, INDEPTH has raised and directly managed over $19 million in core support and over $25 million in project support from a range of international donors. In order to strengthen long-term sustainability, it has recently established the INDEPTH endowment fund and is now looking for philanthropists to assist the Network.

Indicator 4.1: Grow INDEPTH membership and maintain a transparent and accountable governance structure
  • Attracted applications from new HDSSs, enabling the Network’s membership to pass the threshold of 50 HDSS sites in 2015.
  • Successfully organised Annual General Meetings and ensured Board elections throughout, with an international Board meeting face-to-face at least twice annually. Chairs of the INDEPTH Board have been internationally reputable individuals.
  • Centre leaders paying for their own participation in AGMs thereby demonstrating their commitment to INDEPTH.
Indicator 4.2: Ensure annual audits are done successfully
  • Annual audit over the last decade successfully conducted by internationally reputable companies (PWC and KPMG) ending in unqualified audit opinions. All reports available here.
Indicator 4.3: Attract funding from core support funders for general operations of INDEPTH
  • Successfully raised over $19,000,000 core support from Sida (Sweden), Hewlett Foundation (US), Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust (UK).
Indicator 4.4: Attract funding for INDEPTH multicentre projects
  • Successfully attracted and managed funding from the following organisations for multicentre projects: Gates Foundation (iHOPE), Children Investment Fund Foundation (ENAP), European Commission (Optimunise, Dengue), Wellcome Trust (iSHARE), Doris Duke Foundation (Data Analysis), UNESCO (CLIMIMO), Glaxo Smith Kline (RTS,S), ICF International (VA), Save the Children (NewBorn), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Vaccination), Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (Ebola)
  • Over $25,000,000 of project funding raised through working group activities.
Indicator 4.5: Attract funding from core support funders for general operations of INDEPTH
  • Continued to expand the number of our research partners and collaborators in high, middle, and low income countries, including top universities in the Global North and South.
Indicator 4.6: Establish an INDEPTH Endowment Fund
  • Strengthened the accumulated fund by 2010 and ensured it was invested by INDEPTH with Board approval.
  • Formally established the INDEPTH Endowment Fund for which fundraising has started.
Key challenges in the pursuance of this objective
  • Limited core support for the Network to decide on its own capacity strengthening and research activities.
  • Big investments must be made in proposal development which are not always successful.
  • International research partners wanting to get the bigger share of the funding cake while expecting the Southern partner to do most of the work.
  • Funders not always generous enough with overheads to South-based institutions.
  • Most Governments in the South not funding research.
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