Financial Management for Field Research

Uganda Research Initiative (URI) was the primary financial, grants, contracts, and human resources management agent for the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard University Mbarara University of Science and Technology Research Collaboration in Uganda.

In 2008, as MGH sought to increase its impact in the field of global health through its collaborative work in Mbarara, URI’s continued ability to effectively administer grants and conduct research was crucial to the success of new projects. In order to help URI prepare for growth, an MIT student team was asked to develop a business plan and growth strategy, including suggestions for new revenue sources. Through interviews with URI partners in Boston, onsite interviews with site directors, researchers, administrators, and workers at URI, observations at the facility, process mapping, and a market analysis, the team produced a business plan, delivered an implementation training session, and gave detailed recommendations for improved financial management, project portfolio management, and resource mobilization. Based on student recommendations, within a year URI had changed from a cash flow to checks and invoicing but was unable to adopt incremental overhead costs for grants due to an organizational transition. URI also was continuing to build financial projects based on the skills the students taught its staff.


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Uganda Research Initiative (no longer in existence, but formerly connected with SHIP)