ROAA & RFMO Readout - June 2017

Regional Office of Acquisition and Assistance & Regional Financial Management Office

Quarterly Publication by Hala Elattar

In the spotlight: v-sheh, policy – Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (formerly known as the Mexico city Policy), and Grants Compliance Course (class 8)

Developing the Capacity of USAID Implementing Partners

USAID/India Grants Compliance Course

On Monday June 5, 2017, USAID/India welcomed twenty-eight implementing partners’ staff from nineteen different organizations and seven USAID/India staff to its 8th Grants and Cooperative Agreements Compliance Course. The training took place at the Leela Palace Hotel and was kicked-off by the Mission’s Regional Financial Management Office Director, Amr Elattar.

The training focuses on award compliance and India specific issues and permits both USAID staff and implementing partners to gain perspective of the challenges each other face in our respective roles to achieve successful outcomes.

After a brief introduction exercise, trainers Christine Librizzi and Bonnie Knox provided the participants with an overview of the course. The course highlighted the rules and regulations related to Grants and Cooperative Agreements including the significant changes to USAID assistance policies and procedures that have been introduced in the last few years. It also included financial and audit management sessions presented by USAID staff.

Trainers
Bonnie Knox & Christine Librizzi

Introduction
The course presented an opportunity to meet other partners. This activity involved finding a partner, getting to know them, and introducing them to the class.

Brainstorming
Working together, each team produced a list of burning questions that the trainers and USAID/India staff answered throughout the course.

Financial Management Session & Activities
Amr Elattar, Regional Controller
Jyothi Krishnamoorthy, Deputy Controller

“Participants are actively involved in the learning process.”

To date, USAID/India has trained 205 local partners’ staff from different prime and sub recipient organizations. Additionally, 74 USAID/India and USAID/Sri Lanka staff completed the training (including Agreement Officer’s Representatives, Project Management Specialists, Financial Management and Procurement Specialists).

Closing remarks were made by Acting Mission Director Mr. Idris Diaz.

“Participants wrote skits to emphasize their learning.”
“Reviewing the financial session.”

Implementing Partners in attendance

  • ARK STIR
  • IKP
  • Room to Read
  • BBC Media
  • Kaivalya Education
  • Save the Children
  • CARE India
  • NIUA
  • SEWA
  • Deloitte
  • Plan India
  • UMC
  • Digital Green
  • PSI
  • WASH Institute
  • English Helper
  • REACH
  • WCT

RFMO TIPS: What information needs to be included in a VAT invoice?

1. Registered dealer name

  • Address
  • TIN Number

2. Purchaser’s name in this format:

  • USAID Contract
  • c/o American Embassy
  • Organization Name
  • Organization Address

3. Details of goods purchased:

  • Name of good(s)
  • Cost per unit
  • Quantity
  • Total Cost

4. Total amount of VAT charged

Developed by USAID/India’s Regional Financial Management Office and Regional Office of Acquisition and Assistance and the Central and South Asia Acquisition and Assistance Innovation Lab in support of Local Capacity Building. 2.7.17

Visit us at https://www.usaid.gov/india and https:www.usaid.gov/india/ partner-resources

ROAA TIPS: Pope’s 4 Ps of decision making

Keep Chuck Pope's 4 Ps in mind as you structure your emails, conversations and requests with your AOR/COR. This approach will make interactions more efficient and productive - allowing the right decisions to be made as quickly as possible.

Problem: Tell us the who, what, where, when, why and how of your problem/issue.

Proposed Solution: If you think you have a way to solve the problem, let us know your idea!

Policy: Where in the award or policy/regulation does it give USAID the authority to make a decision, give approval, offer direction and/or provide guidance? What policy allows (or doesn't expressly prohibit) the proposed solution?

Precedent: Where, when and with whom (CO/AO) have you tried the recommended course of action before AND was it successful? Precedent is very important when there isn't a specific policy governing the proposed solution.

Developed by USAID/India’s Regional Financial Management Office and Regional Office of Acquisition and Assistance and the Central and South Asia Acquisition and Assistance Innovation Lab in support of Local Capacity Building. 2.7.17

Implementation of Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (formerly known as the Mexico City Policy)

ADS 303 Mandatory References (ADS 303maa, ADS 303mab, ADS 303mat, and ADS 303mav) have been updated to include the new standard provision entitled, “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (May 2017)” which replaces the Mexico City Policy (March 2017)

The new provision must be included in:

  • All new grants and cooperative agreements that provide global health assistance.
  • All existing grants and cooperative agreements that provide global health assistance when such agreements are amended to add incremental funding, and
  • All existing agreements that previously received the Mexico City Policy (March 2017) standard provision when such agreements are next modified or as soon as reasonably practicable.

https://www.usaid.gov/ads/policy/300/303maa https://www.usaid.gov/ads/policy/300/303mab https://www.usaid.gov/ads/policy/300/303mat https://www.usaid.gov/ads/policy/300/303mav

In the spotlight: v-sheh: Improving Educational Outcomes for Deaf Students in India.

The goal of the project is to develop a scalable and sustainable English language-learning program for hearing impaired students between the ages of 11 and 20 years old in New Delhi and Mumbai.

v-shesh utilizes visual cues and perceptual skills combined with an explanation in local sign language to help deaf students develop language skills rapidly progressing from alphabets to word, and from vocabulary to sentences.

April 2017 – USAID/India visited the Shivaji Park Lion School for Deaf in Mumbai and witnessed firsthand an English class taught to hearing impaired students in the age group of 13 to 17 years old.

“Learning English is a difficult task but I like English” Tanuja (age 16)

Sunil Banker, Program Manager (v-shesh) “The students used to find learning English a task that is out of their capabilities. However, after simplifying the curriculum and incorporating sign language training, their participation increased which enhanced their skills to learn English.” Sunil Banker

Kanika Agarwal, Teacher & Program Mentor (v-shesh) Success story: Sixteen years old Simran was going thru teenage issues. She wasn’t interested in learning nor had any desire to work hard, and was always reprimanded by her teacher. She struggled with spelling and couldn’t understand her school work. So, the teacher started breaking bigger words into simpler ones for the ease of remembering, a technique that Simran still uses when she learns new words. Now Simran has changed into an active inquisitive learner and actively helps her teammates who have difficulties in remembering spellings.

“My brother and I come to school to learn English and we love to play visual learning animated games.” Noorjha (age 15)

USAID/India COR of the Quarter (Q1 – 2017) Congratulations to Arvind Kumar for winning the COR of the Quarter Award (January. – March 2017).

The AOR/COR of the Quarter/Year Award is intended to acknowledge and to demonstrate appreciation for exemplary competence and reliability of USAID/India Agreement/Contracting Officer’s Representative. The Mission AOR/COR of the Quarter is selected after an in-depth review process. First, the Regional Office of Acquisition and Assistance (ROAA) Portfolio Managers review nominations of high-performing AORs/CORs from their portfolios. Next, the Supervisory Agreement/Contracting Officer carefully considers each candidate’s competence, reliability and A&A teamwork (relationship with ROAA, the rest of the Mission and the Implementing Partners s/he manages). Finally the Nominee has to be cleared by her/his Technical Office Director for consideration before final approval by the Mission Director. The AOR/COR of the Quarter receives a certificate, an On The Spot cash award, and a traveling trophy. (This section is meant to provide guidance in the form of Q&A. We encourage you to submit your question (s) to helattar@usaid.gov. We will address them and feature the answer. We hope you will find this section helpful and informative.)

Hot Topics

Q: “We have several USAID grants for different countries (Ethiopia/US/Afghanistan/India). At times we procure equipment for all these grants in India, how can we report host government taxes for all the other country grants in India? Should we be reporting VAT in India or in the country we are implementing the project? For example we bought some equipment for our Ethiopia project in India, so should this invoice be reported in Ethiopia or India?”

A: Grantees who receive funding from India are required to report on the taxes financed in India from the USAID grant amount received from India. Similarly, the taxes financed of a particular country from the USAID funding received from that country only should be reported there.

For USAID India funded project, if there are taxes paid in another country, then that is considered as allowable expenditure and no reporting is required either in India or in the other country where the taxes are paid as there is no mechanism or treaty for inter country taxation exemption.

Please direct questions or comments about this newsletter to Hala Elattar at helattar@usaid.gov

Issuing Country 
Date 
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 11:45am

Last updated: June 27, 2017