Academic journal article SRA Journal

Budgeting for International Projects: In-Country Business Operations and Long-Term Residential Assignments

Academic journal article SRA Journal

Budgeting for International Projects: In-Country Business Operations and Long-Term Residential Assignments

Article excerpt


This paper is geared toward those called upon to provide new services to faculty that are beginning to do more work for international organizations. It is hoped that professional administrators, principal investigators, and project directors will find the article useful when presented with new situations. Two appendices are included for future reference: Appendix A is a summary of the costs described in detail in the article, and Appendix B is a suggested reading list for personnel involved in international projects.

Most universities and nonprofit organizations receive internationally sponsored projects from one of four different types of organizations: bilateral assistance agencies, international organizations, multinational organizations, and nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations. Sponsored projects administrators with experience in the international development field are familiar primarily with the financial and administrative aspects of agreements from the U.S. government's assistance agency, the Agency for International Development (referenced as AID for its Washington offices and USAID for its in-country missions).

The situation is changing as more universities enter the international field. Faculty are diversifying their funding sources as traditional monies dwindle and as new customers seek western expertise. European social scientists are being enlisted to assist in the development of newly independent states. Faculty with eastern European roots are drawn by a commitment to assist in the development of their ancestral homeland. And finally, a rise in environmental awareness has resulted in an increase in funding available for field scientists who transfer their work sites from the United States to other environmentally sensitive locations.

The information presented in this article is based upon the author's extensive consulting experience in this field and from information obtained through professional colleagues. The assertions put forward, therefore, represent the opinion of the author and are not otherwise documented or attributed except as noted.

Assistance Agencies

The bilateral assistance agencies known by their acronyms--AID, CIDA, and IDRC (both in Canada) or their northern European counterparts GTZ (Germany), ODA (United Kingdom), NORAD (Norway), FINNIDA (Finland)--are the governmental agencies established to assist industrializing and less developed countries (LDCs) with social and economic development and emergency relief. In the main, they are the agencies that support development-oriented research and training projects in which universities and nonprofit organizations participate.

Three additional groups are playing an increasingly important role in the economic development of nonindustrialized countries:

1. International philanthropic organizations such as the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Aga Khan Foundation.

2. Humanitarian organizations such as CARE, Save the Children, World Vision, InterAction, International Orthodox Christian Charities, and Catholic Relief Services. As these nongovernmental organizations continue to win an increasing number of prime contracts from AID via the voluntary organization set-aside mandated by the U.S. Congress, universities will increasingly receive subcontract awards from them. In these cases, sponsored projects they award will operate under a protocol with the government of the host country, not the policies of the originating sponsor or AID.

3. Multilateral organizations that developed to provide trade credits, loans, and grants as investments in the physical, technical, or institutional infrastructure of recipient countries and that included United Nations organizations such as the UN Development Program (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Some large projects will include funding from several sources including World Bank-UN agency cofinancial projects (Baum, 1989, p. …

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