Monday, November 22, 2010

2010 R4D Week: The benefits of the ‘charging services’ model for IITA

The ‘charging for services’ model being used by IITA presents an opportunity to help improve the quality of services and free more funds for research, Lakshmi Menon, IITA DDG (Support) has said.

The model, which is principally a cost recovery framework, is part of the strategy adopted by IITA management to cushion the impact of the reforms in the CGIAR system.

Other measures adopted by IITA included the use of tools to closely monitor expenditures and increased efficiency in service delivery.

Menon said the approach had freed up resources for research, making more funds available for R4D.

Some of the impacts of the institutional reforms include the drop in power consumption in IITA-Ibadan using energy-saving devices and the enhanced Internet connectivity in East/West Africa due to laying of fiber optics.

Menon said, “Prices have dropped from an average $6000 per megabyte to $1000 per megabyte.”

Overall, the internal reforms are gradually putting the support units in a better position with some units now becoming financially sound.

Menon called for scientists’ understanding on the new internal charges placed on services, stressing that savings made are for the overall benefit of the institute with some funds being transferred to R4D and also for maintaining other research stations.

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