POSTED BY Lea | 06 Jul 2020 | Training Guidance notes

This Blog post is related to the two GMS Global Trainings that were given on Monday, 29th of June 2020 and Thursday 2nd of July 2020, which focused on:

  1. The new Project Signatory feature in the Project Information Authorization page
  2. Contacts email verification in the Due Diligence
  3. The new GAA generation process
  4. COVID-19 App updates
  5. A walkthrough the new BI visuals
  6. Topics for futher discussion and HFU feedback (AOB)

1.         The new Project Signatory feature in the Project Information Authorization page


From now on, partners will be able to select the contact that will be signing the OCHA Grant Agreement at Project Information Authorization stage (this stage already includes bank information and start date authorizations). Only contacts included in the “List of Active Signatories” (i.e. contacts ticked as MOU or Signatory) in the organization’s Due Diligence will appear under selectable project signatories. Consequently, the HFU will not have to select the project signatory at GA preparation phase anymore, as this will be automatically generated from the project authorization page. This update is important for the roll out of the digital signature process at a later stage.

As for previous projects with GAs already generated, our team has added the signatories to the project information authorization page from the back end. There will be no need for HFUs to act retroactively.

Note: Unlike the bank information and start date authorizations, which become non-editable once the GA is sent to HC for signature, the partner signatory authorization will remain editable throughout project implementation. This is to allow for enough flexibility for the partner in case the signatory needs to be changed at project revision stage for example (when generating a GAA).

     2.         Contacts email verification in the Due Diligence

There are currently 4,000+ email addresses inserted for organizations in the Due Diligence forms on GMS. Out of these, only 2,000 are also registered GMS users and have a verified email with Humanitarian ID. In order to ensure that all emails inserted on the system are valid, the IMSDAU team has decided to introduce the email verification concept on GMS.

    -   All contacts inserted in the Due Diligence or in the Project Proposal (on the Cover Page, under focal points details) will soon have a small envelope icon next to their name: a red envelope icon means the email has not been verified by the contact, while a green envelope icon means the email has been verified by the contact.

   -   In order to clean the GMS backlog and to ensure the contacts data already existing on GMS is accurate, we will send an automatic broadcast to all non-verified contacts on GMS (i.e. contacts that are not registered GMS/HID users, such as Due Diligence contacts, PP Focal Points…) requesting them to verify their email address by clicking on a link (which will be valid for 30 days). This will help us ensure that all contacts inserted on GMS have registered and verified email addresses. Please find below a screenshot of the message that will be broadcasted. HFUs are kindly requested to contact their partners to let them know that the contacts inserted in their Due Diligence Form will receive this automatic email from GMS.

*This is only a template email, please disregard the date inserted.

   -   If a contact email is not verified (i.e. if a contact still has a red envelope icon), the HFU will be able to send a verification link to the contact at any time for verification from the Due Diligence page or from the Project Information Authorization page.

      3.         New process for generating Grant Agreement Amendments on GMS

   -   The next GMS release will include a new GAA generation process, where the HFU will be able to select the articles that should appear in the GAA, based on the revised sections of the project. The GAA will hence be generated with the corresponding clauses. This release will also include the new Cost Extension article.

      4.         COVID-19 App Updates

   -   HFU – GMS Admin business role on GMS: This new role gives its dedicated user access and edit rights to the COVID-19 app, which were previously solely held by the user with Fund Manager business role. An Excel sheet has been circulated to Fund Managers to appoint their respective fund’s GMS Admin user.   

   -   New App feature: When an allocation is added on the app, a list of linked projects will be automatically generated from the system. This list will include approved projects that already have COVID-19 components, such as:

  • A Strategic Objective linked to the COVID-19 GHRP in their Logical Framework;
  • A Sector Specific Objective tagged with the “COVID-19” prefix or linked to the COVID-19 GHRP;
  • A standard indicator tagged with the “COVID-19” prefix or linked to the COVID-19 GHRP;
  • A standard activity tagged with the “COVID-19” prefix or linked to the COVID-19 GHRP.

These projects’ budgets will be automatically considered 100% participating to the COVID-19 response. However, the HFU can edit the percentages and all other features manually at any time. The HFU will also be able to manually add additional projects that do not have COVID-19 components reflected on GMS but are still responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated COVID-19 app guidance note can be found at this link.

      5.         A walkthrough the new Business Intelligence visuals (Internal and Public)

   -   Internal BI: New visuals have been developed on the Internal BI:

   -   Public BI: A new Net Funding infographic has been developed to reflect the funding allocated per fund and per partner type. This visual will be released soon on the PFBI.

                   6.         Other topics for future discussion and HFU feedback (AOB)

   -   Aggregated budget of sub-IP and verification with direct partner budget: We have faced some issues in the past where the budget dedicated to a sub-IP in the “Other Info” tab of the project (under “10. Sub-Implementing Partners”) differs from the budget dedicated to the sub-IP under Category 6 of the Budget tab on GMS (6. Transfers and Grants to Counterparts). Do you think that a system verification should be put in place to avoid such scenarios and enhance consistency across the project proposal? i.e. Should the budget in “Other Info” tab be automatically generated from the sub-IP budget line in the Budget tab?

   -   Validation of sub-IP (possibility to display the sub-IP as ineligible if necessary): Currently, sub-IPs can be added by partners with no background verification whatsoever. This has sometimes led to serious issues, especially in terms of compliance. What are your thoughts on the required level of verification that should be done for the insertion of a sub-IP in a project proposal on GMS?

   -   Possibility of linking specific partners to an allocation at allocation configuration stage on GMS: Several funds have suggested to include this feature on the system (especially for reserve allocations), where an allocation would only be opened/visible to pre-selected partners.

   -   Possibility of linking projects to GMS system roles: This is currently done by the GMS team from the back-end for funds that have third-party monitoring: we assign specific projects to TPM users. Do you have any suggestion or recommendation on this? Do you see a need to include this feature on GMS for other system roles for example?