Navigating tax codes, payroll detail and health and other insurance benefits across borders can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. To help drive down costs and access the best possible benefits, the CGIAR System member centers joined forces in 1992 to streamline the benefits process for their international employees by forming the Association of International Agricultural Research Centers (AIARC). In addition to the 15 CGIAR Centers, AIARC membership now includes the CGIAR System Management Office as well as several other centers including: the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), the International Centre of Diarrhoeal Disease Research, the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), and the International Fertilizer Development Center. It now serves as a central hub for work related benefits helping to negotiate with insurance companies and manage the international payroll for member organizations.
Hosted by Dr. Barbara Wells, CIP Director General, and AIARC Board Chair, the AIARC board of trustees recently convened for a two-day bi-annual meeting at the International Potato Center’s (CIP’s) headquarters in Lima, Peru. The AIARC Board of Trustees comprised of representatives of the member centers as well as, an independent member. The board members include: Dr. Barbara Wells, Chair (Director General, CIP), Rajesh Agrawal, Vice-Chair and Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee (Assistant Director General, Financial Services, ICRISAT), Leslie Bird, Director, Finance and Corporate Services, Bioversity, Christine Croombes, Director of Human Resources, IRRI, Nagaraj Inukonda, Director of Human Resources, AVRDC, Kumar Tumuluru, (Director, Finance and Administration, CIFOR, Judith Vukovich, External Director, Independent, Jeffrey T. Hungate, President & CEO, AIARC.
AIARC aggregates the centers’ assets in terms of money and employees and leverages these to negotiate with suppliers, insurers and retirement plans and to make sure the most complete and cost effective offerings are made available to member centers.
“AIARC was built by centers, it is operated by centers, and all the decisions are made by centers,” says Jeffrey Hungate, AIARC president and CEO. “AIARC carries it out, rather than having 15 HR people, it is one service organization and that is what we do.” Such an approach benefits CGIAR member organizations by driving down costs, thus making a broader array of benefits available to staff.
“The centralized management of specialized payroll and benefit functions that AIARC provides significantly reduces administrative and overall costs of the Centers” says Barbara Wells. “The pooling of resources provides the centers with benefits and services that would not be available or economical if performed individually, allowing us to focus on delivering on our missions”.
AIARC recently rolled out the International SOS medical evacuation plan, giving employees peace of mind that if they are to fall ill in remote locations they will have access to top of the line medical care.
The AIARC board will next convene in Alexandria, Virginia in December 2017.
For more information on AIARC benefits please visit: http://aiarc.org