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Report on annual expenses for travel, hospitality and conferences 2019-2020

Pursuant to the Treasury Board Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures, this report provides information on the total annual expenses for travel, hospitality and conference expenses incurred by IDRC for the financial year ending 31 March 2020. This information is updated annually and does not contain information withheld under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

Travel, hospitality, and conference expenses incurred by the Centre are related to activities that support IDRC’s mandate described in About IDRC.

IDRC invests in research to build evidence, inform decisions, and generate opportunities that promote an inclusive and sustainable world. As a Crown corporation and part of Canada’s global affairs and development efforts, IDRC supports knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world.

In carrying out its mandate, the Centre:

  • provides financial support to researchers in developing countries to work on problems crucial to their communities;
  • facilitates the use and uptake of research, and encourages dialogue between researchers, policymakers, and business people;
  • engages with research organizations throughout the innovation process; and
  • promotes networking among our grantees.

While the Centre makes every effort to conduct its business using various telecommunication tools, the very nature of its international work requires it to engage in a significant degree of face‑to-face interaction with its recipients and partners.

Annual expenses for travel, hospitality and conferences of IDRC are summarized below:

Expense category

Expenses for the year ending 31 March 2020

Expenses for the year ending 31 March 2019 Variances

(in thousands of dollars)

for operational activities $3,323.9 $3,701.2 ($377.3)
to meet key stakeholders $305.7 $552.1 ($246.4)
for internal governance $199.3 $248.3 ($49.0)
for training $58.4 $66.9 ($8.5)
for other purposes $35.5 $31.5 $4.0
A. Total travel $3,922.8 $4,599.9 ($677.1)
B. Hospitality $28.3 $23.9 $4.4
C. Conference fees $22.1 $32.4 ($10.3)
Total [A+B+C] $3,973.2 $4,656.2 ($683.0)
International travel by Governors (included in Travel) $147.0 $105.0 $42.0

Significant variances relative to the previous financial year

IDRC manages travel, hospitality, and conference expenses with prudent stewardship and probity, and ensures they are incurred in order to meet its mandate and strategic objectives.

The total expenses on travel, hospitality, and conference fees have decreased by $683,054 in the financial year ended 31 March 2020 compared to the financial year ended 31 March 2019. The main variances are explained as follows:


In comparison with the previous year, 2019-2020 total travel expenses decreased by $677,190 and this is explained by three factors:

  • reduced travel required in relation to the development of IDRC's 2020-2030 Strategy as related engagements with key stakeholders and researchers in the regions were concluded in 2018-2019;

  • less travel required for the new VP, Programs and Partnerships this year compared with last year;

  • travel restrictions and precautions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in less travel than originally planned during the last two months of the financial year.


Compared with financial year 2018-2019, hospitality expenses increased by $4,425 this year due to additional costs incurred during

  • the Annual Programs and Partnerships Branch meeting; and
  • the Board field visit.

Conference fees

In comparison with the previous year, 2019-2020 total conference expenses decreased by $10,288 due to the Centre’s continuing efforts to minimize costs related to conference participation.

International travel by Governors

Compared with financial year 2018-2019, Governors’ international travel expenses went up by $42,000. This can be explained by the fact that there was a Board field visit in 2019-2020. No travel expenses of Governors were recorded during the last quarter of the year due to the introduction of travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.