Technical monitoring of implementation

Ensure sound implementation of the project through a technical expert

Technical monitoring relates to the supervision of project implementation, where a dedicated expert keeps track of progress through regular (including unannounced) inspections and observations at the project site or during specific activities (e.g. trainings, etc.). The monitoring results are documented throughout the implementation phase of a project.

Purpose and link to IQC

The technical monitoring helps you to ensure that the project stays on track both time-wise and regarding the quality of works or activities. The monitoring also supports that contractors/consultants live up to required standards and agreements (GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA 2007).

Regular field inspections can unveil and reduce low quality of work, theft of assets and other illicit practices. Misuse of work time can also be detected. Inspections reduce the opportunity for corruption between staff and customers (HERMANN-FRIEDE, et al. 2014). To make sure that you get a real picture of how things are moving, it is important to include surprise visits.

How to

1.   Clarify who is responsible for monitoring the project implementation

Ideally, the person responsible for monitoring should be familiar with procedures and standards relevant to the project, to ensure he/she can track compliance and quality of works adequately.  Reflecting around the following guiding questions can guide this process:

  • Does the person have experience with similar projects and does he/she have expertise/skills that are relevant?
  • Which of the required capacities are available? Which capacities need to be built?


Supervisor Capacities Capacity need Needed support
CSO’s technician Good technical skills Not familiar with standards Make information on relevant standards available and provide time to familiarize with standards


2.   Check contractor’s/consultant’s responsibilities and programme

Before going to the site the supervisor should get familiar with the responsibilities of all project stakeholders (including staff and contractor/consultant). Project planning documents and specifications in the Terms of Reference for contractors provide an important reference point.

In case of infrastructure projects the person responsible for monitoring should carry out the preparatory activities listed in the table below.

Activity Done?
Confirm locations, check against contractor’s/consultant’s work programme and contract and inform community of future implementation activities
Review results from preliminary test or exploratory work (e.g. geophysical surveying or penetration tests) and produce photocopies for the contractor/consultant
Obtain and review a copy of the contract and become familiar with all aspects of the contract, more importantly the technical guidelines/ToR

3.   Initial field visit (for infrastructure projects)

During a first field visit the person responsible for monitoring should carry out the preliminary activities in the table below.

Activity Done?
Establishing who is the person in charge on the end of the contractor/consultant
Share a copy of results from preliminary test or exploratory work with the contractor/consultant
Confirm compliance with work programme and proposed implementation method (e.g. drilling method) jointly with the contractor/consultant
Check equipment and materials. Provide written instruction to the contractor/consultant specifying the exact location where infrastructure should be developed.
Record details of the above on a document signed by the contractor/consultant and the supervisor

4.   Regular field visits

The person responsible for monitoring should visit project sites on a regular basis to check if specifications are applied properly and track progress. The table below shows how monitoring visits can be documented using the example of a borehole construction:


Date of field visit: 25 May 2015
Specifications Current situation Comments
Drilling progress, most notably daily drilled depth
First and main water strikes
Diameter changes
Yield measurements
Electrical conductivity
Reasons for delays
Signature of the supervisor: John


References & Further Readings

  • GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA. 2007. District Implementation Manual: Water and Sanitation Sector. Uganda
  • HERMANN-FRIEDE et al. 2014. Integrity Management for Water Service Providers. WIN, cewas, GIZ. Germany
Last updated 12 April 2018

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