Ongoing Monitoring of Sub-recipient Activities

Monitoring is the ongoing routine tracking of key elements of Sub-recipient (SR) performance through review of regular reports and on-site observation. Evaluation is the point-in-time assessment of the outcomes of the program against its objectives. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) provide the PR with the information needed to make evidence-based decisions for programme management and improvement as well as SR funding requests.

The Principal Recipient (PR) should have a strong M&E system in place to continually monitor the implementation of SR activities and assess SR project progress against intended results. Therefore, in addition to the team organization discussed previously, the Project Management Unit (PMU) should:

  • Assure that data collection tools are available to allow collection of information for all indicators;
  • Evaluate the adequacy of the PR’s PMU staff in regard to the SR sub-projects implemented;
  • Have a quarterly monitoring visit plan and implement supervision visits;
  • Keep records of all project documents (SR reports and supporting documents, PMU verification reports, monitoring visits etc.). The PMU should establish an archiving system where information regarding the PR’s management of each SR can be easily accessed;
  • Have regular (at least quarterly) meetings of all PMU focal points covering one SR (e.g. in programme, finance, supply chain, audit etc.) to review the SR’s progress and decide if any corrective actions are required; and
  • Communicate with the SRs about the PMU’s findings and requirements and SRs challenges. Each quarter following the SR performance review, the PMU is advised to organize a meeting in which all SRs share their performance and challenges. The UNDP Country Office (CO) also presents the overall programmatic and financial achievement and other important issues for the period (follow up of audit findings, timeliness of reports). This is an opportunity to discuss challenges and learn about successful implementation strategies.