Implementation is about the actual ‘doing’ of activities that are planned and budgeted for—for example, delivering services in health, water and sanitation, and agricultural services at county level. The process refers to the way projects are implemented and services are delivered in the county, based on the approved budget.
There are a number of ways that the public can be involved in the implementation of projects in their local area. One very effective way to participate in implementation is through a Community-based Project Implementation Committee. The information below is designed as a guide for setting up and running effective Community-based Project Implementation Committees. The composition and role of these committees is likely to vary from county to county.
Download these documents for examples of the composition and role of Project Implementation Committees in two counties:
What is a Community-based Project Implementation Committee?
Every county project should have community involvement during its implementation. The community’s role will depend on the scale, size, and technical characteristics of the project. For example, the construction or rehabilitation of a school in a village will require a more localised form of community involvement than a large-scale irrigation project across more than one ward or sub-county. Community involvement can often take place in the form of Community-based Project Implementation Committees, involving some or all of the following activities:
- Monitoring the implementation of the project by contractors or county staff, for example, verifying that materials used are consistent with approved bill of quantities, and checking progress and milestones.
- Contribute work, materials or even land to the project.
- Being in charge of the implementation for small local projects in which the county government contributes only materials or funds.
It is important to note that community oversight of local projects is not a substitute for sound technical or engineering checks, which are also essential during implementation. The aim should be to ensure a Community-based Project Implementation Committee is established for every project and there should be a clear process for the Committee to follow.
Who is on a Community Based Project Implementation Committee?
The composition of these committees will vary depending on the type of project. For example, a county-wide major infrastructure project might require a high level of technical knowledge by the committee members, while a smaller local project should definitely not require a high-level qualification, such as a university degree, for committee members.
Primary intended users should represent the bulk of the committee. For example, if women or youth are going to be primary users of the project output, they should be leading the committee. Local Community Based Organisations (CBOs) which have previous expertise in the project type may also be considered.
Example community-based project implementation committee
A community-based project implementation committee for a school rehabilitation project in a village might be made up as follows:
- 5-7 members, mostly from within the intended end user group.
- Members would not need any special technical skills, but some members should have literacy and numeracy skills, so they can read important documents related to the project, like the contractor’s workplan, and understand the calculations made as part of the BoQ.
- Members might include parents of the local school children (both mothers and fathers), the school headmaster, and a representative from a local education or community development related CBO, if available.
Example of a process for setting up a Community-based Project Implementation Committee
1. Clarify Role of Committee
- The role of the Committee should be clarified during the project appraisal stage, according to the type of project.
- If a county is not conducting the project appraisal step, then the role should be clarified before project start-up.
- The project should be included and approved in the county annual plan and budget.
2. Set up the Committee
- County departments should discuss the project with the community as part of the social feasibility assessment of the project. This should also help with more accurate costing of the project.
- The Project Implementation Committee is set up, according to agreed membership criteria.
3. Feedback methods
- Agree on feedback mechanisms from the Committee to the relevant county department (sector?).
- This includes how the feedback is to be given, for example, using What’s app or a Facebook page for the project. It also includes how often the feedback is to be given.
4. Obtain documents
- Request all relevant project design and other technical documents from the county department, for example, feasibility studies, environmental impact studies, the project contract (if possible), contractor name and workplan, project approved budget, implementation timeline and bill of quantities (BOQ).
5. Meet the contractor
- The Committee should be introduced to the contractor so that both parties know each other, and the contractor understands the role of the Committee during the project.
- For example, the Committee is not there for technical supervision of the contractor’s work – but an accountability check in terms of keeping to time as per the implementation plan, supplies on site as per the BOQ, and any environmental or other issues are addressed.
- The above will have been discussed and agreed on as part of Step 1. Clarifying the role of the Committee.
6. Develop workplan
- Develop a workplan for the Committee which corresponds to that of the contractor and includes key project milestones, as well as delivery of supplies for the project, and any safeguards as per the environmental assessment.
7. Carry out role
- The Committee carries out its agreed role and associated activities, including for example:
- Take photos on a regular basis for each project being monitored and post to What’s App/Facebook page.
- Check the arrival of supplies against the BOQ and report any discrepancies.
- Provide brief updates of project progress against the plan and report any discrepancies.