CoST Uganda convened a high-level workshop this week to mark the launch of its new electronic Infrastructure Monitoring Tool (e-IMT). The e-IMT provides an online platform with which to track the progress and quality of infrastructure delivery, and which can be used by procuring entities, civil society, the media and the public. It builds on the manual Infrastructure Monitoring Tool which CoST Uganda developed in 2018 and was utilised used by eight local governments across the country.
Here are four ways that the new e-monitoring tool will improve project outcomes:
1. Easy access to key information
One of the main impediments to successful project delivery is a lack of information around key issues: the basic function of a tool such as the e-IMT is that it centralises this information for procuring entities and government officials to easily review. CoST Uganda’s e-IMT will be a key asset for procuring entities in this respect: procuring entity and government representatives can log-in to the e-IMT, search for their project and instantly access up to date information relating to its status and any issues which affect it.
2. Greater oversight to deliver better projects on time and to budget
CoST Uganda’s Second Assurance Report noted that one of the barriers to completing projects within time and cost constraints were limitations in monitoring and supervision capacity. This lack of oversight can lead to financial mismanagement, health and safety failings and poor project outcomes. One of the key recommendations put forward by CoST Uganda’s assurance team was for monitoring capacity to be increased to counteract these inefficiencies, and the e-IMT was developed to do so.
3. Keeping the media informed
Reporting on infrastructure issues and data specifically can be complex and time consuming. The e-IMT supports journalists in this respect, by facilitating easy access to information around issues in infrastructure management and procurement. To help journalists find the information they need and to then use it effectively, CoST Uganda will provide training on the tool at its monthly media engagement meeting, which attracts around 50 journalists.
4. Building public trust and contribution to infrastructure delivery
A survey conducted by CoST Uganda in 2019 indicates a lack of public trust in government infrastructure projects: one of the reasons for this is that the public are often poorly informed about projects and are not offered opportunities to feedback on their implementation. The e-IMT serves as one way to deliver this information to the public and encourage their engagement as a result.
Speaking at the launch event, the Minister of State for Works and Transport, Dr Peter Lokeris, said:
“This tool will help us receive real-time information to inform decision making…I call upon all heads of departments, project managers, oversight bodies, and parliament to embrace this tool. It has been designed with our support as the CoST champion and will add a great value to the sector”.