The implementation phase of the intervention cycle generally starts with the entry into force of the implementing contract. During implementation, the intervention is put into action based on what has been validated in the previous phases and articulated in the Action Document. The purpose of the phase is to deliver the outputs, achieve the expected outcome(s) and contribute effectively to the overall objective of the intervention, manage the available resources efficiently, manage change and unforeseen events, and monitor and report on progress.
As INTPA is not an implementing development agency, it either contracts directly with (direct management) or delegates to other entities (indirect management) the actual execution of development activities. In this phase, interventions are carried out by implementing partners, but steered, monitored, controlled and evaluated by INTPA, as the Commission remains accountable for the use of funds.
Making the right strategic and technical choices, particularly in large works or procurement contracts, also has a key impact on environmental and climate change performance. Where relevant, opportunities to include environmental criteria in public procurement processes should be considered.
The key stages of implementation are
- Inception, which entails reassessment to establish if planned activities remain valid, updating of the logframe as necessary, putting governance structures in place and preparing a detailed work plan;
- Performance, which entails execution of activities according to plan.
The main implementation responsibilities of operational managers include policy dialogue with the partner country, ensuring strategic steering, providing timely finance and technical support, monitoring implementation of activities and ensuring that contract provisions are met.
A steering committee or equivalent structure is often needed to monitor implementation, review and discuss progress reports for the previous year and work plans and budgets for the following year, provide strategic guidance, and help address issues which cannot be addressed by management. The steering committee should not micro-manage or interfere with daily management.
During implementation, context and related analyses (public policy analysis, stakeholder analysis) are updated when a change in the (macro) environment directly affects the intervention, and ultimately affects its problem analysis and/or risk analysis. An example would be unexpected worsening of weather conditions or other disruptive events, weakening the capacity of the implementing partner. Interventions are thereby adjusted, as necessary, to changes in the context and made responsive to changing risks and assumptions. Often, the main source of information about changes in the context will not be a traditional literature review, but social and local media. These sources should be complemented by field visits, when possible.
Implementation phase: linking workflow and knowledge
What to analyse?
What do I need to know?
Guides, methodologies and tools
Resource Package on gender Mainstreaming / (Implementation)
Guidance for Conflict analysis
EU Staff Handbook on Operating in situations of conflict and fragility (Conflict, Resilience)
(Project monitoring reports)
Problem /priority areas for support
Guidance on Results and Indicators for Development
(Project monitoring reports)
Guidance on internal monitoring for results
Result-Oriented Monitoring (ROM)
Contractual and financial follow-up