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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 

Context description
Public policy

  • Are there any context changes relevant to the intervention?
  • Are there any major changes in the public policy or stakeholder analysis affecting problem analysis?

HRBA toolbox

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)

Data Collection Tools (Participatory tools)

Problem /priority areas for support

Risks and assumptions

  • Is the problem analysis still valid?
  • Is the intervention logic holding, and are the output and outcome still coherent with the intervention logic?
  • Is the risk analysis still valid?
  • Are any mitigation measures put in place having the desired effect?
  • Are key challenges, issues and opportunities regularly discussed with and among relevant stakeholders (communities, government, etc.)?

Risk management

Logical Framework Approach

Guidance on Results and Indicators for Development

(Project monitoring reports)

Problem tree/objectives


  • Are the indicators still relevant for the intervention?
  • Is a monitoring-evaluation-learning strategy in place, and is it providing useful information?
  • For interventions which required an EIA and/or a CRA, have the environmental management plans and/or climate risk management plans been reflected in the contracts and agreements?
  • Is the intervention causing unacceptable environmental impacts or increasing climate vulnerability?
  • Are appropriate mitigation measures being taken?
  • Are opportunities being harnessed to enhance positive environmental impacts, low-carbon development and climate resilience?
  • Has conflict sensitivity been monitored?

Logical Framework Approach 

Guidance on internal monitoring for results

Result-Oriented Monitoring (ROM)

Guidance on Results and Indicators for Development

Contractual and financial follow-up

  • Are the terms of reference / project description in line with the provisions of the Action Document/financing agreement?
  • Is procurement considering the risks of corruption and conflict in the country, or of any EU sanctions or trade sanction regimes?
  • Are there specific requirements to be captured in the relevant contracts? Do specific conditions need to be introduced?
  • Is the public procurement process considering including environmental criteria?
  • Is standard reporting adequate for the intervention?
  • Do reports allow assessment of progress towards achievement in providing the status of the intervention? Do they provide sufficient information on financial execution?
  • Is procurement on time? If not, what are the implications for the intervention? Is an extension needed?
  • Is procurement publicised?
  • Is there a need for an audit (financial or performance)?


  • If a mid-term review is planned/required, what is the most appropriate timing? Is an evaluation necessary to reassess/redesign the intervention?