Community monitoring helps boost project quality

Abdul Hanan Rahnawarad, Provincial Coordinator, Parwan

The construction of Parwan’s Directorate of Counter Narcotics, worth $162K, started back in 2017 and is now in its final stage of completion.

But its construction has not been smooth. Right from the get-go, an Integrity Watch trained local monitor flagged the use of low-quality construction materials and shared this misconduct with the relevant authorities. One such issue identified by the local monitor was the use of low-quality materials without considering proper building standards in the construction of sinkholes.

The primitive method of manual mixing of cement, water and sand was employed instead of using a mixer — something that could compromise the quality of the septic system in the years to come. Noticing the issue, the volunteer shared the misconduct with the construction company and asked it to address the problem. However, the contractor paid little heed to his advice.

As no action was taken by the construction company, the issue was shared with Provincial Integrity Network — a voluntary body committed to increasing transparency. Subsequently, it raised the issue with authorities concerned. The authorities took notice of the issue and ordered the construction company to rebuild the septic system using quality materials. All parties, including beneficiary of the project, committed to monitoring the project until its completion.

Community monitoring boosts people’s sense of ownership of public projects on the one hand and forces executing companies to observe proper standards when implementing public-funded projects such as roads, mosques, schools, hospitals and other schemes such as this one, which are intended to benefit the people.

Currently, there are 10 volunteers monitoring the construction of 10 projects that include roads and educational facilities  in the province.