Program or project monitoring units

Program or project monitoring units are dedicated units within an organisation or government specifically tasked with overseeing the progress, performance, and successful implementation of particular programs or projects.

Depending on the country context, these units could either be dedicated teams focusing solely on specific large-scale national projects or more versatile bodies that oversee a range of smaller projects, ensuring alignment with broader objectives and offering feedback.

One form this takes is the creation of implementation units that assess proposed programs for their readiness to be executed and undertake monitoring to ensure programs are being effectively implemented. In some cases, they also have a role in working to overcome problems in implementation.


United Kingdom: Prime Minister's Delivery Unit

Established under Prime Minister Blair, this Unit utilised quantitative metrics to gauge departmental performance regarding the Prime Minister's primary objectives. Its main functions were to:

  • Monitor and report on the delivery of the Prime Minister's key goals.
  • Identify improvement barriers and necessary actions.
  • Enhance departmental delivery capacities through reviews and sharing best practices.
  • Help create effective public service agreement targets.

Source: UK Cabinet Office, 2006

New Zealand: Implementation Unit

Based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, a new Implementation Unit was created by a Cabinet decision on December 14, 2020, and established within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The purpose of the Unit is to monitor and support the implementation of a small number of critical Budget initiatives, particularly where multiple agencies are involved in the work. This includes areas such as mental health, infrastructure, housing and climate change mitigation. The Unit works to ensure awareness of whether selected priority projects are on track to deliver the intended benefits within the intended timeframes – and, if not, to work with the responsible minister and agency to identify what needs to be done to bring the project back on track and follow up to ensure these actions are taken. The Unit reports to the Deputy Prime Minister. The Unit's work program and reports on key programs are publicly released.

Australia: Cabinet Implementation Unit

Founded in 2003 within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, its purpose was to rigorously track policy implementation. The purpose of this Unit was to:

  • Offer support and advice to the Prime Minister on governmental strategic priorities.
  • Prepare regular reports on progress with key policy initiatives.
  • Collaborate with departments and agencies to enhance planning, implementation, and delivery.
  • Ensure policy clarity, rigorous cost-benefit analyses, and clear implementation strategies.

Source: Australian Government, 2012

Malaysia: Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU):

Launched in 2009 under the Prime Minister's Department, PEMANDU drew expertise from the public and private sectors to oversee governmental and economic transformations. Its core responsibilities include to:

  • Oversee and support the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
  • Catalyze changes in public and private sector delivery.
  • Assist ministries in the delivery planning process and evaluating performance independently (PEMANDU, n.d.).

Global Evaluation Initiative (2022). MESA Guidance Note: Diagnostic Tool for a Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Analysis. Retrieved from

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