Participatory monitoring is the term used to refer to a process through which representatives of affected communities participate in monitoring projects that impact their lives. Participatory project monitoring helps build confidence among businesses and communities, not only as a way to prevent conflicts but also to increase direct benefits to stakeholders. This type of community involvement aims to break the cycle of “He said, she said” and “I don’t trust you”, giving communities the opportunity to get a first-hand look at projects and draw their own conclusions. Building trust between governments, companies and communities plays an important role in project sustainability. Misinformation and distrust can easily turn a small issue, even if unrelated to the project, into a potentially more controversial one and with greater risk.
Participatory monitoring is particularly suitable for projects that:
- May potentially have significant negative environmental and social impacts, such as large-scale infrastructure projects and projects related to extractive industries (mining, oil and gas).
- Are implemented in areas where communities have a history of distrust of the government or the project company/contractor.
- Are implemented in areas where a lack of communication and accurate information can lead to increased tensions.
- Review the participatory monitoring mechanisms applicable to infrastructure projects.
- Identify experiences or case studies of participatory monitoring applied in infrastructure projects or other sectors in Latin America.
- Identify the conditions required to promote participatory monitoring.
- Develop a document that reflects the main conclusions and recommendations reached by the Working Group and presents good practices for applying participatory monitoring in project implementation.