As part of the oversight process, the UCCM members periodically visit sites where the grants are being implemented. The purpose of these site visits is to:
- Obtain a better understanding of the grant and to get a sense of program implementation on the ground.
- To seek additional information on specific issues that may have emerged during the performance review process in order to enable the UCCM to make appropriate decisions.
- To verify and validate selected data /information reported by the PR, and To follow-up on UCCM decisions.
The UCCM guidelines for carrying out the field oversight visits are as follows:
(a) Timing of site visits:
Oversight field visits shall be conducted routinely or as needed:
Normal field visits shall be conducted periodically to visit PR, SR, or SSR sites, for example, every quarter or bi-annually. The main purpose shall be to provide UCCM members with an opportunity to learn about implementation successes and challenges.
Investigative field visits shall be conducted as needed, e.g., when the UCCM and its Committees have identified a bottleneck in program implementation or an issue that may become problematic and want to investigate this issue further.
(b) Composition of team undertaking site visit:
UCCM members and/or Committees’ members shall participate in the site visit. Technical experts shall be invited to join the team in order to provide the team with further technical information about specific issues (e.g., procurement and management of pharmaceuticals).
Multiple teams shall be established, each visiting one or more sites. However, each team shall not be comprised of more than 10 (ten) individuals.
The composition of investigative site visit teams shall be determined by the issues identified by the UCCM. For instance, a follow-up on financial issues shall require UCCM members on the F&P committee to form a site visit team that would follow-up on procurement issues. Any member of the UCCM can undertake these field oversight visits; however, adherence to the UCCM’s conflict of interest policy shall be considered when undertaking oversight activities.
(c) Planning of site visits:
The UCCM shall plan and coordinate the field visits with relevant PRs and SR (and, if necessary, SSRs). Site visits shall not be undertaken as a “surprise.” This allows the PR/SR staff to prepare adequately for the visit and ensure their availability and the availability of any data sought by the UCCM. It will also enable the UCCM team to avoid potential misunderstanding arising during a field visit which could have been overcome through discussion with the PR at the planning stage. The PR shall provide a favorable environment for the UCCM to carry out the field visits.
In preparation for site visits, the Committees shall select and identify hosting sites and clients. The selection of the site to be visited shall be determined by the nature of a specific issue being addressed.
The Committees shall set time limits for the visit to avoid making excessive demands on the PR and SRs and stick to those time limits. This shall require careful planning to ensure key issues are addressed.
(d) Preparation for site visits:
The UCCM Review the following documents about the relevant grant(s) before visit:
- Disbursement plans (fund transfers) and PR reports.
- PRs annual audit reports
- Summary PR report, PU/DRs, work plan, annual budget
- Procurement and supply management plan
- Grant agreement
- Statistical data on HIV/AIDS,TB and Malaria in area being visited
- Correspondence with PR
- GF and LFA documents pertaining to grant
- List of SRs
- Agreements with the sub-recipients (the agreement with the PR / contract with SR), together with targets, indicators, detailed work plans and budgets
- Submission schedule and types of reports submitted by sub-recipients
- Annual funds disbursement plan from PR to SRs
(e) Conduct during site visit:
Teams undertaking the site visit use a standardized form (see Annex 2) to ensure that relevant areas are being addressed and information is collected in a systematic and efficient manner.
The team undertaking the site visit usually have clear information on program deliverables prior to the visit. The PR assists in providing information on issues that the UCCM team should be aware of before proceeding to the field.
Meetings with senior officials of the PR and SR, as well as with representatives of target groups, are held during the field visits or during the UCCM/Committees’ meetings by agreement with the interviewees.
After the site visits, the team drafts a short summary report to the UCCM. (see Annex 2) The Committees’ Chairs reviews the reports and make necessary recommendations to the UCCM at the next UCCM Board through the executive committee and send feedback to the visited site and PR and SRs.
The Uganda CCM carries out site visits in different parts of the country where Global Fund projects are implemented.
Recently there where Site visits to Jinja, Iganga and Kamuli health facilities and beneficiaries that have benefited from Global Fund grants.
This was on the 7th (afternoon) and 8th November 2013. The purpose of the site visits was to showcase Uganda’s progress in the fight against the diseases to which the Global Fund grants are making a substantial contribution.