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FEATURE STORY

Pointer: Monitoring Projects in Conflict-Affected Areas

June 30, 2015

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pointer allows the government agency responsible to upload geo-tagged images of assets created under the project, which are then displayed on a compatible, web-based interface at virtually zero cost.
  • To ensure funds are used appropriately, Pointer was invented, allowing teams to supervise projects remotely.
  • Due to security risks in conflict-affected areas, World Bank project task teams require a tool to allow for the thorough and safe monitoring of projects.

World Bank-financed projects need to undergo supervision to ensure funds are utilized for their intended purposes. Sometimes, however, projects are located in conflict-affected areas that make project supervision a challenge. World Bank project teams and implementing government agencies needed an innovative tool to address this problem.

Pointer, a web-based tool was developed to track projects’ physical progress remotely.

Pointer allows the government agency responsible for implementing the project to capture geo-tagged images of assets and facilities created under the project, which are then displayed on a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based platform. These images, captured through a smartphone, are automatically tagged with Global Position System (GPS) coordinates.

Pointer has proven to be especially useful in Pakistan. Praising the new technology, Osama Bin Saeed, Provincial IT Manager in Pakistan, says, "Once we accomplished the task of updating our data in Pointer, it became fairly easy to present our progress at different forums and also provided us with a means to identify the gaps we needed to cover. Personally I really like the way it integrates the data of our project with spatial information of our region."


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" The application is very useful for the Project Staff, Donor, and the Audit Teams in tracking, assessing and verifying the various assets and infrastructure facilities of the project.  "

Wali Khan

Procurement Specialist


Certain parts of the country were inaccessible to World Bank project teams due to security concerns, and the travel restrictions caused impediments and delays to regular project supervision. As an unfortunate result, teams were unable to comprehensively monitor and validate the project’s physical progress. With Pointer, task teams no longer have to be subject to this type of restrictions.

The monitoring Pointer allows for captures different phases of a project. The before, during, and after images of a road construction project in Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan can be uploaded, letting the task team remotely supervise its physical development.

Even something as simple as office furniture procured through World Bank funds can be featured in the tool. Pointer is a cost effective and efficient way to ensure that fiduciary safeguards are applied and that World Bank funds are utilized for their intended purpose.

Wali Khan, Procurement Specialist, asserts that, "The application is very useful for the Project Staff, Donor, and the Audit Teams in tracking, assessing and verifying the various assets and infrastructure facilities of the project. The Project staff and all other concerned stakeholders can easily track the numbers, specifications and location of the project assets placed at various offices of the project."

Pointer is currently being rolled out across all ongoing World Bank-funded projects in Pakistan, and results from the pilot implementation can already be seen. Pointer has documented details on all goods procured under the projects selected for the pilot, and this information is available on a web-based platform.


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