There are at least four kinds of reports that an effective monitoring system produces:
1. Project Progress Reports
A project progress report is a record and communication of the results of project activities: the degree to which objectives are or have been reached; reasons why: assessment of factors; and recommendations. A progress report is a necessary part of a project.
2. Field Trip Reports
Each field visit should result in a short to-the-point report. A field trip should have a purpose, so report on the trip should begin with indicating what the purpose of the trip was. The purpose should justify making the trip. The purpose should directly relate to at least one of the objectives of the project, as listed in the project document. Technical details, of course, can be listed in any orderly fashion, dates and locations of the travel, persons met (with their titles, agencies’ names, times of meeting, venue, and so on), sites seen, meetings attended. It is important to make the list easy to read, easy to understand, and brief but complete.
3. Meeting Reports
Also known as the minutes of the meeting, this kind of report captures the essence of discussions and decisions taken in meetings. All meetings, of course, should have a purpose, and the purpose must be related to achieving the objectives of the project. Reports on those meetings, therefore, should concentrate on the purpose and indicate the result of the meeting in terms of progress towards meeting those objectives.