Strong government systems for monitoring of rural water supply and sanitation (RWSS) are widely seen as a key capacity for efficiency, effectiveness, and equity in RWSS service provision. Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) and partners, primarily WaterAid Malawi, have been working since 2009 on supporting RWSS monitoring with the Government of Malawi (GoM). The initiative has been very promising in terms of monitoring system design and local government level implementation, but has faced challenges related to the broader context of implementation– particularly related to fiscal devolution, government accountability structures, and incentive structures for government staff. EWB's work over the last three years has demonstrated good design principles and workable solutions for RWSS monitoring by local government in Malawi. It will be seen over the coming few years whether this also translates to sustained and institutionalized improvements to RWSS monitoring within GoM structures.