Commissioned by the Globe International Centre Non-Government Organization (NGO), the Independent Research Institute of Mongolia (IRIM) conducted a rapid evaluation of the ‘Transparency and Accountability in Mongolian Education’ (TAME) four year (2014-2018) project, which was implemented in 28 regular schools of 8 aimags in the Western and Central regions of Mongolia. The project objectives were to strengthen civic engagement in the education sector, and to improve transparency of budgeting and procurement processes for the delivery of better quality education services in Mongolia.
The research team of IRIM has conducted the rapid evaluation between October 2018 and January 2019 in order to examine the impact and contribution of the TAME project, and the local education sector’s transparency and accountability.
In total, 16 key informant interviews (KIIs), and 18 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in six districts (soums) of two selected aimags, namely Khovd and Khuvsgul.
The findings of the rapid evaluation as follow:
- Under the project, Parent and Teacher Association (PTA) was established to improve the quality of the training and the school environment based on the cooperation of parents and teachers in each target school. All stakeholders involved in the rapid evaluation were satisfied with the concept and benefits of the PTAs, and considered the established PTAs to be responsive to local communities’ demands. Outcomes of activities organized by the PTAs contributed to improvement of schools’ environments, and capacity building for parents.
More than 70% of PTAs’ members were parents, but (despite their high representation) parents’ involvement varied due to educational attainment, perceptions, attitudes and residential area.
- By implementation of the ‘Good School Support Tool’ (GSST), a joint school team - including representatives of the PTAs - assessed the schools’ environments two or three times during the Project. The results of the schools’ assessments, revealed there were significance changes in schools’ physical environments. Another outcome was that parents and teachers were using their private resources to present their needs to local authorities, NGOs and other community organisations. Initiatives included promoting fundraising, and using resources to address issues identified in the schools’ environmental assessments. These actions strengthened stakeholders’ capacity and cooperation, to effectively build child-friendly schools.
- Another important project objective was to build and strengthen transparency and accountability for the aimag's education sector budget. By implementation of the ‘budget trust tool’ (BTT), there were noticed improvements in the knowledge and attitudes of the stakeholders, community and government, providing for increased budget transparency and more open discussions. Also, target CSOs’ capacity to monitor budget procurement and ensure transparency of budget planning have improved aside from their improved skills of using the BTT.
Beside positive outcomes mentioned above, there were still obstacles to budget transparency and accountability. Therefore, the following recommendations were provided to strengthen the capacity of the CSOs, schools and community members; and to prolong the use of the BTT.
To summarize, the project contributed to the establishment of a fundamental capacity of the stakeholders aimed at ensuring the transparency of education budget in the target area.
The research team was grateful to the stakeholders who provided inputs and influenced this document. The Team would like to express its gratitude to the Project team from the Globe International Centre, along with the ‘All for Education!’ National Civil Society Coalition, school principals, coordinators, teachers and parents; all of whom provided their generous support.