Project: Transparency and Accountability in Mongolian Education (TAME) Project
Executing Agency: Globe International Center
Grant Amount: US$ 650,000
Closing Date: December, 2018
In recent years, Mongolia has become one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. Economic growth has been mainly driven by exploitation of its vast mineral resources. Increased revenues generated from the mining industry provide Mongolia with an opportunity to radically transform the country and improve development outcomes. This is already beginning to take place as reflected in the falling poverty rates over the last decade. However, more needs to be done to accelerate progress.
However, there are serious challenges, particularly in the education sector, that need to be addressed before the country can be on a sustainable economic growth path. Educational outcomes need to be improved across the board in order to prepare provide students with critical skills to effectively participate in the labor market. Rural areas are characterized by low students’ performance in learning outcomes and suffer from disparities in access to education, a problem that is aggravated in geographically isolated regions. Furthermore, relevant government authorities have limited data available on education performance and budgets from provincial and district levels.
Globe International Center, an organization with close to 20 years of experience working on governance issues, has been awarded a GPSA grant to improve the quality of service delivery in the education sector by strengthening citizen engagement in the monitoring of budgets and procurement processes in order to ensure transparency and accountability. More specifically, this will be done by: 1) forming Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and training them to apply social accountability tools to monitor school performance at the district level; 2) strengthening the capacity of CSOs and media to monitor budgets and procurement processes in the education sector in eight targeted provinces; and 3) capturing knowledge from implementation and lessons learned to inform education reform in Mongolia and other countries around the world.
The GPSA grant will help Globe International Center attain the following results:
28 public schools will have an improved level of citizen satisfaction with education services.
28 PTAs will be established by the project and they will all have action plans to improve transparency, accountability, quality of services, and performance in the education sector.
100% of schools targeted will be have parents, teachers, and CSOs involved in the monitoring budget and procurement processes.
At least 24 recommendations/reforms/policies developed by CSOs will be adopted by government authorities over the life of the project.
The media will receive training that will allow it to improve the coverage of education reforms and legislation.
A large number of stories, case studies, tools, and knowledge products will be developed and disseminated through various channels, including the project website.
More than 960 peer-learning conferences will be organized to increase knowledge sharing among PTAs and CSOs.
Outcomes in the targeted 28 schools in rural aimags (districts):
1. 11% increase in civic engagement in education budget monitoring activities in the three targeted aimags.
2. At 20 schools, parents and teachers now engage collaboratively in Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).
3. The PTAs have learned to engage with local officials on education quality, through the especially developed ‘Good School Support Tool’ (community scorecard). Their capacity to advocate for school improvements has been strengthened, and principals and local officials have started to identify the PTAs as allies.
4. Transparency of district-level education budget expenditures is gradually improving, as a result of implementation of the ‘Budget Trust Tool’ in 6 districts.
More lessons learned and results will be added as they become available. However, the design of this grant benefits from the lessons learned by Globe International Center in raising citizen awareness and promoting access to information. This experience will be useful to help PTAs access and use critical information about budgets and procurement processes in the education sector.