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Mongolia: Education Sector Reform Project

sector: Education | country: Mongolia

Project design and implementation schedule. The project completion report (PCR) noted that the targeted timing of some targets in the design and monitoring framework (DMF) were unrealistic. Most milestones were front-loaded and planned to be completed within the first 2 years of implementation, hence, the awarding of related contracts and disbursements presented considerable challenges. Since activities to implement the policy reform require intensive coordination among various stakeholders, sufficient time and a degree of flexibility in scheduling need to be provided in the project design (e.g., to respond to changes in government priorities).

Technical assistance for capacity building. The PCR suggested that the lack of capacity to prepare bidding documents, evaluate bids, and monitor contract execution delayed project implementation. Technical assistance directed toward building such capacity, along with support in procuring technical equipment and materials (e.g., natural science laboratory equipment, didactic books for teacher training institutes or TTIs, and information and communications technology or ICT learning objects) could have prevented procurement delays due to capacity constraints.

Provision of consultants and stability of project implementation unit (PIU) staff. In situations and certain types of projects where there are expected changes in government and PIU staff, larger consultant inputs is warranted during strategic planning and implementation. Achieving institutional reforms always presents particular challenges and when there is a change of government during implementation, then it should be anticipated that progress is likely to be interrupted.

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