The Project for Market and Pasture Management Development (PMPMD) recently conducted its first Annual Outcome Survey in the five project aimags. The survey revealed that most beneficiaries are satisfied with the project’sinterventions on pasture management, investments regarding climate change adaptation and rural financial services. They now have a better understanding of pasture management techniques, improved livelihoods and food security, and better access to rural financial services than non-beneficiaries.
The outcome survey showed the results of the initial stage of the outcome evaluation at household level comparing project beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. Households were asked about their livelihood in terms of changes in (a) their cash income, household livestock production and food security, (b) participation in project activities (c) access to financial services and rangeland as well other changes.
The survey did reveal some issues. For example, herder groups have difficulty in implementing their pasture management plans adopted by group members due to unclear policy and poor regulations on pasture land ownership. The majority still believe it is extremely important to improve the pasture water supply, and hope that the construction of water wells in project target soums will be continued.
For women, access to financial services has been improved through the project’s soft loan guarantee.
Perceptions of opting for a ‘cooperative’ were also explored in the survey. It was revealed that, whilst the government of Mongolia is focusing on supporting cooperative development, there is still no unified understanding of the fundamental nature of a cooperative amongst survey participants. While some respondents want to become a cooperative and see the many advantages of cooperative as an official institution, some considered that there would be more pressure to pay taxes and to provide accounting reports completed by professional companies. The hesitance is perhaps due to insufficient knowledge.
The survey provides useful insight into key indicators of the two main components of the project, Pasture Management and Climate Change Adaptation (PMCCA)and Micro Enterprise Development. The former would support the establishment of grassroots herder institutionsfor sustainable pasture management and also provide resourcesfor implementation of pasture management plans and measures to increase the capacity and resilience of herders in copingwith climate change impacts. The latter would supportpoor households those in Soum andAimag centres in undertaking micro-enterprise activities with the help of micro-finance.
Several issues surfaced that should be considered for further implementation. Extra efforts are still needed to improve access to financial services ensuring compliance with Subsidiary Loans Agreement made with commercial banks, access to markets, accelerating value chain sub component activities and support to micro enterprises development. During the FGD, under the micro enterprise development sub component, market linkage is seen as crucial for extending business. Therefore, more efficient activities are required in this area specifically by the selected service provider.
(See the report from Resources)