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TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT

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27 pages
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK TPA:MON 2001-01 TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT ON SELECTED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT SECTOR IN MONGOLIA January 2001 CURRENCY EQUIVALENTS Currency Unit – Tugrik (Tug) At TAApproval At TACompletion At TA Evaluation TA 1647-MON Tug1.00 = $0.025 $0.002532 $0.00095 $1.00 = Tug40.00 Tug395.00 Tug1,050 TA 2208-MON Tug1.00 = $0.0024 $0.0012 $0.00095 $1.00 = Tug411 Tug840 Tug1,050 ABBREVIATIONS ADB − Asian Development Bank EIA − environmental impact assessment ENVD − Environment Division GDP − gross domestic product GEF − Global Environment Facility IEEN − Energy Division (East) MACNE − Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and the Environment MNE − Ministry of Nature and Environment NGO − nongovernment organization OEM − Operations Evaluation Mission OENV − Office of the Environment OEO − Operations Evaluation Office PDPS − pollution-discharge permit system TA − technical assistance TCR − technical assistance completion report TOR − terms of reference TPAR − technical assistance performance audit report UN − United Nations UNDP − United Nations Development Programme NOTES (i) The fiscal year (FY) of the Government ends on 31 December. (ii) In this report, “$” refers to US dollars. Operations Evaluation Office, TE-31 CONTENTS Page BASIC TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE DATA ...
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 ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK       
TPA:MON 2001-01
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PERFORMANCE AUDIT REPORT   ON   SELECTED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT SECTOR   IN   MONGOLIA             January 2001
 
      TA 1647-MON Tug1.00 = $1.00 = TA 2208-MON Tug1.00 = $1.00 =     ADB EIA ENVD GDP GEF IEEN MACNE MNE NGO OEM OENV OEO PDPS TA TCR TOR TPAR UN UNDP  (i) (ii)
  
CURRENCY EQUIVALENTS  Currency Unit – Tugrik (Tug)
 At TA Evaluation $0.00095 Tug1,050 $0.00095 Tug1,050
At TA Approval At TA Completion $0.025 $0.002532 Tug40.00 Tug395.00  $0.0024 $0.0012 Tug411 Tug840   ABBREVIATIONS  Development Bank Asian  environmental impact assessment  Environment Division  domestic product gross  Global Environment Facility  Energy Division (East)  Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and the  Environment  Ministry of Nature and Environment  organization nongovernment  Evaluation Mission Operations  Office of the Environment  Evaluation Office Operations  pollution-discharge permit system  assistance technical  assistance completion report technical  terms of reference  technical assistance performance audit report  United Nations  Nations Development Programme United   NOTES The fiscal year (FY) of the Government ends on 31 December. In this report, “$” refers to US dollars.   Operations Evaluation Office, TE-31
 CONTENTS  BASIC TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE DATA  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  I. BACKGROUND   A. Introduction and Rationale  B. Objectives and Scope of the TAs  C. Objectives and Methodology of the TPAR  II. ASSESSMENT OF IMPLEMENTATION PERFORMANCE   A. Design of the TAs  B. Engagement of Consultants  C. Organization and Management  D. Implementation Schedule and Financing Arrangements  E. Supervision  III. EVALUATION OF OUTPUTS AND IMPACT   A. Adequacy and Quality of Reports and Services Provided  B. Training and Transfer of Technology  C. Institution Building  D. Performance of Consultants  E. Impact of TAs  IV. CONCLUSIONS   A. Key Issues  B. Overall Assessment  C. Assessment of ADB and MNE Performance  D. Lessons Identified  E. Follow-Up Actions and Recommendations  APPENDIX    
Page ii iv 1 1 1 3 4 4 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 11 11 11 11 13 14 15 16 18
ii BASIC TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE DATA Strengthening Environmental Assessment Procedures (TA 1647-MON)   Implementing DivisionEnvironment Division   Total TA Cost ($'000) Item Estimated Cost Actual Cost   LC Total FX LC Total FX       Consultants 201.0 201.0 264.4 264.4 Equipment 39.0 39.0 26.5 26.5 Training 57.5 57.5 12.1 12.1 Communications 2.5 2.5 Support for NGO Volunteer Expert 22.0 22.0 3.7 3.7 Contingencies 48.0 48.0  Total 370.0 0.0 370.0 306.7 0.0 306.7   Key Dates Expected President's Approval 2 Jan 1992 Invitation of Proposals Signing of TA Agreement Signing of Consultants’ Contract 10 Aug 1992 TA Completion 31 Oct 1993 TCR Completion   Executing Agency of Nature and Environment Ministry   Mission Data Type of Mission Reconnaissance Inception TA Administration  TA Review  Completion          FX = foreign exchange cost, LC = local currency cost, NGO = nongovernment organization, TA = technical assistance, TCR = technical assistance completion report. 
No. of Missions 1 1  1 1
 Actual 7 Jan 1992 27 Apr 1992 31 Mar 1992 21 Aug 1992 31 Dec 1993 Sep 1994
Person-Days 12-20 Sep 1991 10-17 Nov 1992  6-8 Sep 1993 20-25 Oct 1993
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 Actual 24 Nov 1994 6 Feb 1995 17 May 1995 11 Jul 1995 26 Jul 1996 15-16 May 1997 Jun 1997 12 May 1998 9 Nov 1998
BASIC TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE DATA Strengthening the Environmental Management Capability of the Ministry of Nature and Environment (TA 2208-MON)   Implementing DivisionEnergy Division (East)   Total TA Cost ($'000) Item Estimated Cost Actual Cost2   TotalC Total FX LC FX L       Consultants 406.0 42.0 448.0 406.0 42.0 448.0 Equipment 50.0 0.0 50.0 51.0 0.0 51.0 Contract Negotiations for MNE Officials 3.0 0.0 3.0 3.0 0.0 3.0 Contingencies 65.0 8.0 73.0 30.0 2.4 32.4  Total 524.0 50.0 574.01 534.4 44.4 490.0   Key Dates Expected President's Approval Invitation of Proposals Signing of TA Agreement Signing of Consultant's Contract Submission of Consultant's Interim Report Tripartite Meeting Submission of Revised Final Report TA Completion 30 Nov 19963 TCR Completion   Executing Agency of Nature and Environment Ministry   Mission Data Type of Mission Fact-Finding TA Administration  TA Review  TA Review  TA Review Tripartite Meeting    FX = foreign exchange cost, LC = local currency cost, MNE = Ministry of Nature and Environment, TA = technical 1a ssistance, TCR= t cenhcilaa sstaise ncmpcotiler norope .tnoC tract variations have reduced th r ed amount to $536,600 as of 5 June 1997. 23  maxi fteAropproject fd from p slgaeengirusea . esild seviRe 99.7 of 7 asnpev o1 5e pJau to 30 August 199  
No. of Missions 1  1 1 1 1
Person-Days 9-14 Jun 1994  29 Feb 1996 18-28 Jun 1996 4-21 Mar 1997 15-16 May 1997
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 The two advisory technical assistance (TA) projects were provided in support of the Government’s efforts to strengthen its environmental management capability when Mongolia started the shift from a centrally planned economy to a market-based economy in the early 1990s. TA 1647-MON:Strengthening Environmental Assessment Procedures, was implemented from October 1992 to December 1993. Supplemental assistance was provided by the United Nations (UN) through the fielding of a UN volunteer during the period September 1993 to August 1994. A follow-up project, TA 2208-MON: the Strengthening Environmental Management Capability of the Ministry of Nature and Environment,was attached to Loan 1334-MON(SF):Power Rehabilitation Project, which was approved in November 1994. The TA was implemented from July 1995 to June 1997. The TAs were approved in the total amount of $944,000. The Executing Agency was the Ministry of Nature and Environment (MNE). TA completion reports, circulated in September 1994 for TA 1647-MON, and in November 1998 for TA 2208-MON, rated the overall performance of the TAs as generally successful. The objectives of TA 1647-MON were to introduce procedures and systems for systematic environmental assessment of projects in Mongolia, and provide on-the-job training for local staff in disciplines related to environmental impact assessment (EIA). The Project focused on staff training, transfer of international methodologies, and the review and development of MNE procedures, regulations, standards, and legislation relating to EIA. Training in various computer programs and simple models was conducted and database programs were established for computerized database development. The Project was among the first of its kind in Mongolia to be funded by international aid agencies. The project design started at the simplest, basic level of environmental assessment because of Mongolia’s limited experience in project development and management, and in international standards and practices. The concept and approach are considered appropriate and relevant, and reflected the need of sector priorities to strengthen the capacity of MNE during the critical stage of a basic shift in its management system. The TA came at an opportune time as the new umbrella nature protection law was being prepared to amend six major laws formulated for the requirements of the command economy. TA 1647-MON achieved its objectives. It contributed to the development of the EIA process in the country. It has been credited with making an EIA a requirement for all new industrial undertakings. In addition, even ongoing concerns are required to have an EIA. The formulation and design of the TA are consistent with the goals and strategies of the Government and of Asian Development Bank (ADB). The EIA system is now firmly in place and operational, albeit lacking in effective enforcement. The Operations Evaluation Mission (OEM) rates the project as successful. The objective of TA 2208-MON was to strengthen the environmental management capability of MNE. It addressed Mongolia’s need to establish the institutional policy framework for environmental planning and management. The activities included reviewing the comprehensive environmental law and EIA procedures, developing national environmental standards, strengthening monitoring capabilities, preparing a pollution-discharge permit system, strengthening the capability of local governments, reporting on training, and examining disaster management, which included a public awareness and information program, and an early warning system. The design of TA 2208-MON was overambitious and, while the TA was relevant to the environmental needs of Mongolia, the scope of the project was far beyond the implications of
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the Power Rehabilitation Project. There seemed to be little justification for this TA to be attached to the loan project, given the divergence in scope. The Project followed through on the achievement of TA 1647-MON, and its main contribution was in following through on the establishment of EIA procedures and legislation, and in the training of staff for its operationalization.  While the TA was designed and processed by the ADB’s Office of the Environment (OENV), it was administered and supervised by the Energy Division (East) whose staff did not have the technical expertise nor background to properly review the reports and provide guidance to the consultants. The supervision of the TA was subsumed under the loan administration of the Power Rehabilitation Project. It would have been more appropriate if OENV had been made responsible for the TA’s implementation, a view shared by government and MNE officials, as well as ADB’s Programs Department. Alternatively, the project could have been more effective had it been implemented as a standalone TA. Attaching a TA should not be done for the sake of convenience of TA processing, or to provide a cover to address environmental concerns (as in this case). TA 2208-MON suffered from several constraints: (i) the ambitious design of the project, which covered a broad range of environmental areas; (ii) lack of financial allocation; (iii) frequent changes in personnel due to rapid turnover of governments; and (iv) inadequate teamwork among the consultants and staff of MNE. Among the areas targeted, three are considered unsatisfactory, i.e., public awareness development, the early warning system, and the pollution-discharge permit system. However, some of the recommendations were considered relevant. The OEM rates the project as less than fuss l.seccu Overall, both TAs had a positive impact on the institutional capacity building of MNE and on the other line ministries, particularly mining and infrastructure development, as well as on national environmental policy formulation, and on private industrial and manufacturing firms. However, long-term institutional and human capacity building in MNE and at the local level was not achieved as expected. Improvements in environmental conservation and protection are still needed in many areas. While there is no lack of legislation and regulations, the weakest link in the system is law enforcement. Constraints in funds and staff result in unmitigated mining and air pollution, agricultural land erosion, water waste, and illegal hunting of wildlife.  
 
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I. BACKGROUND
A. Introduction and Rationale
1. Mongolia started to shift from a centrally planned economy to a market-based economy in the early 1990s. Up to that time, the economy was heavily dependent on large aid inflows from the Russian Federation and other Council for Mutual Economic Assistance countries which accounted for as much as 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The sudden cessation of this aid in 1991 brought about by the breakup of the Russian Federation resulted in a severe economic crisis in 1991-1993 during which GDP contracted by 23 percent and inflation rose to more than 200 percent. In February 1991, Mongolia became the 50th developing member country of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 2. Anticipating that this economic restructuring, accompanied by the privatization of most industrial (as well as non-industrial) production units, was bound to have far-reaching consequences on the environment, the first ADB technical assistance (TA) in support of the environment was implemented from October 1992 to December 1993.1 Supplemental assistance was provided by the United Nations (UN) through the fielding of a UN volunteer during the period September 1993 to August 1994. A follow-up TA2 was attached to the that Power Rehabilitation Project3was implemented from July 1995 to June 1997. These two advisory TAs in support of the Government’s growing concern for the environment, which was manifested by its efforts to strengthen its environmental management capability, were approved in the total amount of $944,000. The Executing Agency was the Ministry of Nature and Environment (MNE)4 . 3. The operational strategy for Mongolia acknowledges that ADB’s support for standalone environmental projects will be limited, and that the support for environmental improvement will be provided through its sector operations. The new country operational strategy for Mongolia5 stresses selected sectors (finance, agriculture, public sector, social sector, urban development) and projects based on their potential for strengthening economic activity in the private sector, generating employment aimed at poverty reduction, and contributing to human development. Nonetheless, proactive environmental programs need to be supported as growing unemployment, poverty, and the deterioration of health, education, and other social services— which have adverse effects on the environment—have become major areas of concern. The technical assistance performance audit report (TPAR) follows through on the many recommendations, the successful implementation of which will contribute to a better quality of life and an improved environment for economic growth.
                                               1 TA 1647-MON:Strengthening Environmental Assessment Procedures, for $370,000, approved on 7 January 1992. 2 2208-MON: TAthe Environmental Management Capability of the Ministry of Nature and  Strengthening Environment,for $574,000, approved on 24 November 1994. 3 Loan 1334-MON(SF):Power Rehabilitation Project, for $40 million, approved on 24 November 1994 and expected 4to be comlptedei  naMcr h0120 . MN  waE se slbatehsini d2 as 199 suc theroo ecss etS fhtmmCoe atfoe teitorivnE r latnemnControl that had replaced the Ministry of Environmental Protection in 1990. 5  Mongolia Country Operational Strategy:Reduction Strategy for ADB Operations in Mongolia, 2000-A Poverty 2005, May 2000.
B. Objectives and Scope of the TAs
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4.TA 1647-MON: Strengthening Environmental Assessment Procedures. The objectives of TA 1647-MON were to introduce procedures and systems for systematic environmental assessment of projects in Mongolia, and provide on-the-job training for local staff in disciplines related to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) approach. To achieve these objectives, the TA covered five areas: staff training, development of EIA procedures, drafting of environmental legislation, database management, and development of an EIA action plan. 5. The Project focused on staff training, transfer of international methodologies, and the review and development of MNE procedures, regulations, standards, and legislation relating to EIA. Training in various computer programs and simple models was conducted and database programs were established for computerized database development (EIA-Data Management System). The Project was among the first of its kind in Mongolia to be funded by international aid agencies. It contributed to the development of the EIA process in the country. The TA accomplished the following: (i) a draft EIA procedures manual; (ii) program of environmental considerations for national policies, sector programs, and master plans; (iii) interim regulations for the preparation of EIAs; (iv) development and implementation of fast-track environmental assessment measures and mitigative negative declarations; (v) incorporation of effective nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and public participation in procedural and decision-making activities; (vi) draft environmental and related laws to support EIA processes; (vii) an outline of the environmental permit process; and (viii) a development plan for MNE computer facilities and linking with other agencies and organizations in the country and abroad. 6. The TA completion report (TCR) for TA 1647-MON was circulated in September 1994, and rated the overall performance of the TA as successful. It concluded that the TA achieved its objective to establish the EIA and its basic framework in Mongolia within MNE. Further, the TCR also considered the performance of MNE to be exceptionally good, the overall performance of the consultants to be effective, and the performance of ADB to be satisfactory. It also highlighted the delay in the fielding of the UN volunteer while giving a highly satisfactory assessment of her performance. The Operations Evaluation Mission (OEM) considers the recommendations generally relevant. The emphasis on the need for additional support to be considered (by ADB) in the future is insightful and reflects the Operations Evaluation Office’s (OEO’s) view that a long-term commitment for assistance is indispensable for real capacity building. The OEM considers the TCR assessment of project performance to be balanced and objective, and concurs with its overall assessment that the TA was successful. 7.TA 2208-MON: Strengthening the Environmental Management Capability of the Ministry of Nature and Environment. The objective of TA 2208-MON was to strengthen the
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environmental management capability of MNE. It addressed Mongolia’s need to establish the institutional policy framework for environmental planning and management. The TA as designed included the review of the comprehensive environmental law, developing national minimum environmental standards, strengthening monitoring capabilities, preparing a permit system, strengthening the capability of local governments, developing a public awareness and information program, determining the economic potential of ecotourism,6 and reviewing the organizational structure of MNE. In addition to the 52 specific recommendations submitted by the consultants, the TA accomplished the following: (i) created a computerized database of new environmental legislation; (ii) prepared a training plan and guidelines for staff development in MNE; (iii) reviewed existing systems, procedures, and mechanisms for EIAs; (iv) researched environmental policy framework and strategies for MNE to strengthen coordination among sectoral agencies and between central and local (aimag7) government authorities; (v) developed provisional standards for ambient air quality and for allowable pollution discharge limits for application to industrial processes; (vi) proposed a methodology for preparing a cost-effective program of environmental monitoring of development projects; (vii) recommended ways to strengthen MNE’s capacity in disaster management, i.e., prevention and mitigation of environmental disasters, including a public awareness campaign plan; and (viii) prepared an action plan for a pilot program to develop a pollution-discharge permit system (PDPS). 8. The TCR for TA 2208-MON was circulated in November 1998, rated the overall performance of the TA as generally successful. It concluded that, overall, the TA objectives were met on schedule within the budgeted resources. It would have been useful if the TCR had precisely stated the extent to which the original scope of the TA was changed subsequent to contract negotiations (as suggested in OEO’s comments on the draft TCR). The TCR does not explain the circumstances behind the reduction in the implementation period from three to two years. Of the total TA amount approved, 78 percent was allotted for consulting services. Given its major role in the project, there is no discussion in the TCR’s TA inputs evaluation section on the reason why local consulting services were reduced by half. While the approved TA included the services of an NGO volunteer for a period of two years (similar to that of TA 1647-MON), there is no mention of any recruitment or engagement, nor the funds allotted. Further, no lessons are indicated, nor follow-up actions or recommendations. The OEM considers the TCR assessment of project performance to be inadequate, and does not concur with the TCR’s overall assessment that the TA was generally successful.
                                               6 TA component on the review of the economic potential of ecotourism was cancelled during contract The negotiations due to other government priorities, and because this was already covered under Danish- and 7Gfun-maerp ordnde.s ejtcaim  Anprovag (n  amiadceinis) r evoigetsinitare time on. At thjoce,tM  fht erPvidis waa ligoonamia 81 otni dedgs  and four municipalities. Today, there are 22 aimags and six regional centers.
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C. Objectives and Methodology of the TPAR
9. This TPAR evaluates the two TAs to gain an insight as to how ADB’s initial efforts in support of the environment in Mongolia have been developed and implemented. It presents an assessment of the TAs’ effectiveness in terms of achieving their objectives and project outcomes, generating benefits, and ensuring the sustainability of operations. It discusses issues of current relevance to the sector, identifies lessons, presents follow-up actions that need to be taken by the Government and ADB, and provides an overall assessment of performance. The discussion and results are based on the findings of the OEM which was fielded on 16-24 October 2000; a review of the TA papers, TCRs, and project files; and discussions with ADB staff, government officials, aid agencies, and private firms involved in environmental assessment. The OEM visited Ulaanbaatar and Darkhan City and held discussions with aimag officials and executives of industrial firms. The TPAR also draws data from secondary statistical data from MNE and aid agencies active in the conservation and protection of the environment (the appendix shows urgent environmental concerns in Mongolia today). The views of the relevant ADB departments and offices are reflected in the TPAR. Copies of the draft TPAR were provided to the Government and MNE, and comments from MNE officials were taken into consideration in finalizing the report.
II. ASSESSMENT OF IMPLEMENTATION PERFORMANCE
A. Design of the TAs
1. Appropriateness of Concepts and Approaches
10. TA 1647-MON was designed on the basic premise that, with the emerging shift to a more flexible management system and because of the complexity of environmental concerns, assistance was needed to ensure that MNE and field offices in the aimags operated efficiently and more productively. The main objectives of the TA were to introduce new methods and approaches in EIA, and modify the environmental data management system. Thus, the TA design focused primarily on the training of Mongolian staff to provide the necessary technical and managerial skills for the operations of MNE, i.e., (i) on EIA procedures, standards, and legislation; and (ii) on the development of a computerized database system. The project design started at the simplest, basic level of environmental assessment because of Mongolia’s limited experience in project development and management, and in international standards and practices. The concept and approach are considered appropriate and relevant, and reflected the need of sector priorities to strengthen the capacity of MNE during the critical stage of a basic shift in its management system. The TA came at an opportune time as the new umbrella nature protection law was being prepared to amend six major laws formulated for the requirements of the command economy, i.e., the Forestry, Hunting, and Water Laws of 1974, and the Air Quality Protection, Mining and Minerals, and Land Ownership Laws of 1989. 11. TA 2208-MON was designed to establish the necessary institutional and policy framework for environmental planning and management (one of the main recommendations of TA 1647-MON) focusing on the power sector. Attached to the Power Rehabilitation Project, the TA was provided to address management capability weaknesses in MNE, as environmental issues are significant in the context of power projects. The TA was designed and processed by
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