Better Services for the Poor and Vulnerable Through Innovations and Partnerships

October 1, 2007

" "To create a platform where ideas and resources could meet each other and get connected to implement those ideas is the most important goal" "

Arshad Sayed, Country Manager, World Bank in Mongolia

Ulanbaataar, October 1, 2007 - Mongolia had been waiting for its own Development Marketplace and, when the competition opened last March 12, it made sure to give it a warm welcome.
“Mongolia had the largest per capita number of participants for any Country Development Marketplace held across the World Bank. This is remarkable and shows the passion of Mongolians for change,” said World Bank Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region James W. Adams. In total, 1,851 proposals were submitted to find ways to provide better social services for the poor and vulnerable groups in urban and rural areas using innovative and effective ways. The quality and supply of and access to social services such as infrastructure, education, health, water, and Information and Communication Technologies still fall short in the country. The lack of such services affects everyone, but particularly the disadvantaged people such as those who live in Ger Districts of Ulaanbaatar and rural Mongolia. 

From those initial proposals, 190 finalists were selected to participate in the marketplace held on September 7 in Sukhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar.

There, 42 jurors representing MDM partners, development experts and the World Bank had the difficult task of selecting 37 projects after reviewing the details and interviewing the finalists. Each winner will receive up to US$10,000, for a total of US$326,000 awarded in prizes.

Nearly half of the initial proposals were from rural Mongolia, suggesting that the issue of service delivery affects both rural  and urban people.The projects were evaluated with five equally important criteria:

1. Innovation
2. Impact and result
3. Effectiveness/realism
4. Sustainability and scale-up potential
5. Replicability

Encouraging new ideas and new partnership approaches to development is one of the key objectives of the Mongolia Development Marketplace (MDM). “To create a platform where ideas and resources could meet each other and get connected to implement those ideas is the most important goal” said Arshad Sayed, Country Manager and Resident Representative of the World Bank in Mongolia.

This goal was achieved when development organizations, private companies and the public visited the MDM and acquainted themselves with the projects that were publicly displayed. As a result, the Global Environment Fund and the Small Grants Program of UNDP, as well as the Mobicom Company chose three additional projects to fund.

The World Bank Mongolia office initiated the first MDM program based on the model of the World Bank’s global competitive grant program. The Development Marketplace is the World Bank’s competitive grant program that provides financial support for the implementation of small, creative, effective and replicable projects. The program’s primary goal is to support creative and innovative solutions to the most pressing social and economic concerns of our time and, furthermore, to expand and replicate successful models.

The Mongolia Development Marketplace-2007 is ensuring partnerships and cooperation at all levels and the World Bank has extended an open invitation to Mongolian governmental organizations, national NGOs, socially responsible corporations and individuals, and international organizations operating in Mongolia to participate in this program as partners.

Over 24 partners have joined to the first MDM. The partners are: the Office of the President, National Development Institute, Mayor office of UB, Global Giving, Sustainable Livelihoods Project, German Embassy, Mobicom Company, German Technical Cooperation Agency, Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency, Open Society Forum, Xac Bank, Newcom Group, GEF- SGP and UNDP, Rural Education and Development Project, Renewable Energy Project, WHO, Asia Foundation, UNICEF, Khan Bank, Information Communication and Technology Authority, Peace Corps Mongolia, Skytel, Mongolian Education Alliance Association and city and aimag center libraries.