Ulaanbaatar, September 7, 2007 – 37 innovative projects out of 190 finalists in the first Mongolia Development Marketplace (MDM) were declared as winners and awarded grants amounting to US$326,000.0 at the award ceremony in Sukhbaatar square. The President of Mongolia N. Enkhbayar, Vice President of the World Bank East Asia and Pacific Region James W. Adams and CEOs of the partner organizations of MDM handed over the awards to the winners at the ceremony.
Early morning on September 7, 2007 the first Mongolia Development Marketplace was opened in open area under blue sky in the Sukhbaatar square, which is located at the center of Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia. Sectorial booths that are differentiate with colors such as orange for education; white for health; green for environment; blue for water and sanitation; red for infrastructure; yellow for development communities and partners including 3 gers for jurors, public information and VIP and main scene is general picture of the marketplace. 190 innovative projects that have been selected out of 1851 initial proposals were displayed for public and jurors at the marketplace to compete for the grant awards to receive up to US$10,000.
1851 proposals were submitted for the initial stage of the MDM from across the country to find ways to provide better social services for the poor and vulnerable groups in urban and rural areas in Mongolia in innovative and effective ways. James W. Adams said in his opening remarks that “Mongolia had more number of participants that per capita largest response for any Development Marketplace held across the World Bank. This is remarkable and shows the passion of Mongolians for change.”
Prime Minister of Mongolia M. Enkhbold, said at the opening ceremony of MDM that “Many Mongolians and community groups have gained experience in writing proposals and putting their ideas in the paper. Also winners will contribute in their communities’ development through the grants. These are real benefits of Mongolia DM.”
The quality and supply of and access to social services such as infrastructure, education, health, water, ICT etc still fall short. The lack of such services affects everyone, but particularly the disadvantaged people such as those live in Ger Districts of Ulaanbaatar and rural Mongolia. In order to try and find solutions that rely on the community and private initiative the first “Mongolia Development Marketplace-2007” was launched on March 12, 2007.
Nearly half of the initial proposals were from rural Mongolia suggesting that the issue of service delivery affects both rural and urban people as much. These ideas focused on how to improve services in education, health and environment issues as well as water, sanitation, energy, Information and Communication Technology.
42 jurors who represent MDM partners, development experts and the World Bank had the difficult task to select the best projects after they reviewed the detailed projects and interviewed finalists at the marketplace in the Sukhbaatar square. The projects were evaluated with five equally important criteria: innovation, impact and result on poor and vulnerable groups, cost effectiveness/realism, sustainability and scale up potential and replicability.
To encourage new ideas and new partnership approach for the development is one of the key objectives of the MDM. “To create platform where ideas and also resources could meet with each other and get connected for exchange and find resources to implement the ideas is the most important” said Arshad Sayed, Country Manager and Resident Representative of the World Bank in Mongolia. Development organizations, private companies and public have visited the market place and acquainted with the projects that were publicly displayed. Global Environment Fund and Small Grant Program of UNDP and Mobicom Company have chosen 3 projects in addition to the 37 winners’ projects to provide requested fund for their implementation.
The World Bank Mongolia office has initiated the first Mongolia Development Marketplace 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.