Internal Evaluation Report of the Travelling Librariesand Training Centres ProjectIlona Kalliola and Minna Ala-OrvolaProject informationName of project: Travelling libraries - Training Centres TL-TCName of organization: Information and Education Centre (IEC)Project duration: 2010-2011, continuation of 2007-2009 projectFunding: The National Union of University Students in Finland SYL and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of FinlandThe objective of this project has been to improve the access of rural people in Tov, Arkhangai andDornod provinces in Mongolia to information services and civic education, vocational training andsmall business courses through improving the Travelling Libraries-Training Centres (TL-TCs).The first project was carried out in 2007-2009. Its main objective was to improve TL-TCs’ libraryand training services in Tov, Arkhangai and Dornod provinces. The library service was improvedby increasing the number of municipalities visited (from 10 in 2006 to 55 in 2008), buying morematerials for TL-TCs (4417 books during 2007 and 2008), hiring three new librarians and buyingthree new gers. The training service was improved by expanding the variety and number of coursesheld. In 2006 there were short basic knowledge courses held on civic education. Now the TL-TCswork more professionally in order to help people to generate income, to save money, to establishbusinesses and to co-operate in business, environment and other community issues, includingworking against violence towards women and girls, waste and other socio-economic problems.During 2007-2009 courses have been held on civic education, vocational skills training and smallbusiness training.For the years 2010-11 the focus was to better establish the current activities and to strengthen IEC´scapacity and self-sufficiency. The main risks identified were that the travelling libraries and trainingcentres do not provide the information and education most needed, the quality of the libraryservices and trainings do not meet the targets set, the project organization does not learn andrespond to the changing needs of its beneficiaries and the uncertain financial situation caused by theglobal crisis. In advance, the number of people attending trainings per year in three provinces wasapproximated to be 1500. More than 60 % of beneficiaries were to be women.
Introduction to the evaluationThe evaluation was done during two weeks in Mongolia, on 9.-21.8.2011. The project will stillcontinue for four months after the evaluation. During the time in Mongolia we conducted 19 semi-structured interviews. Seven of them were group interviews with anywhere between three and 17people. For some of the interviews we used an interpreter, for some IEC staff translated for us.In addition to interviews for beneficiaries we also conducted two evaluation workshops for IECstaff: the first one for the staff from Tuv and Arkhangai, the second for the staff from Dornod andthe central office in Ulaan Baatar. As a basis for the evaluation workshops for the employees weused Max Peberdy’s three universal questions of evaluation (presented below).We only included trainings in the evaluation, as we agreed the libraries could be evaluated throughnumerical information. Due to limited time we only interviewed beneficiaries in Dornod and Tuvprovinces, although the project has the same activities in Arkhangai province as well. In Tuv wevisited the province center Zuunmod and rural areas like Jargalant soum, in Dornod we only visitedChoibalsan.Main goals of the projectIn the evaluation we have compared the achievements of the project to the goals set in the projectplan. The development objectives and results targeted with the project were the following:- Long term development objective:to reduce the negative impacts of poverty in Tov, Arkhangai and Dornod provinces- Direct objective (limited by area of implementation and group of beneficiaries):to provide an improved library and training service in Tov, Arkhangai and Dornod for the ruralpeople of those provincesThe results targeted by this project (only results for trainings included here):Expanded and improved Training Centres provide skills, small business and civic educationtrainingDuring the continuation years 2010-11 training centres were to concentrate on improving thequality of the courses according to participants’ needs. The aim of skills trainings is to provide newmeans of self-sufficiency and food security and to raise the awareness of civic rights for the ruralpeople in Mongolia. Trainings will be conducted throughout the year.RESULT 1 Learning material is producedACTIVITY - Development of learning materials - Purchasing training materialsDATA - Learning materials distributed - Modules, curricula and learning materials developed
RESULT 2 The trainings are organized more systematicallyACTIVITY - A training calendar will be establishedDATA - The training calendar will be documentedRESULT 3 Trained people are satisfied with the trainingsACTIVITY - Surveying educational needs in every province through feedback questioneers after each training - Providing feedback and follow up mechanismDATA - Perceptions of students on quality and relevance of training (feedback, interviews) - Perceptions of students on quality and relevance of learning materials (feedback, interviews)RESULT 4 Children’s capacity for community action is improvedACTIVITY - Establishing new child groups, activating existing groups and connecting groupsDATA - Number and age of children and youth participating in plays, trainings, competitions and other actions - Number and subject of activities for childrenRESULT 5 50 trainings are organized in each aimagACTIVITY - Organizing 50 trainings in each province on the three topics (vocational skills, civic education and small business education), 150 trainings altogetherDATA - Number and subject of trainings/coursesRESULT 6 At least 60 % of the people participating are womenACTIVITY - Marketing trainings having women as a special target groupDATA - Number of people attending the courses and age of participantsRESULT 7 TCs’ trainings will become more known and frequentedACTIVITY - Marketing of trainings having women as a special target groupDATA - Proportion of women attending coursesAll courses are not conducted every year. The trainings organized will be based on a needs analysis.- Vocational skills courses: Wool processing and knitting, Quilting and patchwork, Vegetablefarming, Poultry, Dairy production and Farming- Small Business courses: Business idea development, Accounting, Budgeting, Marketing andSolidarity groups- Civic education: Topics for adults: solidarity groups, health, democracy, gender issues, children’srights for adults; for children and youth: Environment, Health, Sexual education, Human rights,Children’s rights, Philanthropy, Democracy, Freedoms and Duties, Leadership, Communication,Economy, Computer, Internet, Professions, English and German languages and Handiwork
Main results of the evaluationEmployeesIn the two evaluation workshops for the employees we discussed the project through the followingquestions:1. Did we do what we said we would do? ● How has the project progressed?Compared to what you thought you would achieve, have you achieved a lot? ● How did the trainings succeed? Name some different trainings ● What changes have you made to the project and what do you do differently now than in the beginning?2. Did we make any difference? ● What kind of feedback have you got from the beneficiaries? ● What changes have you noted in the lives of the beneficiaries? ● How has the work of IEC changed or improved during the project?3. Did we do the right things? ● If the objective was to reduce poverty, are the library and trainings good activities to reach that? ● What would you do differently in the future? ● What else would you have hoped for from IEC/SYL?1. How has the project progressed? Compared to what you thought you would achieve, haveyou achieved a lot?There was an agreement that the project has been implemented very successfully. The staff agreedthat compared to the 2007-2009 SYL project, the main changes were that the number of clients hasincreased, the travelling library has become a very active NGO, other local NGOs are willing tocooperate with them and the TL-TCs have become the centers of information of their areas.There are more participants in trainings now, the number has roughly doubled and there are alsomore trainings. When SYL funding began, there were only civic education trainings, now there arealso vocational and business trainings. The quality of trainings is better, as the materials, thetrainers and the way the trainings are organized have all improved. The trainers are moreexperienced now, so the trainings are of a better quality than in previous years.The staff estimated that the trainings had been quite successful, as after the training two thirds hadsomehow changed their lifestyle or increased their income. It was thought that the project iseffective because trainings are made to suit people, consultation services, networking of theorganization and cooperation with other NGOs. There has been more planning of the activities andtrainings than before, now the needs of the people in the countryside are the most important base fortrainings, although it was noted that people may also have different needs. Now they also travel tosoums in the winter as well, before SYL projects they did not.
With SYL support, NGOs, government officials and private organizations have learned to cooperateeffectively. The behaviour and attitudes of many local government officials has changed as theyhave realised that NGOs have the same goals as the government. Co-operation with the governmentand other NGOs has become easier and more frequent. For some of the trainings the localgovernment or other NGOs have asked the TL-TCs to organize these trainings, especially difficulttrainings like those on human rights and violence and to give advice to other NGOs. Annualmeetings with local governors and state librarians are also good for marketing IEC’s activities.2. How did the training succeed? Name some different trainings.With SYL support, business and vocational trainings started and civic education trainings wereimproved. Trainings have become more versatile, as they now involve planning and consultation.The types of participants are different now, before many just came to gossip, eat and kill time andalthough there are still these people, now most come because they need the education. Beforepeople came to the trainings alone, now they also make friends there and bring friends with them aswell.Trainings have generally been popular, as they are totally new for many people. It has been easier tospread information now, as they have more contacts because of all the previous trainings. Forexample it was estimated that about 60 % of Tuv province’s people know IEC and many wait fortheir trainings. There is now a database of trainings containing their contents and ways of workingand that is very important for improving IEC as an organization. In 2010 80 % of trainees werewomen, whereas the project aimed at training 60 % women.Now the quality of the trainings is evaluated with tests that measure the level of knowledge ofparticipants before and after the trainings. Based on this information, the employees themselvesestimated that business skills of trainees have increased 27 %, knowledge on civic educationincreased from 41-62 % and the knowledge of vocational trainees increased 30-33 %. Businesstrainings were very popular and the staff noted that the idea of business trainings has changed, asthey realized that even a poor person can establish a business.A staff member concluded that some trainees could use the knowledge and skills to change theirlives, but others lacked motivation and education, whereby the same trainings should be repeated tomotivate them to be more active. Sometimes even though people attended the trainings they couldnot start a business, as they needed consultation for business plans and marketing. Therefore theTL-TC staff had started to help community groups and individuals to market their services andproducts and to participate in expos. Vocational training is important in the countryside, becausepeople are only used to working with animals and a staff member thought that in Tuv the mosteffective training was the training on vegetable growing.The staff noted that for better trainings for example computers, copy machines and other technicaldevices would be needed.
3. What changes have you made to the project and what do you do differently now than in thebeginning?Compared to the first part of the project, in 2010-2011 new trainings were added, like reducingviolence, legal training, the positive methods of growing up children, saltzteig, patchwork andcooking.TL-TCs now try to cooperate more with other NGOs as the staff had noted that the best results havebeen in cooperation with other organizations and they have managed to create cooperation networksin every province. For example, IEC had cooperated so well that they got equipment from MercyCorps. “We are equipped, we have raised our capacity and developed our methodology”, said oneemployee. There is also extensive cooperation with local administration, the staff had learnt thatthey should know governmental policy programmes very well, participate in the programmes andcooperate.They had learnt that family business is the most effective form of business and also that peopleshould work as a team or community, whereby they have encouraged the formation of groups.Many that take part in trainings now form groups on their own. There is a new method in use as thetrainers try to involve the trainees during the training.4. What kind of feedback have you got from the beneficiaries?5. What changes have you noted in the lives of the beneficiaries?Feedback is collected after each training and 91,5 % gave an excellent grade to the training, basedon the following criteria: teacher’s skills, abilities, training material, training environment(vocational and civic). There have also been suggestions to repeat trainings for certain groups andwishes for better technical teaching equipment. The atmosphere in trainings was seen as friendlyand open.The TL-TC trainers have noted mental, economic and social changes in beneficiaries. The trainerscan see the development in the trainees and sometimes the development is fast: for example 165women in risky groups took part in a training and many of them got a job, went to the university,got married, had children, etc. The mentality of the citizens is changing. The basic knowledge andalso specific knowledge on business has increased. The beneficiaries generate income and duringour trainings people understand that they should have goals in life. Family incomes increase, peopleare more self-confident. A concrete result has been that people use raw material that went to wastebefore like yellow milk or parts of cloth.Organizing vocational trainings were more motivating to some as you can see the results faster andmore concretely. Trainers got feedback from trainees of yellow milk training that they haveincreased family income or got a loan. Sometimes after business trainings people did notnecessarily establish a business or get any additional income, but they learnt to produce products forfamily needs. If they would not know how to produce the product, they would have to buy it, sothey save money by producing it themselves.
6. How has the work of IEC changed or improved during the project?The staff felt that IEC is also a beneficiary and the capacity of the organization had really increased,there has been an increase in personnel and the organization is better known. Before SYL, IEC wasa more hierarchical organization, now they are a team that is able to monitor and developthemselves. They feel they have a good team: dedicated people and good networkers.Work at IEC had also taught people a lot, “My speaking skills were zero, since I started at IEC Ibecame a speaker, a lobby maker, learnt to develop manuals, learnt to plan and became open forsurrounding people. I learnt to communication skills and became flexible. I’m a cleaner, trainer,librarian, manager, networker and person who can do monitoring.” IEC staff have learned todevelop manuals and information sheets and pay more attention to planning, which has made theirwork more effective. In the beginning of the SYL project they organised anything, but now theyplan and have a circle of trainings.Team members felt they had become more professional on working against poverty, “I gave privateconsultation to 109 people. 80 % of them received a loan from different sources, 90 people have apermanent working place and 220 people have seasonal jobs.”7. If the objective was to reduce poverty, are the library and trainings good activities to reachthat?Generally there was an agreement that the activities had been the right ones for the objective ofreducing poverty. People get more information both from the library and the trainings and throughthat some also get more income. It was noted that although the libraries reduce poverty, trainingsare more effective.In the conversations the staff spoke of the many different kinds of poverty like lack of knowledgeand information, lack of skills and economic poverty. IEC has worked against all these forms ofpoverty, but they think that they should concentrate more on the lack of knowledge, because thatchanges behaviour and attitudes. Unfortunately it takes more time, resources and patience, but ifthey succeed in decreasing mental poverty, changing economic poverty will be easier.8. What would you do differently in the future?The sustainability of the activities is a big challenge. The social need for TL-TC activities inMongolia is great. “We have good personnel and a good team, but we need financial resources andthat makes the continuity difficult.” There have been good results from the cooperation with SYLand it would be good to expand the activities to new areas. In the future one hoped for more TL-TClibraries, because they are the only travelling libraries in Mongolia and if they end, no one will takeinformation to the nomads. With more support even more provinces could be reached.One idea for the future was that IEC could become a community group of its own that would earnits own income for its activities. Related to this was the idea that IEC should build teams, like theirown, at the local level and serve people in groups, because it is more effective than servingindividuals.
9. What else would you have hoped for from IEC/SYL?In addition to more financial support, the staff wished for more capacity building to serve groupsand people that run a family business. From SYL the staff hoped for experiences in other projectsand an excursion to a country where there are strong community groups. Also, the need for aninternet connection in the provinces was expressed as well as the need for devices like a projectorand a laptop for trainings.BeneficiariesAlthough the initial idea was to concentrate on those who had been to IEC trainings in 2010 – 2011,during the evaluation it became clear that the results of these years will only be seen later and wealso interviewed people who had been in trainings during 2007 – 2009. In general, many had heardabout the trainings at the library, but not all were active library users, although all knew the library.Sometimes trainings were held at marketplaces and shops, because shop keepers are not able toleave their stores.The staff themselves noted that previously more people had just attended any training regardless ofthe subject and their need to learn. There were still some people who had been to all the trainings,for example a woman we met in Jargalant and a community group of vulnerable women in Dornod.However, some people went to many trainings on only one subject, for example all the businesstrainings or milk trainings. Sometimes many people in one family had attended different trainingsor trainees wanted to teach the whole family what they had learnt. Some people felt they needed toattend the same training many times in order to be able to apply what they have learnt. Some staffmembers said that it is good to repeat trainings, as sometimes people do not learn everything at thefirst time.Some had attended trainings from the beginning of the TL-TCs, we met six women who hadparticipated in vegetable growing, patchwork, quilting, yellow milk and business trainings. The firsttraining was in 2005, when all the women attended berry and vegetable training and now each ofthem have five or six berry trees and they grow vegetables. The project aimed at 60 % of trainees tobe women, in the end 80 % were women. We only talked with one male trainee and a woman whotold us about the training her husband had been to. In both cases the men had been to a businesstraining.Civic educationCivic education courses included (from the project plan):Ø Topics: solidarity groups, health, democracy, gender issues, children rights for adults etcØ Topics for children and youth: Environment, Health, Sexual education, Human rights,Children’s rights, Philanthropy, Democracy, Freedoms and Duties, Leadership, Communication,Economy, Computer, Internet, Professions, English and German languages and Handwork
Many who had been to civic trainings had also been to vocational and business trainings, and wetended to discuss these in more detail. It was sometimes hard for the people to put into words whatthey had actually learnt in civic trainings, although they said these were useful to them.Many civic education trainings seem to have been important especially for vulnerable groups inChoibalsan. The trainers had especially tried to find the vulnerable women to attend trainings. Wemet a group of 17 vulnerable women attending the Future without aids training, a series oftrainings, with the first two years ago. The same women attend three or four trainings per quarter ofa year on subjects like human trafficking, reproductive health, life without smoking and vodka,communication skills, human rights, civic education, legislation related to personal life, businesstraining and management, the positive methods for growing children, sexual orientation, styletraining (suitable clothes), pearl training, weaving and saltzteig. It was difficult to discuss with thisgroup, but those who spoke said every training was important and useful. Some said it was hard tostart and continue with businesses, as they would need a loan, so they made pearl products just forthemselves and to give as gifts. Mostly it seemed they get income still from prostitution.We met some beneficiaries who had been to the positive methods of growing up children -trainingin March 2011. One woman, a teacher, said the training was very creative and she will also teachother parents on how to communicate with children. For another woman it was useful that she couldtell her many children about good habits. Both had also been to a business training. Another womannoted that before, if her child made problems, she was very angry, but now she is trying tocommunicate. One woman had three children and after the training she learnt to understand theirbehaviour. It was hard for many to express what they learned in civic trainings, but one said thatafter the training many things changed and she felt that in her life.Also health, safe food, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, how to protect the soil and individual &society rights and responsibilities trainings had been attended by the people we talked to. In Dornodthere is a danger of human trafficking because of the border with China and Russia. Somebeneficiaries told us that before the training they knew about this, but now paid more attention to it.One woman noted that civic education about legislation for citizens on social welfare, taxes, labourand leadership training was useful, because she would never read such laws and now she got theimportant information. Women had heard about many of these issues earlier, but now got newinformation and asked questions. We did not meet any men who had been to civic trainings.We also met five women who were either employees or volunteers at different NGOs that were partof the network against violence in Choibalsan. The network was established two years ago andthere are 16 member organizations, both governmental and non-governmental. They formed thenetwork to work hard against domestic violence and sexual harassment. TL-TC is one member andwas establishing the network as well. Most NGOs work with children and one with men. Thewomen has attended many of our trainings like those on human rights and human trafficking in2010, where they learnt how to help and recognize victims of human trafficking. They noted thatthe TL-TC library has many good books on these issues and they borrow social and human rightsbooks from TL-TC for their own trainings.One woman worked at Save the children and attended the positive methods of growing up childrentraining. She said the training was about human rights and what violence against children anddomestic violence mean. These are annual trainings and she has been to them many times, related toher work, as well as been the trainer in one of these trainings. She saw the trainings as important,because some people think violence is a method of growing up children. There have also beentrainings for children who are victims of violence.
We also met the chief of the legislation department of the provincial administration house. Theyhad cooperated with the TL-TC in May and June 2011 to organize the Life without vodka andcigarettes -trainings. There was a province-wide campaign for disseminating information on this tocitizens, the target groups were people of all ages. There were more than 150 people attending.Vocational educationVocational education included (from the project plan):Ø Wool processing and knitting, quilting and patchworkØ Vegetable farming, poultry, dairy production and farmingSewing from left over materials (quilting/patchwork), dairy products and pearl trainings were themost common trainings we discussed with beneficiaries, but also vegetable trainings and saltzteig.Sewing trainingsProducts made by sewing from left over materials could be used to generate extra income. Awoman with a fabric shop had learnt sewing from our training. She sews products using left overmaterials when there are no customers and sells these products also. TL-TC in Tuv had organized atraining for 21 women on patchwork. We met a women’s group of seven women that was formedbefore the project. They sell products and give to friends. TL-TC used the room they work in fortraining, other trainees were neighbours from the area who work at home and sell products at shops.Our trainees made different things to be shown and sold at expos. Before the training they werealready sewing, but now they get new income by selling products made from the left over materialsthat they used to throw away.Milk trainingsYellow milk trainings have been very beneficial, as people used to just throw yellow milk away orgive to animals, although it is considered healthy. In yellow milk trainings people had learnt tomake marmalade, bon bon, jam and other products that could also be sold. A woman in Tuv whohad been to yellow milk and milk product trainings in 2009 still produces milk products togetherwith her daughters, but just for family needs. Before the training she made just traditionalMongolian yogurt but in the training she learnt to make new products..In Bornuur soum we met a woman who had a greenhouse on her yard, owned by a women’s group.The group was formed in 2009 after an IEC community group training and in the beginning theywere six women, now they are five. The women also attended a yellow milk training in 2009. Thegroup makes different products (jam, soft drinks) from yellow milk, vegetables and berries. Thegreenhouse and plants are owned by the whole group and they plant, water and cook together. In thesummer of 2010 this group presented their products at a nationwide expo , where World Visionawarded them with a packing machine and a watering system for the greenhouse. The statelaboratory accepted their products and they are on sale in Ulaan Baatar. The group is planning togo to another expo this year.
There is a state credit programme for small and medium size businesses and the group applied forit. Unfortunately they did not get a loan although they would need it to increase production. At themoment they make 1 400 000 - 2 000 000 tugriks per person per year (790 - 1 130 €).Some of the trainees had had other use of the training. We visited the Khian Embuu dairy inJargalant that started in 2010, out of the 30 employees 60 % had been to an IEC yellow milktraining in 2009. The dairy makes yogurt, quark and butter, which are taken to Ulaan Baatar forsale. The trainees had been employed partly because they had the basic knowledge of milk productsfrom our training, although there was additional training from the dairy on how to operatemachines. Before that they had tried to employ themselves, but were now happy about the jobs thatpay 500 000 tugriks per month (280 €). The women also still make yellow milk products at home,because they get free yellow milk from the dairy.Other trainingsAs for other vocational trainings, at pearl trainings women learnt to make boxes for pencils, bags,etc. In 2010 a German volunteer taught saltzteig and pearls for children, there were also trainings inkindergartens. We talked to individuals and groups of women and many produced what they hadlearnt for family needs, whereby they had not made any income, but had saved money and madenice things for themselves and to give as gifts. They had fun and learnt new skills, but often themarket is so small there that they could not sell those things. However, some people who hadattended vocational trainings have also started businesses, although they had not attended an actualbusiness training. Some people we interviewed, mostly about the business trainings, had got theoriginal idea for their products from a vocational trainings.A group of vulnerable women had formed a community group in September 2010. They are 12women and they found each other on the training for Aids and at the travelling library. We metthree of them. They have been to all the trainings since 2010: pearl, growing children, business,human trafficking, life without vodka and patchwork. They had learnt from vocational trainings tomake gloves and pearls and after the business training they began to sell these products toconstruction and factory workers. Their income has increased and they think that their own businessis better than working for the government. The women learnt in the business training aboutcalculating materials, market prices and making savings. They already had a business plan whenthey established the group. In the beginning they did not have savings, but now they have. Theirincome depends on the season, during holiday time they can earn more because people need to buygifts. They meet at the TL-TC office three times a week, make pearl decorations and stitching worktogether and sell them to shops or at the TL-TC. They sell products together and divide the income.At first they got the pearls for free from the TL-TC, but now they pay for them.There are also two children’s groups in Choibalsan, the orphanage children and the children ofvulnerable women, 21 children altogether. They have learned to make decorations from paper,pearls, geography, poems and singing.One woman from a member organization in the network against violence had been to our businesstraining because the families of disabled children, that her organization helps, are very poor and shewanted ideas for how they could increase their income. She went to pearl, patchwork, how to plantflowers and how to plant vegetables trainings and takes fairy tale books to disabled children. Thesetrainings were in 2010 and the parents were thankful for these trainings.
Small business trainingsBusiness trainings included (from the project plan):Ø Business idea development, accounting, budgeting, marketing, solidarity groupsWe met many who had been to business trainings and they seemed to have been very popular, but itmight have also been easier to find the beneficiaries who had actually started a business rather thanjust attended a training to increase their knowledge on a subject. After our trainings, some had beenassisted in getting the business started by the government through loans or affordable rooms. Thereare also books on business in the library that support the business trainings.About half of the people we talked to had already had a business before the trainings and hadsimply improved it or started with accounting or saving, for example. Others had started a businessafter the training, some were quite large and successful businesses. Others would need a loan and asa business plan is a prerequisite for a loan, after the business plan training many had a better chanceat applying for loans. Some had got ideas for businesses, but not yet started, especially those fromthe 2010 and 2011 trainings. We discussed whether business is when you sell to outside or alsowhen you produce for your family, as it seemed that many trainees had at least not yet startedselling products, but only producing for the family.Not all trainees attended the trainings for personal or family gain: the manager of a hotel wasrepresenting the workers of her company in a business training in February 2011. After a trainingshe teaches other employees. She was attending the trainings of all NGOs, with TL-TC she attendedthe How to expand business and business plan trainings, where she learnt how to communicate withbanks. She thought the TL-TC training was very important, many other NGO trainings are justabout very specific things like how to make some handicrafts or a chicken farm.Businesses formed after an IEC trainingOne of the successful businesses we saw was an ice cream factory in Choibalsan, owned by a localcouple. They used to use yellow milk, which the wife learnt from our training years ago. Now theyuse normal milk and quark, because there is not enough yellow milk available for such a bigproduction. They have had the business for three years and it is the only place that produces icecream in the area. They bought three machines when they started, using savings from selling icecream. In March 2011 the husband attended the start business and business plan trainings, made abusiness plan and is waiting for a big loan to buy one more ice cream machine. When they startedthe business, they did not note sales anywhere, but he took an accounting book for small businessbeginners made by IEC from our library. Now he is using an accounting program and went to anaccounting training by some other organizer. He sold in seven shops at first, now 125 shops out of160 shops in the area and employes ten people in the summer and four or five in the winter. Whenthey started the business, their income was 30 000 tugriks (17 €), now around 400 000 – 500 000tugriks (226 – 282 €) per month. Last summer they also established a ham factory. He said hisbiggest problem was his lack of knowledge in managing and starting the business. At first thisbusiness was in a business incubator: the state gave a room for the first month for no rent and forthe second month with a small rent.
A woman had been to a business training in April 2011, after the training she started a tyre repairand car wash business. One person works there and he was unemployed before. The location andthe profit are good and most useful was the confidence she got from the training to start thebusiness and to make accounts. She would be interested in trainings on developing the business andaccounting.We interviewed a woman who had been nominated the best business woman in Jargalant soum andTuv province. She attended milk, patchwork and business trainings in 2009. With another womanfrom the neighbourhood she had attended patchwork and yellow milk trainings and they sew andsell quilted bags and grow vegetables. She developed a business plan and wants to establish a smallfamily enterprise, but equipment would cost 10 million. Last year she got a loan of 1 million with1% interest rate and bought three cows. She told that winning prizes gives attention, so it is easier toget a loan. Now they have less financial problems. She got help for accounting from IEC. Shealways takes notes from trainings to read the notes also later. On average she now makes 1 500 000(847 €) profit annually. Her husband is disabled, so she makes most of the money. Patchworkproducts are part of her income: about 150 000 (84 €) annually. She sells patchwork and milkproducts in exhibitions in Zuunmod and Ulaan Baatar. She also attended the safe food training andreceived information about labels and hygiene.A woman who attended a business training in 2009 got the idea to sell tickets in buses and she alsowants to start a small canteen. She rented a small room for it last year and ran it for two months, butit did not make any profit so she is making a new plan with TL- TC staff. The main thing shegained from the business trainings was that she developed two good business ideas (selling bustickets and starting a canteen).Businesses planned after an IEC trainingA woman who in March 2011 was in our business training got the idea to have a chicken farm andlearnt accounting. She has 14 chickens and next year she will buy more and sell to the schoolcanteen where she is a teacher, so she is sure to have a market. In the training she learnt how to starta business, the stages of business and how to have a business idea. She has no time to learn more,she just wants to have a business in addition to teaching. She got many business ideas from thetraining and also planted seedbuckthorn, in three years it will grow and give benefits.Another woman from a very poor family had in March 2011 attended start business and businessplan trainings. She has bought four chickens, eats eggs and plans to sell boiled eggs at the blackmarket. She plans to buy more chickens, as now the eggs are not enough to sell, but she does nothave the incubator for growing chickens. From the business training she learnt about accounting,where to sell the eggs, marketing etc. She has four children and she will teach them too.A woman who had been to a business training in February 2011 plans to open a little restaurant, buthas financial problems and is now doing research on food prices etc. She learnt that she needs abusiness plan, how to solve problems with businesses and accounting. Business management,developing and plan trainings were very important to her, mainly she attended to help her childrenwho want to establish businesses or a chicken farm together. Some other trainees had not yet madeany plans for a business after the training, but for example a young student who had attended abusiness training said that now she has a good idea of what it takes to start a business.
Improving the business after an IEC trainingA woman attended the Start business training in April 2010 and in February 2011 Businessdeveloping and Business planning trainings. She had established a café in 2004 and after thetraining thought of advertisements and how the cafe looks from outside, so her income hasincreased. The cafe is her only income and she has 13 workers. All the trainings she attended werevery important to her, she would be interested in all trainings on how to expand business and makeaccounts, because now they just calculate on paper. She has taken a loan after the training, as sheunderstood how to make a business plan and this was very helpful for getting the loan.A woman in the Start business training in April 2011 already owned a photocopy service, but wantsto have more income with maybe two more printers. She is not the only one with this kind ofbusiness so she learnt how to compete, as well as good management and accounting. This is hermain income, but she has financial problems with expanding and is interested in a loan, but not sureabout the interest. She would like a training on how to expand her business and investment.From the business training people had for example learnt how to save money from their income ofthe business, not to just use it all. Attending a TL-TC business plan training had helped severalpeople to get a loan for their business, a woman in Tuv got a 200 000 tugrik (112 €) loan to start abusiness after the IEC business training, however she felt she needs another loan from the bank. Aman attended a business training in 2009, developed a business plan and got a loan 13 000 000tugriks (7 330 €) from a government fund, which is not enough but still good, without a businessplan he could not get a loan from this fund. He used the money for buying tools and equipment.Now he makes things (gates, harvesting devices etc) from metal and wood, for which he receivesorders from local people. They took the loan for three years, the interest rate is 1% per month. In2010 the husband attended another business training and the family developed a business plan toplant seedbuckthorn, which seems to be a popular business in the area.ConclusionDuring the evaluation work we noticed that many people have benefited from our trainings and ingeneral IEC has worked efficiently. In 2010 there were altogether 158 trainings in the threeprovinces, when the target was 150 trainings and 4 469 participants (1147 males/3322 females). In2010 there was a 7,6 % increase in the number of participants, but the objective of 5 000participants was not yet achieved.Related to the risks listed in the project plan, it can be said that IEC has managed to provide qualitytrainings and on the subjects most needed. Trainings have been successful and now they meet betterthe needs of the beneficiaries. Trainings are also of a better quality now because they are plannedcarefully, there is a database of contents, new training material developed by IEC and a circle oftrainings in use. Along with trainings, help with planning and consultations are also offered.IEC has worked especially well in teaching people to use raw materials that went to waste beforeand in encouraging people to form community groups for working together. The organization hasalso managed to target the most vulnerable people with the trainings. 60 % of the trainees were tobe women and in the end the figure was 80 %. In many cases it is definetely justified to aim attraining women, but taking into account the specific problems like alcoholism, unemployment and
marginalization in society that many men encounter in Mongolia, there could also have beenspecific trainings for men. By helping men, such trainings might also have been effective incombating problems like domestic violence that touch women as well.One focus of this project has been to strenghten the capacity and self-sufficiency of IEC. Weobserved that IEC is a co-operative and reactive NGO. IEC is well-known in every province whereit works and it has succeeded in establishing a co-operation network of NGOs and localgovernmental authorities in Tuv, Arkhangai and Dornod. IEC is also a popular partner incooperation and other organizations as well as local governmental officials have asked TL-TCs toorganize trainings. So IEC is trusted and well-known expert organization.TL-TCs have developed well during this project. Their methods of working have improved and thenumber of clients has increased. They also pay attention to the feedback of the trainees; everytraining is evaluated with tests and trainees also have an opportunity to wish for some specifictraining or to give suggestions on improvements. Feedback from the beneficiaries has been trulypositive and after the trainings people have had more self confidence. Not every trainee used whatthey learnt, but a significant percentage did and it is also likely that the results of many 2010 and2011 trainings will only be seen later.There are also several challenges. Many trainees produce e.g. quilted bags or pearl decorations justfor family needs and gifts, because of the small market. One problem might also be that people getsimilar business ideas. We met many who wanted to establish a chicken farm, plantedseedbuckthorn or sold patchworks. The challenge is to establish a unique business which wouldhave enough of a market. On the other hand, we met also trainees who had unique and successfulbusinesses, like the ice cream factory and tyre repair & car wash service in Choibalsan. Somebusinesses were so large that the owners had employed others as well.However, even those who produced for family needs were already saving money and had thepossibility of selling the products later. Business trainings had improved the finance skills oftrainees so that they were more capable of saving, planning and increasing their income. Many ofthe trainees spoke of the need for loans and many had also already taken a loan. However, we feelthat people should plan carefully and realistically before taking a loan to make sure that they will beable to get extra income from the investment and later to pay the loan back. It is good that IECoffers consultation on these issues.Many of the results that the project aimed at, like self-sufficiency of the people, food security andawareness of rights were met. The project has also progressed towards the long term developmentobjective of reducing poverty in the three provinces, both in terms of the poverty of knowledge andthinking and economic poverty. The direct objective of an improved library and training service inthe three provinces has been met, but the sustainability of the TL-TCs is a big challenge. A lack offinancial resources, after SYL support ends, is the biggest problem.In this evaluation we concentrated on the trainings, but the sustainability of the libraries is alsoimportant. The travelling libraries are more difficult to keep up, but the soum center libraries couldstill function within the IEC offices, as long as they have the offices, or in some other space.However, probably some of the staff would still have to have work in the office, although thelibraries have also used volunteers. One possibility we discussed was finding new support for thelibraries and IEC is constantly looking for support, but at the time had not yet applied for any. It isalso possible for the libraries to continue functioning alongside another project and in ArkhangaiIEC and SYL have planned a new project on community groups. The staff in Dornod had also
applied for funding for another project. The state could also fund the libraries, but there is noguarantee of this. There was also the idea of IEC working as a community group and producing thefunding for the libraries, but there were no conrete plans for this yet.List of interviews1. Tuv, Zuunmod, 9.8., woman: quilt training2. Tuv, Zuunmod, 9.8., woman: business training3. Tuv, Zuunmod, 9.8., one woman from women’s group: quilt training4. Tuv, Bornur, 11.8., one woman from women’s group: community group and yellow milktrainings (2009)5. Tuv, Jargalant, 12.8., three women at milk factory: yellow milk training (2009)6. Tuv, Jargalant, 12.8., woman: yellow milk and milk products trainings (her husband: businessplan training) (2009, 2010)7. Tuv, Jargalant, 12.8., woman: yellow milk, patchwork, business training (2009), juridicallegislation for citizens8. Tuv, Jargalant, 12.8., group interview of six women: patchwork (2010), quilting, vegetablegrowing (2005), pearls (2010), yellow milk, health training, safe food, HIV/AIDS, domesticviolence, how to protect the soil, individual & society (rights and responsibilities)9. Tuv, Jargalant, 12.8., woman: patchwork, yellow milk, business, safe food, positive methods ofgrowing up children (2009)10. Choibalsan, 17.8., man: business (2011) and wife, yellow milk (2007/2008)11. Choibalsan, 17.8., woman: business training, growing up children (2011)12. Choibalsan, 17.8., woman: business training, growing up children (2011)13. Choibalsan, 17.8., woman: business training (2011)14. Choibalsan, 17.8., group interview of five women in the NGO network against violence15. Choibalsan, 17.8., group of 17 vulnerable women (2010, 2011)16. Choibalsan, 17.8., three women from a women’s group: many trainings (2010, 2011)17. Choibalsan, 17.8., group interview of three women: business training (2011)18. Choibalsan, 17.8., woman: business training (2011)19. Choibalsan, 17.8., woman: business trainings (2010, 2011)The exchange rate 1 € = 1 773 tugricks was used in this report.