Support for Public Consultation and Dissemination of Economic Sector Work: Mongolia Enhancing Policies and Practices for Ger Area Development in Ulaanbaatar
Actual Completion Date
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
a) It is important to allocate adequate funds for dissemination in each ESW in order to share the results and scale-up the impacts of the findings. b) Translation is very important. It is better to circulate the translated report as soon as possible to the key participants, so that they have time to read it before the conference. c) It is important to make the message simple. The best way of information dissemination is to distribute newsletters. d) It is useful to use peer communication as dissemination of message. e) Data collection issue is often discussed in this kind of dissemination meetings. Therefore, it is important to invite the local consultants who participated in data collection for the ESW, so that they can explain how they collected the data.
The rapid expansion of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, is one of the country’s most critical development issues. Its population has increased by 70 percent in the past 20 years and now accounts for 40 percent of the total population of Mongolia. Most of the expansion took place in the ger areas: low-income areas where basic infrastructure services are poor or nonexistent. The government has developed policy directions—in its recent national and local development strategies and master plans—to better manage expansion of the ger areas. However, the ger areas continue to expand, improvements in urban services are slow, and the local government’s capacity to respond to these challenges is still limited. This analytical work, part of the World Bank Economic Sector Work, aims to help policy makers and citizens of Ulaanbaatar improve their understanding of the consequences of their policy choices with regards to spatial development of ger areas. With the support of Cities Alliance, the project intends to disseminate the outcomes of the analytical work to a wider audience in a consultative manner.
The activity seeks to disseminate the analytical work on Urban Expansion in Mongolia. There are two objectives: (i) to provide clear cost and benefit information to residents and policy makers so that they have better understanding on consequences of the planning practices, and (ii) to identify qualified communities for development of basic infrastructure in the light of preparation of future IDA projects.
• Reports, presentations and brochures are printed both in English and Mongolian and disseminated to the key stakeholders through workshops, meetings and media. • Consultation and dissemination of the studies with key stakeholders through a series of workshops and other public outreach activities.
Expected Impacts and Results
The report provided a comprehensive summary of the issues related to urban expansion in Mongolia. More than 400 copies and 500 copies of the report were disseminated at the public consultation meetings. The reports were well received by the client as well as the donor community. Specifically, it provided clarity on cost and benefit implications of different development paths: (i) conversion of ger areas into apartment building development; (ii) gradual improvement of urban services for existing mid-tier ger areas, and (iii) further expansion of ger areas at the fringe of the city. The public consultations and dissemination meetings resulted into improved understanding the consequences of the policy choices. The residents are now better aware of the implications of various policy choices. The cost and benefit analysis of these choices gave the residents useful information to make informed decisions in the future. The consultations were also instrumental in advocating for community-led activities. As a result, many requests were received from the community for such community-led activities that are financed by other World Bank lending activities. Communities acknowledge the importance of working collectively for improving their neighborhoods. A questionnaire survey conducted at each ger community meetings showed that the public consultation and dissemination meetings were well-received by participants, particularly by those of ger area residents. Among 489 valid responses out of 568 responses from the first ten meetings, about 94 percent of the respondents found the meeting ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’. The public consultation and dissemination activities were well received. The activities were widely covered by media. In addition to several consultation with communities, high-level and donor meetings also helped to stimulate discussion on sustainable development of the city, particularly on ger area development. The impacts of the public consultation and dissemination activities were well achieved its objectives and laid the ground for policy dialogue with the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar. The findings were reflected and adopted in the new government strategy. As a result of the successful dissemination, a lasting consultation and investment engagement platform (UB External Party Forum) was established as a follow on activity. As another follow on activity, the World Bank is currently preparing a new lending project.