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Education for the Poor: Financial Crisis Response Project in Mongolia (2010 – 2013)

In 2009, ADB provided a multi-million dollar grant to the Government of Mongolia to support its efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of the 2008 global financial crisis on access to education by country’s poor and to help safeguard the substantial achievements that Mongolia had made in the education sector. At the time, Mongolia was facing significant decreases in its education budget, including a widening of extant funding gaps and declining school operation and maintenance budgets. Households were increasingly unable to afford the costs of sending their children to school (such as for school meals, textbooks, and uniforms) due to increasing unemployment and poverty and reduced purchasing power; and the education system was confronting potentially irreversible dropouts of poor and other vulnerable students, particularly in the preprimary and early grades. For more information about the Education for the Poor—Financial Crisis Response Project in Mongolia see:


About this Project

ICREST received a grant from ADB to provide operational and research technical assistance to the Ministry of Education and Science in Mongolia. ICREST partnered with the Mongolian Education Alliance (MEA) [] a community service organization in Mongolia, to implement the project in seven provinces in Mongolia. The technical assistance had four core focus areas:

(1)    Program Monitoring—including developing tools, guidelines and processes for monitoring the delivery and quality of Mongolia’s free preschool meal program and free textbook provision for secondary students from poor households through proxy means testing;

(2)    Capacity Building—which focused on supporting medium-to long-term institutional reform and capacity development of the Ministry of Education, provincial education departments and schools in: (i) finance and budgeting, (ii) school leadership, and (iii) education management information systems (EMIS);

(3)    Research—which entailed conducting feasibility studies on mechanisms for reducing the costs of school uniforms, increasing community involvement in school-level decision making, and improving classroom instructional environments; and

(4)    Information Dissemination—which included developing multimedia communication strategies and materials to increase school participation in a block grant program for school operation and maintenance funds.

In 2016, ADB bestowed its Most Successful Development Project Award on three projects after an evaluation of eighty ADB-funded development projects in the Asia and the Pacific region. One of the three award recipients was the Education for the Poor—Financial Crisis Response Project in Mongolia.

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