Sustainable Development and Integrated Management Approach

United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security Project

Rehabilitation of Boarding Schools and Provision of Refresher Training Course for Headmasters and Teachers in the Dzud affected Gobi Desert Provinces in Mongolia

(Report contributed by Willy Yanto Wijaya — Feb 2009)

1. Summary of the Project

1.1. Background of the Project

Natural disaster called Dzud (extremely cold winter) had severely hit Mongolia in 1999-2001. This disaster killed approximately 6 million livestock (25% of total herd in Mongolia), affecting 13 aimags (country subdivision) in Mongolia. Dzud also damaged school buildings and dormitories, paralyzed the heating system, which resulted in the loss of teaching time (up to 200 hours). Consequently, many teachers were attempted to search for more stable jobs in aimag centers. In the past (1990), Mongolia had achieved high literacy rate of 96.5%. However, over the last 15 years, enrollment ratio for children had fallen from 98% to 84%. Furthermore, share of education in Mongolia GDP also fell from 11.5% (1990) to 6.8% (1998).

1.2. Objectives of the Project

Concerning the problem and difficulties faced by Mongolia, UN Trust Fund for Human Security through UNESCO had constructed a project to help Mongolia government improving the quality of education with a safe school environment. This was done by implementing specific policies and programs such as:

  • Improving the learning environment through the rehabilitation of school buildings and dormitories in Dzud-affected areas
  • Improving the quality of teaching and classroom management through the introduction of learner/ child-centered teaching methodology
  • Increasing participation of students in learning process
  • Increasing motivation, confidence and commitment among teachers in remote provinces through mobile in-service teacher training

1.3. Mongolia Characteristics

To implement this project, understanding characteristics of Mongolia is certainly indispensable. In general, several notable characteristics of Mongolia to be considered are: nomad life, disperse population, huge gaps between cities and rural areas, harsh climate, difficult geographical conditions, lack of electricity and power, lack of transportation infrastructures, as well as strong interest of the people for information.

1.4. Stakeholders Mapping/ Analysis

Fig.1. Major Stakeholders Mapping in Mongolia Project

Major stakeholders in this project are described in Fig.1. Each of these stakeholders has important roles in the project realization. In the Fig.1, we can see that headmasters, teachers, and students form a core part (school environment), which became the target of the project implementation. UNESCO and UNICEF, utilizing funding from UN HQ, conducted planning and supervision to the National and Local Project Team. They have critical roles in the project conceptualization, implementation, as well as supervising the project. National and Local Project Teams were formed by elements from Mongolia government as well as Mongolia State University of Education. They have the primary and important roles for conducting the training activities for the teachers/ headmasters. This training, together with the rehabilitation done by local construction company, are essentially the project activities. Tokyo Tech also played important role initially as a consultant and giving technical assistance to the project teams. Besides, Tokyo Tech also subtracted feedbacks from the headmasters/ teachers later for evaluating and improving the project implementation. Further, alumni and parents/ local people are also worth-to-be-noticed stakeholders. Their participation such as donations and voluntary works are also a helping hand for the project sustainability in the future.


2. Sustainability of the Project

In my opinion, to reach the phase of “sustainability”, development project/ collaboration must certainly fulfill the “feasibility” phase as well as “effectiveness” phase beforehand, as shown by Fig.2.

Fig.2. Sustainability Phase of Development Project

Feasibility study is a preliminary study before starting a project. In this Mongolia project, we suppose that there are four main points to conduct the feasibility: gathering data and preliminary information; comparing these data and other possible options; determining basic supports for the project such as fund, facility and access; as well as considering potential and risk assessment concerning the project implementation.

When the implementation of the project could fulfill these feasibility criteria in a certain level of satisfactory degree, then next important point is the effectiveness of project implementation. “Effectiveness” here has more concern with the actual implementation (running) of the project activities. The general ideas to evaluate the project activities are, for example, whether the project is being conducted effectively and efficiently, as well as whether there is sufficient stability in the operation of the project. Even though if the project has fulfilled the feasibility and effectiveness criteria, in order to last sustainably into the future, the project must still meet the sustainability aspects. Some key points in this sustainability aspect are whether the project is/ will be giving benefits; long lasting; will be conducted with synchronous cooperation among stakeholders; as well as fulfilling the specific sustainability criteria.

What are the specific sustainability criteria for this Mongolia project? Certainly there are plenties; however, several main ones are listed as follow:

  • Continuous supports from the government, headmasters/ teachers, alumni, and other stakeholders
  • Appropriate and acceptable contents of training materials
  • Stable electricity supply for distance learning
  • Good quality of training materials and construction works
  • Active participation of schools in monitoring, feedback and evaluation
  • Human resources capable to maintain the facilities of distance learning and school buildings
  • Income generation activities of the school

Therefore, we can view the definition of sustainability for this Mongolia project as “effective, efficient, and stable continuation of the project activities (training and maintenance of facilities) by collaboration among stakeholders in a way that it could give significant benefits, long lasting and fulfill the specific sustainability criteria”.


Development Model for Energy

Well, now let’s proceed to another development discussion i.e. the development model for energy. As we have discussed in the previous section, in order to achieve sustainability, many factors and requirements have to be met. The same case also happen in the energy field, and even it is more complicated and wide-scope. Energy is indeed an inter-sectoral and complex field, composing of wide range of stakeholders, as well as influencing the “well-being” level of current humans’ civilizations. However, we will try to simplify our analysis in certain aspects, as well as proposing new ideas regarding cooperation among nations through United Nations (UN).

Fig.3. Sustainable Development Model for Energy

Figure 3 shows our proposed development model of energy sector. Here, we have the society (composed of households, public sectors, various industries, etc) as the huge consumers of energy and thus need the access to energy resources. These energy resources, before being able to be accessed, are managed and handled first by the energy industries (which are owned by government or private sectors). Certainly, the main body of government should construct regulations and laws regarding these energy resources exploitation and distribution (such as pricing restrictions, resources exploitation quotas, etc). The energy industries will get the capital flow and need assessment from the society as consumers, as well as give feedbacks to the government as ideas for energy policies improvements. Environmental NGOs also should be formed by the society to monitor the operation of those energy industries regarding the environmental protection. Besides, since energy resources are limited, new technology and improvement must be constantly researched in order to fulfill our future energy needs. Here comes the role of education and engineering research institutions. These institutions could be established by the government as well as by the energy industries, which are aimed mainly for the technology development of energy field. This technology development should be based on local context (the nation’s potentials of energy resources) as well as targeted at better energy utilization and development.

Since energy is a global issue and could connect to other sectors such as climate change, food, health concerns; cooperation among countries is certainly unavoidably needed. This cooperation could include technology transfer as well as cooperation for energy resources access and security. Further, it is also interesting to note that until now, there is even no special agency in UN (except IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency) which handles the problems of world energy. This is really unfortunate, since many under-developed countries couldn’t have technologies to extract and utilize their potential energy resources for increasing their welfare. In this development model, we proposed that new agency in UN have to be established, to deal with the increasing variety of energy resources and utilization, as well as severely growing problems of energy lacking in many parts of the world.

In order to be sustainable, the energy policies by the government must at least cover following aspects:

  • Energy efficiency and conservation strategies
  • Society and energy access policies (energy availability and distribution for the society)
  • Environmental impact policies (regarding pollution and climate changes)
  • Technology development (inter-disciplinary fields).

Besides, there should also exist synchronous cooperation among stakeholders within a nation, as well as among nations; fulfilling at least above-mentioned four specific sustainability criteria; and giving benefits/ conserving the environment, socio-cultural as well as economic growth. By fulfilling these all, at least the first phase to realize “sustainable energy development” has been stepped in; waiting for the next-phase-challenges of unpredictable energy future to be faced later.



[1] BD Clayton, S Bass. Sustainable Development Strategies: A Resource Book. Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 2002.

[2] Global Challenge Global Opportunity: Trends in Sustainable Development (UN document), available at:

[3] J Takada, SY Yamaguchi. Presentation slides of SDIMA classes. Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2008.

[4] D Fischer. History of the International Atomic Energy Agency. IAEA Publication, 1997.

[5] G Olah, S Prakash, A Goeppert. Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy. Wiley-VCH, 2006.

One Response to Sustainable Development and Integrated Management Approach

  1. I have a tendency to go along with every little thing that was in
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