|Environmental Public Awareness Handbook - Case Studies and Lessons Learned in Mongolia (EPAP, 1999, 88 pages)|
|Chapter One: Designing and Establishing the Programme|
|A Proposed Model and Structure|
EPAP was executed through a Programme Implementation Unit (PIU), functioning under the auspices of the Mongolian Ministry of Nature and Environment. An Advisory Group provided feedback and acted as a steering committee and a Grants Committee oversaw the funding of small EPA projects. Technical support was provided through short-term consultants who provided training and inputs and evaluated the small EPA projects and the overall programme itself. The monitoring and evaluation of the projects led to a progressive reworking of the model, while maintaining the same overall objectives. What follows is a highlight of the structure used under EPAP, suggested here as a framework for the implementation and operation of similar programmes.
1. Programme Implementation Unit: The PIU have responsibility for the overall management of the programme. They put together the training modules, coach and guide the participants through the development of EPA project proposals, establish the criteria guiding the approval process and oversee the implementation of the projects and monitor their progress. As well, they foster cooperation and partnerships between NGOs and CBOs, and with government and other environmental donor projects and coordinate activities with other environmental programmes. Following an evaluation of the projects the PIU channels field action into policy recommendations and decisions
2. Advisory Group: This is the programme's steering committee. The PIU reports to them on their plans and activities for feedback and advice. Typically they are made up of representatives of the participating organizations and agencies - active environmental NGOs and CBOs environmental government agencies key government of officials and representatives from other donor-supported environment projects.
3. Grants Committee: This body oversees the approval of the small EPA projects. Their approval is based on the established project criteria and recommendations of the PIU. Care should be taken to ensure that the process does not become too politicized, which will weaken the credibility of the programme and the impact of the EPA projects themselves. This group typically includes a representative from the PIU, the government, the donor, the media and an outside EPA expert.
4. Technical Support: Short-term consultants provide expert inputs such as initial support in setting up the institutional framework and the training programme, undertaking independent evaluations of EPA projects and reviewing of the whole programme. Local consultants may provide inputs as well, relating to collecting data and undertaking surveys and developing an EPA strategy to coordinate all EPA activities in the country.
5. Monitoring: The monitoring process is crucial to ensure EPA projects stay on track and are completed on time as successfully as possible. Most fledgling NGOs, CBOs and government agencies may lack experience in undertaking EPA projects. The implementation of EPA projects is therefore a real learning experience for them. Monitoring provides ongoing support and feedback on their activities. This happens both informally in the PIU office or during field visits, and at a monitoring workshop where the project managers present a progress report for feedback to a panel of "experts" and to their co-participants in the programme. The feedback can help to adjust workplans and budgets, provide ideas on better products and messages and provide much needed moral support.
6. Evaluation: This involves two components - a self-evaluation in the form of a final report in which the project manager provides information and opinions on how the work was actually undertaken and what they learned from the process. And an independent evaluation - by the PIU or better yet by outside experts - that identifies the relevance, impact and sustainability of these projects. Measuring these aspects is difficult, but by surveying project managers and target groups, the impact of the project on these two key beneficiaries can be determined to a reasonably extent.