Selenge Development Project Evaluation Report, November 2007 (Final evaluation report)
Background Selenge Development Program (SDP) has had 3 project periods: 1995-2001; 2001-2005; 2006-2008. The overall goal for the last period is to protect and increase the stock of fine wool sheep, to enable farmers to do a sustainable breeding work and to increase their income potential. The planned activities for the period under review (January 2006 - November 2007) include:• Establish wool shearing units, laboratories, breeding parks with equipment and tools and insemination units, and training centers in every soum.• Establish genetic fund research and registration network, and distribute them to the registration databases of the associations.• Establish a network of using and breeding "Qualified rams"• Establish a standard for the different breeds, and develop a system for the classification and assessment of wool• Share the experiences and lessons learned of Intensive Farming with the herders• Organize training in order to improve the herders' knowledge on breeding work and distribute handbooks and manuals• Focus on pasture owning• Support herders' cooperatives and help them to create cooperatives.• Provide herders with semi-fine and fine wool sheep and modern equipment• Provide support and train selected people in computer skills, programming and developing programs.• Create a database for the associations• Assist in the creation of a financial source for the associations. Purpose/objective The evaluation aimed to summarize planning, organization, activities, outcomes and sustainability of animal husbandry. It also focused on making recommendations and guidelines for the transfer of project activities to the local partners and for the ensuring of sustainability of the partners on the bases of their capability and local recourses. Methodology The evaluation team reviewed the documents of animal husbandry project, plan of the project team in 2005-2007, and annual reports. The team visited the project sites and met with herders involved in the project. Questionnaires, interviews and a workshop were performed. The team also interviewed people representing the local partners. Key findings Through the engagement of SDP, the interest of breeding fine wool sheep has been restored, and the farmers have become active in the wool market and have started benefiting from the project activities. So far, the price for 1 kg. of wool has increased by 8 times and the skin by 5 times. This has significantly affected the farmers' income. The farmers are organized into groups and the motivation of cooperation among them is being strengthened. The farmers were trained in practical tools for sheep farming, which has contributed to ensure sustainability. As a result of breeding activities accomplished by the project, the number of fine and semi-fine wool sheep increased. The number of purebreds in 2007 increased by 2.5 times and1.6 times the numbers from 2005 and 2006. The number of semi-fine wool crossbred sheep accounted for 14.6% in 2006 and 28.6% in 2007. Consequently, sheep wool quality has been improved, and less wool of poor quality has been sold. Recommendations • Contract for handing over the farm has to be worked out by SDP. This contract should secure the herders' interests in the farm in the future.• No more investments should be given from SDP in 2008.• Facilitate the herder groups in their work to organize themselves and get legal registration and activities promoting team-spirit. Emphasis in the trainings should be on business skills, fodder- and vegetable-growing, breeding- and foddering-work.• Work out internal regulations for use of technical support and investments provided by SDP.• A local share when SDP is organizing activities is absolutely essential not to create further dependency on SDP.• SDP is recommended to facilitate the vegetable-growing activity with other partners working on healthy nutrition education to get synergism effects.• No financial support should be given to the mentors in 2008. SDP has to work out a solution with the herder group how this should be handled in the future.• FSWBA, the partner chosen for restocking activity, does not meet the necessary requirements. This must be in order by the end of first quarter 2008.• Time is a critical factor and SDP should therefore until then make some investigations regarding the possibility to find other partners for this activity.• Strengthen the herder groups' participation and role in the decision making process for choosing new families to be restocked.• Improve the current pay back system for the restocking program in order to secure sustainability. This has to he cleared up internally in the SDP staff and NLM-M. Comments from the organisation The project has been encouraged to follow up the recommendations given in the evaluation report, with specific attention to the challenges regarding the local partner FWSBA. It has also been requested that the project makes a revised phase-out plan based on the findings of the evaluation report.