About & Methodology
About Accountability Counsel
Accountability Counsel amplifies the voices of communities around the world to protect their human rights and environment. As advocates for people harmed by internationally financed projects, we employ community driven and policy level strategies to access justice.
Accountability Counsel has provided advice to herders in this case since 2012. As advisors to herders, our objective in developing these reports is to monitor progress on implementation and bring transparency to the process while also advocating for agreement implementation that leads to the greatest benefit for herders.
Our updated 2020 interactive report assesses the implementation of the 60 commitments listed in Final Agreement #1 and #2, agreed and signed by the Tripartite Council in May 2017, and builds on Accountability Counsel’s 2019 report, From Paper to Progress. As the original Agreements listed some commitments in multiple locations, this report re-numbers the list and deletes repeated commitments to improve readability and provide a more accurate progress assessment.
We note a few changes from our methodology in our 2019 report. First, for our 2020 report, we have broken out the unique sub-commitments contained within commitment number 34 “Khanbogd Soum Animal Husbandry Sector Development Program through 2024.” This commitment involves several substantial sub-commitments that were appended to Agreement #1 as Annex B. We have decided this year to track these sub-commitments separately as commitments 34a - 34m.
Second, we made updates to the four benchmarks we are tracking to simplify and add clarity regarding our assessment of where the commitment is with respect to the original timelines set out in the 2017 Agreements. Our benchmarks are defined as follows:
- Not started. This benchmark means no progress has been made to date on the commitment. In some cases, the commitment was not yet expected to start, such as commitments #34.l. (establishing a livestock product processing plant) and #34.m. (establishing a camel and sheep wool processing plant). In other cases, such as commitment #3 (opening additional pastures) the original timeline for starting the commitment has long passed, but no progress has been made.
- Delayed. This benchmark means that implementation of the commitment has started but is behind based on the original timeline set out in the original agreements from May 2017. In a few cases, such as commitment #6 (camp cadaster), although the commitment is behind the original timeline, if the progress made indicates that it is nearing completion within a year, we have marked it as “in progress.”
- In progress. This benchmark means that implementation of the commitment is tracking the timeline set out in the original agreement. It does not indicate whether the commitment has run into obstacles or challenges that need to be resolved to ensure the intended goal is achieved. This type of information is provided in the narrative for the commitment (see, for example, commitment #12 on construction of new hand wells). As indicated above, in a few cases although the commitment is behind the original timeline, if the progress made indicates that it is nearing completion within a year, we have marked it as “in progress.” Some commitments require a periodic activity to be performed on a regular basis, or may involve ongoing action. In such cases, the commitment will state that it involves ongoing implementation. Ongoing commitments are tagged as complete once they have been running for long enough that it is clear they are working well and sustainably. For example, for the participatory environmental monitoring program, this may mean that the first cycle of all monitoring activities has been completed and there are no known barriers to continuing the program.
- Completed. This benchmark means that the commitment has been completed. In some cases a commitment may be largely completed but still involve ongoing implementation. This can occur when the commitment is largely defined by a single, large project being implemented, which then requires ongoing monitoring (see, for example, commitment #22 on improving OT’s grievance mechanism. In such cases, the commitment will state that it involves ongoing implementation.
For reference, the benchmarks tracked in our 2019 report included the following:
- Development of a detailed plan for implementation
- Approval of funding
- Initiation of implementation process
- Completion of implementation process
All assessments are based on a series of interviews, conducted in June 2019, with a diverse set of stakeholders including TPC representatives from all parties (the government, OT, and herders), affected herders who have benefited or stand to benefit from Agreement implementation, Munkh Nogoon Galba NGO engaged in the participatory environmental monitoring, and an independent NGO that was hired to assist with implementation of major community development commitments. In total, interviews with 28 individuals were conducted. Information was also derived from: first-person observation of TPC meetings in June 2019; review of TPC meeting minutes and joint statements from May 2017 to the present; and review of other documents relevant to implementation progress. A draft of this report was shared with all parties to the TPC, inviting comments to ensure accuracy and completeness.