Mongolia: Addressing and Preventing Domestic Violence in Mongolia during the COVID-19 Crisis

Project Name Addressing and Preventing Domestic Violence in Mongolia during the COVID-19 Crisis
Project Number 54209-001
Country / Economy Mongolia
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6530-MON: Addressing and Preventing Domestic Violence in Mongolia during the COVID-19 Crisis
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 400,000.00
Operational Priorities OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
Sector / Subsector

Public sector management / Social protection initiatives

Gender Gender equity theme
Description The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will help Mongolia respond to the gender impacts of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and associated measures to mitigate adverse impacts on women and the most vulnerable; namely, gender-based violence and domestic violence. The TA will support the implementation of the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Strategy 2030, particularly the operational priority to accelerate progress on gender equality. The TA is consistent with the objectives of ADB's country partnership strategy, 2017-2020 for Mongolia. The proposed TA will support Mongolia in addressing the steep rise in domestic violence during the crisis and boosting prevention mechanisms through a multi-media communication campaign and increased access to legal and psychosocial counseling.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a matter of serious concern and Mongolia has taken strong actions to respond to the outbreak and reduce the risk of community transmission. Following the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Mongolian National Security Council imposed restrictions on air travel, movement across borders, and school closures. Additional restrictions were imposed, including the cancellation of public events, mandatory quarantine measures, and restrictions on public venues and non-essential retail services.

The measures have had positive results on limiting the rate of transmission, which has remained relatively low compared with countries in the region. However, curtailed economic activity has affected a wide range of sectors including small and medium enterprises, the service sector, and key industries affecting in turn formal and informal workers and impacting people's livelihoods and economic options. The crisis has had a strong impact on gender-based violence, as the number of cases and women resorting to shelters has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic. Women constituted 93% of the victims and approximately 90% of the crimes were committed in a household setting. Police and NGO-run helplines report an increase in calls of 19% and 30%, respectively, while reduced mobility during the quarantine period and social distancing measures have resulted in victims of domestic violence having reduced options for support and counseling. The number of victims of domestic violence requesting shelter services has jumped by 54%, reaching over 910 during the first quarter of 2020, from about 600 victims during the same period in 2019. Domestic violence survivors suffer a range of serious physical and mental health consequences that require urgent responses including emergency services, medical and psychological assessments, and immediate shelter options. However, these critical institutions lack all needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to attend to victims in a safe manner. Furthermore, no protocols are in place to receive victims and shelter them during the emergency to reduce exposure of current residents, and no cost item is available to purchase additional decontamination and disinfection materials for the facilities. The channels to respond to increased demand have remained limited to a police hotline (#107) dedicated to domestic violence emergencies. The sole use of phone-based hotlines, which at present are also unable to take multiple calls, limits the possibility of victims to reach services during the quarantine period as staying in-doors in close proximity of perpetrators can hinder their calls for assistance.

Impact

Adverse impacts of COVID-19 on women, particularly domestic violence reduced.

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Critical response mechanisms for domestic violence maintained and preventive action enhanced.

Progress Toward Outcome The TA has made some progress to help Mongolia respond to the gender impacts of the current outbreak of the corona virus disease (COVID-19) and associated measures to mitigate adverse impacts on women and the most vulnerable and results to date are highly relevant and positive. The TA has supported 100% of shelters for victims of domestic violence and one-stop service centers in Mongolia to remain operational during lockdowns by providing personal protective equipment and disinfection items, and has also supported frontline staff with training on mental health enabling them to cope with stress. Furthermore, the TA has increased access to emergency, information and counselling services by developing additional digital tools such as chatbots to complement the existing domestic violence and police hotlines. The TA organized a hackathon in May 2021, to co-create solutions with young people to address new forms of violence against women such as cyber-bullying.29 shelters/OSSCs out of total 32 (15 out of 17 OSSCs and 14 out of 15 shelter) have provided PPEs and sanitary supplies. [Selection of the OSSC/shelters started in November 2020, and at that time, officially there were 29 OSSC/shelters ]A Training handbook on Mental Health for Frontline Service Providers was developed by Beautiful Hearts, NGO and finalized. Using the training handbook, two virtual trainings were organized for all 34 OSSC/TSs in July 2021. Stress management and mental health 3-day in person training among 60 police psychologist completed by Institute of Applied Psychology. The multimedia national campaign to promote domestic violence chatbot and services and increase awareness of general public is ongoing since August 2022.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Domestic violence response operations supported and shelter capacity increased

Prevention awareness and virtual counselling support services provided

Emergency response mechanism established

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) Despite some delays in early phase of the TA, key activities are well under way. For Output 1, the TA provided 2,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) including protective gowns, surgical masks, gloves, disinfection items, (first aid kits), hand sanitizers, soaps, and infrared thermometers to increase the safety of first responders and shelter residents during the pandemic were procured and delivered to 14 shelter and 15 OSSCs nationwide, and UB Police Dept. Three mobile ultrasound units for examination of victims were provided to the National Institute for Forensic Science. One of the machines was given to Khuvsgul aimag Forensic Laboratory. Under output 2, Mongolian National Broadcaster (MNB)'s communication campaign has started in August 2022 to disseminate over 10 media contents through national TV and radio channels throughout the country. The campaign expected to be completed by November 2022. Chatbot development completed and roll out on 7 Apr 2021. Based on the request by NCAV and NLI, automat-based SMS text message functions to the chatbots to reach out to Mongolians in rural areas, completed by the Anduub Lab in April 2022. The NCAV website (https://safefuture.mn/) in Mongolian is completed and operational from July, 2021 and it is linked to their Facebook page and chatbot services. When someone visit the website, it provides option for chatbot. Mongol Mass Media sub-contracted the NGO 'Start Up to organize and manage this activity that took place between April 10-19. Registration opened on 5 April; 72 teams registered, and 21 teams were selected for a first round and received training on design thinking, proposal development, and pitching provided by Start Up NGO, and on understanding cyberbullying provided by Beautiful Hearts. Following the training, 16 teams remained and pitched their proposals. Of those, 5 teams were selected for a second round and had a week to develop working prototypes. Two prototypes were selected on the second round: (a) team Tarzov, which developed a web-based "Online SOS" sexual harassment reporting platform, with functions of free self-assessment with a chatbot feature, referral services that could potentially be linked to the police, and a database to record cases of cyberbullying; and (b) team #MeToo, which developed the #MeToo brand customizing to Mongolia's context and a prototype online risk assessment tool using game modeling. The developers signed a standard ADB form on Intellectual Property Rights developed for the purpose of hackathons by ADB's IT Department (ITD). Training for OSSC/TS staff completed by Beautiful Hearts (BH) NGO was sub-contracted by MMM media firm. A Handbook was developed by BH and completed after reviewed by TAG and ADB team. Two virtual trainings were organized times for a total of 175 frontline service providers (156 participants were fully attended in the training) from OSSCs and Shelter houses. Each training continued for 360 minutes including 2 consecutive days, each with 180 minutes online sessions. Stress management and mental health 3-day in person training among 60 police psychologist completed by Institute of Applied Psychology in June 2022. Under output 3, a methodology and field data collection approach for the Impact assessment study of emergency support to address and reduce domestic violence during COVID-19 crisis is under way by M&E Specialist/National consultant, while selection of the International Consultant to finalize the impact assessment is under way.
Geographical Location Nation-wide, Ulaanbaatar
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The TA was designed in close consultation with relevant government officials, NGOs and relevant development partners. The key stakeholders from government and non-governmental organizations were extensively consulted during the project design and processing. Specifically, extensive consultations were held with CSOs that will focus on providing domestic violence services to the survivors.
During Project Implementation In response to a sharp increase in domestic violence associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in Mongolia, this TA primarily focused on increasing access to support services and prevention of domestic violence during a crisis by enhancing preventive action. Firstly, personal protective equipment (PPE) was broadly distributed to 14 shelters and 15 one-stop service centers (OSSCs) that provide attention, counseling services, and short-term safe accommodation to survivors of domestic violence. TA boosted the safety of first responders through the procurement of essential PPE, first aid kits, and disinfection items for shelters and OSSCs, and first responder police units across the country as all of them have remained open during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, three mobile ultrasound units for examination of survivors were purchased, as well as information technology hardware to enhance digital counseling operations. The TA also supports expanding information technology and digital infrastructure of the National Legal Institute (NLI) and the nongovernment organization National Center Against Violence (NCAV) to complement existing hotlines and counselling services, such as using chatbots and SMS services. SMS and chatbots are being built and integrated with their websites, so services are available 24/7. In light of the increased demand for psychosocial counseling during lockdown, an additional counselor and operators' salaries under the NCAV and NLI have been provided for the duration of the TA. Amidst lockdown in 2021, virtual training programs on stress management and mental health were conducted for 175 first responders and shelter operators on emergency response in cases of domestic violence/sexual violence. Training of trainers for 60 police psychologists on stress management and mental health also provided by Q2 2022. Additionally, a multimedia communication campaign started to driven traffic to the digital platforms and lead people at risk of violence to know where and how to access options.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services ADB will engage one national consulting firm to deliver activities under output 1 and 2. The firm will deliver (i) content and message development and public awareness-raising activities; (ii) procure medical items for emergency response and desktop equipment to increase outreach and access to digital counseling services; (iii) deliver one hackathon; (iv) provide virtual training on sexual violence case management; and (v) provide virtual psycho-social and mental health training to staff of shelters and OSSC, and design stress management training materials and deliver training of trainers for psychologists of the Police Department. ADB will also engage two individual consultants (a national and an international) for monitoring and evaluation of the TA, and development of knowledge products. Non-consulting services will be procured from a vendor (national) to deliver chatbot development for the NLI and NCAV. Partial lump-sum contracts using performance (output)-based terms of reference will be used as appropriate. ADB will engage the consultants and non-consulting services following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions.
Procurement The TA will procure medical items to increase the safety of first responders and staff and residents in shelters, and increasing response capacity of forensic services, including PPE, portable ultrasound machine, infrared thermometer, disinfection materials and information technology hardware equipment (e.g. desktop computers) to increase digital counseling capacity. The consulting firm will undertake the procurement under the guidance of ADB. The procured PPE and medical equipment will be handed over to MOJHA, relevant ministries and agencies. Those agencies will ensure delivery of goods to the target beneficiaries (e.g. shelters across the country, police units and forensic unit in Ulaanbaatar) and proper disposal of the PPE. The TA will cover the delivery cost of goods to the provinces through land transportation. MOJHA shall include defined responsibilities of the target beneficiaries for operating and maintaining the delivered equipment. Procurement will follow the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions.
Responsible ADB Officer Arora, Chandra
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Mongolia Resident Mission (MNRM)
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs (formerly Ministry of Justice)
Timetable
Concept Clearance 30 Apr 2020
Fact Finding 18 May 2020 to 19 May 2020
MRM -
Approval 25 Jun 2020
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 30 Sep 2022

TA 6530-MON

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
25 Jun 2020 30 Jun 2020 30 Jun 2020 31 Dec 2021 31 Dec 2022 03 Apr 2023
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
400,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 400,000.00 24 Oct 2023 396,614.12

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Source URL: https://www.adb.org/projects/54209-001/main