Analysis on the exit strategy of ODA for sustainability: a case study from the Greenbelt Plantation Project of Mongolia

  • Kim, Ki Hyun (Organization and Management Innovation Division, Korea Forest Service) ;
  • Kim, Se Bin (Department of Environment and Forest Resources, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2020.03.05
  • Accepted : 2020.07.03
  • Published : 2020.09.01


Official development assistance (ODA) projects are conducted under the auspices of donor countries and on the principle of time-limited implementation for economic development and welfare improvement in a host country. Exit strategies on how to end official assistance are therefore crucial. Sudden economic recession in a donor country could lead to the suspension of ODA projects, which would affect diplomatic relations and project outcomes. Further, exit strategies can help continue the original project and create links with other ODA projects. This study shows how to employ exit strategies in the Korea-Mongolia Greenbelt Plantation Project and has implications for sustainability of development assistance. Exist strategies were not taken into consideration initially. In the course of implementation and management transfer upon the completion of plantation, various facets were considered later on in developing exit strategies. An ideal exit strategy is to reach the extent to which a host country no longer needs official assistance or has capacity of project implementation on its own. A year-by-year transfer of planted areas can be a phase-over strategy. The Korea Forest Service fulfilled transparent cooperation with Mongolian local governments, established appropriate arrangements with stakeholders, secured institutional and financial foundation for follow-up management by a host country, and realized predictability, responsibility, and sustainability. As a local institution, the plantation technology management center has been established for follow-up activities such as the introduction of agro-forestry. When the Korea Forest Service designed an urban forest project as an exit strategy, sustainability was ensured, which has implications in implementing other ODA projects.


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