Mongolia

Switzerland contributes to improved citizens’ participation, inclusion of the civil society in state policy and better access to public services. It also supports the vulnerable rural and peri-urban population with programmes related to agriculture and food security, as well as to labour markets through vocational skills development.

Map of Mongolia
© FDFA

After the breakdown of communism in late 1989, Mongolia has undergone social and economic changes with a successful transition to a democratic multiparty system and a market economy. The country’s progress in poverty reduction, fuelled by an unprecedented mining boom until 2013, has suffered a setback. As a result, poverty increased from 21.6% in 2014 to 29.6% in 2016. Nevertheless, Mongolia’s rich mineral resources provide it with a historic opportunity to lift itself into the ranks of industrialised countries within a generation, but such rapid development is also linked to socio-economic risks as it may challenge and question traditional ways of life, hierarchies and access to resources.

Agriculture and food security

Improving living conditions of small-scale farmers and herders

Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), contributes to improving living conditions for the rural and peri-urban vulnerable population by addressing issues such as productivity increase in crop and livestock production, improved access to markets and reducing risks, especially related to recurrent natural disasters. To protect rangeland and increase the livelihood of herders, SDC supported the establishment of 1,300 pasture-user groups (PUGs), representing more than 42,000 households. The PUGs introduce sustainable rangeland management practices, establish micro-credit schemes, create linkages with raw material processors and improve winter preparedness.

Agriculture and food security 

Vocational training

Better access to employment with vocational training

Switzerland is seeking to improve the employability of rural women and men with vocational training. SDC interventions contribute to improvements in the quality and image of vocational training in the country by training school management and teachers, updating the curricula of selected professions, and providing modern equipment and tools. More than 10 colleges and almost 11’000 students benefited of the collaboration. Through partnerships with the governing authorities and the private sector, vocational training is focused on the needs of the labour market. It mostly targets middle-aged herders and ex-herders who cannot enrol in formal education. In secondary education, the core curriculum was revised in line with the Education for Sustainable Development concept and applied to all 628 Mongolian schools by ministerial order.

Basic education and vocational training

Reform of the State, local governance and participation of the citizens

Supporting decentralisation efforts and civic participation

SDC contributes to improved access to and quality of public services at the local level, the strengthening of citizens’ participation in decision-making, and the improvement of the legal environment for local governance. Through the SDC’s projects, members of provincial and municipal governments acquire the skills necessary to take on new fiscal, political and administrative responsibilities. SDC contributed to the introduction of 45 One-Stop Shops (OSS) at the sub-national level, offering a series of public administrative services. The government established more than 150 OSS with their own funding. Thanks to the SDC’s projects in pilot mining sites, artisanal miners’ conditions have improved through the gradual formalisation of the sector. Artisanal mining activity is now legally recognised. Registered miners can benefit from social and public services. The average income increased by 67% between 2014 and 2016.

Advocacy and Good Governance

Gender

Gender is addressed in all the SDC’s projects throughout the three domains of activity. Equal access to assets and knowledge, and balanced participation in project processes and decision-making are supported. Moreover, a comprehensive intervention to fight gender-based and domestic violence started in 2016 addressing a key concern in Mongolia.

Gender equality

Aproach and Partners

Mongolian, Swiss and international implementing partners, including governmental organisations at national and sub-national levels, UN organizations and International Financial Institutions, Civil Society Organisations and private sector entities. In terms of policy development and dialogue, Switzerland is committed to develop alliances and advocate for joint donor positions.

History of cooperation

Switzerland’s cooperation with Mongolia started in 2001, initially providing humanitarian aid for herders who had lost all or large parts of their animals due to extremely harsh weather conditions. In 2004, the humanitarian programme evolved into a development programme. According the  Cooperation Strategy 2018-2021, Switzerland is active in three domains: Agriculture and Food Security, Basic Education and Vocational Training, and Good Governance.

 

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 14

Sustainably managed pastures and healthy animals: Mongolia's 'green gold'

A woman holding a blue bucket tends to a herd of yak in a vast grassland landscape.

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the number of livestock in Mongolia has nearly tripled – to the detriment of the country's grasslands. The SDC is supporting an array of measures to encourage the sustainable use of pastureland, and to improve animal health and the marketing of livestock products. These efforts are helping to safeguard the livelihoods of nomadic herder families.

Country/region Period Budget
Mongolia

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020


CHF 7'776'000



Confronting and combating gender-based violence in Mongolia

Two female Mongolian social workers.

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020

Gender-based violence has been on the rise in Mongolia since the turn of the millennium. Yet because of a serious lack of data, the extent of the phenomenon is difficult to assess and a culture of impunity continues to hold sway.  The SDC plans to conduct a national survey to address this problem.  At the same time, it intends to strengthen institutions, put in place appropriate services and raise public awareness.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mongolia
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Protection and access
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Human rights
Human rights

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020


CHF 4'390'000



Sustainable Artisanal Mining

A miner drilling rock in search of gold.

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019

With the boom in the informal mining sector at the start of the 2000s, the Mongolian government, with support from the SDC, launched a project for sustainable artisanal mining in 2005. The project’s aim is to formalise and legalise these activities while developing the capacities of the miners.

Country/region Period Budget
Mongolia

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019


CHF 6'265'000



Public Investment in Energy Efficiency Phase 2 (PIE2)

01.12.2017 - 31.12.2021

PIE2 aims to increase effectiveness of Public Investment Management (PIM) and of Public Finance Management (PFM) replicating and upscaling the achievements of PIE1 in the two poorest districts of Ulaanbaatar city. Improved PIM and PFM capacities, practices, procedures and regulations will be applied to the thermoretrofitting of public buildings, i.e. 20 schools and kindergartens, aiming for demonstration effect for replication. The need to improve education facilities corresponds to a top priority for UB citizens.



Strengthening of Representative Bodies in Mongolia (SRB)

People actively participate in the bagh meeting

15.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

The project aims to make Mongolia’s sub-national local assemblies (khurals)[1] more responsive and accountable to citizens, ensuring youth participation and realising the rights of the poor and marginalised. A comprehensive capacity-development strategy will be implemented that addresses the legal and institutional environment, the organisational capacity of local councils and the competencies of locally elected politicians. Gender equality and pro-poor approaches are mainstreamed in the project’s design and in its results framework.


Global Credit for Outlook 2020 and Culture

01.07.2016 - 31.12.2018

The Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Mongolia aims to utilise a flexible and efficient tool to pilot new areas, forms and modalities of cooperation for the strategic strengthening of the programme in view of the development of the new Country strategy and post- 2020 cooperation. Culture projects will support local initiatives that strengthen cultural and artistic diversity.


Inclusive and sustainable vegetable production and marketing (VEGI)

01.03.2016 - 31.12.2019

Built on the successful SDC support of the potato sector, the VEGI project intends to contribute to poverty alleviation through a growing vegetable sector in Mongolia. Supports for increased and diversified production, storage, processing, marketing, consumption and a conducive legal framework will contribute to improved livelihood of rural households and to a more diversified economy. In order to foster its poverty focus, the VEGI project promotes vegetable gardening and consumption by poor households in peri-urban areas as well.


Vocational Skills Development (VSD II)

01.03.2016 - 28.02.2019

The second phase of the project focuses on consolidating the results achieved thus far in the development of the short-term skills development and career guidance services. Moreover it will upgrade the schools’ capacities in provision of long-term vocational trainings in the selected most demanded occupations. Interventions in six Western aimags, Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, South-Gobi and Choir will enhance the employability of around 180’000 young and adult women and men.  


Vocational Education and Training Phase II (VET II)

Mongolia-VETschool-vegetableprocessing

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018

VET II aims to contribute to equitable and sustainable social and economic development in Mongolia through the promotion of youth employment. The project will be integrated into public systems to improve youth employment policies and their implementation, benefiting all young men and women. A pro-poor and gender equality focus is mainstreamed in the project’s design and its results framework.


Mainstreaming Social Accountability in Mongolia (MASAM)

social-accountability

01.05.2015 - 30.04.2020

The project aims to mainstream social accountability for more transparent, accountable and effective public resource management at national and local levels by (1) increasing the capacity of CSOs to hold government to account; and (2) strengthening the institutionalization of social accountability by improving the effectiveness, formalization and sustainability of disclosure and participation mechanisms. Through social accountability, citizens in poor localities will have increased access to public decision-making processes and quality services.


Governance and Decentralisation Programme Phase II (GDP II)

01.04.2015 - 31.12.2019

Governance and Decentralisation Programme Phase II (GDP II) aims to support Mongolia’s decentralisation reform process by fostering local governments which are empowered, democratic, and accountable to citizens, and which provide sustainable services responding to citizens’ needs. GDP II is working in close collaboration with Mongolian counterpart organizations to strengthen national ownership. The programme is expected to have a nationwide impact, benefitting all local governments as well as citizens (men and women) of Mongolia. A pro-poor and gender equality focus is explicitly mainstreamed in the programme’s design and its results framework.

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