The SDC is supporting Mongolia in the implementation of a national reform programme based on decentralisation, encouraging citizens to participate in the political process. Switzerland is also helping to introduce sustainable livestock and other farming activities in the context of efforts to improve economic conditions in rural areas.

Map of Mongolia

Mongolia finds itself at a critical juncture of the development process. Following a relatively peaceful period of democratisation and transformation from a socialist system to a market economy, it is in the midst of a mining boom. The country’s future will depend on its ability to translate this new source of wealth into sustainable and socially equitable economic growth. Having accepted this challenge, Mongolia has launched an important reform programme.

Agriculture and food security

Improved incomes and living conditions for the rural population

Through a wide range of projects designed to increase productivity in livestock and other farming activities, improve access to markets and reduce production risks, the SDC is helping to improve living conditions for the rural population. Together with the World Bank, the SDC has financed projects for the cultivation of potatoes and the insurance of livestock. Thanks to this insurance the families of 16,000 livestock farmers are effectively protected against the total loss of their sustenance.

The SDC focuses above all on strengthening collective forms of organisation, such as pastoral cooperatives and entrepreneurship. Since 2004 the Agency has helped herders to organise the sustainable management of pastureland. As a result more than 60,000 herder families have been organised into 680 pastureland groups and 50 cooperatives, enabling them to increase their income.

Agriculture and food security

Vocational training

Facilitated access to the labour market

The SDC is helping Mongolia reform the vocational training sector, and is replanning curricula in the western provinces. Greater involvement of the private sector should ensure a more practical approach to vocational training. The SDC is also promoting the training of middle-aged herders of both sexes who have lacked access to the regular vocational training system.

Basic education and vocational training

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

Satisfied citizens thanks to good governance and participation

The SDC is also supporting projects initiated by the government for the implementation of reform through decentralisation. Members of the executive and legislative branches are being introduced to their new roles in all provinces and municipalities, while at the same time civil society organisations and citizens in general are being encouraged to participate in political processes at the community level.

Advocacy and Good Governance

History of cooperation

From “dzud” disaster relief to reform through decentralisation

The Swiss commitment in Mongolia began in 2001 with a humanitarian relief effort for herders affected by winter conditions (“dzud”) severe enough to kill off the livestock and threaten the existence of the rural population. In 2004 the SDC decided on a long term commitment so as to address the structural problem of pastureland management, and for this purpose opened a Cooperation Office in Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar).

Initially (2007–12) the cooperation strategy focused on the sustainable management of natural resources and the creation of alternative sources of income for rural populations. It was during this period that a mining boom occurred, making more urgent the need for solid economic and political institutions to ensure transparent management of the commodities sector.

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 16

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
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Legal and judicial development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Protection and access
Access to information incl. support to media and ICT

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 Topic Period Budget
Non agricultural value-chain development
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019

CHF 5'465'000

Green Gold and Animal Health Project consolidation

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

The project aims to consolidate and upscale good practices of sustainable rangeland management, marketing of livestock products and improved animal health in order to contribute to improved livelihood of herder’s households, representing 70% of the rural population. SDC intends to secure and end its investments in the livestock sector in Mongolia by increasing sustainability of herder’s organisations and by ensuring institutionalisation of sustainable rangeland management and improved animal health systems.

Strengthening of Representative Bodies in Mongolia (SRB)

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.



[1] Sub-national self-governing bodies/ local assemblies/local parliaments (khurals) = aimag khurals (21) and soum khurals (356)



Global Credit for Outlook 2020 and Culture

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2018

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)


01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019

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)

01.05.2015 - 30.04.2019

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 - 31.12.2018

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.

Scholarships Programme in Mongolia

20.10.2014 - 31.05.2018

Access to a higher education is a key element in the poverty reduction strategy of the Mongolian Government. Well-educated people can work in the secondary and tertiary sectors, the later already contributing about 50% to the GDP of Mongolia. Yet because many herders live at a subsistence or even lower level, higher education is not affordable without a reduction in animal numbers below the minimum level for an absolute minimal living standard.


Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

01.12.2013 - 31.12.2017

Education for sustainable development (ESD) project is SDC and Government of Mongolia co-funded project that aims to mainstream ESD principles in Mongolia and to support creating legal and institutional framework that is conducive for sustainable development.

“Education for sustainable development” project will closely collaborate with 628 schools, government organizations, private sector and civil society organizations for promoting and mainstreaming sustainable development which defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs”.

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