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 Education and 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 Topic Period Budget
Mongolia
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural land resources
Agricultural co-operatives & farmers’ organisations
Agricultural policy

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
Governance
Human rights
Legal and judicial development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020


CHF 4'090'000



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
Mongolia
Governance
Human rights
Mineral/mining policy
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019


CHF 6'265'000



Planned project

Municipal Waste Collection and Transportation Management in Ulaanbaatar

01.04.2023 - 31.12.2024

The project aims to improve Waste Management focusing on the development of an effective collection and transportation system for municipal waste in Ulaanbaatar, to make it financially sustainable and efficient. The intervention focuses on the underserved and least developed areas of the capital city of Mongolia (ger areas) where most poor people reside, and will increase service delivery to citizens, diminish inequalities, increase the economic efficiency of the system and support the implementation of the new law and regulations on waste management.


Governance and Decentralisation Programme Exit Phase (GDP Exit Phase)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

The Exit Phase of the Governance and Decentralisation Programme will consolidate achievements of previous two phases to support decentralisation and democratisation reforms. It will focus on institutionalisation and ensuring sustainability of results to contribute to equitable and sustainable development through decentralized service delivery and enhanced citizen engagement in public affairs, including in the urban areas. Swiss expertise and Swiss decentralisation model will be used.  


Waste Collection and Transportation Management in Ulaanbaatar (WCTM)

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023

The project aims to contribute to an effective, efficient and financially sustainable collection and transportation system for solid waste in Ulaanbaatar, based on Swiss and international practices. The intervention will contribute to improve the services, introduce a transparent tariff system and support the implementation of the new law on waste management. It targets the underserved and least developed areas of the capital (ger areas) where most poor people reside, aiming at decreasing inequalities.


Vocational Education and Training Phase III (VET III) “Youth Employment Promotion”

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2020

The last phase of the project aims at consolidating best practices, streamlining them into the legislative framework and strengthening the capacities of national partners. The approaches and services tested by the project for youth employment, which are based on Swiss and international successful practices in employment promotion, will be integrated into the public systems to improve youth employment policies and their implementation, benefiting all young men and women.


Air Pollution Impact on Health

01.10.2018 - 31.12.2022

This project aims at reducing the risks of air pollution to maternal and child health in urban Mongolia targeting the most polluted areas of Ulaanbaatar and one province centre. This sector governance project establishes evidence linking air pollution and its health impact, pilots and improves risk reduction measures for children and pregnant women, and both will inform policy making. Swiss know-how will be applied, i.e. through involvement of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.


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.


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.


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.

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