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. Based on the international cooperation strategy 2021-2024, Switzerland will phase out its bilateral cooperation programme in Mongolia by 2024, after 20 years of successful collaboration.

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

Approach 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. Based on the international cooperation strategy 2021-2024, Switzerland will phase out its bilateral cooperation programme in Mongolia by 2024. Switzerland will ensure a responsible phasing out and pay particular attention to maintain the results achieved so far.

Current projects

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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.



Mainstreaming Social Accountability in Mongolia (MASAM)

01.08.2020 - 31.07.2023

The 2nd and last phase aims to strengthen civil society and public sector agencies’ capacities in linking (a) policy planning and implementation, including in the health sector, and (b) budget planning and execution (public investments). Social Accountability mechanisms will enable the Government of Mongolia to improve the delivery of key services and impacts of public investment projects on people’s livelihood. The WB and SDC are leading partners in mainstreaming Social Accountability in Mongolia.



Governance and Decentralisation Programme Exit Phase (GDP Exit Phase)

Khoroo organizers participate in “Citizen-centered civil service” training organized by the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar Training Center established in 2017.

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.  


Understanding and Managing internal migration in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar city suburban distrct view

01.08.2019 - 31.07.2023

This project aims to contribute to improved management of internal migration in Mongolia - the main driving force behind rapid urbanization which poses increasing development challenges to the capital city Ulaanbaatar and rural areas of origin. Consistent integration of the migration perspective into planning and implementation of policies and actions will mitigate negative consequences of unmanaged migration and thus contribute to poverty reduction. Switzerland will add value to the project through its long-standing expertise in the migration field.


Waste Collection and Transportation Management in Ulaanbaatar (WCTM)

View of Ulaanbaatar city

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.


Air Pollution Impact on Health

air polluted suburban area in UB

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)

Openning launch of the thermofitted kindergarden in Songinokhairhan district

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.


Third Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP3)

01.09.2012 - 31.12.2021

The Third Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP3) aims to foster improved rural local governance and effective service provision by building capacity and institutionalizing community participation in the planning and delivery of priority investments. It will do so by supporting the implementation of the new Integrated Budget Law (IBL), which is the centrepiece of the government’s decentralization reform process. SLP3 will provide essential training, development and performance grants to all 330 soums and benefit 40% of Mongolia’s population.

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