Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, October 18, 2013 — On October 18 at Khangarid Palace, the Mayor’s Office and The Asia Foundation presented the results and analysis of their joint community mapping initiative in the ger areas to various officials from the City Municipality.
In May 2012, the Foundation started implementation of the Urban Services Project (USP) funded through its Strategic Partnership with Australian Aid. Launched as a pilot project in 11 khoroos of UB ger districts, the Foundation and the City Municipality initiated community mapping in ger areas as part of an effort to introduce an inclusive approach to urban governance and improve urban services available to residents. The results provided local residents, khoroo, district, and city officials with a clear understanding on the process, application, and importance of community mapping.
Recognizing the potential of community mapping, Capital City Governor and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city, Mr. E. Bat-Uul, requested that the Mayor’s Office, with the support of the Foundation, scale up community mapping to all 87 khoroos in the ger districts. In accordance with the Mayor’s Resolution and through a joint effort by the Mayor’s Office, the City Investment Agency, and the Foundation, the process of community mapping of 87 khoroos has been completed.
Community mapping has important implications for identifying the accessibility and coverage of public services in ger areas. This spatial analysis accurately maps the availability and accessibility (based on population size) of indicators such as water kiosks, kindergartens, schools, and health centers at khoroo and district level. It serves as an important tool to facilitate community discussion on improving ger area services and increase participation of local residents and community leaders in the decision-making process. Community mapping also serves as a mechanism for creating evidence-based investment decisions by prioritizing needs in terms of service delivery to the ger area residents.
The results and analysis of the ger area community mapping will be employed as a decision-making tool in the discussions on the Ulaanbaatar city 5-year investment plan and the 2014 budget deliberation. The Foundation will support the city in making community mapping a sustainable tool, including through the development of a website. This online resource will be designed with the goal of making community maps available for local and regional city municipality offices, and enable UB citizens to print and comment on maps. The Foundation will continue its support to the city management to use the maps as a means to improve strategic planning and policy making to foster inclusive urban governance.