Urban Governance and Transparency in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Program Year: 2017
The Foundation’s “Urban Governance Project” works in close collaboration with the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar to strengthen sub-municipal governments’ capacity for planning and delivering local public services, and respond to the priorities voiced by citizens in the city’s vast, unplanned ger areas. Some of the ways this work has contributed to increasing citizen participation include: piloting a simplified, user-friendly citizen survey form for utilizing a Local Development Fund, and disseminating maps with detailed information on projects and services. These unique maps contain specific, visual information on Local Development Fund projects specific to each local administrative area, and have been distributed to 33-project areas, accounting for 330,000 citizens, for their use in public budget consultations.
Compared to the prior year, the percentage of households that returned their filled-in LDF survey forms increased on average by 8.2% in the 33 administrative areas covered by the project. The Urban Governance Project’s small grant assistance has enhanced citizen access to 12 priority services including water, electricity, and postal service. Public services have improved so far for an estimated 2,765 households, or around 10,300 citizens living in 12 ger areas.
Through another project, The Asia Foundation played an important role in encouraging, coordinating, and mentoring local civil society organizations to increase good governance and transparency. Under the project’s “Partnership for Transparency Initiative,” a network of 15 Civil Society Organizations conducted a well-coordinated nationwide campaign to increase transparency and improve government accountability on issues such as the spending of land reclamation funds, land licensing for tourism camps, and government spending in the education sector. To date, nine local CSO groups have started 20 separate transparency initiatives covering the capital city of Mongolia and half of the provinces in the country.
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