SDC: New urban governance project will improve public services and citizen

2015-09-17 16:25:23

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The new Urban Governance Project aimed at strengthening citizen and governance capabilities for improved delivery of public services and participatory budgeting for ger area residents in Ulaanbaatar was officially launched on Monday, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) website published.

Urban Governance project focuses on improving service delivery for residents in the ger areas - remote and underdeveloped districts in Ulaanbaatar City.

The project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will be implemented by The Asia Foundation in collaboration with the City Municipality of Ulaanbaatar for the next four years.

The project launch brought together more than 150 representatives from the Capital City Governor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office, Ulaanbaatar districts and khoroos (smallest administrative unit in Ulaanbaatar) and civil society to discuss the project’s goals, outcomes and future collaboration.

“We are working to strengthen Ulaanbaatar city’s self-governance based on direct citizen participation by ensuring the transparency and openness of our state affairs and improving citizens’ access to public services,” said Head of Ulaanbaatar City Mayor’s Office, B. Badral at the launch workshop. “Our ultimate goal is to build a city that is competitive and provides a safe and healthy environment for its residents,”

The project will focus on empowering district and khoroo governments to deliver public services and involve citizens in budget decision-making. To achieve these objectives, the project will work closely with local governments and citizens to ensure that services and investments respond to citizens’ priorities.

“This project marks a milestone for SDC’s presence in Mongolia,” said SDC Director of Cooperation Markus Waldvogel. “It is the first time that SDC has decided to cooperate on improving governance and furthering decentralisation in an urban area, having the capital city municipality as a partner,”

Mr Waldvogel said the project would empower residents of ger areas to participate in, and take responsibility for, improving their livelihoods. It was about fostering citizens’ roles in developing democratic, accountable and transparent local government.

“Now, in multi-partnership, we are pooling our teams and know-how to work hand-in-hand with the city to develop this new project,” said Meloney Lindberg, The Asia Foundation - Mongolia Office Country Representative.

“The project goal will be achieved through the attainment of five outputs, which are: Increasing citizens’ participation in budgeting and planning; improving public service delivery; strengthening the government’s capability, and institutionalizing capability-strengthening programs,”

The project selected 33 khoroos in Ulaanbaatar’s ger areas spanning all nine of the city’s districts, and will reach an estimated 330,000 citizens. The project will be implemented in partnership with civil society organizations represented by the Open Society Forum, Transparency International and the Centre for Democracy Education.

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