Inception Meeting for MASAM II Project Held

2021-06-15 16:04:04

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The Globe International Center (GIC) has been implementing the project, The Mainstreaming Social Accountability for Improved Transparency and Participation in Mongolia, or the MASAM II project. 

GIC held the project’s inception meeting among its local partners, which saw more than 30 representatives attending from Arkhangai, Bulgan, Darkhan-Uul, Orkhon, Khuvsgul, Selenge, and Tuv provinces. Representatives included the heads and/or specialists of the Citizens' Representatives Khurals, the Governor's Office, the Health Department, the General Hospital, the Finance, and Treasury Department, the Investment, Development Policy and Planning Department, and the Social Policy Department. 

In her opening remarks, Kh.Naranjargal, Chairman of the GIC Board, emphasized that “knowledge is power” and stressed that social accountability improves accountability between the state, citizens, and civil society organizations, and enables them to work effectively. Thanking the representatives of all the participated provinces for their cooperation in the first phase of the project, D.Badamchimeg, Public Sector Specialist at the World Bank, noted the differences between the first and second phases. If in the first phase the project’s focus was on building the capacity of government agencies in the health and education sectors, the current phase is focusing on the participation of multiple stakeholders and multilateral cooperation. Also, D.Badamchimeg emphasized that the project is aimed at strengthening the participation and capacity of citizens and civil society in monitoring public investment and its proper allocation in the health sector, especially in the provision of primary health care, by supplying them with proper knowledge and skills and improving the coordination between government and non-government sectors. For more information, related to the project, see here.

Next, T.Ayushjav, Executive Director at the GIC, introduced the major activities to be carried out within the project with the first one being baseline study, which will be conducted utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods and will be covered topics of health care services and public participation, as well as access to information on public investment. The second undertakings will be an online Hackathon on those two key issues.

At the end of the meeting, T.Ayushjav introduced one NGO and one media outlet organization that will jointly implement the MASAM 2 project in the seven provinces. NGOs were reported to have experience in community-based activities, or to have collaborated in Phase I of the project, or to have experience in the concept and tools of social accountability. As she said the media also plays a significant role in implementing social accountability so that GIC plans to work with one media outlet in each province to integrate their daily professional activities with those of selected NGOs that work towards social wellbeing. 

Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) and implemented by the World Bank, the project will run until the end of 2023. It is co-implemented by GIC in partnership with World Vision Mongolia and Save the Children Japan. 

The main goal of the project is to mainstream social accountability across Mongolia, contributing to better service delivery and investments through effective use of public funds in health sector. The new phase of the project will aim to strengthen both civil society and public sector agencies’ capacities to generate information/data as well as to monitor the policy-making and implementation processes, with an emphasis on the links between, first, policy planning and implementation, including front-line health service delivery and, second, budget planning and execution including public investments.