Every year, local governments develop budget plans and make decisions on how to spend public money in the next year. In order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of public spending, local citizens must have a voice in all decisions that affect local livelihoods. Unfortunately, local citizens are often unaware of budgetary and procurement processes, don’t know their rights, or show no interest or motivation to participate in decision making.
Picture: Construction company introduces their work to local citizens in Jargalant soum, Hovd aimag.
In 2014 Mercy Corps' APPEAL project announced a Call for Proposals. "Gegeen Garts" CSO or "Divine Solution" from Hovd aimag was selected and received a subgrant from Mercy Corps to help citizens in Jargalant soum strengthen their capacity and monitor activities of the Local Development Fund (LDF). LDF receives funding from the national budget for development works. In 2014 LDF of Jargalant soum received MNT 240 million.
Mercy Corps is one of the organizing partner for the ICT4D 2016 conference in Nairobi, Kenya, 16-19 May. ICT4D was started 7 years ago by CRS (Catholic Relief Services) and has become the best and largest gathering of technology-for-development professionals and NGO program implementers. The 2016 conference will focus on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to accelerate progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mercy Corps has had a strong presence in the past as attendees and speakers. This year we are proud to be the organizers of the Livelihoods and Financial Inclusion track which dovetails with Mercy Corps' strengths as an agency.
Last October Mercy Corps conducted LTS II trainings in all target soums and distributed the 1st edition of Dzud Lessons book. This book instantly became popular among local herders. When the news of the 2nd edition of book spread out, herder P. Ravjir decided to visit the Mercy Corps office in Uvurhangai aimag and get one copy of the book.
"I have read the previous version of the Dzud Lessons book last year. When I heard the news about the 2nd book, I traveled to the aimag center and visited Mercy Corps office for the new book. This book is very interesting and contains many useful tips for young herders. We, herders, tend to focus only on hay and fodder for winter. We usually don't pay much attention to insulation of animal shelters or veterinary services for our livestock. I will share this book with my friends" says P. Ravjir. He plans to use the tips to insulate and warm his animal shelter.
Though discussions about having local citizens participate more in local procurement regularly take place, little progress has been made. Either citizens are not interested in taking a more active role or they lack crucial information and knowledge about procurement processes. In addition to that, government organizations don’t have the motivation or skills to educate citizens on procurement matters.
Challenges of Complex Systems: