Success Stories

Hovd Aimag. Divine Solution: Citizens Decide How to Spend Development Funds

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.

Divine Solution NGO met with governors of all 12 baghs and they agreed to set up citizens groups in each bagh. Then, Gegeen Garts CSO trained the group members on how to conduct mobilization and advocacy works among residents. Immediately after the trainings, the citizens’ group members started meeting with residents, visited their families and organized discussions around budgetary and procurement processes. The main focus of these meetings was to explain how local citizens could ensure that procurement tenders are transparent and competitive and budget decisions are made with active participation of citizens.

Six procurement monitoring groups were established as a result of these actions. Local Hurals and the Governor's office provided full support for these initiatives by approving necessary rules and regulations for establishing monitoring groups and conducting monitoring activities.

Mr. Bayandelger, a resident of 1st bagh, Jargalant soum: "I learned the importance of monitoring public spending. I pay taxes and the government procures goods and services using my tax money. I want to know how my taxes are spent."

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