Success Stories

Dornogobi Aimag. Citizens' Control Groups

The Budget Law was amended in 2012 and the size of local budgets expanded. For example in 2013, Zamyn-Uud soum, Dornogobi aimag, received one billion MNT (USD 588 thousand) from the Local Development Fund (LDF). Other soums received between 400 and 800 million (USD 235-470 thousand) MNT from LDF for development projects.

Picture: Training for local CSOs on monitoring of procurement process in Sainshand soum, Dornogobi aimag.

According to the law, local citizens and CSOs are supposed to take an active role in the budgeting, planning, implementing and monitoring of public expenditures. In reality the situation is far from perfect. Local CSOs face some significant problems that prevent them from exercising effective control over this huge flow of funds. Lack of citizens’ control directly affects quality of goods and services and causes overspending.

In 2013 Mercy Corps' iCOGS project provided a subgrant to the local NGO "Eastern Association for Development" to build capacity of Dornogobi CSOs. This NGO was experienced in supporting rural businesses, adopting new technologies and improving access to information.

"Eastern Association for Development" NGO organized trainings and advocacy activities through the duration of the six month project. The subgrantee formed a 15 member citizens group with the aim to monitor the procurement process. The citizens control group carried out the monitoring of three different procurement activities funded by the LDF.

The "Eastern Association for Development" NGO submitted the results of their work to the soum authorities. B. Batbayar, Governor of Sainshand soum, praised the activities of the citizens control group: "Citizens can control the budget by monitoring contract executions".

The project demonstrated that citizens can monitor the bidding process and contract execution. It proved that independent control by local citizens can enhance the quality of procured goods and services and contribute to improvements in the procurement system. The project results convinced the local authorities to support citizens control groups and approve their funding by the local Hural.

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