July 11, 2018

Mongolia: Accountability for Better Government

Satisfaction in Healthcare Increases by 28 Percent

As residents of one of the most sparsely populated places on earth, one in three Mongolians are partially nomadic. Many citizens do not know which public services are available, much less how to influence how they work. Improved health and education services are sorely needed to help the almost one-third of mostly rural Mongolians who still live in poverty.  

In 2015, the government began to work on tackling disparities by improving public participation and instituting social accountability programs. Under an Open Government Partnership commitment, more than 650 people representing communities throughout the country have received social accountability training. This training has helped local groups engage both the government and civil society in improving services in their communities. At the same time, government agencies have made strides in using public feedback to address problems. An effective feedback system has been established for sharing lessons between government and citizen groups in different parts of the country.

There have been some early successes. When trainees looked at medical procurement in their community, they identified savings equivalent to ten percent of the health budget. When community activists discovered thousands of residents being cut out of healthcare, they quickly rectified the situation. Healthcare satisfaction shot up by 28 percent. Local communities, by understanding their own unique circumstances, have also been able to drive considerable improvements to services beyond health.