The enabling environment for social accountability in Mongolia

The enabling environment for social accountability in Mongolia

Recommendations for improving transparency and accountability in Mongolia

Governmental accountability has become an increasing focus of attention by international donors in their development policies, strategies, and programmes. This study focuses on social accountability in Mongolia and the conditions influencing its success and failure, including legislation, the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media. The study concludes that while impressive strides have been made since the transition from socialism, Mongolia continues to face significant institutional, legal, and sociopolitical obstacles to effective social accountability.

The report then reviews the current social accountability environment in Mongolia, highlighting the following issues:

  • the proposed nonprofit law could restrict CSO involvement in civic engagement and social accountability
  • the proposed anticorruption law stipulates disclosure of only the total sum of assets and income for senior officials, thereby undermining capacity to track corruption
  • CSO financial resources remain limited and precarious
  • there is a lack of involvement in and knowledge of accountability initiatives because few CSOs are involved in public engagement and few Mongolians are aware of such initiatives
  • there is a lack of awareness of civil rights including freedom of expression
  • defamation laws unduly restrict freedom of expression and exert a chilling effect on the media
  • media and broadcast registration and licensing systems are susceptible to political distortions
  • Mongolians have insufficient access to information of proceedings and decisions by parliament and the government
  • public officials are denying or delaying access to information held by government agencies; this is
    aggravated by the absence of a law on access to information
  • CSOs play a critical role in providing alternative information

The study makes the following recommendations in order to improve social accountability:

  • the revision of critical legal codes affecting CSOs with regards to anticorruption, taxation, and the Non-Profit Law
  • increasing CSO financial resources and capacity building measures to promote organisations outside of Ulaanbaatar, strengthen umbrella organisations, and enhance CSO involvement in and public knowledge of social accountability initiatives
  • a reform of Mongolian laws regulating defamation, media registration, and broadcast licensing
  • a civic education programme to inform citizens of their rights through public service announcements and culturally appropriate community theatre projects
  • the capacity building of public radio and television
  • the adoption of an Access to Information Law and amendments to the Law on State Secrets as it reinforces a culture of secrecy
  • greater knowledge, use, and expansion of current mechanisms and forums for negotiation with public officials
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.