Strategic Planning with Mongolia Convener's Group

The Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA EAP) facilitated the formation of a network of citizen organizations in Mongolia to mainstream social accountability as part of on-going governance reform process.  The Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) consists of eight (8) networks and citizen groups, including non-government organizations, training and research institutions, as well as local government agencies working on issues like the environment, public services and social welfare.  In line with ANSA EAP’s networking approach, the said partnership has identified a coordinating organization and network fellow to help steer its mainstreaming efforts.

The PSA initiated mapping and capacity building activities in preparation to intensified constructive engagement with government and citizen monitoring of government performance.  In close collaboration with ANSA EAP’s operations team, the Mongolian conveners group facilitated the formation of two (2) subnetworks on procurement monitoring and youth.  The group has recently articulated the need to come out with a unified agenda for advancing social accountability in Mongolia.  In this light, ANSA EAP conducted a two-day strategic planning workshop to identify focus areas and learning priorities for the next three years.  This report summarizes key lessons, agreements and action points from the said strategic planning.


Objectives

The general objective of the strategic planning workshop is to strengthen the constituency for promoting social accountability initiatives in Mongolia.  Specific objectives are:

  1. Shared appreciation of ANSA EAP’s framing of social accountability, pillars for an enabling environment, networking strategy, competency framework, and how these can be adapted to the local context;
  2. Deeper understanding of the internal and external environment for social accountability work in Mongolia;
  3. Consensus on approaches and plans for moving forward to promote social accountability tools and constructive citizens-government engagement; and,
  4. Agreements on agenda and strategies for continuing learning and capacity building on social accountability and good governance.

Through their network fellow, Ms. Undral Gombodorj, members of the Mongolian conveners group relayed their expectations from the strategic planning process days before the actual activity.  Based on these inputs, the following target outputs for the mission were set by the ANSA EAP team:

  1. Initial working definition of “social accountability” based on the Mongolian context and experiences of citizen groups;
  2. Validated organizational profiles and initial learning needs assessment of the members of the Mongolian conveners group;
  3. Conveners group’s strategic plan in mainstreaming social accountability in Mongolia and building relevant capacities of citizen groups; and,
  4. Documentation of the strategic planning process, outlining key discussion points, lessons and insights, and results.


At the end of the workshop, the insights and lessons learned are:

  1. Strategic planning for mainstreaming social accountability should tackle at the outset stakeholders’ understanding of these actions and why these are important for good governance.  This need is brought to the fore more by the political culture and governance situation in countries like Mongolia that are transitioning from a centralized, command set up to a representative democratic system.  Relations and formal systems of public accountability still need to be elaborated and negotiated.  Grounding SAc concepts and principles on the local context and experiences of governance stakeholders is important, and making these part of the governance discourse and agenda should be part of any plan for mainstreaming.
  2. Sustainability as an on-going concern of the conveners groups need to be more integrated into the strategic planning process.  ANSA EAP’s current design of the process places thinking on sustainability issues towards the end of the planning activity, when the desired outcomes and focus areas for the group have been clarified.  More thinking on how the SAc network can create value, entice demand and generate resources for its activities need to be incorporated in the process of identifying its strategic focus areas.


Resources

Mongolia Conveners Group Strategic Planning Guide
Mongolia Conveners Group Initial Profiling
Mongolia Conveners Group Strategic Planning Results
Mongolia Conveners Group Strategic Planning Documentation
Mongolia Conveners Group Presentation on External Environment

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