State Reform, Local Governance and Civic Participation
Under SDC’s State Reform, Local Governance and Civic Participation domain, Swiss support is aimed at fostering more effective, efficient and fair local governments, satisfied citizens, and genuinely representative civil society organisations (CSOs). The Governance domain has two key outcomes:
- The improved performance and accountability of local governments; and
- The improved capacity and social accountability of CSOs.
Empowering local governments and citizens is a prerequisite for equitable social development, and well-governed and genuinely representative CSOs are better able to serve as government watchdogs.
SDC’s Governance and Decentralisation Programme (GDP) will support a number of critical aspects of local governance reform. Through its modular approach, GDP will align Swiss support with the best-suited modality to promote decentralisation reform in all of its major fiscal, political and administrative aspects: (i) Fiscal: Participatory planning and budgeting, and strengthened local public-procurement processes; (ii) Political: A civic engagement pilot project and social accountability tools; (iii) Administrative: Addressing bottlenecks in public administrative service delivery in innovative ways, building upon SDC’s One-Stop Shop Project. All interventions will be underpinned by targeted policy support and research activities.
Under the conceptual framework of the GDP, Switzerland will expand its contribution to local governance reform by engaging in large and strategic partnerships. SDC’s co-financing of the third phase of the World Bank’s Sustainable Livelihoods Project will support Mongolia in the effective implementation of fiscal decentralisation reform introduced under the new budget law.
SDC’s contribution to the United Nations Development Programme’s Capacity Strengthening of Local Self-Governing Bodies Project will enable local khurals to fulfil their representational and oversight mandates with a view to promoting effective, inclusive and accountable local service delivery. Through capacity development programmes for women politicians, the latter project will also increase the voice of women and other disadvantaged groups in society in local-level decision-making.
To address the identified weaknesses among Mongolia’s CSOs, Switzerland will strengthen its engagement in civil society development. Well-governed and well-organised CSOs are better able to represent the interests of their members and encourage citizens to exercise their fundamental rights, make their voices heard, and hold public officials and elected representatives to account.
Ongoing projects under the Governance and Civic Participation domain are: