Mainstreaming Social Accountability in Mongolia Project (MASAM)



Funded jointly by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (CHF 2.5 million) and the World Bank (CHF 0.4 million)

Implemented by The World Bank

Priority sectors: Health, education

Duration: 2015 - 2019

Target group:

  • National government institutions
  • Local governments and public service providers (in 10 aimags and Ulaanbaatar districts)
  • Civil society, community groups
  • Media
  • Academia


Mongolia has made good progress in its economic and political transitions in the past two decades. However, its growth has not fully translated into improved public service delivery for all, particularly for poor and vulnerable groups. The government has embarked on legal and regulatory reforms to improve transparency and citizens’ participation in the management of public funds. To ensure those reforms are successful, the constructive involvement of all parties, including civil society organisations (CSOs) and communities, is crucial. The joint efforts of development partners to strengthen the capacity of Mongolia’s already vibrant civil society to hold the government accountable on issues of importance to citizens have laid a solid foundation to build social accountability mechanisms in public services. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the World Bank believe that embedding social accountability in Mongolia’s public sector is an effective way to improve governance and public resource management.


Citizens in poor localities have increased access to public decision-making processes and quality services through social accountability.


  1. Capacity building of stakeholders, notably civil society and communities, to enable them to scale up tools and methodologies and secure resources for the mainstreaming of social accountability
  2. Institutionalisation mechanisms at national and local levels that lead to effective, formalised and sustained social accountability engagements: Disclosure, citizens’ participation and feedback mechanisms.


The focus:

  • Targeting key sectors of leverage for poverty reduction: Education and health  
  • Addressing pressing issues
  • Supporting changes and impact with actions

Constructive engagement and disciplined learning approaches:

  • Constructive engagement among multi-stakeholder groups as a vehicle for positive change
  • Collaboration and regular exchange among stakeholders at national and local levels to reflect on progress

Local adaptation and leadership:

  • Identifying and resolving local issues through local multi-stakeholder groups
  • Building the capacity of NGOs and the government to lead and teach about the core tools
  • Empowering communities and local government to achieve actual results through social accountability projects

Disciplined testing, reflecting and learning on every scale:

  • A step-by-step approach to address local pressing issues
  • Regularly sharing and learning among communities of SA practitioners and implementers in Mongolia
  • Continuously improving and scaling up  based on lessons and achievements through implementation

Supporting Mongolia’s development agenda on openness and transparency:

  • The Government of Mongolia’s commitments on open government (Open Government Partnership)  
  • Local-level transparency in education and health services

Activities and Expected Results:

Since the launch of the project in November 2015, the MASAM Project has introduced social accountability to more than 650 people representing key local stakeholders. Self-organised multi-stakeholder groups (on average 40-60 people per aimag) are collaborating to resolve key health and education issues in 10 aimags and three Ulaanbaatar districts.

As a result of continued efforts to streamline social accountability through the capacity building of local CSOs and stakeholders, and engagement with local governments and service providers, the project expects to achieve the following results:

  • Improved technical and organizational capacity of CSOs to implement social accountability projects with poor and marginalized groups in rural areas.
  • CSOs are more effective in the application of social accountability tools and processes, including evidence-based advocacy.
  • Incentive systems are in place to increase the commitment of social accountability stakeholders to include poor and marginalized groups.
  • Strengthened capacity of government agencies and service providers to track and use CSO/citizen feedback/complaints to improve the quality of services.
  • The formalization of joint problem-solving activities between CSOs, local service providers and local governments to increase citizens’ access to public resources.
  • Relevant information is being disclosed by line ministries and government agencies.
  • Lessons on effective implementation and sustainability are disseminated to the government, CSOs and other non-state actors.

Partner organizations

Policy level: The Government of Mongolia

The Cabinet Secretariat

Ministry of Finance

Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sport

Ministry of Health

UB Mayor Office

Implementation level: Multi-stakeholder groups 

Local governor offices in the districts and the aimags

Local citizens’ representative khurals in the districts and the aimags 

Education and health agencies in UB and the aimags

National and local NGOs, academic and media institutions