Mongolia’s Constitution guarantees its citizens the freedom of opinion and expression and the right to information and to publish. In 2011 the Law on Information Transparency and the Right to Information (LITRI) was adopted following consistent lobbying from civil society. The Law was ranked 53rd out of 95 countries in the Global Right to Information Rating.
Globe International Center (GIC) implemented the project DFE7-400 “Advocacy Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 16.10: Voluntary National Reviews”. GIC was contracted to support Deutsche Welle Akademie (DW-A) in organizing a consultative multi-stakeholder meeting to advocate for the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, and more specifically SDG indicator 16.10.2, in the Mongolian Voluntary National Review (VNR). This meeting forms part of an initiative on a larger scale, with other similar meetings taking place in other target countries (notably Indonesia, Pakistan, Serbia, Tanzania and South Africa).
GIC identified a total of eight public authorities for survey. As a result of the survey, researchers concluded:
• there is no Nodal Agency;
• there are no assigned information officers with formal training or awareness of the LITRI;
• there is a strong, persistent culture of secrecy without clear instructions on secrecy/confidentiality.
The consultative meeting was organized in Ulaanbaatar on March 3-4 , 2019 and gathered around 30 representatives from the national government, civil society, media outlets, media development NGOs, and international organizations. As a result of the consultative meeting, the national stakeholders agreed to an advocacy strategy aimed at different government institutions related to SDG 16 and the VNR process. The Mongolian National Development Agency is responsible for the preparation of the VNR report.
On March 5, GIC, DW Akademie and Centre for Law and Democracy representatives met with S. Suzanna, Senior Specialist of the National Development Agency. The methodologies used to assess RTI were presented in-depth as well as the overall project of consultative meetings in the different countries. The National Development Agency was very receptive of the outcomes and welcomed the methodologies for further assessment.
The Government VNR draft forum held on April 15th 2019 and the National Development Agency presented a draft review. The review, focusing on SDG-16, claimed that “Public authorities accountability and transparency are insufficient and limited right to information is provided by citizens”. Although it is just one sentence, it concluded what the main outcome of our research and advocacy activities has been. It is hoped that the final outcome of the VNR will remain as it is.
Free Press Unlimited (FPU), DW Akademie and Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), with the support of local partners, are organizing a series of Consultative Multi-stakeholder Meetings worldwide with a specific focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 16.10.2. The aim of the meetings is to inform and sensitize participants of the upcoming HLPF and the need for SDG indicator 16.10.2 to be included in the VNR.