The soum governments and herders’ cooperatives of Nariinteel soum of Uvurkhangai aimag and Galuut soum of Bayankhongor aimag received support of the ILO/Japan Promoting and Building Income Security and Employment Services in Asia: Focus on Mongolia, Learning from ASEAN (MAPS) Project to pilot programmes aimed at promoting productive employment and income security among young herders. The soum programmes adopted a holistic approach with interventions and support to herders at different levels: entrepreneurship training and business advisory services; herders’ skill development; increased participation in the social insurance schemes; cooperative development; and capacity building of local employment and social insurance office staff. The design of the soum programmes followed a recommendation of the national dialogue (2013-2015) for defining the social protection floor in Mongolia, in particular fostering linkages between social protection benefits and active labour market programmes, notably, among young women and men in rural areas. Drawing experiences of the project, national stakeholders have agreed that herders’ cooperatives have a crucial role to play in promoting sustainable decent work in rural areas. Cooperatives empower individual herders to have stronger voices at a trading table, to have their concerns for extending employment and business heard and channeled to the government, and to facilitate peer learning. Cooperatives can also act as interlocutors with government offices and business sector as well as providers of services such as skills training, business counselling and information on the social insurance system.