The Second Steering Committee Meeting of UN Joint Programme on Extending Social Protection to Herders with Enhanced Shock Responsiveness

The United Nations in Mongolia, in close cooperation with Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Mongolia has organized the second Steering Committee Meeting of the UN Joint Programme on Extending Social Protection to Herders with Enhanced Shock Responsiveness, on 30 April 2021. The Steering committee has discussed the 2020 implementation and 2021 workplan.

The second Steering Committee Meeting
The Second Steering Committee meeting of UNJP Joint Programme held on 30 April 2021. Mr Tapan Mishra, UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia and Ms Ariunzaya Ayush, Minister, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, co-chaired the meeting.

Mr Tapan Mishra said, ‘The PUNOs in close cooperation with the government and national counterparts, have implemented the Programme for the first year in 2020 and reached important achievements. The COVID-19 pandemic, and its socio-economic consequences, have underscored the vital role of social protection as critical response and made the case for universal social protection irrefutable. Social protection has been a frontline response, across all its branched, and integral for protecting lives, livelihoods, and social stability.

Ms A.Ariunzaya, Minister of Labour and Social Protection
Minister Ms A.Ariunzaya said, ‘Herders constitutes 30 per cent of Mongolian population. It is crucial important to increase coverage of herders’ health and social insurance. We are working on Social Insurance Law package and we pay extensive attention on the JP implementation. It is vital to ensure effective coordination and transparency among government and UN agencies’. Following up the meeting, 2021 Work plan reviewed by members and approved by co-chairs by 31 May 2021.

The UNJP achievements in 2020:

  • The UNJP piloted new approaches to extend social protection among herder men and women. Introduced peer-to-peer learning at pilot soums of Zavkhan province, where herders, members of cooperatives, pastureland user groups (PUGs), lifelong education center teachers and trade union representatives were trained as social insurance trainers to advocate for the benefits of social and health insurance programmes among their peer herders. This is an innovative and practical approach, which complements traditional ways of raising awareness by social and health insurance officers only.
  • Identified and started testing eight incentive mechanisms to increase social and health insurance coverage with the involvement of cooperatives and PUGs.
  • The project is preparing to introduce herders’ social protection and sustainable livestock production programme in TVETs and Lifelong Education centers. Altogether, activities of this year have contributed directly and indirectly to increase social and health insurance coverage of herders by 10 per cent in the target 5 soums in Zavkhan province and national average increased by 5%.
  • Young herders learned entrepreneurship skills and advanced knowledge on livestock production. They show a great interest in starting their own businesses as a way to diversify their income and reduce their livelihood vulnerability.
  • Promoted and piloted a Shock-Responsive Social Protection (SRSP) programme for rural children who were at risk of dzud, which is a climate related weather shock, by vertically expanding the Child Money Program (CMP). It demonstrated the value of mainstreaming SRSP into the national social protection system. The pilot generated lessons on whether and how to scale up the pilot programme in order to support children and households to avoid negative coping strategies, such as reduced food consumption, reduced expenditure for health need and education during shocks.
  • Started introducing the Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis (RIMA-II) in Mongolia to define to analyze herder household resilience capacity to climate-related risks such as dzud and other types of shocks in the programme pilot soums.
  • Provided tangible support to herder cooperatives and it has led herders to mobilize the additional income and resource for establishing and maintaining the shock responsive Contingency fund.

Summary of activities in 2021:

  • Develop IT/digital based, innovative solutions and increase social insurance coverage 5%; ensure herders accessibility to info/knowledge on benefits of social insurance institutionalizing Herder programmes to nation-wide training institutions of TVET and NCLE; basing on findings from Herders behaviriol study, develop further possible solutions to increase the coverage
  • With incubation services after the grant, herder household`s income will increase by 30%-50% by the end of 2021. The herder cooperative business best practices will have promotion at nation-wide through provincial Employment Departments and YDCs; the LSE training modules will become the integral part of life-long education.
  • Continue the monitoring of the Government’s response to COVID-19 and generating evidence and lessons, as well as provide technical assistance to the MLSP for policy and legal changes, development of a SOP, support in MIS improvement and capacity strengthening for M&E Framework for social welfare programmes.
  • Organize a workshop to stimulate discussion among stakeholders on the SRSP pilot and the actual response to the COVID-19 and discuss about potential recommendations and roadmap aimed at strengthening the shock responsiveness of the social protection system in Mongolia.
  • Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis – RIMA will be applied to measure shock responsiveness of SP; respective amendment will be made to Disaster management and evaluation regulation, NEMA; develop a model to strengthen herder cooperatives resilience capacity with financial support, effective livestock production and active engagement of local authorities
  • Provide technical assistance to social protection policy change through organizing social dialogues the findings and recommendation from SPDR and Financing Strategy study
  • Conduct a study of Social Protection Diagnostic Review and Financing Strategy with close collaboration with MLSP and organize social dialogues
  • Provide necessary support organizing discussions on the draft revision of Social Insurance Laws including the Government and social partners – employers and workers, as well as other stakeholders.
Participants of the meeting
The UNJP, SP-Herders Steering Committee comprises of four participating UN Agencies (PUNOs), namely, Food and Agriculture Organization of the Mongolia (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under the leadership of UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MLSP), Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MFALI), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mongolian Employers’ Federation (MONEF), Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) and Zavkhan Government Office.