UN Migration Agency Champions Data for Policy Planning, at Workshop in Mongolia

Capacity Building, Migration Policy

Ulaanbaatar – Earlier this week (5-7 June) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, facilitated a training workshop on the Use of Migration Data for Policy Planning. It was attended by 33 senior government officials; representatives of relevant line ministries; civil society partners; and other governmental and non-governmental agencies. This is the first of series of workshops to be conducted this year aimed at increasing understanding of internal migration in Mongolia, improving the management of internal migration, and addressing migrants’ vulnerabilities.

Over the past decade, internal migration, (especially rural-to-urban) has grown exponentially. Mongolia has a rich cultural history steeped in a nomadic way of life. However, rural poverty triggered by a combination of unemployment, low incomes, lack of quality health services and education, desertification and natural disasters, has led many to leave their traditional way of life for urban centres. Almost half (47 per cent) of the Mongolian population is currently living in Ulaanbaatar, and the share of the urban population has increased to 67 per cent of the total population.

Most internal migrants in Mongolia settle in Ger (districts) on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar which make up about 60 per cent of the city’s population but, despite their size, these districts have not been adequately integrated into the city’s development planning. New migrants form almost one third of the population living in these areas, and of all the migrants to Ulaanbaatar, 39 per cent are people in greatest need.

Limited data on migration trends (including root causes) and key demographics; the absence of evidence based policies and programmes; and a lack of government capacity to support migrants in informal settlements with basic services are key challenges inhibiting migration management in Mongolia.

“Lack of opportunities in rural locations, whether that be in terms of employment, lifestyle, access to quality education and health care, climate change, or connectivity to the wider world will likely feed further rural-urban migration in Mongolia,” stated Etienne Micallef, IOM Officer in Charge for China and Mongolia. “This means that we must work more and more together to build new responses and solutions to new situations and challenges.”
This training workshop was part of the “Understanding and Managing Internal Migration in Mongolia” project funded by the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency. It built on the results of internal migration and urban migrant vulnerabilities assessments conducted by the National University of Mongolia (NUM) and Ger Community Mapping Centre (GCMC), IOM’s implementing partners. By the end of this year, an evidence-based policy dialogue, reflecting on the information from both assessments, will be carried out in view of establishing an action plan.

Agencies represented at the training workshop included the National Development Agency, Ulaanbaatar Municipality, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, National Statistics Office, State Registration Department, National University of Mongolia, Ger Community Mapping Centre, representatives of Bayanzurkh and Songino Khairkhan districts, Ministry of  Construction and Urban Planning, Ministry of Food Agriculture and Light Industry, Mongolian Red Cross Society, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Intellectual Property and State Registration Office.

For more information on the SDC project please go to: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/country/docs/mongolia/iom-mongolia-sdc-project-factsheet-2017-2018.pdf.

For more information please contact Zuzana Jankechova at IOM Mongolia, Tel: +976 70143100, Email: zjankechova@iom.int.

  • Opening of the “Use of Migration Data for Policy Planning” training workshop, Mongolia. Photo: IOM