UN Joint Programme

Tools Become Available to Advocate Social Protection Programmes for Herders

One of the objectives of the UN Joint Programme (UNJP) on Extending Social Protection to Herders with Enhanced Shock Responsiveness, implemented by the ILO (lead agency), FAO, UNFPA, UNICEF is to enable more herder men and women to have an access to social and health insurance programmes effectively as the current coverage rate of herders is around 15% nationwide. The UNJP collaborates with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to extend social protection to herders using various tools and methods developed together.

The UNJP has been working with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection ( MLSP) to extend social protection to herders. The MLSP, the key partner of the UNJP, is the central administrative body responsible for the social protection of all people in Mongolia through improving the efficiency and effectiveness of social insurance and the social welfare system. 

The collaboration between the Ministry and the UNJP focuses on the following three areas:
  1. Provide capacity building for social insurance officers on herders’ social protection;
  2. Advocacy and awareness-raising on herders’ health and social insurance coverage; and
  3. Improve access of low-income herders to employment promotion programmes and increase their social insurance coverage.
Regarding these target areas, one of the activities carried out with the Ministry was developing the following educational materials for herders that cover the necessary information about social insurance:
  1. “Voluntary insurance for herders” brochure that explains the essential information for herders such as documents required for pension and benefits of voluntary social insurance scheme;
  2. “Social insurance handbook” that reflects the latest updates in social insurance laws, regulations, and policies;
  3. “Social insurance digital services manual” to educate herders on digital social insurance services and provide guidance on the social insurance application;
  4. Video series of content for herders to improve their life skills and update their knowledge on livestock husbandry;
  5. The year 2022 calendar that contains definitions of social insurance-related terms.
The features of these products are that they are tailored to the needs of herders. “Herders are usually busy, and they don’t have much time for long reads. We wanted to give the definitions of social insurance to herders easily and simply, such as through a calendar. The calendar is practical as herders can hang it on the wall and see important dates such as a good day for moving, etc.”, said G.Ankhbayar, MLSP.

She added that the support from ILO was instrumental in their approach to target herders, and further cooperation would be beneficial to extend social protection to herders.

As part of the project, a total of 10 videos were developed about livestock husbandry for herders and broadcast on Herder TV in May 2021. Batmunkh Byambadorj, Specialist of the Employment Policy Implementation Coordination Department of MLSP, who worked on developing video series, said it was the first time they exclusively focused on herders. “It is usually impossible for herders to attend classroom tr due to their workload. Therefore, broadcasting the necessary information for them on TV was effective, especially during this time of COVID-19,” Batmunkh said. He added that “The quality of the content is high as prominent professors and experts have developed them for local context.”

So far, about 19,000 materials have been distributed to herders in Uvs, Zavkhan, Bayan-Ulgii, Gobi-Altai, and Khovd provinces. At the end of the project, an electronic version of all the materials will be distributed to social insurance and social welfare offices in all 21 provinces across the country to share with more herders and raise awareness about social insurance.