Mongolia increasingly recognizes culture and creativity as an enabler of sustainable development. The 2016 Quadrennial Periodic Report submitted by Mongolia details various achievements as well as obstacles while implementing cultural policies to support the development of its creative sector. One of the major challenges cited in the report is the lack of capacities, structures and human resources to reform cultural policies in order to keep up with rapid globalization, technological development and cultural demands. To address this issue, the Mongolian government has conceived an elaborate plan of action which include: educate Mongolian cultural actors about current trends, promote cultural education, train human resource professionals, encourage initiatives and the creativity of artists, enable cultural entrepreneurs through exhibition opportunities, market locally produced cultural goods, and improve the social security of creative workers. The adoption of the State Policy on Industrial Sector in 2015 represents a clear commitment of the Mongolian government to support the cultural and creative industries.
The UNESCO project on participatory policy monitoring provides a timely opportunity for diverse Mongolian stakeholders from arts, culture and media to come together and discuss ways to foster Mongolia’s creative expressions through policies and measures.
On 9 May 2019, over 120 participants sat down together during the Mongolian Innovation Week 2019 at a multi-stakeholder consultation meeting to examine existing and future initiatives which support contemporary cultural expressions. The participants discussed topics such as reinforcing human resources in creative businesses, developing access of Mongolian cultural goods and services in Mongolia and abroad, why young people watch American or Russian movies, and what can be done to promote domestic contents.
In particular, participants discussed how best to collect and share data as well as to identify achievements and challenges of their cultural policies with the upcoming Quadrennial Periodic Reporting in mind; the reporting is designed to ignite innovative, forward-looking and evidence-based cultural policymaking, is based on multi‐stakeholder dialogues between government and civil society.
A national training workshop was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 10-12 September 2019, organized by UNESCO Beijing Office and the Culture and Arts Authority of the Government of Mongolia. The Mongolian National Team, composed of cultural actors including government agencies, universities and civil society organization, participated in the training. Led by UNESCO’s Expert Facility members Charles Vallerand and Bodibaatar Jigjidsuren, the National Team members learned how to engage in evidence-based, participatory policymaking and policy monitoring.
Drawing on the new information and tools acquired at the training, the Team is expected to prepare and submit a comprehensive Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR), backed by research and data, to the Secretariat of UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). The QPR is an obligatory assessment report on cultural policies, initiatives and efforts that were implemented with the aim of stimulating the cultural and creative industries. Mongolia’s next Report is due on 30 April 2020.
Following the national training workshop, Create l 2030, a UNESCO discussion series on topics related to the creative sector, was organized under the theme “Capturing the voices of creative workers.” The panel created a space for artists and civil society members to share their thoughts on the current state of cultural governance, sowing the seeds of future cultural policies that effectively and accurately address the needs on the ground.
A one-day media diversity workshop was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 13 September 2019. The civil society organisations and media professionals in attendance were introduced to the members and the work of the Mongolian National Team, and encouraged to actively and regularly share their thoughts and concerns with the Team so the inputs can be reflected in future policies.
Media diversity is one of core topics addressed by the UNESCO 2005 Convention. Charles Vallerand, a member of UNESCO’s Expert Facility, led the workshop: the session empowered media professionals to engage in policy dialogue and to advocate for issues related to the diversity of cultural expressions and media.