The fieldwork component for the 2019-2020 Global Policy Projects has now been completed by seven UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) student teams who worked with clients organizations on a policy problem in ten different countries throughout December 2019.
Find below a reflection from students whose project focused on youth civic engagement in Nalaikh, Mongolia.
Project Client: Nalaikh Governor’s Office
The team started their project in Central Ulaanbaatar, where they met with stakeholder groups (such as The World Bank, and The Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions) to broaden their perspective on Mongolia’s civic engagement landscape. After meeting with their client, Nalaikh Governor’s Office, the team ran a series of focus groups which engaged 47 youth from various backgrounds.
To work around language challenges, the team structured sessions using hands-on activities that asked participants to work together and use markers, sticky notes, and chart paper to create tangible reflections of their opinions. The youth were of two minds about democracy: they recognized its positive attributes, but also associated it with many social ills that have come to Mongolia since its democratic transition in the 1990s. One of the most useful exercises was focused on local problems in Nalaikh, where the team discovered that youths’ priorities were not being recognized on the district’s official survey. As a follow-up to the exercise the team asked them to brainstorm potential solutions, which will be put forward as suggestions in their final policy recommendations.
“We left Mongolia with a much more holistic understanding of the problem we are researching, and a lot of optimism for the future of civic engagement in the country.” Claire Casher