The “Herder programme” is one of the joint activities the ILO Mongolia and UNFPA Mongolia as part of the ILO-led UN Joint Programme (UNJP) “Extending Social Protection to Herders with Enhanced Shock Responsiveness.” The programme is the first nationwide social protection program ever developed for herders in Mongolia. It has the main objectives of improving herders’ life skills and updating their knowledge on livestock production. Moreover, it aims to set up a knowledge infrastructure to enable herders to access social-protection-related information with the ultimate goal of extending their social insurance coverage rate.
The two agencies joined forces and combined efforts to develop a solid and comprehensive nationwide program for herders. The significances of the joint activity lie in the shared resources to prepare local trainers in target provinces and support them in reaching out to herders and raise awareness on critical social issues such as social protection and reproductive health. The organizations share their knowledge, human skills, and financial resources to demonstrate the joint activity as an effective and efficient approach to extend social protection to herders nationwide.
The programme will be implemented in collaboration with the National Centre for Lifelong Education (NCLE), using the organization’s existing structure in all 21 provinces. The NCLE lifelong education trainers in 330 soums (provincial lower administrative unit) will be prepared as advocates and local trainers for social protection. They will reach out to herders and raise their awareness of the nine modules of the programme.
Modules of the “Herder programme” were developed by external consultants who are experts in the field. There is a handbook for herder and a methodological manual for local lifelong education trainers for each module. The following modules are included in the programme package:
- Introduction to livestock dairy production and technologies
- Introduction to wool & cashmere production and technologies
- Introduction to tan production and technologies
- Introduction to meat production and technologies
- Introduction to benefits of herder’s social insurance coverage
- Introduction to governance and performance of Herder cooperatives
- Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
- Prevention of Gender-based violence and substance abuse
- Soft skills
Before the program’s official launch in November, ILO and UNFPA organized validation workshops of the programme in Khentii and Zavkhan provinces to pilot the programme with local lifelong education trainers and collect their feedback. In Khentii province, the workshop was held between 27-28 September for modules 1-6. A total of 21 local trainers attended the workshop. In addition, five herders were invited to participate in and share their experiences and provide their feedback on the manual. In Zavkhan province, the validation workshop took place between 20-21 August for modules 7-9. Local trainers from 24 soums were trained on the modules and provided teaching aids to use during their training for herders.
The NCLE consultants are currently reflecting the input and recommendations from local trainers and herders and tailoring their needs and requests for the final version. Following the program’s official launch in November, ILO Mongolia and UNFPA Mongolia will formally hand over the programme to the NCLE to further implement it in 21 provinces of Mongolia.