Ulaanbaatar is the capital and largest city of Mongolia. It is located in north-central Mongolia, at the junction of the Tuul and Selbe rivers, and it is the country’s cultural, industrial, and financial heart. It lays at the center of Mongolia’s road network and it is connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Chinese railway system. Ulaanbaatar has a total population of 1.3 million (2014) and it is divided in nine districts, with a total of 121 subdivisions.
In 2014, IRI had led a VCA, in selected departments of the government, to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the former Mayor E. Bat-Uul’s anti-corruption efforts. Since 2014, CCGO and IRI have conducted programming in country to tackle systemic and procedural weaknesses that allowed for vulnerabilities to corruption. The 2018 VCA iteration in Ulaanbaatar focused on addressing budgetary and public procurement processes. IRI has also identified citizen participation and access to information as two cross-cutting themes that shape the two aforementioned processes.
IRI has found that the limited citizen involvement in the budget cycle is a lost opportunity to increase transparency and accountability and to improve public trust. In addition, IRI's assessment revealed that citizens do not have enough oversight in the public procurement process.
Through the past four years of IRI's VCA programming in Ulaanbaatar, the Capital City Governor's Office (CCGO) has been an instrumental partner in working with IRI's Transparency Academy which has trained civil servants on government ethics.
IRI's current VCA recommendations focus on citizen participation in the budgeting and procurement processes. Through collaboration with the CCGO and civil society, the VCA program works to develop solutions to the aforementioned challenges.