National Human Development Report 2007: Employment and Poverty in Mongolia

01 Aug 2007


UNDP and ILO are pleased to introduce the fourth National Human Development Report (NHDR) of Mongolia. Since 1990, UNDP has been supporting the preparation of annual Global Human Development Reports, which have served as analytical and policy advocacy tools designed to promote the concept of human development. Since 1992, commissioned by UNDP, NHDRs have been prepared and owned by independent national teams in about 135 countries, with focus on emerging human development issues in a country specifi c context.

In Mongolia, the first NHDR was produced in 1997 to assess the Mongolian people’s well being in the transition period. The second NHDR 2000 analysed the role of the state in modern Mongolia and people’s expectation towards the state. The last NHDR in 2003 focused on urban – rural disparities.


The fourth NHDR’s theme, “Employment and Poverty”, was selected through consultative meetings. The theme is extremely timely in the new economic era for Mongolia, where, despite the recent strong economic growth, income poverty remains high both in rural and urban areas, and rising inequalities are resulting in unsuccessful knock-in to prevalence of poverty. In fact, the national Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report of 2007 indicates that the critical MDG 1 target of a 50 per cent reduction in the share of the population who are in poverty is in danger of being missed.


According to the Human Development concept, economic growth is a necessary condition for development. However, growth in itself does not translate in reducing poverty and improving people’s quality of life. The ILO advocates the approach of “working out of poverty” through the decent work agenda as a means for meeting the fi rst MDG target. International experience has demonstrated that rapid growth can lead to strong poverty reduction only through expansion of decent work – the creation of more and better jobs.


In other words, decent work enables poor people to maximize their own labour power, the main resource which they possess. In this context, the Report highlights the needs for a pro-poor employment policy and a strategy, which promotes integration of poor and marginalized men and women in the growth process so that they can equitably benefi t from it. Further, the Report emphasizes that the key aspect of employment promotion is not only the number of new jobs, but also the quality and location of those jobs, and the need to build the capacity of Mongolia’s working age population, especially the youth to be able to take advantage of these job opportunities.

UNDP and ILO would like to thank the national authors, editors, and advisory group members for their diligence in compiling this important report. We would like to extend our special thanks to Dr.S.R Osmani, Professor of University of Ulster, for his intellectual contribution and advice. The NHDR on Employment and Poverty presents a number of important recommendations. It is extremely important that the Government, employers’ organisations and trade unions, as well as other stakeholders remain committed to continue to develop and implement, policies and programmes to achieve the MDGs targets. For this, the United Nations in Mongolia stands ready to provide its continuous support.

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