Expanding Economic Opportunities and Promoting Cooperative Development

Since 2002, Global Communities has been working in the peri-urban areas surrounding Mongolia’s largest cities. Known as "Ger" areas these peri-urban communities are located in the outlying districts of major cities. Ger areas tend to be comprised of thousands of small, fenced-in plots of land and remain isolated from the main commercial activity and public services. Global Communities' work in Mongolia has focused on expanding economic opportunities in these areas by promoting cooperative development among small businesses and producers.

The Enabling Market Integration through Rural Group Empowerment (EMIRGE) is an institutional learning grant, funded under USAID’s Cooperative Development Program, that aims to develop, test and disseminate cooperative approaches to economic development. In Mongolia, EMIRGE focuses efforts on farmers who have had no prior experience working together. Through value chain analysis and an animal husbandry assessment, EMIRGE helped farmers identify opportunities to raise productivity and income. Training and exposure to improved practices have led to innovation and visible results, with the secondary effect of creating solidarity among farmers through the learning process. These new relationships have led to formation of producers’ groups which collaborate on joint production of fodder crops and silage, shared labor in shelter construction and lower-cost access to veterinary services.


To assist the economic development of Ger areas, Global Communities implemented the the Growing Entrepreneurship Rapidly (GER) Initiative. The program was provided business development and employment services by working with a variety of private sector partners. Local banks partnered with GER to provide entrepreneurs with access to credit. Medium and large businesses were partners in the program’s employment training, employment matching and business-to-business linkages

In addition to the GER Initiative, Global Communities promoted the development of cooperative systems through the Innovating, Measuring and Promoting Poverty Alleviation by Cooperatives in Transition Societies (IMPPACTS) program and the Mongolian Agribusiness Support Program (MASP). With support from USDA, MASP provided training and technical assistance to existing and prospective agricultural micro-enterprises, cooperatives and associations,  made grants to organizations investing in collaborative business ventures and promoted linkages between suppliers, producers and processors. MASP also implemented an animal health program to improve veterinary care for swine though introduction of a specialized pig-health training curriculum and supported value chain development through technical assistance to the pork and felt industries.

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Global Communities' work promoting the development of cooperatives