Mongolia officially launches their national assessment of ROAM
On 19 May 2022, UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office in collaboration with the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, launched the ROAM project in Mongolia to conduct the assessment of the digital landscape, using UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators and principles. The project is supported by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
Over 30 people representing the Mongolian Ministry of Digital Development and Communications, the Mongolian National Statistical Office, and other relevant government departments, academia, the technical community, private sector, media organizations, civil society, organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as UN Resident Coordinator Office in Mongolia attended the meeting online and offline.
Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office and UNESCO Representative to China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Republic of Korea opened the session. In his remarks, Prof. Khan expressed the hope that the findings from this assessment will help improve the quality of policy-making and practice in Mongolia to ensure that the benefits of the Internet are universally available to every individual.
Mr. Boldsaikhan Sambuu, Secretary-General, Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO highlighted the relevance of the assessment in addressing national digital challenges such as digital divide, misinformation, disinformation, and freedom of journalists.
Otgonjargal Gantulga, Project Manager of Digital Era NGO – the implementation partner of the project, presented the Digital Era NGO and its mission to deliver consulting service of digital transformation along with digital literacy trainings to Mongolian users.
Xianhong Hu, Programme Specialist at UNESCO and Simon Ellis, International technical advisor, provided an overview of the whole project, underlining the process and methodology behind the implementation of the ROAM framework.
Both experts stressed that the unique strength of the framework resides in its unique holistic view which protects all human rights, promotes multistakeholdarism to empower national actors and vulnerable groups while providing an accurate diagnosis of Mongolia’s Internet policies and digital environment.
Representing Digital Era NGO, Ms. Ariunzul Liijuu-Ochir presented the projected timeline for the completion of the national assessment of ROAM, potentially making Mongolia the first country to finalize the evaluation in the Asia-Pacific region and the 6th report of the national assessment of IUIs series.
She also highlighted the importance of addressing the accessibility issue for people with disabilities as well as vulnerable groups and trusted that the assessment could help improve national policies on accessibility
As the meeting gathered national stakeholders from various sectors composing the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Board (MAB), focal points of the ROAM project emphasized the significance of the Board’s role in providing guidance and support to the research team throughout the data collection and review process.
Mongolian stakeholders all recognized the relevance of the study to grasp the complexity of the Internet’s development, and its impact in effectively addressing the Internet for optimum contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNESCO reaffirms their support to Mongolia in developing and submitting Internet related policies based on the findings of the project in relations to the Mongolia Digital Nation Strategy and help in addressing digital divides to bring together a more inclusive Internet which leaves no one behind.