Australia Awards Mongolia
Client name: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Duration: 2013 – 2018
Australia Awards – Mongolia provided education opportunities that equip Mongolian postgraduate scholars to lead their country’s future development.
Australia and Mongolia have maintained a close diplomatic relationship since 1972. This relationship has a strong focus on development assistance in Mongolia’s resources sector and on deepening political engagement. While Mongolia’s economy is small, it is growing rapidly and the Australian Government is helping this growth continue.
Coffey managed the Australia Awards—Mongolia program offering masters-level scholarships at Australian universities to post-graduate Mongolians who are passionate about the development of their country, and also provides training and professional development support for alumni.
The Australia Awards is the longest standing Australian aid program in Mongolia and is well regarded for producing highly capable, successful graduates.
Through the program, Coffey aimed to empower recipients with the knowledge and skills to become global leaders.
We worked closely with the Government of Mongolia to ensure that we offered opportunities in areas of study that directly relate to the economic and social needs of the country as outlined in Mongolia’s National Development Strategy. Current focus areas include human resource development, mining for development and support for vulnerable communities.
The application process is transparent with applicants assessed on academic ability, and their professional and personal leadership qualities. Importantly, they are also selected on their potential to positively contribute to Mongolia’s development on their return.
Since 2003, more than 200 Mongolian students have graduated from the Australia Awards Mongolia program and every graduate has a story.
Australia Awards – Mongolia supports alumni by providing networking and other professional development activities. Women alumni face different challenges from men in fully using their new skills, including access to senior leadership positions. Broader data on women's leadership in Mongolia show that, despite more women completing tertiary education than men, very few women occupy senior leadership and decision-making positions relative to the numbers of women in the workforce.
The Women’s Leadership Program was established in 2014 and is designed to improve alumni’s leadership skills and continue professional development after completing their Australia Awards, with a special focus on women. It is a development program with activities focused on identifying and improving leadership capacities. It gives participants opportunities to apply their learning and experience by collaboratively designing and implementing community development projects.
In an effort to improve opportunities for women to be promoted to senior leadership and decision-making positions, there is dedicated funding to foster access for women to senior leadership positions. The Program provides leadership and development opportunities for up to 25 female and male alumni delivered in three components:
- An eight-month leadership and professional development program in Mongolia for all participants
- A two-week intensive fellowship in Australia for selected participants
- Capacity building in Mongolia to deliver leadership and gender-sensitive training.
In November 2016, the Australian Government announced additional funding from the Gender Equality Fund to support specific community development projects and to reintroduce an in-Australia fellowship for up to 10 participants.
The Women’s Leadership Program’s 2017 community development projects are:
- Healthy pregnancy: neo-natal support materials
- Safe routes to school: safety awareness for primary children
- From disability to ability: supporting mobility-challenged children with wheelchairs and equipment maintenance
- Wonder box: resources to support learning for pre-school children in remote communities.