Monday, April 21, 2008

New NGO / Шинэ ТББ

I was summoned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry last Friday- with MNFDPO / VSO colleague Nickson Kakiri and Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens (МТИХ) - to give advice on Building Accessibility. I was only too happy to help.

МХБИБҮХ/VSO хамтран ажиллагч Никсон Какири болоод МТИХ-аас ирсэн хүсэлтийн дагуу бид Гадаад Хэргийн Яам дээр Нэвтрэх боломжтой Барилгын талаар зөвлөгөө өгөхөөр очсон. Би үүнд баяртай байсан.

Arriving miraculously on time and coordinated in the humid afternoon and Friday traffic jams, four of us entered the impressive building lobby, but were told our host was not known to the reception. We phoned a mobile phone, and found our way to the back entrance and upstairs to the Building Services Manager's office, where the meeting host promptly began explaining official stamped certificates to our translator Ariunaa.

The remaining three of us, Nickson Kakiri (VSO), Aliyyah Musani (VSO) and I stood by, understanding nothing, before I suggested we go somewhere where we could sit down and introduce one another. It seemed Chuluundolgor of Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens (МТИХ) in her wheelchair had been waylaid, and we returned to the grand lobby of the Ministry and sat at a low table near an empty ballroom.

Баасан гаригийн хөдөлгөөнзамын ий бөглөрөл болоод чийгтэй өдрийг даван энд тэндээс гайхалтайгаар цагтаа цугларсан. Тэгээд хүлээн авагчаас зохион байгуулагч хүний талаах асуусан боловч мэдэхгүй байлаа.

Our host, Mr Bat-Erdene, explained that he had been in post as building services manager at the ministry for 5 months, and had recently formed a new NGO, after suffering an injury. He explained that his purpose would be to raise awareness about building accessibility in Mongolia. We listened approvingly. The name of the brand-new and 'independent' NGO: "Bat-Erdene's NGO". Oh.

Monving on, why had Mr. Bat-Erdene called the meeting? He sought advice on
1) Principles of Building Accessibility and
2) International conditions, research and developments in built environment accessibility.
The former would addressed in a summary page of notes I had prepared, the latter, I suggested could follow from work we had previously begun with Chuluundolgor and the Mongolian Wheelchair Citizens (МТИХ).

I explained that my bilingual page of training notes had been hand-copied by a student from my computer as I do not have a working printer. I suggested rather than handing these over, I would be interested in following up on any issues of interest which Mr Bat-Erene might wish to note down. He took no notes, but recorded phone numbers, perhaps a politeness.

1. Principles of Universal Design - thinking about built environment accessibility in Mongolia

Physical accessibility; e.g.
Door widths

Visual Accessibility; e.g.

Tactile Accessibility; e.g.
Navigation strips

Auditory Accessibility; for most of us, the most abstract idea - e.g.
The acoustic environment
Entrance accessibility for deaf or blind people

I added such a brief introduction could not do justice to the wealth of extant information available publicly and from local experts such as Professor Gonchigbat at MUST. The latter has previously been contacted by МТИХ and MNFDPO about training in Accessibile Environments and Independent Living.

Шинэ Стандарт...<Унивэрсал Дизайны зарчим > Монгол дахь нэвтрэх боломжтой барилгын тухай бодож үзэх.

Биеээр нэвтрэх
Налуу шат
Хаалганий өргөн

Харж нэвтрэх
Олоход хялбар зам

Тэмтэрч нэвтрэх
Чиглүүлэх зурвас

Сонсоод нэвтрэх
Дуу авиа /ялгаа/

The next part of the meeting was about working processes, and I attempted to describe a developmental approach to working on accessibility.

International / Mongolian NGO - (Chuluundolgor joined the meeting at this point)
Government / MN - expectations of Government support, usually channelled through MNFDPO, politicians etc.

Mongolian Norm 31-101-04 (Монгол норм 31-101-04)

Professional bodies
Mongolian Association of Architects (
Arkhitektorjiin Xolboo)


Construction students
- build their capacity
- enhance
their careers

Architect teachers / M Arch Assoc
- build their professional knowledge
- enhance capacity of Mongolian construction profession

e.g. our own CTC College Director(s) who are currently also building (in) Mongolia and taking advice on accessibility and other design issues

Олон улсын / Монголын ТББ
Chuluundolgor joined the meeting

Засгийн газар
- expectations of Government support, usually channelled through MNFDPO, politicians etc.
- Монгол норм 31-101-04

Мэргэжлийн байгууллагууд:
- Архитекторуудын холбоо
- Барилгын сургуулиуд: БТК, ШТИС

- Нандинцэцэг БТК Диплом Оюутан.
- Энхцэцэг
БТК Диплом Оюутан.
- Г
үрсэд БТК Диплом Оюутан.

- Дагшигдорж
- Пурэв-Эрдэнэ
- Гончигбат


The meeting wrapped up fairly abruptly, after the host took some phone calls.
Nickson, Aliyyah, Chuluundolgor and I then repaired to the (conveniently ramped) Ulaanbaatar Hotel nearby for a cold and refreshing golden beverage.


Blue Chair Blog said...

Great stuff, Gregory! Glad to see you are attempting universal design in Mongolia of all places. If you can do it there, you can do it anywhere.

Sounds like the meeting wasn't overly successful, but hey, it was a start.


samraat said...