Project Management


Case studies


UNDP Mongolia Reports | 1997 - 1999

Publisher: UNDP Mongolia Communications Office

UNDP Mongolia Communications Coordinator: David South

The transition years of the 1990s had been especially brutal for Mongolia. The country experienced "one of the biggest peacetime economic collapses ever" (Mongolia's Economic Reforms: Background, Content and Prospects, Richard Pomfret, University of Adelaide, 1994) and it was a turbulent time. By the mid-1990s, the country had a long way to go to catch up with global developments in computer-based publishing and graphic design (and the Internet revolution was just getting started). However, UNDP's investments in encouraging high-quality graphic design and publishing were reflected in improvements to reports published by the UNDP Mongolia Communications Office. Unlike other development actors in Mongolia, who often chose to contract graphic design and publishing services from outside the country, the UNDP Mongolia Communications Office contracted Mongolian graphic designers and publishers for all of its publications. This investment in local talent paid off, not just for UN Mongolia publications, but also for Mongolia's publishing sector. The reports also garnered international attention for being “clear, well-written, attractive and colourful (UN Under-Secretary-General Nafis Sadik).” Examples of some of the many reports published by the Office are below: 

Human Development Report Mongolia 1997 published by the UNDP Mongolia Communications Office. Highly influential, it showed the extent of poverty in the transition years but also painted a positive vision for how human development could improve with the right policies.

The Guide in the Mongolian language.

The Guide in English.

The 1998 UN Mongolia Annual Report as it appeared in the Blue Sky Bulletin newsletter.

Mongolia Update - Coverage of 1998 Political Changes by David South.

Reports were timely and addressed demands for more information, such as the report Tackling Y2K in Mongolia.

New publications and reports were announced and made available to the general public. Anyone could drop by the UN Info Shop and read or acquire a publication.

 © David South Consulting 2017


UNDP in Mongolia: The Guide | 1997 - 1999

Publisher: UNDP Mongolia Communications Office

UNDP Mongolia Communications Coordinator: David South

Editor: David South

Researcher and Writer: Jill Lawless

The Guide, first published in 1997, provided a rolling update on UNDP's programmes and projects in Mongolia during a turbulent time (1997-1999). The mission simultaneously had to deal with the 1997 Asian Crisis ( and the worst peacetime economic collapse in post-WWII history. 

Each edition came with short project and context summaries, key staff contacts, and facts and figures on how the country was changing. For the first time, any member of the public could grasp what the UN was up to in the country and be able to contact the project staff. It also provided transparency on how international money was being spent in the country, which Government agencies were receiving these funds, and who was responsible and accountable. 

UNDP in Mongolia: The Guide was published as required from 1997 to 1999.

The Guide: Society and Culture showed how young Mongolia's population is. 

 © David South Consulting 2017


Blue Sky Bulletin Newsletter, UNDP Mongolia | 1997 - 1999


Publisher: UNDP Mongolia Communications Office

Editor: David South

BSkyB Reporter: A. Delgermaa

The Blue Sky Bulletin was the internal newsletter of UNDP's Partnership for Progress in Mongolia. Launched in the middle of a major crisis in 1997, the newsletter became a critical resource on developments in Mongolia and has been cited in many books and other publications about this period.

It was distributed around the world via email and in hard copy to subscribers and was posted on the UN Mongolia Development Web Portal ( The bilingual newsletter (English/Mongolian) broke new ground by publishing quality Mongolian development data, news and stories, rather than just presenting the usual grip-and-grin vanity photos of various development actors posing for handshakes. This proved especially useful for journalists, authors and scholars seeking to cover Mongolia's late 1990s development challenges. 

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4

Issue 5

Issue 6

Issue 7

Issue 8

Issue 9

Issue 10

Blue Sky Bulletin Issue 10 was published in 1999.
Blue Sky Bulletin Issue 9 was published in 1998.
Blue Sky Bulletin Issue 6 was published in 1998.
Blue Sky Bulletin Issue 5 was published in 1998. Can Mongolia compete? The information revolution on the steppe by A. Delgermaa.
UN supports food security and nutrition by A. Delgermaa.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Youth Issues: Empowering Mongolia by Julie Schneiderman.
New generation debate new values by Julie Schneiderman.

© David South Consulting 2017

UN/UNDP Mongolia Development Web Portal | 1997 - 1999

UNDP Mongolia Communications Coordinator (1997-1999): David South

UN/UNDP Mongolia Web Master: B. Bayasgalan

UNDP Mongolia Communications Officer: N. Oyuntungalag

I launched this portal in 1997, in the flurry of a major economic crisis in Mongolia. This award-winning and pioneering United Nations Mongolia development web portal was singled out by UN headquarters as an example of what a country office website should be like.
"A UN System site. A very nice, complete, professional site. Lots of information, easily accessible and well laid out. The information is comprehensive and up-to-date. This is a model of what a UNDP CO web site should be." 

Mongolia, at the time, was in the grip of "the biggest peacetime, post-WWII economic collapse." Yet despite the many obstacles, Mongolia's pioneering online publishing projects inspired others.
After this project, I went on to successfully launch a pioneering e-health web portal for Britain's top children's hospital. Award-winning, it was called one of the "most admired" public sector websites in the UK at the time (2001 to 2003).
You can read more about my current and past work here:


A page from the UN/UNDP Mongolia homepage in 1999.An awareness campaign placed ads in many publications to drive traffic to the UN/UNDP Mongolia homepage.


The UN/UNDP Mongolia homepage quickly became the top resource for development news on Mongolia in the late 1990s.

© David South Consulting 2017


Mongolian AIDS Bulletin, UNDP Mongolia | 1997 


Publisher: David South, UNDP Mongolia Communications Office

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Altanchimeg

Managing Editor: David South

Assembled by a team of health experts after the Fourth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in 1997, the Mongolian AIDS Bulletin was published that year in the middle of an HIV/AIDS crisis. It provided timely information and health resources in the Mongolian language and was distributed across the country. It was inspired by two sources: a meeting at the Fourth International Congress in Manila, Philippines with then-Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Peter Piot, and the experience and impact of Australia's National AIDS Bulletin. 

“Mongolia’s first AIDS Bulletin marked the beginning of the UNDP Response to HIV/AIDS/STDs Project back in the autumn of 1997. Over 5,000 copies of the magazine were distributed across the country, offering accurate information on the HIV/AIDS situation. The project has been pivotal in the formulation of a national information, education and communication (IEC) strategy, bringing together NGOs, donors, UN agencies and the government.”

Source: YouandAids: The HIV/AIDS Portal for Asia Pacific 

Read the original English translation from the UN Mongolia website here: 

Read more here:

An awareness campaign preceded the publishing of the Bulletin. Here are two stories from the awareness campaign: 

1) Lamas against AIDS:

2) Philippine conference tackles Asia's AIDS crisis:

The Mongolian AIDS Bulletin was published in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in 1997. 

Update: Here is an update on the number of HIV infections in Mongolia as of July 2018 from Xinhua: HIV infections rises to 262 in Mongolia

© David South Consulting 2017