Author Archives: Julian Dierkes

Julian Dierkes is a sociologist by training (PhD Princeton Univ) and a Mongolist by choice and passion since around 2005. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He toots

On the Importance of Self-Reflection in an Experiential Learning Project

Julian Dierkes // Jan 14, 2015

In the current iteration of the Asia Pacific Policy Project, we’re asking participants to regularly reflect on their experience on this blog. They will be sharing information and concrete lessons that they’ve learned, but we will also be encouraging them to reflect on the experience of an experiential learning project of this kind.

Since the Project is more of a structure in which learning occurs than a course in which the instructors (Dirk van Zyl, UBC Mining Engineering and myself) teach, such reflections are especially important for student to understand and realize the learning that they are doing. We know from many conversations with participants in previous Projects that the experience of an applied, problem-driven, teamwork-based project of this kind has been very valuable and that they have learned a lot about themselves, the nature of teamwork, the open-endedness and indeterminacy of policy-making , and about the subject matter that projects have covered. By reflecting more explicitly about such lessons, we are hoping that students will be focused even more on their learning and view their participation in the Project as an opportunity for the acquisition of policy-analysis, but also project management skills that will be useful to them in professional careers.

We are expecting all participants to post to this blog at least six times over the course of the Spring 2015 term (Jan-April). Obviously, more frequent posts will also be welcome. These posts are written for three different audiences: students themselves (reflection for learning), other participants (information), and the interested public (reflections and information). They will not be edited, but we will try to build up a categorization structure that will allow readers to navigate within posts. Posts will be identified by their author.

Obviously, posts will be of varying length, from brief two-paragraph descriptions of a reflective moment of discovery to a much more extended and more substantive discussion of a specific aspect of the localization of the EITI in Mongolia or elsewhere.

Some students are likely to also include their posts in other social media activities that will allow them to incorporate participation in the project into the construction of a portfolio with an eye toward their future careers.

The Continuation of an Asia Pacific Policy Project

Julian Dierkes // Jan 13, 2015

The Spring 2015 project will be the first time that we’ll be continuing an Asia Pacific Policy Project from a previous (academic) year and I’m very curious to see whether that will make a difference to how the project unfolds.

In Spring 2014 the project initially familiarized itself with EITI reconciliation reports to then delve deeper into how these reports could be communicated in a different/additional way to receive more attention in civil society and in Mongolia overall. One of the great successes of this project were the three presentations students gave in Ulaanbaatar in early June to the Ministry of Mining, to NGOs (facilitated and hosted by the EITI Secretariat) and to the Mongolian University of Science and Technology. These presentations showcased the project to Mongolian audiences and will allow us to build on a familiarity with our Project in the current iteration.

While we’re still waiting on a decision about some funding for the Project that will allow participants to travel to Mongolia and thus engage stakeholders even more directly, the fact that some connections around the topic of the EITI in Mongolia have been established already will likely make a big difference this Spring. It also raised the expectations, internally as well as externally.

As we’re focusing on structures and initiatives to create local engagement with the EITI as well as support for reporting at the local level, we are taking the Project in a somewhat different direction. Local-level reporting is new to EITI reporting in Mongolia and elsewhere, so we may find that we’ll have fewer international examples of activities to draw on than we did last year in a focus on communications. But, that means that there is significant room for students’ creativity in imagining or recommending solutions and initiatives.


And… off to another Asia Pacific Policy Project: EITI Localization in Mongolia

Debbie Prasad, MAAPPS // Jan 12, 2015

The wait is over and the 2015 mining policy project in Mongolia has finally begun! As a part of this team, I am excited to have the opportunity to finally put the theories I have learned about policy, into practice. As a future potential policy maker, this type of project in which one gains experience in applying policymaking is invaluable.

In my opinion, in order to make successful policies, it is important for a policymaker to understand their audience. It is also important to be aware of the fact that one policy implementation in one region may not be applicable in another. The lanes and avenues of the regions of the globe are diverse, and it is important to realize what each of these lanes and avenues identify with the most. It may not necessarily be true that a mining policy that was successful in Azerbaijan, will have the same success in Mongolia. The quest is to ask, why this may be the case?  I am a newcomer to the mining industry and to Mongolia, and thus I have many questions as I begin this venture. Having questions, and seeking to find answers to these questions will enable me to understand the mining industry, and more importantly, Mongolia. 

My flurry of questions start with: what are some Mongolian cultural norms? What is it that Mongolians identify with the most? Like India, and the Philippines, do Mongolians also identify with idolizing Bollywood or jamming to Pinoy Music? What about their political views? What is the voter turnout in a Mongolian election? Wait- do they have elections? What are the population demographics? Is the population more urban or rural? How does the “average Joe” Mongolian feel about the mining industry in Mongolia? How deeply is an average Mongolian citizen involved in mining? So many questions, and so many answers that need to be searched for!

The most important question of all though, pertains to the weather app on my phone. Today at 9:00 am local Ulaanbataar time, the temperature was -27degrees Celsius, which begs the question… Mongolian homes, particularly in the province of Selenge have central heating???

Ulaanbaatar Presentation, May 26

logo mon





Канад улсын Бритиш Колумбийн Их Сургууль (БКИС)-ийн Уул уурхайн инженер , Ази, номхон далайн бодлого судлалын магистрийн ангид суралцаж буй 13 оюутнууд 2014 оны хичээлийн жилийнхээ хаврын улиралд Олборлох үйлдвэрлэлийн ил тод байдлын санаачилгыг хэрэгжүүлэгч орнуудын тэр дундаа Монгол Улсын ОҮИТБС-ын жил бүрийн нэгтгэл тайланд дүн шинжилгээ хийж, судалгаа хийсэн байна.

Уг судалгааны ажлын үр дүнг танилцуулахаар БКИС-ийн Ази судлалын хүрээлэнгийн Доктор, профессор Жулиан Диркесээр ахлуулсан судлаач 7 оюутан Монгол улсад хүрэлцэн ирсэн бөгөөд танилцуулах уулзалтыг 2014 оны 5 дугаар сарын 26-ны өдөр 16:00 цагт Пума империал зочид буудлын хурлын танхимд зохион байгуулна.

Иймд дээрх сонирхолтой илтгэл, нээлттэй уулзалтад та бүхнийг урьж байна. Уулзалт Англи, Монгол хэл дээр орчуулгатай явагдана. Дэлгэрэнгүй мэдээллийг ээс авна уу. Оролцох эсэхээ 5 дугаар сарын 23-ны өдрийн дотор баталгаажуулна уу.



Монголын ОҮИТБС-ын ажлын албаны зохицуулагч Ш.Цолмон

16:00 – 16:10 16:10 – 16:20

16:20 – 17:00 17:00 – 17:50 17:50 – 18:00

Канадын БКИС-ийн судлаач оюутнуудын Монголын ОҮИТБС-ын жил бүрийн нэгтгэл тайланд хийсэн дүн шинжилгээг танилцуулах уулзалт

2014 оны 5 дугаар сарын 26-ны өдөр, Даваа гараг

Нээлт, ОҮИТБС-ын ажлын албаны зохицуулагч Ш.Цолмон

Өмнөтгөл, БКИС-ийн Ази судлалын хүрээлэнгийн Доктор, профессор Жулиан Диркес

Судалгааны ажлын дүгнэлт, зөвлөмж, судалгааны баг Асуулт, хариулт, хэлэлцүүлэг

In Ulaanbaatar with Project Members

Some of the members of the EITI Mongolia project will be in Mongolia May 26-28 to present their analysis and recommendations.

The students will be presenting their analysis and observations in several contexts in Ulaanbaatar.

There will be a presentation at 16h on Monday, May 26, in the small conference room (2nd floor) of the Puma Imperial Hotel. The event is free and open to the public.