The DREAM IT ( Development Research to Empower All Mongolians Through Information Technology) – series of applied research projects that were conducted by ONE Mongolia team, between 2009-2013, have been significant to Mongolia for the opportunities availed to researchers and development workers from many universities, government and non- governmental organizations, to freely explore the potential of ICTs to contribute to the country’s socioeconomic development. This intensive action research program was timely, at the onset of the deployment of ICT infrastructure, including the Internet, to the wide expanses of Mongolia through wireless networks and mobile phones, and as the Government formulated information and communication technology (ICT) policies to bring universal access to people living in remote places.
Over the past six years, the ONE Mongolia has been active in capacity building initiatives to introduce and demonstrate a range of open practices, including open education, open access publishing and open government. ONE Mongolia has focused some of its research activities specifically at demonstrating open practices in the education and information technology and government sectors.
Some inspiring facts about ONE Mongolia:
One focus of ONE Mongolia research has been open government initiatives through a project called Engaging citizen e-participation in the Parliamentary legislative process. The objective of the project was to understand the factors that motivate or inhibit citizens from using the Parliament website. The project studied the accessibility of the Parliamentary website for citizens of Mongolia regardless of gender, age, education, geography or socio-economic status, and in particular, it focused on citizens who lived in rural parts of Mongolia and specifically those of underserved communities.
Open research and open access publishing
ONE Mongolia has conducted research in environmental science through a number of projects including, Collaborative learning for co-management of natural resources in Mongolia, and Reading the weather: ICTs for climate risk management and herders’ livelihoods improvement in Mongolia.
The principle researcher for the environmental science projects has made an effort to openly publish the findings using a Creative Commons share-alike (CC-BY-SA) license that allows for download of the book and reuse of the material with appropriate attribution.
Open educational resources
ONE Mongolia is conducting open educational preliminary research in three target topic areas were identified, including:
Ramping up a Creative Commons Mongolia Affiliate as basic open infrastructure
As a result of the ONE Mongolia initiatives, there was growing interest across Mongolia for the use of Creative Commons licensed educational resources by instructors, institutions and government. CC licensed materials would provide a legal and technical infrastructure essential to the long-term success of OER.
ONE Foundation developed the roadmap for a Creative Commons Mongolia Affiliate and signed the Creative Commons Mongolia Affiliate Memorandum of Understanding in conjunction with the launch of the Mongolia Affiliate website www.creativecommons.mn
ONE Foundation established a Creative Commons (CC) Mongolia Affiliate and open licensing framework for Mongolia in 2013. A Creative Commons Mongolia affiliate expands upon initial OER activities as well as help boost human capital development and lifelong learning initiatives across Mongolia by working with education providers in both the formal and informal sectors to promote knowledge and skill acquisition through the use and open licensing of learning resources.
Looking Ahead: Open Network for Education in Mongolia (ONE Mongolia)
What remains to be done is the development a framework for the use of open education resources (OER) to support innovative practice models for teaching and learning, and instructor training in all education institutions.
Spurred on by the 2012 UNESCO OER Declaration, Dr. Enkhbat Dangaasuren, a well-respected Mongolian leader, Mongolian Internet pioneer and former parliamentarian introduced his vision for an Open Network for Education (ONE) Mongolia, at a July 2012 national seminar. Key to D.Enkhbat’s vision for the One Mongolia project and consortium is the notion that it must be national in scope, collaborative in nature, bringing together all sectors of Mongolian society under a common vision, to model open development principles.
His proposal received enthusiastic support from many of the educators and Mongolian Government and vision of ONE (Open Network for Education) Mongolia, is now taking shape.