"Past-Present-Future" SDC in Mongolia

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Local news, 13.03.2023

Switzerland and Mongolia enjoy friendly diplomatic relations that date back to 1964. Both countries share common democratic values, and political exchanges take place at a high level. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has been active in Mongolia since 2001 and strengthened its presence by opening an office in Ulaanbaatar in 2004. Initially, the focus of support was on the sustainable use of natural resources, agricultural development, and food security.

Photo competion 2023
Photo competion 2023 ©SDC

Over the years, the programme was expanded to include vocational education and training, as well as governance. Since 2018, projects have taken into consideration an urban approach, including some new projects dedicated to urban development based on the country’s specific challenges. New programs allowed Switzerland to bring in expertise in climate change adaptation/mitigation and environmental sustainability.

Switzerland will phase out its bilateral development cooperation in several countries, including Mongolia, by mid-2024. Therefore to conclude development work done in Mongolia and promote SDGs along with Vision 2050, SDC will organise a photo competition with a following exhibition.

"Past-Present-Future of SDC in Mongolia" is a photo competition aimed at involving young artists to promote development work done through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Mongolia through photography. It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Culture, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Mongolian University of Culture and Art. Sixty finalists will participate in the award ceremony to take place in Ulaanbaatar in August 2023. Three winners will be selected by jury and experts including representatives from the Gamma Agency, the Ministry of Culture, Mongolian University of Culture and Art and SDC. Photos of preselected finalists will be featured in a high-end catalogue and exhibited throughout Mongolia.


This photo competition is open to youth from 18-34 years of age across Mongolia.

The theme: Past-Present-Future of SDC in Mongolia

The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. By 2030, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The SDGs address the most pressing global challenges of our time, calling upon collaborative partnerships across and between countries to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

Whereas Switzerland is promoting the implementation of all 17 SDG goals worldwide, in Mongolia, SDC is not working in all sectors. Therefore, we pre-selected some of the SDGs for this specific project: The participants can choose one or more of the following theme/s for their artwork.

Goal 1

End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

Goal 2

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal 4

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Goal 5

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal 8

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Goal 15

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity 

Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. 

Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation in Mongolia (timeline)


Humanitarian aid - Cash for Herders


The Switzerland establishes a Cooperation Office in Mongolia


Launch of the Green Gold Project and Mongolian Potato Programme


Launch of the Sustainable Artisanal Mining Project


Launch of the Coping with Desertification Project


Launch of the One-Stop-Shop Project


Launch of the Telemedicine Project and Livestock Project


Launch of joined the World Bank’s Index-based Insurance Project


Launch of the Dzud Disaster Relief and Prevention Project


Launch of the Vocational Education Project


Launch of the Governance and Decentralisation Programme


Launch of the Youth Development Project and The Vocational Skills Development Project


Launch of the Capacity Strengthening of Local Self-Governing Bodies Project


Launch of the Education for Sustainable Development Project
The Governance and Decentralisation Programme Phase II
The Mainstreaming Social Accountability in Mongolia Project
The Sustainable Livelihood Project Phase III 


Launch of the Inclusive and Sustainable Vegetable and Marketing Project
The Combating Gender-Based Violence Project
The Youth Employment Promotion Project


Launch of the Green Gold and Animal Health Consolidation Project 
The Strengthening Representative Bodies Project 


Launch of the Public Investment in Energy Efficiency Project Phase II
The Reducing Impacts of Air Pollution on Maternal and Child Health Project


Launch of the Municipal Waste Collection and Transportation Management in Ulaanbaatar Project
The Education for Sustainable Development Project Phase II
The Understanding and Managing Internal Migration in Mongolia Project


Launch of the Inclusive and Sustainable Vegetable and Marketing Project Phase II
The Mainstreaming Social Accountability in Mongolia Project Phase II
The Combating Gender-Based Violence Project Phase II


Launch of the Strengthening Representative Bodies Project Phase II 
The Humanitarian aid - provided medical supply and equipment support to combat COVID-19


Launch of the Swiss Cooperation Phase-out Programme for Mongolia 2022-2024    

Dimensions + Quality + Solution

  • Size: recommendable size for photos should not exceed A3 size.
  • Dimension: At least 300dpi and more
  • Named and provided caption for each photos
  • One participant can participate at least with 5 photos

Submission of the Photos

Photos should be submitted latest by 30 May 2023 sdcmongolia2023@gmail.com mail address, or by stick/flash to SDC in Mongolia Office, Sky Plaza Business Centre, and Embassy Street – 9, Khoroo-1, Sukhbaatar district, Ulaanbaatar 14210.

Selection Process and Prizes

Phase I: Sixty finalists will be pre-selected out of all the photos submitted. All the artists selected will be invited to Ulaanbaatar to participate in the award ceremony planned during the Swiss National Day August 01, 2023. For those participants not living in Ulaanbaatar, travel and accommodation costs will be provided upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Photos from all the finalists will feature in a high-quality catalogue and will be exhibited in 3 provinces in Mongolia. 

Phase II: For the best three photos, SDC will award prices to the photographers: 1st pricewinner will be awarded to visit Switzerland for a week, including flight, food and accommodation.; 2nd price winner will be awarded for 500 USD, and the 3rd price winner will be awarded for 300 USD. All entries will be judged using the same criteria: creativity, composition, theme and technique.

Jury members

  • Delegate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Delegate of the Ministry of Culture
  • Delegate of the Mongolian University of Culture and Art
  • Delegate of the Gamma photo Agency
  • Delegate of the Batzorig Foundation, freelance photographer

The exhibition

After the award ceremony, the 60 selected photos in Phase-II will be exhibited in Ulaanbaatar (locations still to be defined):

  • Ulaanbaatar city
  • Khovd, Khovd city
  • Khentii, Chingis city
  • Dornogobi, Sainshand city

The auction

Photos submitted for the competition will not be returned. All photos will be auctioned for the Ministry of Culture. Proceedings will be used to promote young artists through scholarships, residencies, etc.  


  • The Ministry of Culture
  • The Gamma Agency
  • The Batzorig Foundation

Competition Terms and Conditions

  • The deadline for submission is 30 May. Entries submitted after this date will not be considered for the competition.
  • The competition is open to youth the age of 18-34.
  • As all photos must be fully original, no entries will be accepted or considered if they are deemed to use in whole or part derivative images, which could be considered plagiaristic. 
  • The entries should not depict any specific organisation, brand name or specific person and should be fully compliant with human rights. 
  • All entries must be able to be digitally captured at a high resolution. 
  • It is clarified that no remuneration is offered to the participants as part of this competition. Participants will not be compensated. Only the winning entries will be entitled to a cash prize.

Legal Considerations

  • Photos will not be returned to the participants. SDC have unlimited right to use them for exhibitions, publications and other outreach and communication products. 
  • The organisation shall not be responsible for any loss or damage that may occur by entering this contest and the SDC reserves the right to make changes to the rules of the contest without prior notification.
  • All photos submitted should be original photos taken by the youth. The photos should not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity. Participants may not post, distribute, or reproduce in any way, trademarks, or other proprietary information. It is our policy to disqualify entries upon prompt notification by the copyright owner’s legal agent without limiting the foregoing. 

Further Information

Email Tansagmaa Tsog, Media and Communication Officer at SDC: tansagmaa.tsog@eda.admin.ch, or call at +976-99109723