Over the past three years, SAMBa, alongside Bath collaborators from the Department of Psychology and the Institute of Policy Research, have been building links with organisations across the city of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. The aim is to tackle the severe air pollution problem that engulfs the city, particularly during the winter months.

Temperatures can reach -40˚C at points during the winter, and the burning of coal by residents creates a smog that sits over the city leading to health problems, particularly for vulnerable members of society such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

In the last 12 months, SAMBa has secured funding from both EPSRC and Research England (via the University of Bath) to develop research ideas as well as build capacity through training people in statistical techniques and the understanding of using these outputs to inform policy interventions. This funding begins a new era in our interactions with Mongolia, widening the reach of the collaboration and bringing in further expertise from the University of Bath.

The success of our programme would have been impossible to achieve without the partnerships we have built with agencies based in Mongolia who have facilitated activities, supported our visits, and devoted time to developing ideas. These relationships have been acknowledged by the University of Bath in the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding with the National University of Mongolia, UNICEF Mongolia, and the National Development Agency.

Jeremy Bradshaw, Pro Vice Chancellor for International and Doctoral commented: “It’s been fascinating and impressive to see the evolution of the activity SAMBa, IPR and the department of Psychology have been pursuing over the last few years, and I am pleased that the continued work of team has been recognised and supported through funding investment. Signing these MoUs with Mongolian agencies will ensure that the strong relationships will continue to grow, build capacity in Mongolia, and generate new research and impact into the future.”