After the end of its long term support on policies and management systems for sub-national authorities in 2011, UNDP’s democratic governance portfolio has shifted to focus more on the demand side rather than supply side. It is, however, critical to support the establishments and institutional strengthening of the local government networks and work closely with national body on the decentralization reform in Cambodia. In this respect, the long-term objective of UNDP’s work is to turn the Local Government Associations (LGAs) into effective representatives of local voice for democratic development. Therefore, our support is for LGAs to make a qualitative leap toward building their capacity to fulfill their mandates and advocate for the interests of its members and constituencies.
Key facts about Democratic Governance in Cambodia
The country’s National Strategic Development Plan places good governance at its core, recognizing it as the most important pre-condition for achieving sustainable socio-economic development with equity, equal opportunity and social justice.
The country’s administrative areas comprise one capital city (Phnom Penh), 23 provinces, 26 municipalities, 159 districts, 9 khans, and 1,633 communes/sangkats.
The Law on Administrative Management of Capital, Provinces, Municipalities, Districts and Khans extends representative deliberative power to all levels of sub-national administration in the country. This law paved the way for developing the National Programme for Sub-National Democratic Development, which provides the framework for further local governance reforms over the next 10 years.
Few countries have faced many monumental challenges as Cambodia following the decimation of the population during the Khmer Rouge regime, including a high percentage of the educated class; the destruction of the social and economic infrastructure; the shredding of the social fabric; and a painstaking recovery hindered by an embargo, isolation and continued conflict with the remnants of the Khmer Rouge.
UNDP supports voter education in Cambodia
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