Building Capacities for Civic Engagement, Peacebuilding and Inclusive Dialogue: Towards Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Background

The overall objective of the project is to promote a peaceful, inclusive, and equitable society through expanding opportunities for inclusive civic engagement using tools such as dialogue. Specifically, the project seeks to build the space and demand for constructive, meaningful, and inclusive engagement and collaboration among civil society, governmental authorities, private entities, and citizens through their capacity development as duty bearers and rights holders. The project also creates additional opportunities for civic engagement to enhance direct relationship and exposure between civil society and government institutions.

Key Expected Outputs

UNDAF and CPD outcome 4: By 2023, women and men, including those underrepresented, marginalized, and vulnerable, benefit from more transparent and accountable legislative and governance frameworks that ensure meaningful and informed participation in economic and social development and political processes. The project will contribute to the outcome with the following three project outputs and in recognizing different voices of men and women, with particular attention to marginalized groups.

Output 1: CSOs and governmental authorities will be able to engage each other better in responding to citizens’ interests in recognizing different voices of men and women with particular attention to marginalized groups.

1.1 Develop capacity of civil servants both in relevant ministries and sub-national authorities Inclusive dialogue and constructive engagement 

1.2 Develop capacity of CSOs 

1.3 Develop tools and knowledge to understand male and female citizens’ interests, particularly marginalized groups’ interests 

Output 2: Existing infrastructure for civic engagement (mechanisms, processes, and policies) will be more constructive, and open to diverse opinions in ensuring women’s participation 

2.1 Improve engagement modality 

2.2 Development of communication products and knowledge management 

Output 3: Partnership among citizens, CSOs and government institutions (both national and sub-national) will be strengthened through identifying more benefits of civic engagement.

3.1 Organize innovation challenge on civic engagement 

3.2 Organize study tours
 

Achievements to Date (February 2024)

The project has been organized into three primary pillars, each of which has successfully met its targets and delivered expected outcomes. Key accomplishments include:

Capacity Development:  Collaborating with the National School of Local Administration (NASLA) and the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC), the project has bolstered the capacities of civil servants and CSOs, respectively. By equipping participants with essential skills and knowledge, the project has facilitated meaningful engagement in decision-making processes and policy formulation. NASLA developed a comprehensive curriculum on innovation for user-centered design in civic engagement and provided trainings to 348 participants, of whom 87 women, on "Innovation for Local Administration" and ‘’ SDGs Localization’’. CCC provided subgrants to 8 CSOs to improve their financial viability and sectoral infrastructure while training 1 433 participants, including 787 women, in critical areas for CSOs sustainability. The project also conducted a Social Cohesion Assessment in 2022, engaging with 30 young people to identify social cohesion issues and formulate policy recommendations across various dimensions.

Supporting Dialogue: Through facilitating knowledge exchange and communication among stakeholders, the project have significantly enhanced the provincial governments and Provincial NGO Networks’ capacities to strengthening and revitalizing the PPD mechanism, which emerges as vital platforms for fostering collaboration and achieving tangible results in strengthening local partnerships.. Continued collaboration between provincial governments and Provincial NGO Networks later led to the finalization of eight proposals, yielding tangible outcomes. In Kampong Cham, the Provincial NGO Network was reactivated while a Provincial Working Group on City Waste Management was established, comprising various stakeholders such as schools, line departments, police, and other relevant actors. Terms of reference for the PPD were developed in Kampot and Ratanakiri while all four provinces decided to formally adopt the PPD mechanism.

Enhancing Government-CSO Relations: The project has promoted collaboration between government officials and CSOs through innovation and co design challenges and study tours. By providing platforms for joint problem-solving and international exchange, the project has strengthened partnerships and catalyzed impactful initiatives. Two innovation boot camps brought together 71 government officials and civil society members, including 22 women, fostering synergies and dynamics. A study tour in Japan on SDGs Localization with 12 representatives of government officials and CSOs, among them 4 women, provided a platform for knowledge enrichment on various SDG-related issues and facilitated insightful exchanges with Japanese counterparts.

Finally, the Dissemination Workshop, held on January 26th, served as a significant opportunity to share and reflect on the project's achievements and impact. Co-organized with NASLA, CCC, and a sub-grantee CSO Buddhism for Social Development Action (BSDA), the workshop provided a dynamic platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration on civic engagement. 170 key stakeholders, including 45 women, attended the event, including the Ambassador of Japan to Cambodia, government officials, NGO networks, and partners, the workshop. Through tangible examples and demonstrable outcomes showcased, participants gained valuable insights into the transformative power of collaborative efforts in promoting inclusive governance practices.
 

Project Brief

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Impact

START DATE

March 2020

END DATE

December 2024

STATUS

Ongoing

PROJECT OFFICE

Cambodia

IMPLEMENTING PARTNER

United Nations Development Programme

DONORS

GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

Unspecified

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS

$2,510,447

DELIVERY IN PREVIOUS YEARS

2020$220,098

2021$505,348

2022$431,913

2023$742,783

2024$216,939

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