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Community involvement in monitoring government services kicks off

Staff from local NGOs learned more about social accountability at a workshop organised by CARE this week.

The four organisations are partnering with CARE to implement the Social Accountability Framework in Cambodia. This aims to support the improvement of service delivery in primary schools, health centres, and communes in selected districts in Cambodia.

During the event, attendees from Health and Development Alliance (HEAD), Cambodian Civil Society Partnership (CCSP), Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT) and the Advocacy and Policy Institute (API) learned more about what social accountability is and the importance of building relationships between citizens and the state. The Social Accountability Framework emphasises citizen monitoring and community understanding of Information for Citizens. It also uses tools such as the multi-sector scorecard—which is based on the CARE’s Community Scorecard.

These four “capacity building NGO’s” will support an additional 14 community-based NGOs. Working across four provinces, the organisations partnering with CARE hope to reach over 900,000 community members, particularly women, youth and ethnic minorities.

CARE believes that improving governance at community level is vital for Cambodia’s overall development as a democracy. During her welcome speech to partners, Country Director Joanne Fairley said, “This partnership demonstrates that you fully commit to building social accountability in Cambodia, which is the foundation of long-term development of the country.

”After the event, attendees said they were confident they will be able to support citizens to improve their local governance.“After this training, my organisation has improved confidence to build capacity of community accountability facilitators,” said Mr. Chum Sopha, Executive Director of HEAD.

CCSP Executive Director, Ms. Prak Sokhany spoke of the importance of this coordination between civil society, local government and communities. “I think this is a really good initiative to improve the quality of local public service delivery at the sub-national level to improve the voice of citizens. In order to reach that goal, we as NGOs need to have proper coordination and support from all related stakeholders especially cooperation of local authorities,” she said.

In Cambodia, CARE has been working on governance and social accountability in poor and marginalised communities for over 10 years, including implementing CARE’s signature community scorecard to improve people’s ability to provide feedback on their local health services.

Cambodia’s Social Accountability Framework is being implemented by the National Committee for Sub National Democratic Development Secretariat (NCDDS) and five civil society organisations, namely CARE, RACHA, Star Kampuchea, Save the Children and World Vision. The joint partnership has a shared goal to directly benefit 8 million people in 120 districts of Cambodia by supporting them to improve the governance of local government services. CARE is implementing this with the financial support of the European Union.

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