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Community services improve with citizen involvement

Chanthorn, 30, is a chicken vendor in Kampot who also cares for her young son. Since training to become a Community Accountability Facilitator with one of CARE’s partners, she has been helping people in her community ensure that when they need support from local government services, they can access the help they need.

Chanthorn educates others in her community on the services they can expect to receive from their local commune council, their schools and their health centre. She also provides opportunities for citizens to give impartial feedback so that services can continue to develop.

Chanthorn has already noticed a number of improvements. More people are using the health centre. Common processes are taking less time.

One example Chanthorn has seen was when her neighbour, Chreb, needed to get a birth certificate for her child from the commune hall. Thanks to the information Chreb received from Chanthorn, she understood what documents she needed to have ready. She also knew how long it should take to be processed, so she was able to hold the authorities accountable for getting her child’s birth certificate without any additional hassle. Chreb was obviously pleased with the outcome: “The service is fast when we have the correct documents,” she said.

Chanthorn herself has also noticed that the commune staff are more friendly and efficient. “When I asked the commune staff for a new family book, they politely informed me that I could approach the nearby police station directly. It was delivered to my house just two days later.”

Becoming a Community Accountability Facilitator has also had a personal impact on Chanthorn as a leader in her community. She is now well known by others in her community and thanks to her training she has seen an improvement in her own life skills. “[This support] has provided me with more understanding on topics I had never known before. It has made me more confident, allowed me to help my community and increased how often I engage with the citizen services in our community,” Chanthorn says.

The positive changes in Chanthorn’s own life are a great example to those around her and she loves being able to share her knowledge with others. She looks forward to her commune continuing improve the services they offer.

These activities are part of the Implementation of Social Accountability Framework project, funded by the European Union.

Learn more about the Implementation of Social Accountability Framework project >

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