Legislative Assistance Project
Purpose of Project
The Legislative Assistance Project aims to improve checks and balances on the executive branch of government by providing capacity building support to the Cambodian Parliament. It supports the Members of Parliament in the National Assembly and the Senate to develop the capacity to more effectively carry out their inter-related representative, legislative and oversight functions. Through this enhanced capacity, Parliamentarians are better able to influence policymaking decisions and contribute to a participatory and representative democracy.
The Legislative Assistance Project also supports capacity development for the staff of the Secretariats General of the National Assembly and the Senate, so that they can more effectively provide services in support of the business of both houses. In addition, the project supports capacity building for the Technical Coordination Secretariat (TCS), the parliamentary office mandated to take the lead role in implementing the Parliament’s own Strategic Framework and Action Plan, to implement the project and to coordinate development partner assistance.
- Enhance representation through field visits and interaction with communities, authorities and civil society.
- Improve lawmaking through training, parliamentary exchange programmes and briefings on draft laws.
- Strengthen oversight functions through issue-based dialogues, briefings and field visits.
- Enhance the capacity of the staff of the Secretariats General of both houses to deliver effective services to Parliamentarians through key skills training.
- Provide institutional development through support to key parliamentary offices, including library, IT and research.
- Provide technical and management support to the Technical Coordination Secretariat through training, mentoring and knowledge transfer.
- A two-day Orientation Forum for the 4th Mandate for the National Assembly was held after the July 2008 election for 200 new and returning members, plus participants from the Secretariats, civil society and embassies.
- A three-day seminar on oversight techniques was led by representatives of the Australian Parliament in 2009.
- 17 other workshops, seminars and expert briefings (five in 2008, 12 in 2009) focused on topics including human rights, Cambodia’s international competitiveness, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the global financial crisis, and the potential for oil and gas revenues to reduce poverty.
- 30 field missions were undertaken by the specialist Commissions of the National Assembly and the Senate and by teams drawn from both houses (17 in 2008, 13 in 2009). The missions monitored implementation of laws and investigated issues such as business registration, land disputes, drug use, maternal health, sexual exploitation, challenges faced by indigenous peoples, domestic violence, human trafficking, and dissemination of the law on HIV/AIDS.
- A delegation of Traditional Authorities from indigenous peoples in Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces made a return visit to the National Assembly, allowing them to hold the Parliamentarians accountable for actions promised during the field mission.
- During the 13 missions in 2009, the Parliamentarians held 14 public hearings and met 1605 stakeholders from communities, local councils and civil society organizations.
- Three forums on local governance held in three electoral regions in 2009 brought together Commune Councillors and Senators to discuss the reform of sub-national administration and the challenges facing women councillors.
- Two stakeholder consultations on draft laws created space for discussion of the revised Penal Code and the proposed Law on Inter-Country Adoption.
- A Parliamentary Handbook on HIV/AIDS was published in collaboration with UNAIDS, the National AIDS Authority, and Commission 8 of each house.
- A parliamentary Code of Conduct was drafted in 2009 and remained under discussion by the Senate.
- A Women’s Leadership Retreat for women Parliamentarians from all parties and both houses strengthened their skills in leadership and communication.
- A draft Communication Strategy for the National Assembly was created and remained under discussion.
- The TCS published the Voice of Parliament newsletter.
- Resources including copies of laws were provided to the parliamentary library.
- The TCS organized monthly meetings of development partners, and brought together the Parliamentary Steering Committee to play an oversight role on assistance.
- 943 person-days of training were provided to key parliamentary staff on subjects including management and strategic planning, mass media communication, IT skills, Khmer language shorthand, and English language.
- Four school visits to Parliament and a dialogue with young people on International Human Rights Day in 2009 increased awareness of democracy among youth.
- Parliamentarians’ capacities were enhanced through interaction and networking with foreign Parliaments, including visits to the Parliaments of Italy and Lao PDR and to the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva.
Good governance is at the heart of the successful achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. As the Royal Government of Cambodia’s National Strategic Development Plan makes clear, it is “the most important pre-condition for achieving sustainable socio-economic development with equity, equal opportunity and social justice.” Successfully promoting good governance depends directly on the existence of an effective and independent legislative branch, as envisaged in the Cambodian constitution. The Legislative Assistance Project is aligned with the goals of the Parliament’s 2006 Strategic Framework and Action Plan for the Capacity Building of the Cambodian Parliament. It is aligned with Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency issued by the Prime Minister in 2004. It is the successor to UNDP’s Support to the Capacity Development of the Cambodian Parliament, which ended in March 2007.
- UNDP Thematic Area : Closed
July 2007-December 2010
Project delivery2007:US$33,145 2008:US$320,890 2009:US$853,417
Technical Coordination Secretariat of the Cambodian Parliament
Millennium Development Goal
UN Country Programme
Outcome 1: Legislature and civil society are able to improve checks and balances of the executive branch.
Output 1.2: Capacity of individual Parliamentarians and General Secretariats strengthened in legislation, oversight and representation.
UNDP Thematic Area
UNDP Focal Point
Ms. Leakhena SIENG, Programme Analyst
UNDP, No. 53, Street 51
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: +855 (0) 23 216 167
Email: leakhena.sieng @undp.org
H.E. Peng Long LENG
Secretary General of the National Assembly and Director of Technical Coordination Secretariat
H.E. Sarith OUM
Secretary General of the Senate and Deputy Director of Technical Coordination Secretariat
Updated: October 2010
The Legislative Assistance Project aims to improve checks and balances on the executive branch of government by providing capacity building support to the Cambodian National Assembly and Senate.