Purpose of Project
The Democratic and Decentralized Local Governance (DDLG) Project, a partnership between the European Union (EU) and the UNDP, supports Cambodia’s decentralization process with a specific focus on strengthening good governance at the lowest sub-national level (rural communes and urban sangkats). The project fosters accoun-tability and local cooperation mechanisms for more effective and responsive local governance policies for greater local participation and civic engagement. It contributes to the formulation of national policies, provides capacity development at central and sub-national levels and support Cambodia’s new association of local councils. It also provides technical assistance and grants for inter-commune cooperation projects that respond to local needs, and contribute to strengthening the capacity of communes, to plan and implement local infrastructure and service delivery projects.
- Support the Government in formulating and implementing its 10-year National Program for Sub-National Democratic Development, advocating in particular for downward accountability and promoting the voice of communes at the national level.
- Support the establishment and institutional development of the National League of Commune/Sangkat (NLC/S) and its network of Provincial Associations of Commune/Sangkat (PAC/S).
- Design systems and provide grants for communes and sangkats to plan and implement inter-commune coope- ration projects that respond to residents’ needs for infrastructures and services.
- Provide support to the Ministry of Interior, the Senate and the NLC/S to design and hold national, regional, provincial and district forums for Commune Councillors to discuss local governance issues, raise their collective voice and seek support from national and sub-national authorities.
- Help design and conduct a National Best Practice Award programme for communes to identify and share experiences and best practices. Support the organization and implementation of a local-local exchange programme.
- The 10-year National Programme for Sub-national Democratic Development acknowledges the importance of downward accountability and the need for dialogue between the various tiers of national and sub-national administration.
- The National League of Commune/Sangkat (NLC/S), representing all 1,621 communes and sangkats finalised its second Strategic Plan (2011-2015).
- Provincial Associations of Commune/Sangkat have been established in all 23 provinces and the capital.
- The NLC/S is a permanent member of sub-committees of the National Committee for Democratic Development at Sub-national Level and plays an important role in the policy dialogue and reform process on decentralization and local governance.
- Management systems and regulations have been designed to help the Ministry of Interior, sub-national administrative bodies, and the NLC/S and PAC/S better respond to clients’ needs and to plan, manage, monitor and report on activities, results and use of resources.
- Each year, US$1.8 million is granted through the Inter-Commune Cooperation fund for projects that straddle commune boundaries. Since 2006 more than 260 projects have been implemented across 12 provinces and 54 districts. In rural areas, inter-commune roads and small bridges have been built, helping local residents and farmers better connect to markets and services. In remote areas, school dormitories have been built for indigenous young people to attend schools. Service projects have also been implemented to respond to women’s concerns, environmental issues, eco-tourism and farmers’ training needs. The Government is now considering options to integrate Inter-Commune Cooperation systems under national policies as a way to sustain the concept beyond the project lifespan.
- Between 2006 and 2010, forums were organized in all eight regions, the 23 provinces and the capital, and more than 70 districts. The forums allowed thousands of commune councillors to raise their concerns with parliamentarians and government officials and helped to solve governance issues such as local planning, training needs and gender policies. The forums also helped to resolve specific conflicts on issues such as environmental pollution and land.
- Thousands of commune councillors, central, provincial and district officials, and representatives from the NLC/S and the 24 PAC/S have benefited from capacity development activities and attended specific trainings including advocacy, conflict resolution, gender, project planning, M&E, financial management, and the Organic Law on sub-national administration.
- A system for selecting examples of best practice in local governance has been developed. Preselected at commune and provincial levels, the first National Awards will be presented in 2011 and will reward 3 communes and 3 community based organisations.
The Government’s National Strategic Development Plan (2006-2010) and the NSDP Update (2009-2013) acknowledge that decentralization of political power and deconcentration of administrative authority are prerequisites for poverty reduction. To this end, the Law on Administrative Management of the Capital, Province, Municipality, District and khan, widely known as the Organic Law, was adopted in 2008, and the National Committee for Democratic Development at Sub-National Level was established. A Preliminary Implementation Framework was prepared and work began on the formulation of a 10-year National Program on sub-national Democratic Development. Provincial and District Councils were elected in 2009 with responsibility for supporting the Commune Councils, which directly represent people at the village level.
UNDP has supported Cambodia’s decentralization and deconcentration reforms since 1993, when it assisted with the repatriation, resettlement and reintegration of refugees from the camps on the border with Thailand. The success of the quick impact interventions led the government to officially experiment with decentralized planning, financing and management of development in five provinces between 1996 and 2000. This paved the way for the historic local elections in 2002 and the subsequent programme of decentralization across Cambodia.
- UNDP Thematic Area : Closed
Ministry of Interior and National League of Commune/Sangkat
Millennium Development Goal
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Good governance is a prerequisite for Cambodia to reach its Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015.
UNDP Country Programme
UNDAF Outcome 4: By 2015, national and sub-national institutions are more accountable and responsive to the needs and rights of all people living in Cambodia and increase participation in democratic decision making.
CPAP Outcome 3: By 2015, effective mechanisms for dialogue, representation and participation in democratic decision making established and strengthened.
Output 3.1: Increased interaction and accountability of elected bodies and authorities to citizens through strengthened democratic processes at national and sub-national levels.
CPAP Output 4: By 2015, sub-national Administrations have capacity to take over increased functions.
Output 4.3: local government Associations are better able to advocate for their members and provide them services.
UNDP Thematic Area
UNDP Focal Point
Mr. Tep Kuntheara, Programme Analyst
UNDP, No. 53, street 51, Phnom Penh
Tel: + 855 (0) 23 216 167
DDLG Coordinator and Advisor to Ministry of Interior
Mr. Patrick Duong
UNDP, No. 53, street 51, Phnom Penh
Tel: + 855 (0) 23 720 015
H.E. Leng VY, Director General of General Department of Local Administration, Ministry of Interior
Tel: + 855 (0) 23 211 897
Updated: December 2011