A new project to strengthen the organizational and technical capacity of Cambodian civil society organizations and grassroots networks was announced on July 7 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The Cambodian Civil Society Strengthening (CCSS) project, awarded to the East West Management Institute, will help civil society organizations improve their management, planning, and analytical skills while enabling them to play a more active role in Cambodia’s economic and political development.
“We place a great emphasis on supporting civil society because an informed and active citizenry is the bedrock of a healthy democracy,” said Chargé ďAffaires Julie Chung. “We hope that this project will help Cambodia’s civil society to be even more effective in shaping a constructive and respectful conversation about laws and policies that affect the lives of ordinary Cambodians,” she added.
The five-year, $9 million CCCS project will help civil society organizations by demonstrating how to establish proven management structures such as boards of directors, organizational lines of communication, standard operating procedures, and human resource management systems. The project offers small grants for important work such as monitoring land rights cases, assisting victims of gender based violence, and supporting the legal protection of Cambodia’s rich natural resources. The grants will also fund research activities such as public opinion polls and social-economic assessments that can help civil society organizations better target their services.
The CCSS project is an important part of USAID’s support to Cambodia. It encourages civil society organizations to promote government accountability. At the same time, the project emphasizes the value of local solutions to Cambodia’s development challenges while putting civil society organizations on a path towards sustainability.
About the U.S. Agency for International Development: USAID was founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and serves as the lead agency of the U.S. Government for foreign assistance. Since 1992, USAID has invested approximately $1 billion towards Cambodia’s development.
About East West Management Institute: East West Management Institute (EWMI) was founded in 1988 as an independent not-for-profit organization. EWMI works to strengthen democratic societies by bringing together government, civil society, and the private sector.