CSO Contributions to the Development of Cambodia, 2011

This report captures the findings of a research study in late 2011 into the contribution of Cambodia’s CSOs to economic, social and democratic development, as well as important details on the current status of the civil society sector. This report is an update of CCC’s first contribution in this area, the ‘rapid assessment’ report on civil society contributions to development published in 2010, which elaborated on strong NGO contributions in certain sectors (public health, disability, education, community development), as well as through advocacy and public policy engagement.

There has been a dramatic rise in the size, scope and capacity of civil society in recent decades, globally and in Cambodia. Much of the appreciation of civil society stems from CSOs’ important, clearly noticeable contributions in social, economic and democratic life, including but also beyond providing basic social services where governments cannot or will not. However, civil society engagement on development issues is also underpinned by international human rights norms and standards, including obligations on state parties: this is significant for CSOs’ work on social accountability and good governance, promoting and defending human rights, holding public servants to account, and stimulating civil participation in social life and decision-making processes, even as democratic shrinking space is shrinking.

The quantitative data in this research helps build a picture of CSOs’ nature, priorities and activities in Cambodia, as well as the beneficiaries of their work and their contributions to national development. Analysis of the qualitative data explores this pro-poor contribution, from service delivery to capacity building and policy change to system strengthening, in more detail.

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