Community Based Organization (CBO)
Community Based Organizations (CBOs) have mushroomed over the last decade, and it is estimated of approximately 25,000 CBOs working on different fields ranging from environment, service delivery, human rights and democracy in Cambodia.
A strategic task in the CSO sector, particularly of NGOs, is the strengthening of civil society at the sub-national level. This essentially means strengthening CBOs and advocating for a more enabling environment for CBOs. CBOs usually emerge in response to specific and local issue and as such they play an important role in response to specific and local issue and as such they play an important role in increasing citizens' awareness of and participation in development, decentralisation and democratisation processes.
The key challenges to the strengthening of NGOs are also the issues that affect the growth, development and effectiveness of CBOs. May (active) CBOs are newly established and still have limited capacities in operational and organizational development. Challenges include:
- Generally weak knowledge and skills in leadership, policies development, project management, financial management, administrative tasks, documentation, resource mobilisation
- Establishment and management of working committees of CBOs is still weak/inadequate
- Weak capacities in communication and networking, both internally and externally
- Capacity building of CBOs is difficult due to lack of functional literacy among members
Moreover, most of the current active CBOs have been established and supported by NGOs, who themselves may lack models and expertise for strengthening CBOs and also their issue of CBOs (potentially) competing with NGOs for funding. NGOs'lack of models (and experience) in organising, consolidating, expanding and strengthening CBOs may have resulted from:
- Weak trust and solidarity among CBO members
- Lack of trust/solidarity with other internal as well as external stakeholders
- Lack of participation and commitment from CBO members and stakeholders
- Dependency on NGO action/initiative and support
In 2016, CCC facilitated the development of good practice guidelines for CBOs. The guidelines are in the draft form and will be finalized by the end of 2016. With feedback from participants CBO informed that they need orientation on the guideline, capacity development, knowledge management, and other resources so that they can better govern, manage and sustain themselves and importantly they could address the needs of their related communities as well as deeply root the democracy in Cambodia.