Assessment of the Enabling Environment for Civil Society

This report assesses the current health of Cambodia’s legal, regulatory, and policy environment, as it impacts the formation and operation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Cambodia. It considers challenges relevant to seven nominated dimensions of an enabling environment, those being: formation, operation, expression, peaceful assembly, access to resources, and collaboration and coalitions both within civil society organizations and between CSOs and government. The report highlights both the opportunities and challenges that both CSOs and the Royal Government of Cambodia face in improving the enabling environment.

I would like to thank Louise Coventry, Menh Navy and Alison Hillis for their work in preparing this report. I also thank CCC’s Research Advisory Board (RAB) for their advice. In particular, I acknowledge the individuals from national NGOs, coalitions, networks and informal groups as well as CSO activists, CSO donors, media journalists covering civil society, and academics researching civil society. These important stakeholders have spent valuable time to share their ideas in individual interviews, and in a consultation workshop.

CCC trusts that this research report will be used as a basis for dialogue among government, development partners and CSOs to work together to improve the enabling environment for CSOs, strengthen CSO-government relations, and enable CSOs to more effectively contribute to the sustainable and equitable development of Cambodia.

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