Message from the Prime Minister

Support for Sub-National Councils

Phnom Penh, 22 January 2013: Sub-national councils in the Capital, Provinces, Municipalities, Districts and Khans were elected and took up office in mid-2009. In order to ensure that these councils have adequate capacity to fulfill their roles and responsibilities, Secretariat of National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) developed council capacity development systems and mechanisms.

Council facilitators were recruited and are in place at sub-national level, trainings for councils were conducted and Technical Documents as supporting documents for councils to perform their roles and responsibilities were introduced.

Recently, NCDD Secretariat with technical support of the EU Program for Strengthening Performance, Accountability and Civic Engagement (EU SPACE) developed Technical Documents on Council Meetings and Dissemination and Consultative Forums for sub-national Councils. Both documents were launched in order for them to be used by the councils in the Capital, Provinces, Municipalities, Districts and Khans (in accordance with the Organic Law and other legal framework documents). Before the official approval, both Technical Documents were tested with Provincial, Municipal and District Councils in the EU SPACE target provinces. The results of this modeling period served as a very significant input to the review and finalization of both Technical Documents.

During the Launching Ceremony, Mr. Sok Sothy, Deputy Head of the NCDD Secretariat’s Policy Analysis and Development Division (PADD), said that although the Technical Documents were field-tested extensively, they should be regarded as “living documents” which can be further improved over time. Mr. Sok Sothy added that the Technical Documents are not intended to serve as an instruction or guideline for the councils. The councils shall rather use the documents as a resource – meaning that the councils themselves decide whether to follow the options provided in the Technical Documents or not.

Mr. Gereon Kaus, EU SPACE Strengthening Councils Advisor, said that the capacity development for sub-national councils was very important and he welcomed the recent approval of both Technical Documents by H.E Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Head of NCDD. He hoped that that the documents would help the councils to improve the efficiency of their monthly council meetings and support them to be well-prepared for organizing dissemination and consultative forums.

As representative of the target councilors in Battambang, H.E E Sarom, Provincial Councilor, said that council meetings improved remarkably over time with the help of the Technical Document. In this regard, he welcomed the coaching support provided by the EU SPACE Program in supporting the councils preparing for their meetings.

H.E Men Thoeun, Chairman of Council in Kampong Chhnang province, requested continued capacity development from NCDD Secretariat, specifically mentioning the coaching approach, tested with EU SPACE support, to achieve better performances of all councils.