Phnom Penh, 16 July 2013: As laid out in the strategic framework for the capacity development of sub-national administrations, study tours and exchanging experiences are acknowledged as an effective approach for the capacity development of sub-national administrations (SNAs).
In cooperation with the GIZ-implemented EU Programme for Strengthening Performance, Accountability and Civic Engagement (EU SPACE), the GIZ Regional Economic Development Program (RED-Green Belt) in Siem Reap and Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) in Ratanakiri, the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development Secretariat (NCDD-S) organized two study tours for SNA councilors. The first study tour was organized to exchange experiences between councils from Siem Reap and the councils in Kampong Tralach District, Boribor District and Kampong Chhnang Municipality. The second study tour enabled the exchange between councils from Ratanakiri and the councils of Kampong Chhnang Province and Kampong Tralach District. The study tours were mainly meant to exchange experiences on monthly council meetings, council decision-making processes as well as the interactions between the SNAs with citizens.
Courtesy visit of the Siem Reap Delegation to the Provincial Council in Kampong Chhnang.
During the study tours, both delegations used opportunity to discuss, observe, and ask their peers numerous questions regarding the preparation, holding and follow-up of monthly council meetings, as well as on how to collect issues for the meeting agenda or how to ensure that council decisions are implemented. In response, the Municipal and District Councils in Kampong Chhnang explained and shared their experiences with the visiting delegations.
Mr. Earn Cheer, Chairperson of Kampong Tralach District Council, emphasized how important it is that the Council and Board of Governors work together to address local issues.
The visit of the delegations from Siem Reap and Ratanakiri started off with a courtesy visit to the Provincial Council and representatives of NCDD-S. During the study tours, Mr. Sok Sothy, Deputy Head of the NCDD Secretariat’s Policy Analysis and Development Division (PADD), provided a number of relevant presentations to both delegations on the current support of NCDD-S to the sub-national councils and the roles of the newly recruited provincial, municipal and district council facilitators. His presentations contributed to a better understanding of participants regarding the long-term capacity development mechanisms for sub-national councilors in Cambodia. Additionally, Mr. Sothy also clarified a number of issues raised by the participants.
Mr. Sok Sothy , Deputy Head of the NCDD Secretariat’s Policy Analysis and Development Division, did a presentation.
As part of the study tour, a discussion with female councilors was organized. The female councilors of Kampong Chhnang Province informed the delegations of the importance of the capacity development they had received - tailor-made support provided jointly by NCDD-S and EU SPACE to strengthen their personal and political skills and establish communication networks to further develop their confidence and self-help capacities.
Ms. Ket Sophon, councilor member from Boribor District, Kampong Chhnang province.
During the discussion with study tour participants, the female councilors described their individual development over the course of the last two years - from being rather reserved in council meetings to more actively discussing and advocating issues in meetings of the Women and Children Advisory Consultative Committees as well as in the monthly council meetings.
In conclusion, the study tours provided good learning opportunities for both the delegations and the host councils. The councils from Siem Reap and Ratanakiri increased their understanding about the preparation of monthly council meetings, council decision-making processes, following up on the implementation of council decisions, and the interactions with citizens. Both provincial delegations expressed their commitment to applying the newly acquired knowledge and experiences in their administrations.
Delegation from Siem Reap.
Delegation from Rattanakiri.