Sweden continues to support enhancement of public services in Cambodia, together with their partner Transparency International Cambodia (TIC), the Embassy announced on 21 January 2021.
“Today, a ceremony to mark the signing of the extension of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Transparency International Cambodia (TI Cambodia) was held at Himawari Hotel Apartments. The MoU extension provides a framework for both the Ministry and TI Cambodia to implement a joint project on School of Governance (SoG) – Phase II (2021-2025).”
The extension is an outcome of the successful implementation of the joint project on School of Governance – Phase I (2016-2020). Phase I of the project aimed at supporting the government in its efforts to strengthen the capacity of its institutions and agencies at both national and sub-national levels on good governance, accountability, integrity and anti-corruption, that in turn led to more transparent and accountable public service deliveries. A notable achievement of the collaboration has been the successful trainer training of officials from the MoI on knowledge and tools for promoting good governance. These officials have now become key trainers at the School of Governance.
Phase I of the SoG project also led to a significant enhancement of the capacity of public service providers at the sub-national level on good governance in public services. For instance, over the course of Phase I, the SoG key trainers have provided three trainings to officials of One Window Service Unit (OWSU) in 25 capital/provinces, eight trainings to officials of One Window Service Office (OWSO) of 8 municipalities and one training to 52 target Municipal/District/Khan Ombudsmen. Overall, a total of 861 officials and citizens, 266 of whom were women, have benefitted from these capacity building trainings.
H.E Ngy Chanphal, Secretary of State of MoI, said that “Strengthening public services at both national and sub-national levels especially through OWSUs/OWSOs, is an important campaign to increase effectiveness of public service provision to our citizens. We maintain our efforts on good governance and gender to improve the well-being of the people, democracy and inclusive public service delivery. Although we have the National School for Local Administration (NASLA), the establishment of School of Governance remains a key part of promoting governance at either national or sub-national levels.”
As Phase I has come to an end, Phase II of the project will see both the MoI and TI Cambodia maintain their commitment to work together in achieving the cooperation framework laid out in this MoU. Both institutions will increase efforts to improve the capacity of public officials at national level and of One Window Service Offices/Units and District Ombudsman/Provincial Ombudsman, and Commune/Sangkat level on good governance, accountable and gender responsive public services (GRPS) which enable them to provide more responsive, accountable, and inclusive public service delivery. This MoU also intends to increase access to complaint handling mechanisms of citizens and local authorities on public service delivery, particularly gender responsiveness, at local levels and newly created spaces for communicating feedback and dialogues on improving public service implementation.
Mr Pech Pisey, Executive Director of TI Cambodia said “The new project will also leverage on technological advancement. Beyond building capacity of public service providers, citizens and youth, the project will provide them a platform to interact and communicate their needs as well as responses in order to enhance accountable and responsive public service delivery.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Samuel Hurtig, Head of Development Cooperation said “Sweden, together with EU, is a partner and major financier of the work of TIC. The SoG project has enhanced capacity of public officials and promoted accountability and transparency in public service delivery. Through the project, citizens were better informed about public services and complaint mechanisms through a number of public forums that were held at local level. In addition, a Calling Centre and Internet Gateway for Public Service Information were established enabling the public to access information on public services of each ministry as well as provide feedback directly to the ministries for improvement.”
Mr. Hurtig also added that he was “happy to note that this phase of the collaboration included a gender responsive approach to public service delivery in order for the interests of both women and men to be addressed.”
In this signing ceremony, the Ministry of Interior and TI Cambodia also handed over certificates to the key trained officials who completed a series of training programme and fulfilled all the training requirements. These officials are resource persons who are key to the building of a new generation of public officials committed to the principles of good governance, accountability, integrity and anti-corruption.
Taking this opportunity, the Ministry of Interior and Transparency International Cambodia would like to extend our gratitude to our generous donors EU and SIDA who have been supporting this cooperation framework from its very beginning. This assistance has played an important role in helping to enhance good governance, especially accountable and responsive public service delivery in Cambodia.
Sweden embassy in Phnom Penh also released a statement regarding the event that said:
“We would like to congratulate our partner Transparency International Cambodia (TIC) for having signed a five-year-extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Interior. The MoU extension provides a framework for collaboration between the Ministry and TI Cambodia when continuing the implementation of the School of Governance (SoG) project – Phase II (2021-2025).”