Chea Vibol, Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC)
September 1, 2021
While the COVID-19 pandemic made explicit several challenges faced by people around the world, it also exposed the need for CSOs to become even more accountable to the communities with whom they work. Thus, during 2020, the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC) was able to raise awareness about the Global Standard for CSO Accountability by working with 10 applicant NGOs in order to strengthen their accountability practices, thus contributing to build trust among various stakeholders and ultimately the sustainability of civic organizations. In this way, guided by the Global Standard’s 3 clusters and 12 commitments, the 10 local NGOs have embarked on a process to review and enhance their organizational systems, policies, and practices, particularly from an accountability perspective, in order to promote productive interactions with the communities, local authorities, NGOs’ board of directors, and donors. An important conclusion from this capacity building program was how to align better accountability practices with M&E processes of an organization.
The 10 applicant NGOs were AK (Anakut Komar), Phnom Neakongrei Association (PNKA), YFP (Youth for Peace), Cooperation for Alliance against Poverty (COFAP ), AMRA, Kampuchea Women’s Welfare Action (KWWA), Caring for Young Khmer (CYK), Environmental Protection and Development Organization (EPDO), Operations Enfants du Cambodge (OEC), and Help Old Age and Most Vulnerable Organization (HOM). Three NGOs -CYK, OEC and AK- work closely with children to build up their Khmer language reading skills while also promoting child nutrition, while other five NGOs -COFAP, AMARA, EPDO, KWWA, HOM, and PNKA- work with the community people to reduce poverty and have them live with dignity while the YFP raises awareness on peace building among youth groups. All 10 organizations frequently use participatory approaches in their work with communities or their primary constituents as well as local authorities. For example, before developing a new proposal or a strategic plan, they consult with villagers and their leaders, as well as local authorities to make sure the new proposal and strategic plan address the main issues within the community, thus encouraging support from them.
In order to assess the quality of services provided to their target groups or communities, NGOs implement feedback mechanisms. For instance, after each training event, NGO staff reviews the comments/feedback from participants collected through training evaluation forms. In addition, a few of the NGOs organize quarterly reflection meetings with target groups or primary constituents. All feedback collected from community people and local authorities gets discussed with the project management team, and the main issues and actions agreed are then reported back to the feedback providers. In this regard, the community people and local authorities have expressed their satisfaction with the services provided by the NGOs, as well as for usually seeking their comments.
Guided by the Global Standard for CSO Accountability’s 3 clusters and 12 commitments, the 10 local NGOs embarked on a process to review and develop meaningful content to enhance their organizational systems, policies, and practices, and to promote productive interactions with communities, local authorities, board of directors, and donors. An important repercussion from this capacity building program has been the different measures taken by the ten participating NGOs to align their monitoring and evaluation processes with better accountability practices based on the Global Standard.
During the second half of the year (from September to December 2021), CCC will work closely with the 10 NGOs to integrate the GS commitment #10 (well-handled resources) by complying with professional accounting standards and ensuring strict financial controls to reduce the risk of corruption, bribery, misuse of funds, and conflict of interest into their operations.