By Chea Vibol, Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC), July 14, 2020
Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC) is the longest membership-based organization in Cambodia. It provides a wide range of services to its members, such as learning forums on human resource management, information & communication technology, financial management, and monitoring & evaluation. In order to engage with its 210 member organizations and to expand its list of members, CCC relies on various feedback tools such as an online feedback box, phone calls, an annual membership survey, and face-to-face events with its members. CCC thus believes that feedback can help provide more effective services by responding to the needs and priorities of its members.
CCC’s approach to feedback is twofold. Firstly, from a conceptual point of view, by promoting feedback as a cross-cutting issue within the Global Standard for CSO Accountability, of which CCC is a founding partner. The Global Standard, in turn, contributed to inform the revision of CCC’s Governance and Practices (GPP) initiative, in particular around feedback issues. Secondly, from a practical point of view, by applying feedback mechanisms in CCC’s own work with their members.
Over the past decade, CCC has managed the Governance and Professional Practices (GPP) initiative, which started as a project to promote accountability among CSOs in Cambodia. The GPP ended up becoming a useful and practical standards tool to assess the performance of CSOs around three key areas: good governance, dynamic program practices, and strong financial management.
However, the old version of GPP contained a few statements about feedback but no specific advice to guide CSOs in implementing an effective feedback practice. While reviewing the entire content of the GGP, more attention was paid to feedback mechanisms. In this regard, the Global Standard for CSO Accountability, made up of 3 clusters and 12 commitments, was especially relevant in order to inform the review of the GPP, in particular concerning commitments #5 (on people-driven work) #11 (on responsive decision making) and #12 (on responsible leadership), all related to feedback issues. So, the latest version of GPP covers feedback in much more detail than the previous GPP version. In addition, the guidance materials of the Global Standard around feedback were considered for addressing feedback within CCC’s own work, and how we respond to feedback from multiple stakeholders.
CCC has experienced firsthand the use of feedback mechanisms to improve its own services to members. Using feedback, CCC members have expressed satisfaction on our services while also shared specific comments. Some CSOs from provinces facing budget constraints requested CCC to provide support through a daily subsistence allowance to enable them meetings in Phnom Penh with CCC, while others proposed CCC to host a regional meeting outside the capital city, and even a few others requested CCC to re-consider the annual membership fees. After collecting this feedback, CCC was able to provide a response to some of these suggestions directly during the discussion with members, while some other issues required more time to be explored, so a proposed timetable and next steps were agreed. As a result, CCC decided to start organizing regional meetings with its members.
Thus, through feedback practices, CCC keeps members engaged while also improves CCC’s own performance. We strongly believe that feedback can contribute to maintain good communication with members as well as assess our performance by measuring the level of satisfaction of our members with our services. Finally, feedback also serves as a channel for learning. In conclusion, feedback can help CCC become a more accountable organization.