Network of Affiliated Monks for Social Accountability

Realising children’s rights through improved local governance

The Overall Objective of the action is to contribute to improved governance, accountability, inclusiveness and compliance with child and human rights in decision-making processes that affect children and youth.
The action is guided by two specific objectives. The first Specific Objective is to empower civil society organisations (CSOs), including children and youth groups and particularly child rights umbrella organisations and networks, to hold local authorities (LAs) and public service providers accountable for monitoring and fulfilling the rights of children and young people.
The second Specific Objective is to strengthen the capacity of local authorities and public service providers (especially in birth registration and education) to protect and fulfil the rights of children and young people through improved service provision and public financial management.

Whilst progress in education, health and livelihood development has been somewhat promising, perhaps the biggest challenge facing social development in Cambodia is a lack of social accountability and citizen engagement in democratic processes. A lack of participation in planning leads to gaps in understanding of what communities need, which makes it difficult for authorities to provide the right services to meet these needs. In addition, a lack of awareness among the public of their role in monitoring governance means that transparency and accountability are lacking at all levels across the country. Without such Social Accountability and public participation, governance is unlikely to improve and the needs of Cambodia’s most vulnerable groups will continue to go unmet.

Whilst great progress has been made in some critical areas of social development in Cambodia, there is still much work to be done, particularly in improving access to education and health services and opportunities for livelihood development. To support this work, it will be vital to increase public participation in and monitoring of democratic processes. This strategy sets out BSDA’s plan to lead improvements in each of these areas in Kampong Cham and beyond from 2015 to 2018, and how it will measure success against these goals.

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