When Soknak joined Oxfam, he brought in many years of experiences with local and international organizations in the fields of community development, natural resources management and governance. He had worked as a consultant for ADB and as an adviser for German International Development (GIZ) in support of decentralization and de-concentration reform and sub-national administration capacity development.
Advocating for Better Governance
“I am truly inspired by Oxfam’s projects. They allow me to promote resource sharing and allocation among people through the principle of justice and to empower citizens to participate in resource protection and management for their own benefits. Those areas require better cooperation and building local partnership among communities, authorities and NGOs to co-manage those resources sustainably,” said Soknak. His main responsibilities include grant management, technical support and capacity-building with partners in the realm of water governance, policy dialogue facilitation, youth engagement and community-based ecosystem/fishery management. Those responsibilities allow him to debate at the government level when NGOs and government’s policy differ on certain issues and to fine-tune cooperation among NGOs.
Putting forward a strategy for partners to debate and influence policy, Soknak raises awareness and builds the capacity of partners and communities on water governance linking ecosystem-based approach and social accountability mechanisms, by engaging youth and women in the water/fishery resources decision-making. He works with relevant stakeholders to facilitate cooperation in influencing strategies for fisheries and renewable energy in the Mekong Basin. “With Oxfam, I have enjoyed increased community engagement in this area, and I feel satisfied with these achievements because of the great benefits given to the people in terms of inclusive water and fishery governance and socio-environmental sustainability,” said Soknak.