Originally from Battambang Province, Visal graduated in law and development management. Before joining Oxfam, Visal worked for different organizations, including five years with UNICEF as provincial coordinator and child rights officer and three years with ECCC as program manager.
Social Protection to Benefit Vulnerable People
“My position is commensurate with the skills and capacity that I have developed. Oxfam is an international organization that takes social protection very seriously. It fully delegates, trusts me and empowers me to do my job,” says Visal. “Social protection was new for me and Oxfam allowed me to learn by doing and to learn from my mistakes. I thus developed myself to help more partners and people in dealing with political situations and social issues,” he adds. Visal manages grants to six local partners. He sees that financial management is in keeping with plans and deals with program policy influencing by coordinating with stakeholders such as the ministries involved and development partners to keep programs on track. He provides technical support to partners, helps them design new projects to attract more donors, and updates information on policies for partners to make sure the policies are aligned with the programs. In the area of social protection, he also works directly with unions and associations such as tuk-tuk drivers, garment workers, small-scale farmers embroiled in land conflicts and sex workers to help them to make their voice heard and get support from the government.
It is challenging to deal with political issues and policy influencing. But Visal and his partners have achieved some notable results. For instance, there have been some policy amendments on hot issues such as pregnant women and garment workers (salary increase). Caltex workers received an allowance increase of $20-40 for women with children from 0-1 year old.