Political Economy Analysis of Civic Space in Cambodia

Challenges and Opportunities for Active Citizenship

Political Economy Analysis of Civic Space in Cambodia
Paper author: 
Dennis McMahon and Kem Ley (publicly available Report by Carol Mortensen)
Paper publication date: 
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Today’s Cambodia is at a significant turning point in its social, economic and political development. The benefits of growth are not equally shared amongst all social groups. Access to quality public services, land alienation, vulnerability to market fluctuations, disasters and climate change are majordevelopment challenges for Cambodia.

Given the changing political landscape in Cambodia, Oxfam considers it the right time to start a discussion on the political and social dynamics in today’s Cambodia in order to understand the threats to civic spacesbut also the opportunities for expanding it in the coming years. Oxfam is delighted to announce the launch of two research studies on political and social dynamics in Cambodia and the future role of INGOs in the country. The researches have been assigned to independent consultants as part of the Active Citizenship program of Oxfam.

The study on Political Economy Analysis (PEA) finds that national level CSOs and Government relations are important and must be strengthened while sub-national relationships hold the greatest promise for constructive and meaningful civic engagement. Citizen demands for inclusion in decision-making cannot be reversed.

Oxfam and development actors must facilitate mechanisms for citizens to engage in meaningful ways in their own development. INGOs and development actors play important roles to identify and facilitate those mechanisms that will provide citizens with opportunities to engage in the changing political landscape.