Voices for Change

Oxfam partner, Phare Ponleu Selpak using performance art to promote inclusion of marginalized group in slum area. Photo: PPS

The government and people of Cambodia have experienced considerable gains in development post-conflict achieving an average growth rate of 7.7% over the past two decades. Cambodia has put its effort on the national reform programs including public administration, public financing management with aiming to improving and enhancing public institutional capacity, promoting good governance, and modernizing economic infrastructure to foster economic growth, create jobs for all citizens, ensure social equity, and increase public sector efficiency which is vital for sustainable development and poverty reduction. However, while Cambodia subsequently embraced the SDGs the vast majority of those moving out of poverty remain vulnerable to falling back. Important to note that Cambodia is situated in the most disaster-prone region in the world and is affected by a range of covariate shocks and a huge proportion of Cambodia’s population is vulnerable to these shocks, which are having a direct impact on household incomes, livelihoods, food security and access to social services in Cambodia. Covid19 has significantly and negatively hit to country’s social and economic stability and lead to increased inequality and poverty. Addressing this persistent threat of poverty requires recognition of the changing complexity of the issue, and importantly a shift in focus to counter growing inequity and promote the priority settings needed to allow all Cambodians to participate in the country’s gains in development.

WHAT WE DO

Through Voices for Change program, we believe that sustainable development is achievable when there is a functioning compact between citizens and state which means that a government that is committed to fulfil its responsibilities and the people can hold their government accountable. 

The program focuses on the good governance of fair and accountable fiscal policies, universal social protection policies and better essential services. In addition, it seeks to promote fair workplace settings, decent work and wage opportunities for informal economy workers in particular. It supports women, youth and groups that have been left behind with claiming their rights to organize themselves in networks and coalitions, participate in public debates and discussions, and advocate for equal justice.

OUR FOCUSES

  • Governance of fair and accountable fiscal policies (national revenue, public expenditure, budget transparency and accountability)
  • Social Protection (access to universal social protection, better essential services, and social health protection)
  • Labor protection – (fair workplace and wage opportunities – decent work – decent/living wage)
  • Gender Transformative Social Protection (unpaid and domestic care work, maternity protection, care policy, care economy)
  • Inclusion – Voices of the marginalized groups (access to economic resources, political participation, access to legal protection)
  • Social Accountability and Inclusion
  • Strengthening Civic Space (NGOs governing and civic space related laws and regulations)

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

  • More women, youth, marginalize groups including marginalized workers and other citizens are empowered to express their views and demand their rights for responsive and inclusive decision making, policy making and policy implementation which response and address to their strategic and practical needs.
  • Civil society organizations and representatives of the most marginalized and discriminated people are empowered and able to influence for policy, behavior, and practice change (government and private sector).
  • Cambodian government has improved and increased pro-poor public-spending policies and fiscal governance with more investments on gender transformative and shock responsive social protection to better address the needs of communities, especially women and marginalized groups.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

  • Advancement of living wage and labor rights, decent work and protection of both formal and informal workers especially women and youth and the groups who have been left behind. Positively influence policy towards unpaid care work and promotion of gender transformative in labor force
  • Strengthened commitment of the Cambodian government to reduce inequality through progressive revenue mobilization, and equitable redistribution to public services to systematically address the needs of the most marginalized groups
  • Strengthened social accountability framework and linkages to social protection including social assistance, and social insurance schemes and active civic engagement.

TARGET GROUPS AND STAKEHOLDERS

  • The people we work with are the public, formal and informal workers and the most vulnerable and marginalized groups; women and girls facing sexual exploitation and abuse, LGBTQI people, indigenous people, people with disabilities, the elderly and youth.
  • Royal Government of Cambodia, line ministries, local authorities, and subnational administration
  • Private sectors and employers
  • Civil society organizations and development partners

OUR PRIORITIES

Empowering civil society

  • Empower members of the most marginalized groups, supporting initiatives to increase their social status of the most marginalized.
  • Support civil society organizations, unions, women’s organizations, local NGOs s and community leadership, building stronger and wider alliances and networks to reinforce advocacy agendas.
  • Support the development of a wider constituency of marginalized workers and most vulnerable groups
  • Convene civil space for engagement of civil society with government and privates sector actors.
  • Facilitate civil society networks and debriefs in neutral spaces.
  • Support citizen participation in policies discussion and implementation and monitoring.
  • Support civil society with quality and evidence base research and bring innovation
  • Broker partnerships that help civil society, government, and private sector to engage more constructively and effectively
  • Increase public awareness and engagement through social media and public platform

Influencing Government & Private Sector investment & responsiveness

  • Assess/analyses, present and promote policy and policy implementation recommendations including:
     - Social protection related laws, regulations, and mechanisms
     - Public financial management law including domestic revenue mobilization, and public investment .3. unpaid care work to advance gender equity and promote equality
     - Unpaid care work to advance gender equity and promote equality
     - social accountability related framework and mechanisms
  • Facilitate open spaces for constructive dialogue and advocacy for policy influencing between government and civil society organizations and groups
  • Champion citizen participation in multi-stakeholder engagement in relation to fiscal accountability and social investment
  • Strengthening strategic engagement and dialogues with the government agencies, and private sector.

OUR PROJECTS

  1. Building Synergies Between Social Protection and Public Finance Management
  2. Communicating Information on Access to National Social Protection Schemes To All
  3. Fiscal Accountability and Civic Engagement
  4. Fostering an Inclusive and Shock-Responsive Social Protection System in Cambodia (FIRST)
  5. Improved Social Protection and Labour Rights for Women Workers in Cambodia's Agri-Food Sector
  6. Inclusive National Social Protection Initiatives That Response To The Needs of Apparel Industry Employees (INSPIRE)
  7. Piloting Social Protection Into The Implementation of The Social Accountability Framework (I-SAF)
  8. Voice Phase II

KEY STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS