Cambodia

The project increases the capacity of the Royal Government of Cambodia to develop, deliver, monitor and evaluate effective social protection programmes. It draws on evidence of the impact of social transfers on the socio-economic resilience of vulnerable populations to foster domestic budget allocations for those programmes.
 
Strengthening the results-based budgeting and supporting the preparation of the 2025 performance-informed budget will accelerate the public finance management reform and contribute to the effectiveness of the social protection programmes. The main objectives are to support the family package of integrated social assistance and speed up the delivery of the disability allowances programme.

Key results achieved in 2020-21

  • Delivery of social budgeting training in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Training Centre (ITC) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for staff members from relevant departments of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), and the General Secretariat of the National Social Protection Council (GS-NSPC). The successful implementation of the training has led to increased interest from key stakeholders. Further training is planned to develop a Training of Trainers (ToT) model as well as budgeting and modelling tools to facilitate the use of evidence for Social Protection planning and increasing coverage. 
  • Technical guidance and capacity building to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) strengthened results-based or programme-based budgeting at the national level and for 25 Provinces. The capacity-building efforts enhanced the budget submitted to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) by improving policy-budget links, including programme targets and indicators supporting evidence-based reporting on budget execution. A manual for MoSVY budget formulation and implementation is under development.
  • The National Social Protection Council approved the Family Package Policy document (comprehensive concept note) in December 2021. The programme design is being finalised, with the Family Package Sub-decree to be endorsed by the Royal Government of Cambodia in 2022. The Family Package roll-out is under preparation for early 2023, when it will replace the COVID-19 Cash Transfer Programme for the Poor and Vulnerable, implemented in June 2020.
  • The first wave of the Disability Identification process, designed during the project’s first year, has been completed in 25 Provinces, with over 240,000 persons with disabilities identified by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation. An estimated 30% of this group are registered in the Identified Poor (ID Poor) social registry and will be eligible to access the cash transfer programmes once the Family Package of integrated social assistance programmes is rolled out. Other persons with disabilities will have improved access to the care, assistance and labour-activation programmes. The disability identification tool results from a massive investment in the delivery mechanism, including the Disability Management Information System (MIS) and the capacity building of 1,640 communes aiming to ensure national coverage of the on-demand national mechanism.  
  • A Social Protection training curriculum has been developed in collaboration with the GS-NSPC and MoSVY. The central-level training was piloted to include key government officials and the National Institute of Social Affairs (NISA), and the Training of Trainers to deliver sub-national training package. The training packages are envisaged to be delivered as stand-alone and/or added to the ongoing training on the operational aspects of the existing social assistance programmes covering 1,640 Communes, 204 districts and 25 Provincial administrations.
  • Representatives from 19 civil society organisations and Trade Unions have been invited to a consultation workshop on the draft Social Protection Law. Participants commented on more than 30 out of nearly 100 articles, considering accessibility, inclusiveness, clarity and transparency of the draft law and their experiences and understanding of the constituents’ needs. The remarks and proposals for improvements have been submitted to the General Secretariat of NSPC for their consideration.
  • Direct technical assistance has been provided to GS-NSPC and MoSVY to design the COVID-19 Cash Transfer Programme for ID Poor households – which currently covers over 680,000 families – and the Wage Subsidy for Garment and Tourism, which provide suspended workers in these sectors with a minimum subsistence wage. The service included engagement on the design of the benefit options and their costing. The technical assistance provided for the Management Information System (MIS) development has contributed to the COVID-19 Cash Transfer MIS module. 
  • The CSO-Trade Union network, representing formal and informal workers, farmers, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and youngsters, was further consolidated and extended to about 30 active members. This network gained more visibility and recognition at the level of the stakeholders and is already occasionally solicited for their inputs and views. It will become a coordinating body for civil society to position themselves on social protection policy development, including Public Finance Management for social protection.
  • Capacity building on Public Finance Management was initiated, generating a keen interest among the members to look more closely into the budget cycle. In the second half of 2021, this component started with the “SP4ALL” (Social Protection for All). This overarching national network can act as a vector for coherent civil society engagement on various challenges concerning social protection policy development in Cambodia, including public finance management for Social Protection. 
  • Importantly, some members of the CSO-Trade Union network have been nominated to become active in the newly established Development Partners Coordinating bodies on social assistance, employment-based social security and social health protection. Moreover, the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors representative will become a member of the overall Development Partners Coordinating group. If the candidacies are confirmed, the formal coordinating groups have the potential to play a role in civil society consultation on policy development, backed up by the network. This way, it will become an important venue for civil society engagement on public finance management for social protection. 

Project partners

The project is implemented jointly by the ILO, UNICEF, the Delegation of the European Union office in Phnom Penh, the Royal Government of Cambodia – through the General Secretariat of the National Social Protection Council (NSPC), the General Departments of Budget (GDB) and Planning (GDP) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) – as well as the social partner and the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, represented in Cambodia by Oxfam.

Events 

Social budget e-learning from October to December 2020

Contacts

Mr. Nuno Cunha, ILO Senior Social Protection Specialist, cunhan@ilo.org 

Mr. Koh Jie Yue, ILO Social Protection Officer, koh@ilo.org

Mr. Heng, Sokgech ILO, heng@ilo.org

Mr. Erna Ribar, UNICEF, Social Protection Officer, eribar@unicef.org

Workers in the informal economy in Cambodia

A factory worker during her shift in a footwear manufacturing plant in Cambodia

A cutting operator working in a garment factory  in Cambodia