Khmer Radio

Civil Society Needs More Self Reliance, Researcher Says

A civil society organizations' meeting in Phnom Penh.A civil society organizations' meeting in Phnom Penh.
x
A civil society organizations' meeting in Phnom Penh.
A civil society organizations' meeting in Phnom Penh.
Im SothearithVOA Khmer
Cambodian civic groups depend too much on foreign aid, undermining their independence and the functions of civil society, a Cambodian researcher says.

Sothy Khieng, a doctoral candidate in organizational science and the VU University Amsterdam, told “New Voices” on Monday that their dependence on outside aid means civic organizations don’t have the stability they need.

Khieng Sothy, a Cambodian Ph.D candidate in organization sciences at VU University Amsterdam discusses effects of NGO’s commercial activities to the development of Cambodia during VOA Khmer’s Hello VOA radio call-in show in Phnom Penh, February 18, 2013. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)Khieng Sothy, a Cambodian Ph.D candidate in organization sciences at VU University Amsterdam discusses effects of NGO’s commercial activities to the development of Cambodia during VOA Khmer’s Hello VOA radio call-in show in Phnom Penh, February 18, 2013. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)
x
Khieng Sothy, a Cambodian Ph.D candidate in organization sciences at VU University Amsterdam discusses effects of NGO’s commercial activities to the development of Cambodia during VOA Khmer’s Hello VOA radio call-in show in Phnom Penh, February 18, 2013. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)
Khieng Sothy, a Cambodian Ph.D candidate in organization sciences at VU University Amsterdam discusses effects of NGO’s commercial activities to the development of Cambodia during VOA Khmer’s Hello VOA radio call-in show in Phnom Penh, February 18, 2013. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)
When donors shift their focus, certain organizations lose their support, weakening their effectiveness, he said.

“Foreign aid creates a dependency syndrome in civil society,” he said. “When donors face financial challenges themselves or when they shift priority to other countries, like in Africa, some organizations have to close down or find alternative approaches to survive.”

Sophal Ear, author of Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy acknowledged the importance of civil society for Cambodia’s development, but he said for now these organizations are far too weak to keep the government in check.

“Civil society is essentially the only area where you have a chance, basically, to call out the government’s malfeasance,” he said. “And the role of civil society is still limited and weak in Cambodia.”

Based on his own research, Khieng Sothy said the answer is financial self-reliance. Civil society organizations should consider transforming themselves into “semi-profit-making” ventures, while maintaining their original mission and vision.

However, callers to “New Voices” expressed concern, saying such a shift could jeopardize the mission and goals of civil society groups.

Khieng Sothy acknowledged that some problems remain, but he said he has found in his research that business activities can positively impact the operations of civil society. Self-reliance can be a viable approach to sustainability and independence for civil society, he said.
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hunting for Wild Honey in Cambodia's Forestsi
X
17 December 2014
Cambodia is thought to produce the best wild honey in Southeast Asia, mainly due to its climate and topography. Most of it is harvested informally and sold cheaply at local village markets. Now, one company is helping some of the country's poorest people by employing them to hunt for honey, then selling it commercially. (AP, Koh Kong)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)i
X
01 December 2014
You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)

You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
Video

Video All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)

You can say, "I was 'all thumbs' this morning when trying to tie this tie - I kept making mistakes and just couldn't figure a way to pull it together." What does it mean? Watch here.
See more >>>