In the years of 2008 to 2010, the organisation has committed to work on key three main programme
- The Grassroots Democracy Programme. The overall objective was to promote democratic participation and human rights at the grassroots level by educating and supporting community based organisations, local government (Commune Councils) and local NGOs to become more effective at advocating their communities’ needs.
- The Freedom of Information Programme. The overall objective was to increase public access to public institutions, information and the legislative process through a coordinated campaign that will create a culture of maximum information disclosure and encourage the Royal Government of Cambodia and the National Assembly to adopt a Freedom of Information Law to an international standard.
- The Advocacy Capacity Building Programme. The overall objective was to increase the number of Cambodian civil society organisations proficient in the design, management, implementation and evaluation of lobby and advocacy campaigns and initiatives. It also strengthened civil society to actively engage with the National Assembly.
The main achievements in 2008 to 2010
The Advocacy and Policy Institute is effectively working towards achieving its mission and goal. The evaluation supports the vital message that the organisation’s activities appear to be effective and the Advocacy and Policy Institute should be proud of its work. The organisation targets five provinces in which to work and has achieved a great deal with limited resources and all in a mere thirty months. The three Programmes of the organisation have been particularly successful with capacity building on advocacy and encouraging community and subnational government communication; supporting understanding about access to information and promoting participation in a campaign for public access to public information; encouraging civil society collaboration and engagement with the Government and the Cambodian Parliament, particularly over the Anti-Corruption Law.
1. Capacity building
The Advocacy and Policy Institute is well respected for its effective distinctive training courses that empower people to contribute towards advocacy campaigns for sustainable livelihoods and to support people’s rights by enhancing their advocacy skills and increasing their confidence and understanding about democratic participation. Training also promotes understanding about the right of public access to public information and its support of democratic processes. Through improving understanding and providing skills, the organisation contributes to good governance, particularly in the provinces. The effective training is encouraging communities to work together on community issues particularly those affecting livelihoods. The Advocacy and Policy Institute publishes useful, easily understandable, printed material to support training.
2. Strengthening community and Community Council partnerships.
Directly through participating in advocacy training, indirectly through community forums and encouraging local councils and organisations to plan together their activities, the Advocacy and Policy Institute is supporting a unique situation in which Councillors, representatives from Community organisations and community people interact, build mutual trust and collaborate on community concerns. A further step towards encouraging and improving local democratic participation has been the work of the Advocacy and Policy Institute with the Commune Information Disclosure Pilot Project (2008-2010), which enables useful training and collaboration with Commune Councils, local civil society organisations and local communities. This has led to increased appreciation and knowledge about Council roles and their responsibilities to the Government and their communities; increased understanding of the value of accessible public information to encourage transparency; enhanced council/community relations and increase community participation in council meetings. In general, there appears to be a growing solidarity and more interaction between and among Commune Councillors, local community based and civil society organisations and local people in the targeted communes.
3. The promotion of public access to public information
The organisation through the Access to Information Working Group promotes understanding about the right for public access to public information: raises public awareness, increases understanding, and encourages and supports the Cambodian Parliament and Government to pass an Access to Information Law. In the eight target Commune Councils of five provinces taking part in the Commune Disclosure Pilot Project this is achieved by encouraging access to public information among Commune Councils; promoting disclosure of information to local communities particularly about livelihoods, strengthening transparency and accountability, and printing diverse educational materials.
4. Working with the Government
The Advocacy and Policy Institute supports the Cambodian Government particularly the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection and Parliament to advance the making and passage of an access to information law and encourages public understanding of the laws. Through the Civil Society Lobby Group the organisation enhances communication with the Cambodian Parliament and Government. The organisation’s aim is to encourage mutual trust and respect and to construct effective channels of collaboration between and among civil society, Parliament and the Government.