Making PRSP Inclusive
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4.5.1 PRSP in Cambodia

Cambodia started its PRS process in 2000 and published an I-PRSP in 2001. The first full Cambodian PRSP was the "National Poverty Reduction Strategy" (NPRS), which covered the period 2003-2005. This was followed by the “National Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010” (NSDP). Parallel to the first PRS (or NPRS), various other development strategies were in place, such as the Second Socio-economic Development Plan (SEDP II, 2001-2005). The government realised that these strategies were to some extent competing, and therefore combined them in the second PRS/NSDP. It is now considered as "the single, overarching development strategy for pursuing prioritized goals", such as the Cambodian Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs) – an adaptation of the MDGs – for the period 2006-2010.

The leading government agency for the PRS is the General Directorate of Planning in the Ministry of Planning. As the participation of other ministries was considered as being too low, an Inter-Agency Technical Working Group was founded to formulate the NSDP, composed of 29 ministries and governmental agencies. In addition, the Technical Working Group on Planning and Poverty Reduction (TWG-PPR) was created to enable different stakeholders – including the civil society – to provide coordinated input to the process.

The NGO Forum is the focal point for the civil society, representing 83 member organisations. This forum is responsible for coordinating the links between government and civil society in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation phase of the PRS. Both member and non-member organisations can participate in sectoral groups and can contribute to sectoral and sub-national plans.

Although many stakeholders participated in both national PRS processes, participation was still narrowly confined to government officials in the Ministry of Planning. The contributions of the limited number of NGOs involved in the process are only sporadically accepted by the Royal Government, and NGOs generally feel that there has been insufficient debate on issues of contention between the government and the wider civil society. In comparison with the previous PRSP, the NSDP is viewed as the better strategy in terms of offering stronger ownership, more effective participation in the implementation, evaluation and monitoring phase, appropriate and less ambitious result framework, less detailed but more current poverty diagnostics, and more comprehensive institutional arrangements, although there are still significant shortcomings in its ownership, the need to improve the monitoring framework, and the need to provide more meaningful reporting on progress made in implementing the NSDP.

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