03.04.2019

Prospects for Cambodia’s poorest

‘Leave no one behind’ is one of the principles underpinning the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. What this means in practice is illustrated by an example from Cambodia.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promotes the right for everyone to be able to live a life of dignity. The poorest in society, those with disabilities and indigenous peoples are to benefit from efforts being made to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. ‘Leave no one behind’ is the guiding principle. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports its partner organisations in achieving this aspect of the 2030 Agenda. 

To reduce poverty effectively, solutions must be tailored to poor people in society. But how does a country determine which people are poor? Poverty is multifaceted and therefore not easy to measure. To address this, Cambodia has developed IDPoor: a standardised and simple method that allows community representatives to survey villagers using defined criteria. The findings are discussed with the villagers before being added to a nationwide database. Poor people then receive free access to health care and clean drinking water, for example. When a child is born to a poor family, or if a family member has a disability, the household receives financial assistance from the state. 

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, GIZ has been supporting this approach for reducing poverty in Cambodia since 2006. One of the most challenging tasks was to develop technical solutions that could be used throughout the country, even in remote rural areas, to record poverty transparently and consistently. IDPoor combines tried-and-tested paper questionnaires with modern database technology in an efficient system. IDPoor currently reaches more than 550,000 rural households in need, which equates to more than 2.5 million people. Since 2018, IDPoor has also been used for the urban population, and more than 17,000 poor households have already been added. Methods are becoming increasingly flexible – interviewers now also use tablets and smartphones to collect data, which means that data can be updated more easily and more frequently. 

From 2019, the Government of Cambodia will fund the IDPoor surveys completely. This should help to ensure that, in the long term, nobody in Cambodia will be left behind.