Decentralisation and Administrative Reform Programme
Title: Decentralisation and Administrative Reform (DAR) Programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: National Committee for Sub-national Democratic Development (NCDD); Ministry of Civil Service (MCS); selected districts in Battambang and Kandal Province
Overall term: May 2016 to December 2018
For many years, administrative and political power in Cambodia has largely remained in the hands of the central government. However, the country is now passing through a process of change where governance structures and administrative procedures are being brought into line with the standards required of a development-oriented state. With the aim of transforming the public administration into an effective, efficient, responsive and reliable body, the Royal Government of Cambodia is promoting a services culture and improving the motivation and professionalism of civil servants and their organisations.
To improve local self-government, financial and human resources and decision-making powers are gradually being transferred to the sub-national level. Nevertheless, the indirect elected sub-national councils still lack the expertise and sufficient capacities to shape policies in their areas of responsibility. Limited powers, autonomy and coordination make it difficult for the councils and their administrations to perform their roles and functions in a transparent and accountable manner and to hence provide public services efficiently.
The aim is to support sub-national administrations and line agencies in partner districts and municipalities to deliver public services in a more harmonised, responsive and accountable manner, with a focus on improving selected areas of service provision.
At the national level, the DAR Programme works with the Secretariat of the National Committee for Sub-national Democratic Development (NCCD-S), the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Ministry of Civil Service (MCS) and selected sector ministries to support policy development.
At the sub-national level, DAR provides technical support to assist partner districts to provide better public services to citizens. Through capacity development, DAR works with sub-national government agencies to trial and implement mechanisms which ensure responsive and accountable service delivery.
One-Window Service Offices and Ombudsman Offices are being expanded at the district level and the decision-making powers of councils and administrations are being strengthened. In addition, NCDD-S, MCS and selected sector ministries are supported in formulating and disseminating minimum service standards and introducing feedback mechanisms for public services.
The cooperation between sub-national administrations, line agencies and sector ministries is also being expanded. Sub-national councils, administrations and line agencies are supported to manage their service delivery personnel in an increasingly performance-oriented manner. New human resource management tools such as job descriptions and performance appraisals are being developed and introduced.
The Programme was launched in May 2016 and builds on a previous Administration Reform and Decentralisation Programme (ARDP) implemented between 2011 and 2016. With the collaboration of ARDP, government agencies and non-governmental organisations have developed a deeper understanding of administrative reform and democratic decentralisation and democratic accountability has been strengthened.
It is expected that the DAR Programme will help to increase the number of service-related council decisions taken in response to the needs voiced by citizens during council meetings, along with increasing delivery of selected services. Improved performance-oriented human resource management will build the capacities of staff providing these services. Moreover, DAR expects sub-national and national government institutions to follow best practice in the coordination of service delivery between local governments and line agencies in partner districts.