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Capacity Building for Kampot’s Eco-Savers

Capacity Building for Kampot’s Eco-Savers
19/05/2013

Cambodia

A training workshop on transparency, access to information and democratic accountability, taking place in Kampot from 6 to 10 May 2013, proved a huge success with the members of the Sangkat Councils, the municipal staff and councillors in Kampot, allowing them to extend and strengthen their skills in democratic local governance.

Encouraged by the hugely successful implementation of the Eco-Savers project, which introduced recycling into schools and encouraged environmental awareness in the young generation, Kampot Municipality is keen to continue on their path to public participation and democratic accountability in local governance. In cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, one of the main DELGOSEA project partners, the community has scheduled a series of capacity building measures throughout the year.

This first workshop aimed to provide participants with an understanding and tools to enhance transparency and promote accountability in sub-national administrations as well as to raise awareness of the benefits of transparency amongst the participants. Last but not least, there was an important practical element, with the participants getting the opportunity to develop concrete action plans for the introduction of transparent practices in their own administrations. 

As part of the workshop, the participants also had the chance to conduct their own public forum on solid waste management in Kampot’s main market – a real-life exercise in direct local democracy. After training on how public forums should be set up, the forum was convened at the Sangkat office with more than 50 representatives from the Sangkat office, the municipal offices of police, education, public works and environment, the waste collection company, concerned NGOs and local residents. The discussion of the causes for the waste problem and possible solutions provided a much-needed practical example of how local issues can be dealt with transparently and effectively.

After another session observing a public forum in action, the 39 participants were ready to develop plans for their own initiatives and introduce the concept of transparent administration into their own sphere of action. Satisfaction with the workshop was high and the trainings still to come look very promising.

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