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Cambodia’s Development Dynamics: Past Performance and Emerging Priorities

Author(s): CDRI

Published: 09-Sep-2013
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CDRI releases its new publication, Cambodia’s Development Dynamics: Past Performance and Emerging Priorities. This study will be useful to a wide audience interested in Cambodia’s socioeconomic and political development – policymakers, the research community, development partners, the private sector, and non-government organisations. 

The Report analyses Cambodia’s development dynamism over the last two decades and identifies emerging development priorities for the next two. It examines Cambodia’s past performance, and current and future challenges in the economic, social, environmental and political spheres. It also presents a possible long-term development vision for the country and identifies the strategic options and policy choices that need to be incorporated in any future development agenda. 

The Report demonstrates Cambodia’s impressive development performance in core elements of human development – rapid growth, primary healthcare, and education. It uses evidence based analysis to show how significant reduction in poverty, notable improvements in income distribution, progress in human development, gains in health and education, and better gender equality have accompanied growth. 

Equally importantly, the Report points out that Cambodia’s socioeconomic progress has also been accompanied by progress in national and sub-national democratisation and decentralisation, but with much still to be achieved in standards of governance, accountability and citizens participation.

Overall, the Report is optimistic about Cambodia’s potential to build on its past development dynamics and to progress towards a prosperous, healthy and educated society over the next two decades as long as major development policy and implementation challenges are more effectively addressed by government and other stakeholders in Cambodia’s development. 

Commitment, pragmatism and flexibility – and above all the willingness to rely on experimentation, adaptation, and evidence-based mid-course corrections - are emphasised as necessary for Cambodia to navigate forward on its middle-income journey. 

In releasing this new report, CDRI, as an independent development policy research institute, believes that the election of a new government, along with the preparation of a new 2014-18 National Strategic Development Plan, make this is an opportune time to initiate the much needed policy measures to strengthen the economy, sustain social cohesion and equity, and build the momentum towards achieving a mature democracy.

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