មជ្ឈមណ្ឌលពង្រឹងអភិបាលកិច្ច និងសង្គមសម្រាប់គ្រប់គ្នា (មពអស)
Centre for Governance and Inclusive Society (CGIS)
The Centre examines emerging policy questions confronting policymakers with evidence and knowledge to build inclusive society and responsive governance in a rapidly changing context. The center analyzes current and contemporary policy processes and challenges related to civic engagement, local governance, decentralization, youth, leadership and new technologies. Our research also incorporates cross-cutting topics on climate change, technology and gender. In term of gender, we focus on: (i) the participation of women in institutions as decision-makers and public officials at the national and sub-national levels; (ii) the engagement of women as citizens with the government and its institutions and mediators; (iii) the capacity of the state to promote gender equality, and to mainstream gender within institutions, including through policy, programmes and budget arrangements; and (iv) the impact of the political and technological development on gender relations more broadly, including whether state responses enable or constrain gender equality.
The research draws critically from the literature to formulate theoretically informed, policy relevant research questions that would uncover, interrogate and explain Khmer conceptions and perspectives of key governance and emerging trends, thereby laying the groundwork for an indigenous Cambodian social science.
In the current Research Strategy 2016-2021, the Centre’s main research titles Ponlork: The Emergence of a New Era for Cambodia. Ponlork focuses on the impact of demographic change on politics and society in Cambodia. Below is a brief description of the completed and on-going studies:
Cambodian youths have experienced a different trajectory of socio-political and economic development to that of their parents and grandparents. This paper presented the main findings of a nationally representative CDRI survey that delineates similarities and differences between young and old generations in seven socio-political and economic aspects: mobility, education and technology use; family relations and gender perceptions; trust in state institutions and civil society organisations; local participation and development; satisfaction of the country’s direction and economic performance; local sources of political information; and optimism about the future of oneself and country. It generated relevant policy recommendations for promoting better welfare of young people and addressing their priorities.
A gendered analysis of a nationally representative survey by CDRI provided a comprehensive understanding of Cambodian women in the demographic change, level of education, age differences, and internet use as contribution factors to generate their perceptions of, and participations in, socio-economic and political issues.
Cambodian Civil Society Organisations in Promoting Youth Civic Engagement
Civil society organisations’ efforts in promoting youth civic engagement have proven increased civic knowledge among youth involved in the youth organisations; but also highlighted that the collective actions of these youth have instilled little influence in increasing civic knowledge in local communities and limited impacted on improving public service delivery. Despite their limited impact on the quality of public service delivery, active youth had a sense of roles and responsibilities for their community development that was also shared among apathetic youth who participated in collective actions. This was due to socio-economic aspects of their families and other hindrances that did not enable them to participate in the local communities. Although the increased civic engagement and collective actions have been vigilant, local authorities did not obstruct youth organisations in promoting youth civic engagement, and also obstruct youth in enhancing these collective activities; instead they supported such initiatives. The paper concluded with a discussion and offered specific recommendations to the youth organisations for broader mobilisations of youth, and for their support to formulate policy to increase effective collaboration and resource mobilisations in promoting youth civic engagement for sustaining participation and development in the local communities.
A Generational Shift and its Impacts on Local Rural Governance: youth participation and intergenerational experiences
This study aimed to understand the impact of demographic change on local governance in Cambodia by exploring intergenerational experiences of local participation in a commune planning process, and local authorities’ emerging initiatives and efforts on youth engagement, opportunities, and constraints. The findings suggested that youth engagement in the commune plan remains limited despite more youth-focused NGOs and youth affiliation characterised by an uneven process of engagement. Intergenerational relationships and partnerships are largely absent in the plan, and this was exacerbated by youth demographic changes who are mainly absorbed in outside the labour market economy and education opportunities. As a result, the commune plan and efforts on youth engagement generally failed to reflect those changing socio-economic households and the increasing role of young people, coupled with own real institutional and commune funding challenges. In other words, youth engagement resulted mainly from NGO’s intervention; though their role was limited to assisting the gap between local community members and authorities. There is not yet a youth led-plan and activities to identity their own needs and priorities.
The dissemination and knowledge exchange workshop “Cambodia’s Young and the Older Generation: Views on Generational Relations and Key Social Political Issues”
A full-day national workshop aimed at sharing survey findings on Cambodia’s Young and the Old Generation to provide an avenue of direct dialogue between senior government officials from the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) Secretariat, sub-national government officials from ten provinces, development partners, and CDRI researchers. Discussion resonated over the opportunity of economic growth, technology development for fast communication, and how youth can assimilate into the labour market. Balanced against this were the challenges youth encounter stemming from socio-economic and political factors that have impacted trust and generational relations
Our Research Partners
- Ministry of Interior, General Department of Administration
- National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) Secretariat- Department Policy Analysis and Development Division
- Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, General Department of Youths
- Northern Illinois University, Department of Political Sciences, USA
- The University of Notre Dame, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, USA
- George Mason University, USA
- Royal Holloway, University of London, England
- Coventry University, England
- The University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies, Sweden
- Lund University, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Sweden
- The University of Sydney, Department of Asia Studies, Australia
- The University of British Columbia, Department of Political Science, Canada
- McGill University, Institute for the Study of International Development, Canada
- National University of Singapore, Department of Geography and Sociology, Singapore
- Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia