Building Civil Society Capacity


Agriculture Development Denmark Asia is an international NGO specialised in interventions involving: (i) agricultural development, (ii) building capacity of democratically operating self-help groups (SHGs) in terms of saving/credit schemes, micro business activities, social and legal issues. The aim is to empower the poorest of the poor and create viable civil society organisations that are able to (iii) advocate on behalf of the poor community.

ADDA has operated in Cambodia since 1996. Its first projects included capacity development of Prek Leap National School of Agriculture in Phnom Penh. From 2005 and onwards ADDA has implemented a number of projects: “Integrated Women Empowerment Project” (IWEP), “Livelihood Enhancement and Association of the Poor” (LEAP), Innovative Approaches to Food Insecurity for Urban and Peri-urban Poor in Siem Reap (INFOSE), Empowerment of Civil Society in Oddar Meanchay, Cambodia (CISOM), Cooperative and Civil Society Development in Siem Reap, Cambodia (COCIS). More than 30,000 poor farmers, primarily women, have been assisted. So far, ADDA has contributed to the formation of more than 200 SHGs and several Agricultural Cooperatives in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey Provinces.

The Cooperative and Civil Society Development in Siem Reap project (COCIS) aims at improving living standards in rural areas by supporting 175 self-help groups and 10 small cooperatives. It is intended to create better economic and social conditions of vulnerable and poor people – especially women – in Siem Reap. The capacity of Self-help groups and associations is built in a sustainable manner to generate income from business activities and / or to establish community development projects. Organizational capacity of basic civil society organisations (SHGs and ACs) is to become strengthened on legal rights, awareness and advocacy. SHG, AC and other community members should become empowered to influence local political priorities and contribute to a healthy development of civil society. Cooperative societies are empowered to further increase value added to member’s production, and they should promote interest of their members/the-poor community.

ADDA and Legal Aid of Cambodia (LAC) have reached an agreement on the implementation of the project above provided for that LAC will undertake the project activities (training) under the cooperation with and facilitation by ADDA,District Facilitators, CP and other.

Awareness raising and trainings on legal rights are developed and delivered to the poor communities by LAC and/or by trained District facilitators, Community Professionals and other. LAC representatives meet with community members and leaders and provide them with training on legal rights, rights of women and children, as well as capacity building on how to protect such rights.

Talk shows are broadcasted in the local radio which raise awareness of legal rights, rights of women and children as well as land rights in order to change fixed and culturally ingrained beliefs of inequality and to help fight discrimination

LAC, or COCIS staff trained by LAC, during public meetings in the villages, will deliver training within local communities. Each meeting starts with an overall testing of participant’s knowledge and confirmation of their expectation, followed by an exercise or game to test knowledge by the end of the session.

Legal knowledge of LAC will be disseminated widely, strengthening the target group and the local partner organisation, READA, in their work speaking up on behalf of the poor, rural people.

LAC had signed sub-agreement project with ADDA that LAC will undertake provision of the training of trainers to ADDA’s related staff, District Facilitators and Community Professionals (CPs) within the framework of ADDA’s project and also provide and accompany with DFs/CPs in providing the training on land and legal rights to Self-Help Group (“SHGs”) or communities. This project has been implemented within the target districts of ADDA for not longer than 2 years, mid-2014 to 2016.  The agreement “Building capacity on legal rights and advocacy of NGO partner staff, Agricultural Cooperative members as well as final beneficiaries of the project”. The agreement provides that LAC is sub-contracted to deliver training to ADDA-organised District Facilitators (DFs) and Community Professionals (CPs) with regards to legal rights and advocacy. These trainees are then to deliver training to Self Help Groups (SHGs) in 124 villages within Siem Reap province, over the period of 2014-2016.

The agreement aims to educate SHGs with regards to their legal rights and increase awareness of the means available to them to advocate these rights. Providing such awareness will also enable broader objectives to be achieved, including:

  • empowering community members to influence local decision making;
  • contributing to the healthy and sustainable development of civil society;
  • enabling community members to promote the rights and interests of their community; and
  • narrowing the communication gap between local authorities and communities

Project Activities

To achieve the project’s goal and objectives, LAC will undertake the following tasks:

  1. In cooperation with District Facilitators, conduct 248 trainings to the Shelf Help Groups in the 124 villages of Siem Reap Province for the 12400 participants,
  2. Conduct one training to CPs at the beginning of the project implementation period,
  3. Conduct three reflection training to the District Facilitators who will provide these training to the communities/Shelf Help Group, and
  4. Conduct three Talk Shows on the land right and land dispute resolution
  1. Training of Trainers (ToT)

LAC will conduct two training of trainers (ToT) sessions over will beld at the ADDA Office. Here the DFs for the purpose of delivering training to communities.

  1. Training to People in the Communities

In each community, activities LAC will train human rights, land right and other related legal rights, and the issue of domestic violence.

  1. Radio Talk Shows

Radio talk shows will be conducted three times throughout the project period. The talk show  will cover  discussion on land rights and dispute resolution.

Technical Assistance Provided by LAC for the Project

  1. Training of Trainers (ToT)

Materials will be provided by LAC to trainers at the ToT sessions, contained of information regarding

  • the concept of the law and legal rights, including land rights;
  • an introduction to the concept of democracy;
  • the role of elected representatives and individuals in positions of authority, and how they are held accountable;
  • how to advocate community rights and interests through connecting with political representatives;
  • how representatives may help to resolve community issues; and
  • methods for training SHGs, and following up with SHG issues

LAC will conduct two training sessions with SHGs, held in a single day, with the aim of having approximately 50 people from the village attend, as well as the concerned commune chief and/or commune council members.

Materials are provided by LAC participants to SHGs. These materials contain information regarding:

  • the concept of the law and legal rights, including land rights;
  • an introduction to the concept of democracy;
  • the role of elected representatives and individuals in positions of authority, and how they are held accountable;
  • how to advocate community rights and interests through connecting with political representatives; and
  • how representatives may help to resolve community issues

The LAC trainer is accompanied by the DFs in all training sessions and helps provide responses to the questioners as well as general comments about the local situation.