The recent special issue produced by the Post on the NGO sector in Cambodia was timely and relevant, as well as insightful.
Indeed, Cambodia is one country that has had NGOs of every stripe and color, and without the INGO efforts in the 1980s, when there was an aid embargo imposed, many more people could have suffered.
Nevertheless, it is now 2010. The world has changed, and so has Cambodia.
NGOs tend to be strong in areas where government services are weak and in need of support.
However, with a strong government in place, better access to services and increased privatisation, NGOs often have to rethink the ways that they work, so that they can truly represent the voices of communities and disadvantaged sectors.
Yet, as you rightly point out, there are increasing threats to NGOs and CSOs in the guise of “terrorism”, as well as because of the global financial crisis, and they must make better use of evidence in their advocacy work.
Likewise, NGOs should also strive for better accountability to their many stakeholders, and good governance practice. Otherwise, they also lose their credibility.
I look forward to the Post publishing similar special issues on this vibrant and important sector in the future.
Send letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length. The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.