THERE are hundreds of NGOs, local and international, in Cambodia, but while they all aim in their own way to make a difference to the progress, prosperity and social structure of this developing nation, many, especially the smaller ones, appear unco-ordinated and poorly structured, duplicating one another’s efforts, resources and personnel.
Although small and mid-size NGOs are the ones that should be focusing on improving their efficiency, the way is being shown by Oxfam, one of the world’s leading NGOs.
Despite its size, organisation, money availability and reach in 99 countries, Oxfam is restructuring to gain the maximum impact and effectiveness from its work and programmes in Cambodia. “Along with the other Oxfam affiliates in the country, we are seeking to increase the positive impact of our work here and be more effective as an organisation,” Oxfam Great Britain executive director Dame Barbara Stocking said during her recent visit to Cambodia.
“One way to do that is for all Oxfam affiliates in the country to come together under a single management structure in order to increase the quality and magnitude of our impact, be more cost-effective, and be able to speak with one voice.
“It means that we will all be moving to a common Oxfam office and there will be a single country director, who will represent Oxfam in Cambodia and who will oversee the implementation of the agreed country strategy and programme of Oxfam.
“There will be a smaller number of affiliates in the country, and all of them will deliver a coherent set of objectives through more joint projects.
“The managers of the Oxfam affiliates in Cambodia have been working on a joint country analysis and strategy as it seeks to scale up the impact of Oxfam’s programme work in Cambodia through more efficient use and sharing of financial and human resources and building a stronger identity as Oxfam, while maintaining the level of resources they have invested in its programme in this country.” In Cambodia, Oxfam aims to reduce its presence to four affiliates, led by Oxfam Netherlands, and will continue to build on partnerships with government and local organisations.
Currently there are eight Oxfam affiliates: Oxfam America, Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Quebec and Oxfam Italy. Together, this group is working with about 50 partner organisations.