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Development centre encourages dialogue between parties

Development centre encourages dialogue between parties

A concrete ring is loaded on an ox cart for delivery as part of a rural toilet system

ANOTHER of the NGOs involved in sanitation is the Center for Development, an organisation with 45 staff, headed by executive director Souvann Narak.

National Program Coordinator Chris Hearle, 25, a native of Oxford, England, said an effective method for getting sanitation projects done at the village level was for the village leader to choose three candidates and to invite the villages to come and have an election – to choose one of those candidates to be a water and sanitation committee member.

“After the project is finished the WSC can continue to operate,” Hearle said. The continuation after the project is seen as key for ensuring the new toilets and facilities don’t go into disrepair. For schools, WASH committees are organised, an acronym standing for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. One of CfD’s jobs, Hearle said, was creating some dialogue between the village and the local government by encouraging people not to be afraid to voice their dissatisfaction. Starting with raising awareness, the NGO uses a three-pronged approach including social mobilising and physical infrastructure.

“We show them how to construct toilets, with 15 toilet options, each for different types of areas. The villagers choose the toilet themselves,” he said.
CfD issues some of the material, through a household request form and the villagers agree to use the materials for the intended purpose, and they have to purchase some of the materials themselves as well.

“It is a big issue that the materials might be used for something else,” Hearle said.

Hearle studied Human Geography and Social Science at the University of Southampton  in the UK. CfD has also just finished a project in “good governance,” funded by USAID

CfD’s philosophy is to work for good governance, sustainable development and poverty reduction by complementing official policy, regulation, strategy and the development plan of the Royal Government of Cambodia. CfD is recognised by the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior. Authorisation to operate was granted on February 7, 2003.

CfD has received financial supports from World Bank/JSDF, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), WB/SGP, WB IDA, EC-UNDP/NLCS (National League of Commune Sangkat), United Nations Human Settlements Program-UN HABITAT, USAID/PACT-LAAR (Local Administration and Reform Program), USAID/ECO-ASIA (Ecological Cooperation in Asia), BORDA-School-Based Sanitation; it has operated over 16 provinces/municipality. Annual expense is on average US$350,000.00.

CfD has 34 program staff in the field and four administrative staff and four office support staff in Phnom Penh. Activities are overseen by a three-member board of trustees, all of whom are Cambodian nationals who have long-standing experiences in civil society.

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