Working Papers   14

Cambodia: Enhancing Good Governance for Sustainable Development

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Good governance is critical for Cambodia's future. Over the last decade, during transition toward liberal democracy and a market economy, Cambodia’s policy-makers, donors and civil society have recognised that strengthening good governance is imperative if Cambodia is to sustain socio-economic development.

     The current study, which was commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), considers how to promote good governance for sustainable development in Cambodia. The analysis and findings from the study aim to contribute insights for policy-making by the Royal Government of Cambodia. It also identifies some key areas and strategies of assistance for ADB and other donors to consider.

 This independent study entailed extensive consultations and interviews with many people from the Royal Government of Cambodia, the National Assembly, the Senate, the Judiciary, the media, businesses, civil society organisations, and international donor agencies.

     Governance is defined in this study as the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development. States with good governance exercise their powers through state institutions and organisations that are accountable and transparent to the general public. They also exercise powers based on the rule of law, which are therefore predictable to the public. Furthermore, states with good governance are adept at promoting people’s participation in the development process and policymaking. Throughout the current Report, governance structures and key governance reforms are examined from the perspective of those four elements in governance – account[1]ability, transparency, predictability, and participation.

     This study covers three domains of governance structure: (i) the public sector; (ii) civil society; and (iii) the media. The broad scope of this study has at least two merits. First, it can help to articulate strategic programming at the project (or micro) level within the overall pic[1]ture of governance. Second, the broad scope helps to analyse the interface between the public sector and civil society, a critical and often under-emphasised element in promoting good governance

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