Monthly Archives: November 2013

A step towards Universal Health Coverage in Kampong Thom

26 November 2013

The Cambodian Ministry of Health and its partners are taking on the challenge of securing universal access to quality health care. The act aims to do so without risking impoverishment and indebtedness, by    covering patients’ direct expenditure related to health through social health protection schemes.

Out-of pocket expenditure for health care an impoverishment risk

Out-of-pocket expenditure constitutes more than two thirds of overall health spending in Cambodia. The health sector’s high reliance on ‘fees for services’ coupled with lacking social health protection puts people at financial, social and economic risk. It can further deter them from seeking health care when in need, as expenses are unpredictable.

With lower risk of debt, more pregnant women will seek maternal healthcare.

With lower risk of debt, more pregnant women will seek maternal healthcare.

Providing access to Social Health Protection mechanisms for all

In January 2013, the ‘Integrated Social Health Protection Scheme’ was launched in Stoung Operational District in Kampong Thom Province. This innovative approach supported by GIZ’s Social Health Protection Project allows voluntary enrollment in a Social Health Protection Scheme by extending the services of Health Equity Funds. Families can protect their members by joining the scheme and paying an affordable contribution. Through this mechanism, health care users with greater health needs can access public health services whenever needed without risk of impoverishment, of falling into debt and poverty because of unaffordable or unpredictable health care bills.
Without discrimination, all pre-identified poor households as well as voluntary enrollees are granted access to the same package of health services. In the scheme’s first months, membership of the scheme has experienced a positive upside trend, increasing to 29% of the population in Kampong Thom.

 Families identified as 'poor' may now be better reimbursed for their health care costs.

Families identified as ‘poor’ may now be better reimbursed for their health care costs.

The Non-governmental Organisation Action for Health (AFH) operates the scheme. Its tasks as operator include, promotion of voluntary enrolment, awareness raising, collection of contributions, reimbursement the providers for medical service costs. But most importantly, AFH also represents the interests of all scheme-members, poor, which are exempted of contributions, or voluntary. By doing so, AFH plays an important role in securing scheme-members rights and promoting adequate health service provision for the entire population in Kampong Thom.

The schemes’ expansion demonstrates strengthened efforts to make quality health services affordable, accessible and more equitable for all Cambodians. The scheme extends health care to those previously untreated and reduces the risk of slipping into poverty and debt when falling ill and seeking care. The expansion constitutes another step towards Universal Health Coverage.

Transparency and human resource efficiency central to GIZ’s support to the Cambodian National Audit Authority

GIZ and the National Audit Authority holding an evaluation meeting in Preah Sihanouk province, June 2013.

GIZ and the National Audit Authority holding an evaluation meeting in Preah Sihanouk province, June 2013


18 October 2013

 Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Cambodia’s National Audit Authority recently agreed on a way forward to improve human resource management, as well as standards for greater transparency with the public.

In a discussion facilitated by GIZ in Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodia’s National Audit Authority learned how to overcome bottlenecks hindering the implementation of guidelines for public financial auditing. Discussions also committed to accomplish further organizational changes to improve employee capacity.

Previously, GIZ advised the National Audit Authority on developing and implementing two handbooks – the Human Resource Management Handbook and Training Programme Handbook, which are considered key for building organisational and human capacity, as well as strengthening the authority’s quality assurance system.. The National Audit Authority will report on the status of the implementation of the handbooks by the end of this year, so lessons learned can be incorporated into the future performance of the institution.

In the briefing remarks to the Cambodian Auditor General, Som Kimsuor, held in Preah Sihanouk province, Juergen Lehmberg, Project Manager of the GIZ National Audit Authority Project, said, “Improved human resources management and stronger capacities for public transparency of the National Audit Authority will definitely contribute to build the trust and confidence that all Cambodian citizens deserve.”

Since 2005, GIZ has provided strategic technical support to the National Audit Authority of Cambodia. This work also comprises facilitation of learning and knowledge exchange at regional and international levels, such as the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).

For more information, please contact Mr. Juergen Lehmberg (Tel: +855 12 333 101; juergen.lehmberg@giz.de)

Informing Governmental Consultations on Land Sector Support

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October 2013

Mondulkiri/Kampong Cham, Cambodia – In preparation for the governmental consultations on October 17, the continued German support to the Land Administration, Management and Distribution Program (LAMDP) was the occasion for an informative joint field visit to Mondulkiri and Kampong Cham provinces. The international delegation comprised the Desk Officer for Cambodia of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Ms. Stefanie Ruff, alongside several participants from the German Embassy, the Embassy of Finland, European Union (EU), KfW Development Bank, GIZ Cambodia, FINNMAP, ILO and representatives of local NGOs. The field visit was organized by the Ministry for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), Provincial Authorities from Mondulkiri and Kampong Cham together with Provincial Land Department of Mondulkiri and Kampong Cham and the GIZ Land Rights Program.

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While also introducing into the work of the provincial cadastral offices on systematic land registration, the focus of the first half of the field visit was the support to indigenous people’s (IP) communities land registration in Mondulkiri province. The delegation visited the IP communities in Sre Khtom and Oo’Rona and learned about their experiences and involvement with the process of land registration, which had led to the issuance of collective titles for these communities.

A visit to two indigenous Bou Sra communities highlighted as well the difficulties of IP land registration to the delegation. The IP of the villages in Lmes and Poulu articulated their concern with multiple conflicts pertaining to their land boundaries, while not having received a collective title yet. It became very clear that resolution of conflicts during IP communities land registration is a complicated and lengthy process that needs further support.

DSC_0629The second half of the 3-day field visit, focused on reviewing the situation of land recipients on social land concessions in Kampong Cham province. While still poor, the land recipients showed to the delegation members in which manifold ways they were able to improve their livelihoods. As a side event, a pre-cut of a short film about a photo-documentation by famous war photographer Tim Page was screened in the community hall. The film stars several of the villagers, which squeezed into the community hall, next to the delegation team, to watch themselves and their fellow villagers on the screen.

The topics and lessons learned from the field visit were picked-up again during the governmental consultations and contributed by informing on agreed proposals, e.g. on the further strengthening of the support to IP communities land registration and post-project support to the German-supported land recipients.

For more photos, please visit: http://on.fb.me/1gtIrlM

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All activities are implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).