The World Bank has been engaged in the education sector in Cambodia. Three education projects have been recently completed. The Second Education Sector Support Project granted scholarships to poor students, trained teachers, built primary schools, and established early childhood education programs and community-based centers. By the end of the project in 2017, 38% of children between 3 and 5 years old enrolled in 100 formal and 500 community-based preschool facilities supported by the project, 3,861 community early childhood education teachers and mothers were trained, and around 125,337 students between 3-5 years old directly benefited from project activities.
The Higher Education Quality and Capacity Improvement Project, completed in September 2017, provided scholarships to around 1,000 students to pursue their tertiary education locally and 64 public and private university professors/staff to continue their studies overseas. The project also supported 78 overseas and 254 local training programs for more than 10,000 higher education leaders, managers and lecturers to improve the quality and relevance of Cambodia's higher education. In addition, 45 research grants were awarded to researchers to set up and conduct their research activities.
Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) for Floating Villages Project, completed at the end of 2019, constructed seven ECCD centers, four onshore and three floating, in flood-prone areas. Community-Based (CB) and Home-Based (HB) ECCD program activities benefitted 909 and 9,591 of 0-5 year-olds, respectively. It also trained 7,992 parents and hundreds of teachers and district officers.
There are two active projects: the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) aims to strengthen school-based management; upgrading the qualification of lower secondary school teachers, school leaders and educational staff; and improving school facilities through construction and rehabilitation of 100 existing schools, construction of 30 new schools and equipping laboratory facilities at 100 targeted schools. Despite the project has been implemented for two and a half years, the project has benefitted 25,865 students, teachers, and educational staff at national and sub-national levels.
The Higher Education Improvement Project (HEIP) aims to improve the quality and relevance of higher education and research mainly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and agriculture and to improve governance in the sector. Specifically, HEIP is working to improve the quality of teaching and learning by improving the curriculum, teaching pedagogy, staff qualifications, teaching and learning facilities, and linkages with industry to ensure consistency with the job market. The project is also using grants to promote the development and implementation of research projects in STEM and agriculture.
The Health Equity and Quality Improvement Project (H-EQIP) is working to improve the coverage and quality of health care services throughout Cambodia. H-EQIP is the fourth in a series of World Bank-supported health projects that have helped to expand the health facility network, supplied medical and laboratory equipment, supported equity and financial protection for the poor, financed technical and institutional capacity and quality of care improvement, including improving infection prevention and control, and provided better sanitation and water quality in health facilities.
The Health Equity Fund (HEF) system, part of H-EQIP, now supports free access to almost 2.9 cases, including 2.58 million outpatient visits, approximately 159,000 hospital admissions, over 76,000 emergency care cases and 37,500 cases of delivery per year for the poorest people in Cambodia, nationwide and across all public health facilities in the country. Payments for these services, as well as performance-based grants to health facilities, are deposited electronically and in a timely manner into health facilities’ bank accounts. This has changed the empowerment and accountability paradigm, where additional resource availability has facilitated facility-level decision-making and ensured vital funding for maintenance of equipment and infrastructure and for dealing with unexpected shortages of drugs and consumables. In 2018, the HEF system was expanded to include informal workers, and in 2019, it began provided cash transfers to poor families to support the first 1,000 days of life starting from pregnancy until a child is about two years old.
Through the Voice and Action Project, the World Bank and other development partners are supporting NGOs to improve the quality of service delivery by Commune Councils, Health Centers, and primary schools. The Implementation Plan for Social Accountability (ISAF) currently covers 75% of Cambodia’s provinces, 62% of districts and 56% of communes. ISAF covers 572 out of 1,191 health centers across the country and 1,422 out of Cambodia’s 7,000 primary schools. It also hires more than 3,650 Community Accountability Facilitators to help mobilize their communities to learn about public services, provide feedback to service providers, and take action to improve service quality. By the end of 2017, more than 11,280 Joint Accountability Action Plans (JAAPs) were developed by service providers and community members and 64% of JAAPs’ activities have been implemented to improve public service delivery.
The World Bank has supported the government to improve regulations and policy reforms in the water and sanitation sector. After a two-year pilot of decentralized rural sanitation service delivery, the World Bank continued to provide technical assistance to 15 districts in three provinces. By December 2019, nearly 54,000 households in the targeted districts had gained access to improved sanitation, representing an eight-percentage point increase per year. The Bank-financed Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project is also supporting investment in water supply in lagging areas and in improving wastewater collection and management in Siem Reap city.
In the water resources management sector, the World Bank-supported Mekong Integrated Water Resource Management Project has supported the government in establishing the key foundation for effective water resources and fishery management. So far, 70 community fisheries have been established, 100 engine boats and related equipment have been distributed to Community Fisheries, and 330 out of 500 poor families have received a small grant to help diversify their sources of livelihoods. The project has also established hydrological and meteorological monitoring stations, developed water resource modeling and river basin profiles, and constructed water resources monitoring facilities.
In the transport sector, the World Bank-financed Road Asset Management Project (RAMP) helped rehabilitate 470 kilometers of Cambodia’s national and provincial road network with improved climate resilience and road safety. As a result, travel time has been reduced from 2 hours to 1.6 hours per 100 kilometers. The project also helped to strengthen capacity in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in road asset management planning, budgeting and routine and periodic road maintenance.
In agriculture and infrastructure support, the Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development Project LASED II has helped to improve access to agricultural resources, infrastructure and social services for many citizens in rural communities. Through the project, the government has allocated 17,000 hectares of residential and agriculture farm land to 5,010 landless and land-poor families. So far, 3,362 land titles have been distributed to the 1,825 poorest families. Beneficiaries have received basic shelter materials and other in-kind assistance, such as an initial six-month food aid, to help with settling-in process. The project provides roads, builds access tracks to the agriculture plots, and delivers infrastructure for household water supply. The project also builds schools and health posts, which are accessible both to project beneficiaries and to the wider community. The project also provides improved agriculture extension services, enabling beneficiaries to make the best use of the land and engage in agriculture activities as well as foster more sustainable community development. It also helped. Access to land for the poor or landless families has been and continues to be an important aspect of reducing poverty in Cambodia’s rural areas.
The Bank has been actively engaged in supporting public financial management (PFM) and public sector strengthening in Cambodia since 2006 beginning with two successive projects and various technical assistance programs. Ended in 2017, the Public Financial Management Modernization Project (PFMMP) has contributed to building an operational Financial Management Information System and improved domestic revenue mobilization capability. Currently, the Bank continues to provide support for improving PFM and service delivery through a programmatic technical assistance program funded by Multi-Donor Trust Fund with contribution from the European Union and Australia under the Cambodia Strengthening PFM and Public Sector Performance for Improved Service Delivery Programmatic Advisory Services and Analytics Project (P168407) 2019-2022. The technical assistance program aims to ease institutional bottleneck for service delivery by focusing not only PFM but also broader public sector reform programs of the government and covering four thematic areas: strengthening budgeting, planning and expenditure management; performance systems for enhanced service delivery; supporting innovation, monitoring, and coordination; and just-in-time support.
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2020