Chapter 8. Local Governance: Seila Program

The Royal Government of Cambodia initiated the Seila program in 1996 to institutedecentralized systems and strategies for poverty alleviation and good governance at theprovincial and commune levels. Beginning with 5 provinces in 1996, its coverageexpanded to all 24 provinces in 2003. Seila also developed mechanisms of cross-sectoralaid coordination, including a core support component and a supplementary component.As of 2003, three donors are providing support for the core component using a trust fundin which donors share costs (cost-sharing). A number of other donors and agenciessupport the supplementary component, using the Seila framework to deliver services totarget groups within their own projects.

1.    Historical background and trends in donor assistance

Historical background

Decentralization in Cambodia has gained momentum since the formation of a new government in November 1998. It has been carried out as an integral part of the broader state reforms stipulated in the Governance Action Plan.51 The Commune/Sangkat Administration Law and Commune Election Law were promulgated to govern the administration and elections of the Communes/Sangkats in January and March 2001, respectively. The National Committee to Support the Commune (NCSC), an inter-ministerial committee, was established in May 2001 to steer the decentralization process and the Department of Local Administration was established at the Ministry of Interior in July 2001. The first commune elections were held in February 2002 to establish Commune Councils, the first elected bodies at the sub-national level in Cambodia.

The Seila program (hereinafter referred to as Seila), which officially started in 1996, is a national program aiming to achieve poverty reduction through local development and improved local governance. In this context, Seila has been taking initiatives to decentralize governance in Cambodia.53 It started pilot programs in five provinces supported by Cambodia Area rehabilitation and Regeneration Project (CARERE2).54 It then gradually expanded to cover 12 provinces by the end of 2000.55

A program evaluation of Seila conducted in March 2000 concluded that its impact had exceeded the levels originally expected.56 It was decided that Seila should extend its program period up to 2005, during which more provinces would be covered. With the election of Commune Councils in February 2002, the Government at national and provincial level assumed responsibility for supporting all the Councils in the country. In response, Seila increased its coverage from 12 to 17 provinces in 2002. At the National Seila Workshop held in August 2002, a Deputy Prime Minister endorsed the  recommendation to ensure equitable support across all 24 provinces and requested the steering institution of Seila to mobilize the necessary resources for them. As a result, Seila expanded to cover all 1,621 communes and all provinces in the country in early 2003.

Trends of donor assistance and coordination in the sector

From its inception, Seila envisioned a comprehensive decentralized and deconcentrated management system within the government that could mobilize both domestic and external resources for local development and local governance. Seilaís vision has been realized over time. In 1996, Seila started with support from UNDP, the Netherlands, EU, Sweden and UNCDF (see Table 8-2 for donorsí partnerships with Seila in 1996-2007). By the end of 2000 it was able to receive support from more donors, i.e., the UK, Australia, the World Bank, UNHCR, the WFP and IFAD, through either CARERE2 or other arrangements.58 CARERE2 finished its mission in 2001, and a new program called Partnership for Local Governance (PLG) was developed with cost-sharing by UNDP, DFID and Sida using trust fund arrangements. The PLG has been providing core support to Seila since then.

The Seila program developed a unique flexible mechanism to coordinate partnership with other donors, and this partnership framework has proved very effective for mobilizing substantial external resources and delivering services and infrastructure to the commune level. Attracted by that framework, many donors agreed to channel their resources through Seila. The amount of external resources mobilized through the Seila framework has nearly doubled from $12 million in 1996 to $23 million in 2003.

In 2003, Seila receives support from PLG, IFAD, GTZ, AusAID, Danida, UNICEF, WFP and the World Bank (see Table 8-1 for current donors and program contents).

Table 8-1. Donorsí Partnership with Seila in 2003

Donor

Name of Project

Content

Sida, DFID, UNDP

Partnership for Local Governance (PLG)

Provides core support to Seila through provision of technical assistance and project funds.

IFAD

 

Agricultural Development Support to Seila (ADESS)

Under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and co-financed with PLG and AusAID/CAAEP. Supports agricultural development and agricultural credit in four target provinces, and providing national program support to MAFF, STF Secretariat and the Rural Development Bank.

Community Based Rural Development (CBRD)

Co-financed with GTZ, AusAID/CAAEP, WFP. Supports community development, agricultural development, rural infrastructure, and institutional development in the provinces of Kampot and Kampong Thom.

GTZ

CBRD

Provides technical assistance and program support in the two provinces of Kampot and Kampong Thom.

AusAID

Cambodia Ė Australian Agricultural Extension project (CAAEP)

Managed under the Department of Agricultural Extension. As a partner of the two IFAD loan programs implemented under the Seila framework, CAAEP provides technical support to the provincial DAE in the covered provinces.

Danida

Natural Resource and Environmental Management (NREM)

Financed the STF to formulate a Natural Resource and Environmental Management (NREM) Mainstreaming Strategy in collaboration with nine Ministries; Started financing a pilot project, Mainstreaming Natural Resource and Environment Management through Seila from 2003.

UNICEF

Seth Koma Program

UNICEFís Seth Koma programís effort to prepare Village Action Plan is incorporated in the Seila framework.

WFP

Food for Work program

WFPís food aid has been allocated to the projects identified through the Seila framework.

World Bank

Rural Investment and Local Governance (RILG)

Provides loan for reimbursement of eligible Commune Fund projects and financing of buildings, equipment, capacity building and technical cooperation for Seila program.

NGOs

Projects implemented according to specific signed agreements that stipulate the use of the Seila management structure and system.

Source: Royal Government of Cambodia (2003A), pp.8-12.           

 
 

Program Activities

Seilaís overall goal is to institute decentralized systems and strategies for poverty alleviation and good governance. Its objectives are59;

  • Fostering local development and poverty alleviation, through a multi-sectoral approach which includes the delivery of local infrastructure and services and the promotion of peace and reconciliation,

  • Building the capacity of provincial and commune authorities for sustainable development management through practical experimentation, and

  • Generating lessons learned for the development of national decentralization and de-concentration policies.

From the beginning, Seila has applied a learning-by-doing approach to develop a comprehensive decentralized framework for the delivery of services and infrastructure. This framework, which have been piloted and tested to make sure it works on the ground, consists of the following four systems:

  • Financing system

Seila has developed two funds, the Commune/Sankat (C/S) Fund and the Provincial Investment Fund (PIF), financed by external grants and loans and annual national budget appropriations, to deliver services and infrastructure to communes and provinces, respectively. Seila has developed criteria for allocation of these funds, and standard procedures for procurement, disbursement, accounting and auditing of the project financed by these funds.

  • Planning system

  • Seila has developed a set of technically sound and participatory planning procedures for the preparation of five year development plans (commune development plan and provincial development plan), three year investment programs (commune investment program and provincial development and investment program), and annual working plans and budgets of commune councils and provinces.

  • Management and capacity building system

  • Seila has established a comprehensive management structure (see Chart 8-1), in which the roles and responsibilities of villages, communes, districts and provinces are clearly defined in managing local investment programs. Seila assists the provincial administration in providing support and supervision services for commune councils. Seilaís assistance includes planning facilitation, training and technical services.

  • Monitoring and evaluation system

  • Seila has developed: (1) the provincial level management information system that tracks the physical and financial progresses of all projects executed under Seila program and provides consolidated quarterly reports; (2) the commune database (including poverty index database) to support the poverty-based geographic targeting of the programís resources; and (3) a program to evaluate Seilaís efficiency and development impact.

    Seila has been applying the systems described above in all provinces and communes in the country since March 2003.

    A recent evaluation has concluded that the Seila systems at the provincial and commune levels have had a positive impact on local development.60 In addition, Seila has offered smooth and efficient disbursement of donorsí funds through the Seila framework. This proven track record of achieving results helped convince the government and donors to provide increased funds for Seila over time. Moreover, Seila offered the government a testing ground for regional and local planning and development, from which useful lessons have been drawn that the government has used to formulate decentralization and deconcentration policies and implement reform programs on local governance.61 In return, the government has provided strong backing for the program.

    2.    Mechanisms to manage aid coordination

    Institutional arrangements

    Seila is guided by the Seila Task Force (STF), consisting of the various ministries described in Chart 8-1.62 The STF Secretariat is responsible for executing the program and reporting to the STF. The STF Secretariat comprises seconded officials from various ministries, totaling 30 staff as of 2003. Each ministry participating in STF appoints a ministerial focal point to facilitate and assist STF work.

    At the provincial level, Provincial Rural Development Committees (PRDC) are responsible for the management of programs. The PRDC has an Executive Committee (ExCom) to manage the implementation of an annual Seila Provincial Investment Plan. There are four management units under the ExCom: (i) Contracts

     

    Administration Unit (CAU); (ii) Local Administration Unit (LAU); (iii) Finance Unit (FU); and (iv) Technical Support Unit (TSU). The LAU includes both province- and commune-level facilitation teams (PFT and DFT, respectively) of local planners and community development workers who directly support commune councils. The staff for ExComs and their management units above are seconded from various ministries as shown in Table 8-3. The establishment of PRDC, the ExCom and its management units in all provinces has been completed in 2003.

    The PLG provides advisory services to Seila in all areas, and is staffed by 6 international advisors and 170 local advisors.

    Coordination at the national level

    The Seila Forum was established in 2002 as an institution of Seila to promote effective government-donor partnership development. The purposes of the Seila Forum are the following: (i) developing a common vision of Seila; (ii) establishing mutual commitment (financial and otherwise) among partners; (iii) monitoring the programís financing requirements and financing strategy; (iv) reaching an operational consensus on Seila and management issues; (v) developing a common evaluation framework; and (vi) adopting a unified strategic performance reporting format. The members of the Seila Forum are the representatives of all donors supporting Seila, and the members of the STF.

    Donors who are considering joining the Seila funding framework are invited to attend the Forumís meetings.

    Coordination at the sub-national level

    District Integration Workshops (DIWs) play a critical coordination role at the sub-national level. They are held annually to integrate and coordinate the commune level investment plans. Commune councils, provincial departments, NGOs, donor agencies, and representatives of civil societies are invited to this workshop.

    The detailed guidelines issued by the Ministry of Planning describe how the district integration process is carried out (see Chart 8-2). Before the DIW, the priority activities identified by Commune Councils are compiled into a table (the District Priority Activities Matrix) and distributed to provincial departments, NGOs, and donor agencies in concerned provinces. The departments, NGOs, and donor agencies study the Commune Councilsí priorities for implementation, and compare them with known resources allocated through the PIF or available resources through specific programs. At the DIW, the Commune Councils present their priority activities, and the departments, NGOs and donor agencies present their services that they intend to provide. Temporary agreements are signed and recorded between the Commune Councils and the departments, NGOs and donor agencies that intend to offer support. After the DIW, the temporary agreements are followed up with the formulation of specific budgets, intended outputs and work plans.

    Chart 8-1 Seila Programís Organization Diagram

    Chart 8-3 District Integration Process

    Funding and fund management
     

    A total of $33.3 million has been mobilized from nine donors plus NGOs and programmed in the 2003 Seila work plan (see Table 8-4). Seila has two expenditure categories: (1) investment in province and commune level services and infrastructure, and national sector programs implemented by line ministries, (2) program support for Cambodian officials, such as training, operation, out-sourced services, salary supplements, and technical assistance by national and international consultants (see Table 8-5). 64 Around 70% of the available resources are allocated for investment activities.

    To accommodate the potential range of resources within the Seila framework, financial resources are transferred through a variety of channels: a special account at the MEF, the National Treasury, an account held by STF, specific accounts held at the provincial level, or direct payments by a concerned donor agency. For example, Chart 8-4 shows the flow of funds from PLG and national budget (a core support component of Seila), and Chart 8-5 shows the flow of funds from the Agriculture Development Support to Seila (ADESS) financed by IFAD (a supplementary component of Seila). Seila accommodates a variety of financial and fund flow agreements, but villages and communes must follow the regulatory framework of Seila.

    Accepting a variety of fund flows has placed an extra burden on Seilaís financial management, such as the preparation of different agreements or separate reporting on disbursement for specific fund arrangements. However, this extra burden has been necessary, given the weak state of public financial management, in order for Seila to be able to deliver services and infrastructure to the commune level with reasonable speed and efficiency.

    Chart 8-4. Flow of PLG and National Funds through the Seila Program

    Chart 8-5. Flow of ADESS funds for Agriculture Development through Seila

    Process of aid coordination

    Seila consists of a core support component which a small group of donors support directly through a trust fund, and a supplemental component in which donors provide services through the Seila framework to provinces and communes in specific sectors, regions, or to specific target groups. As was mentioned, a variety of fund arrangements can be accommodated through the supplemental component. The STF Secretariat manages the funds directly (direct partnership) or line ministries, donors or NGOs manage them in collaboration with Seila (parallel partnership).

    (i) Core Support Component

    Planning: For the core support component of Seila, aid coordination at the planning stage was carried out through the program extension process as shown in Table 8-6.

    In March 2000, UNDP and Sida conducted a joint evaluation on Seila/CARERE2. They concluded

    that Seilaís impact on national policy, local institution strengthening and delivery of basic services had exceeded their expectations. The evaluation endorsed the governmentís intention to gradually replicate Seila in other areas to support decentralization. The government submitted a working paper at the Consultative Group meeting (May 2000 in Paris), which outlined the rationale, scope and resource requirements for that extension. In addition to UNDP, UNCDF and IFAD fielded a mission to provide advice on the overall policy and program framework for decentralization, and to provide a context for the definition of Seila.66 Based on further consultation within the government, civil society and external partners, the Seila Task Force (STF) prepared a draft Seila Program Document 2001-2005. DFID and Sida, potential core supporters for the period of 2001-2005, jointly appraised and endorsed the Seila 2001-2005 program.67 Finally, PLG was set up and Seila extended its program period up to 2005.

    Implementation: UNDP, DFID and Sida provide joint funding to PLG, which supports Seila activities by: (1) providing technical and policy advisory services, (2) contributing to Seilaís operating costs, and (3) providing funding for Seilaís investment activities. UNDP is responsible for administering PLG.

    Monitoring and Evaluation: Besides Seilaís annual working plan and progress report, PLG also issues its own annual working plan and progress report. Donors carry out joint monitoring excercises for PLG through the Permanent Advisory Team (PAT) and Tripartite Project Review (TPR). The PAT visits Cambodia two to three times per year to carry out strategic monitoring of the program, with funding from DFID and Sida. The TPR is held annually, and all the parties concerned are invited to participate.

    (ii) Supplementary component

    Planning: The Seila Forum is an institution designed to develop partnerships with other donor agencies for programs and projects under Seila. It meets twice a year, normally July and December, and all donors interested in Seila are invited. In this meeting, STF presents the achievements of the program and proposes an action plan for the coming year. Based on the proposed plan, donors express their interest in the program and/or its specific components, negotiate with STF Secretariat about partnership arrangements, and pledge their support.

    Implementation: There are a variety of partnership arrangements with Seila, as Seila accommodates a wide range of sector or area-specific programs and projects, responding to the preferences and comparative advantages of different donors who accept the Seilaís reform framework.

    Monitoring and Evaluation: Seilaís annual work plan and progress reports are submitted to respective partners. Seila also provides supplementary reports to partners on a request basis. Respective donor agencies are also required to monitor and evaluate their own programs or projects. Loan or credit programs under Seila, such as IFAD and World Bank (from 2003), carry out supervision missions on a regular basis.

    3.    Achievements of aid coordination

    Local ownership

    The governmentís decision to expand the geographic coverage of Seila program demonstrates clearly its ownership of the program. As was mentioned earlier, the original plan in Seila Program Document 2001-2005 was to expand its coverage from 6 provinces to 17 provinces by the end of 2005. However, the government revised the plan to move even faster and succeeded in covering all 24 provinces in early 2003.

    Perhaps more importantly, government ownership is demonstrated by the steadily increasing allocation of national budget funds to Seila in recent years. Indeed, the national budget for Seila was raised by 78% from $6.0 million in 2002 to $10.7 million in 2003. This rate of increase is higher than the increase in foreign assistance to Seila.

    The transfer of signing authority of partnership agreements from foreign to Cambodian hands at STF Secretariat also indicates enhanced local ownership. The UNDP used to sign partnership agreements with donor agencies who accepted the Seila framework until 1998. Currently, the Secretary-General of the STF Secretariat signs partnership arrangements with donors as the representative of the Program. This clearly indicates that the government now assumes more responsibility for Seila.

    Capacity enhancement

    There are some clear indications that the government has gained capacity to manage Seila and to coordinate external assistance since Seila started.

    First, the number of external advisers for the STF Secretariat has been reduced from 40 during 1996-2000 to 6 after 2001. By contrast, the number of national staff increased from less than 5 to 30 during the same period. As Seila expanded its geographic coverage during that period, this indicates that the STF Secretariat as a whole has enhanced its capacity to manage the Program over time.

    Second, the STF Secretariat also seems to have enhanced its capacity to coordinate foreign aid. The fact that an increasing number of donors are willing to channel funds through Seila clearly indicates that donors are increasingly confident about the capacity of STF Secretariat as a coordination body even though the number of external advisors has been reduced.

    Finally, Seilaís capacity for aid coordination at the provincial level have been enhanced through the establishment and operation of District Integration Workshops (DIWs) in the last few years. This is discussed in greater detail in the next section.

    Overlap of donor assistance

    Seilaís DIWs have reduced the overlap of donor assistance at the provincial and commune levels. The DIWs provide an opportunity to share information and coordinate the commune level investment plans among commune councils, line ministry departments, NGOs, and donor agencies. In 2002, 144 DIWs which involve 1,283 communes were held, and total 8,880 priority activities proposed by Commune Councils have received support from departments, NGOs and donor agencies (NGOs and donor agencies supported 2,944 activities among the total 8,880 activities). In addition to the priority activities, the departments, NGOs and donor agencies agreed to support a total of 13,347 activities for Commune Councils.68

    Transaction costs to the government

    The Seila framework also appears to have contributed to reducing transaction costs to the donor agencies that provide services and infrastructure to the commune level. A number of donors use Seilaís local planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation system. This avoids using different development procedures and/or duplicate development procedures at the commune level and helps to reduce transaction costs to both local administration and donors.

    Sustainability

    All the evidence discussed above seems to indicate that Seila has become increasingly sustainable since it started in 1996, both in terms of the project itself and in terms of the governmentís ability to manage aid. The government has demonstrated increasing ownership of the Program through active leadership and financial commitments. It has also made a notable progress in enhancing institutional and human resource capacities of the STF Secretariat. These achievements may be attributable in part to the long-term partnership between the government and donors supporting this program.

    4.    Lessons learned from aid coordination

    Contributing factors to achievements

    Fostering a genuine partnership approach may require a considerable investment of time, effort, and resources.

    Since 1996, Carere2/Seila put enormous effort into persuading Seila partners (the government, donors, NGOs, civil society of the value of the Seila strategy and systems and the benefits of partnership through program implementation. After three to four years of planning, implementation and capacity building, with resources provided almost entirely through CARERE2, STF (the government) recognized what Seila has to offer to development partners interested in financing local development and actively pursued the partnership approach.69

    Flexibility to accommodate a broad range of assistance modalities allows partnerships with a much greater number of donor agencies.

    Those partnership arrangements span from those that use only Seilaís planning and service delivery system at the commune level (e.g., UNICEF and WFP) to those that provide technical assistance and loans (e.g., AusAID/CAAEP). Together with the other benefits of the Seila framework, this flexibility has helped to mobilize an increasing amount of external resources under the Seila framework over the time. Although this practice has incurred heavy management costs for Seila, this management cost has been well worth it when the amount of external resources mobilized and the benefits provided to local people are considered.

    Effective forum for dialogue throughout the program cycle enhanced partnership among the parties concerned.

    As was mentioned in section 2, Seilaís DIWs offer a forum for dialogue and coordination across sectors (horizontal), between line departments and commune councils (vertical), and with external partners such as NGOs and donor agencies. They have nurtured information sharing, cooperation and mutual understanding at provincial and commune level. The presence of this effective forum contributed to increasing trust and enhancing partnerships between the government and donors.

    Manageable numbers and clear definition of roles of participating donors helps reduce management costs.

    Only three donors, who have partnership experience and share common views on partnership, are involved in the core support component of the program, PLG. This has made coordination easy. UNDP executes the PLG operation, and DFID and Sida contribute funds to through trust fund agreements with UNDP. The latter two donors send a joint Permanent Advisory Team to monitor the PLG on a regular basis. This arrangement reduces transaction costs for the government, as does the simple and clear definition of roles of participating donors.

    Future challenges

    Further enhancing Seilaís provincial level coordination of development

    Seila offers effective mechanisms for provincial level coordination on local development through District Integration Workshops, which have been held in all provinces annually. However, it was reported that line departmentís activities often do not meet Communesí requests, and NGO participation to the DIW is limited in some areas.70 For example, during the DIW the team participated in November 2003, only five departments (Social Affairs, Education, Rural Development, Womenís Affairs, and Health) and three NGOs were present at the meeting. According to the PLG advisor interviewed, there are other NGOs working in that district. Therefore, further effort is needed to involve a wider range of stakeholders at provincial level.

    In addition to DIWs, there also appear to be a number of other mechanisms (meetings, forums etc.) of coordination which are independently organized by different line departments and other organizations, for instance Provincial Coordination Committee (ProCoCom) in Health. There might be a need to review those existing arrangements and consider options to further enhance and rationalize, if needed, aid coordination at the provincial level. However, before the existing arrangements are reviewed, the roles and functions of provincial and district administration need to be clearly defined. This points to the necessity of adopting an Organic Law, which is discussed in the next section.

    Creating a unified structure for local development

    Seila successfully introduced participatory mechanisms to deliver services and infrastructure at the provincial and commune levels. It also expanded its geographic coverage in a relatively short period of time. However, despite its success, the criticism has been made that Seila has created a structure which is parallel with the existing administrative structure for local development. It is argued that this parallel structure should be integrated into a unified structure that provincial governments and ministries can operate through, without losing the strengths and capabilities that Seila has developed.

    While many informants agree that this is a valid point, there appears to be no agreed strategy as to how Seila could be integrated into the regular administrative structure. Some argue that the integration should take place as soon as possible because donorsí resources should be directed to strengthening the regular administrative structure. However, a counter argument is that, given the weakness of the regular administrative structure, Seilaís effective service delivery system should continue to be used to improve the livelihood of local people until the regular structure becomes more effective. Another argument is that even though commune councils are elected, provincial governors and district chiefs are appointed by the central government and that true decentralization is unlikely to succeed without the election of provincial and district administration. As such, there are considerable differences of opinion as to how decentralization strategy and programs should be implemented in the future.

    One of the underlying problems appears to be the lack of clear definitions of the roles and functions of provincial and district administration at the moment. Currently, Seila is applying its management systems, which has been developed through leaning by doing, for provincial and district administration. It was suggested that the government prepare and adopt an Organic Law that defines the roles and functions of provincial and district administration, building on the experience of Seila. The presence of the new Law will help clarify the roles of Seila, and establish a unified structure for local governance and development in the future.

    Issue of salary supplements

    The Seila staff mostly consists of seconded staff from line ministries and, as in many other donor-funded projects in Cambodia, they are paid salary supplements. It is clear that salary supplements provided an important incentive for them to do their work properly and deliver outputs as intended.

    A challenge of integrating Seila into the regular administrative structure would be to ensure levels of salaries that can motivate staff to work properly. Some informants were seriously concerned that staff members might lose their incentive to work and that the Seila system would not function if integration takes place without a change in civil service pay. The government and donor agencies need to consider seeking a joint strategy to address this problem within the broader context of national civil and administrative reform.

    Capacity building in public financial management

    Capacity building in public financial management is a priority, particularly for the process of transferring C/S Funds to the provincial treasuries.73 During the Seila/CARERE2 period, UNDP funds for provinces were transferred directly to a bank account managed by the PRDC ExCom. Since the election of commune councils, the C/S Funds have been transferred from the National Treasury to provincial treasuries under the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

    While this action is seen as an opportunity to strengthen the treasury systems in the government, disbursement of C/S Funds has been considerably delayed in many provinces. For instance, the Commune Fund is intended to be transferred according to the following schedule: 50% in March, 30% in June and 20% in September. According to one ExCom advisor interviewed in Kampong Speu province, only 20% of the allocated budget had been disbursed at the time of the interview (June). In Prey Veng province, which the study team visited in October, only 48% of the allocated budgets had been disbursed. Some observers also raised the question as to whether disbursement of C/S Funds would be handled properly after the PLG advisors leave.

    In addition, commune councils need further support for capacity building, especially to enhance capacity for accounting and financial management. According to the LAU staff interviewed at Prey Veng Province, the capacity of commune councils varies depending on the communes, but their basic knowledge of local administration and management is generally very low. Commune councilors need more time and support for gaining experience, skills, and knowledge to manage commune council activities by themselves. Also, the FU staff interviewed reported that the capacity of commune clerks was extremely low and they needed more training.

    References

    Batkin A. (2001). Support to Decentralization Assisting NCSC to Implement it Action Plan Final Report. ADB/GTZ staff consultant, October.

    DFID-Sida (2001). DFID-Sida Appraisal of the Seila Program 2001-2005 Final Report, May.

    Evans H., Birgegaad L., Cox P, and Hong L.S. (2000). Report of the Joint Evaluation Mission: Seila/CARERE 2. UNDP/Sida, March.

    Landell-Mills P. and Rudengren, J. (2003). DFID/Sida Permanent Advisory Team on the Seila Programme First Mission Report, DFID/Sida, May.

    Pertnarship for Local Governance (2003). PLG 2003 Work Plan and Budget, Phnom Penh: UNDP.

    Porter D., Romeo L. and Saigal S. (2000). Report of the Seila Decentralization Support Program Formulation Mission, UNDP.

    Royal Government of Cambodia (2000). Seila Program Document 2001-2005. Phnom Penh: Seila Task Force, December.

    Royal Government of Cambodia (2001). Governance Action Plan. Phnom Penh: Council for Administrative Reform.

    Royal Government of Cambodia (2003A). Seila Program Annual Work Plan and Budget 2003. Phnom Penh: Seila Task Force, January.

    Royal Government of Cambodia (2003B) Guidelines for the District Integration Process for the year 2003, Ministry of Planning, Phnom Penh, 22 Sep. 2003

    UNDP(2001A). Program Support Document, Project CMB/01/007 Partnership for Local Governance, June.

    UNDP(2001B). CARERE2 Draft Terminal Report, CBM/95/11

    Rudengren J. and ÷jendal J. (2002). Learning by Doing, An Analysis of the Seila Experiences in Cambodia, Stockholm, Sida, August.

    UNDP/Cambodia(2001). Peace-building from the ground-up: A case study of UNDPís CARERE programme in Cambodia 1991-2000, Phnom Penh, March

    Hasselskog M. et al (2000). Local Governance in Transition: Villagersí Perceptions and Seilaís impact, Phnom Penh, UNDP/CARERE, June

    Charya C. et al (1998). Leaning from Rural Development Programmes in Cambodia, Working paper 4, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), July
     

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