Association of Councils Enhanced Services (ACES)
“ACES - Association of Councils Enhanced Services Project” is designed to turn the local council association (LCA) – the offspring of National League of Communes/Sangkats – into an effective network and representative in advocating for the common interests of the local councils and citizens. The project endeavors for the League to make a qualitative leap forward, building on the achievements of an EU-UNDP supported programme, the Democratic and Decentralised Local Governance in 2006-2011.
Key expected results
By the end of 2015, it is expected that:
- The Local council association (LCA)’s governing bodies and secretariats will have improved their institutional and functional capacities to influence policy agendas at the national level and provide basic services to its members and citizens.
Delivery in 2012
The project delivery in 2012 is USD194,280.
Democratic development is at the heart of decentralisation reforms of the Royal Government of Cambodia. To realize objectives of the reforms, the Government has adopted the Organic Laws which embody key democratic principles namely, but not limited to, public representation, accountability, transparency, integrity, and improving service delivery for the Cambodian citizens. Yet, success of decentralization also depends on effectiveness of the local government in its ability to influence policy formulation and channel their views to be considered by the central Government. In this sense, decentralisation and democratic development require meaningful engagement of LCA in representing and advocating for the interests of their members and citizens.
Between 2006 and 2011, the Democratic and Decentralised Local Governance project (DDLG/EU-UNDP) had put foundation for increased roles and functions of the local government. A key achievement was the establishment of the National League of Communes/Sangkats, better known as the League, and 24 Provincial Associations of Communes/Sangkats (PACS). The League and PACS are registered with the Ministry of Interior as “Associations” and have established themselves as the national advocates of C/S Councils’ interests providing a modest scope of services to the local councils.
ACES project seeks to build on these gains to enable the local government to enhance its abilities and roles to better serve the Cambodian citizens.
ACES project focuses on two main activities aimed at:
- Creating enabling environment for the LCA to strengthen internal systems and procedures to execute their roles and improve financial sustainability. In this regard, the LCA – which until now is referred to only as an umbrella organization for commune councils – will also expand to cover district and municipal councils. Subsequently, members of the expanded LCA’s governing bodies will have improved their capacities to proactively develop policies and communicate their views and concerns to the central Government;
- Providing support of capacity building and policy advocacy to LCA’s members (1,633 communes and 194 municipalities, districts, khans). In this regard, “capacity building” refers to, among other activities, mutual exchange of knowledge, good lessons learned and information that are more relevant and suitable for the LCA’s members. In the area of policy advocacy, the project seeks to improve accountability and transparency of local government to the constituents and also encourage the latter to take more active role in decision-making processes on socio-economic issues that affect their daily lives.