ICT4D Cambodia Network Partner Discuss Network Activities

The ICT4D Cambodia Network is steadily taking form and swelling with momentum as various organizations work together to weave it. A fourth meeting of the network’s partner representatives ensued at the Open Institute offices on the 19th of June, 2015. The principle objective of the meeting was to collectively formulate ideas and activities for the development of the six months network strategy (from July to December 2015).

The participants were representatives from ODC, WMC, CCC, CCHR, and OI, ICT4D Cambodian Network partner discuss network activities.                             Date: 19 June, 2015                            Photo by the Open Institute

Ms. Chim Manavy, Executive Director of Open Institute, opened the fourth ICT4D Network partners meeting with thanksgiving and welcome. The diligence of the member organizations that have attended the meetings and devoted their valuable time to grow the network was rewarded when Ms. Manavy announced that SPIDER will continue its financial support of the project. The network will have aid until the end of December 2015. 

With the buzz of good news still lingering in the atmosphere, the partners moved on to the next order of business: generating ideas and activities for the development of the six months network strategy (from July to December 2015). The partners have planned for several discussions, four workshops for the development of Strategic Plan for the net work,four partner meetings, Skype meetings, and two national seminars, Face-to-Face to discuss any activities of the national seminars before they are implemented and 10 partner network meetings which Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC) and Advocacy Policy Institute (API) to be completed within the next six months of the project.

Mr. Thy Try, Executive Director at ODC, acted as the facilitator of the meeting. He noted that in the severely stages of the development strategy, a Term of Reference will need to be developed and an announcement made to the public for the vacant consultant position. The Term of Reference (ToR) will allow for the candidates to formulate concepts for the strategy plan from which the members can then select the most satisfactory. The members responded in accord that the consultant position should be publicly announced to ensure that the information can be accessed broadly. This would increase the candidacy pool, and thus increase the chances of finding a more suitable candidate for the job. 

Along with this, the partners agreed that the job description should screen for those with more experience and a more concept relevant development strategy. The possibility of posting the announcement on the Cambodia Daily newspaper, the Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper and the Bong Thom website was discussed and is still being considered, however, before that can be done, the Term of Reference for the strategy development will need contributions, comments or ideas, from SPIDER. 

At this point in the meeting, it was proposed that the seminar be ordered with a main theme of government concern as the topic of study as well as that the seminar be divided into group discussions, each with one moderator. The partners also agreed that more panel discussions as well would stimulate more robust dialogue and more of an exchange of ideas. Access to information, cybercrime law, and Internet governance (internet freedom) are some of the topics the partner decided would be studied in the seminar. Mainstreaming gender equality in cybercrime and creating an online ICT4D discussion forum are some topics that are still on the table for further reflection.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the member organizations reflected on some ways SPIDER can contribute to the network as the future unfolds beyond funding. The partners expressed that they will need SPIDER in the process of strategy development, supplying feedback, guidance and comments on the draft strategy. Not only that, but they will also need SPIDER to provide staff capacity-building trainings for the ICT4D partner members and to share a resource person, particularly an expert of data collection, eAdvocacy campaign, etc. to assist them in the more technical aspects of the project. Nine participants attended this fourth meeting; they were representatives from: Open Development for Cambodia (ODC), Women Media Cambodia (WMC), Cambodia Center for Human Rights (CCHR), The Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC) and Open Institute (OI). The next upcoming meeting has been set for the beginning of August 2015.