Present Work

At present Open Institute collaborates with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and the UNESCO/STEPCam programme to improve the teaching of mathematics in grades 1 to 3. Open Institute has led the development of new MoEYS Teaching and Learning materials packages for these courses, and it is supporting MoEYS in its deployment in five provinces. Open Institute is also collaborating with the MoEYS department of teacher training and UNESCO/StepCam to adapt the Math Methodology curriculum to the new packages being created, and to provide training in pedagogy to Teacher educators.

We also collaborates with the MoEYS department of Information Technology, supported by UNICEF, to ensure easy access by parents and students to all digital materials (classroom videos, Maths animation videos, worksheet, workbooks, etc.) that students can use at home to complement their education. The resources include several thousand videos that cover all classes taught in grade 1 to 9, as well as in grade 12.

As a strategic activity of Open Institute, the organization is developing and disseminating Koun Sva Chhlat (Clever Little Monkey), a collection of workbooks that help parents support their children's education and improve their results in grades 1 to 3. These workbooks, developed together with MoEYS, and accepted as part of its core resources for learning how to write Khmer and for maths in grades 1 to 3, are fully aligned with the program, textbooks, and teacher guides, providing practice to be done at home every day, even if the parents are not familiar with the content they have to study, or with the way of teaching it. The books can either be downloaded from the Internet and printed, or bought at bookstores at a very low price. In 2021, in response to Covid-19, UNICEF has printed and distributed these workbooks to all grade 1 and grade 2 children in Cambodia (more than 750.000 children). Open Institute continues developing new titles, hoping to be able to support - in the near future - the first three years for Khmer and the all of primary for Maths.

In addition, working with UNESCO and MoEYS, Open Institute is developing the Happy Maths collection of videos. The collection includes over 500 videos that review, using animation, each Maths topic taught in grades 1 to 3, and demonstrates how to do an example of how to solve each exercise included in the Koun Sva Chhlat workbooks.


  Past projects

  • Bong Pheak

    As part of the USAID Cambodia CTIP Program Open Institute has developed and launched Bong Pheak, an employment service that aims to prevent situations of trafficking in persons by linking unskilled and low-skilled workers with available job opportunities in their own country. The Bong Pheak service uses innovative technologies to identify those who are at highest risk of becoming victims of TIP, provides them with employment information, and simplifies contact with employers, reducing their vulnerability. After only a few months of operation, Bong Pheak has already proven its usefulness in helping potential migrants find unskilled and low-skilled jobs inside Cambodia.

    Bong Pheak is the first attempt, worldwide, to use technology to fill the information gap between employers and low-skilled workers. This worker group is usually not addressed by Employment Services in developing countries because of their lack of knowledge and access to the Internet. However, the Bong Pheak employment service has been able to work around this limitation by applying social engineering and an innovative mix of well-established technologies. Reducing this gap strongly decreases one of the main factors of risk for migrants: usage of risky intermediaries or traveling to find jobs without having secured one first.

    The USAID Countering Trafficking-in-Persons program, led by Winrock,ith support from International Justice Mission (IJM) and Open Institute, works to strengthen the Royal Government of Cambodia's capacity to design, lead, coordinate and evaluate in-country and regional efforts to combat all forms of trafficking in persons; enhance survivor protection and care services of all forms of trafficking in persons; improve law enforcement capacity to identify and prosecute traffickers and crimes related to trafficking; and promote effective national and local prevention strategies to reduce trafficking in persons.


    The Open Institute provides technical support to this three 3-year project funded by the EU and by the Czech Cooperation Agency. The project, led by People in Need, and with the participation of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD), and Open Institute, involves:

    a) Mapping, enumerating and undertaking legal land tenure surveys in the urban poor communities excluded from the systematic land titling process in Phnom Penh; b) Participatory preparation of onsite re-development plans with an aim to identify win-win solutions for the communities, private developers and local authorities; c) Environmental sanitation and small scale infrastructure upgrades in the selected communities, and d) Supporting the Phnom Penh Municipality led Urban Poor Poverty Reduction Working Group.

    Open Institute's participation in this project involves developing and facilitating the use of data collection tools for collecting information on land claims, and using this data to automatically generate personalized legal advice sheets about each claim. 

    Our participation in the CitiesForAll project involves automatically generating text and voice documents that describe the specific legal status of a given property, based on data entered by the occupant, on maps, and on the current land law in Cambodia. The text report can be used in a court or negotiation, while the voice file provides information in colloquial local language that can be easily understood by the occupants. For data collection and storage in this work the Open Institute uses and develops on top of the open source application "Open Tenure" designed and created by FAO.


  • Child Friendly Schools Monitoring Modernization

    Open Institute, as a partner of UNICEF, support the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on the modernization of the system used by the Ministry to monitor the improvement of the schools on their goal of being supportive educational centers for the students. The objective of the work is to enable the Ministry to produce, as fast as possible after monitoring them, feedback for the schools that will help them improve the quality of the education they render to students and the conditions under which this education takes place. The system also allows the Ministry to supervise how the monitoring takes place and how individual schools and the whole system advance towards true child friendly schools. Open Institute has supported the Ministry and UNICEF on the improvement of the school checklist, making inspections simpler, faster, and objective. The survey has been implemented as a tablet aplication, and data is immediatly collected and available to the Ministry through an specialized dashboard, allowing Ministry staff to understand the state of schools in their area and measure advance. Piloted in 2016, the system is being widely deployed in 2017 and 2018.


    Monitoring of Residential Care Institutions. 

    Open Institute partners with UNICEF to support the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) to do a first level assessment of the conditions under which children live in residential care institutions (such as orphanages) in Cambodia. Open Institute has worked with UNICEF and the MoSVY to define a survey that will provide sufficient information to understand if deeper inspection of a residential care institution if necessary. The survey has been implemented as a tablet aplication, and data is immediatly collected and available to the Ministry through an specialized dashboard, allowing Ministry staff to understand the state of inspections and if furhter interventions are necessary. The project is being scaled nationally in 2017.


    SPIDER ICT4D Network

    Creation of a netwrok of ICT4D practitioners in Cambodia through which organisations can meet and learn about the use of ICT for development in their sector and about specific technologies that they can consider. The network attempts to increase access to knowledge for NGO ICT practitioners in Cambodia, often isolated. It also pretends to help start-ups or social entrepreneurs better understand the problems they attempt to solve through business approaches. The project will generate a collection/database of lessons learned of ICT in development in the Cambodian context, as well as reports that analyse these experiences.


    Khmer OPtical Character Recognition (OCR)


    Open Institute, in close collaboration with technical universities in Cambodia, is working on creating a solid OCR solution for Khmer script that will  make selected old Khmer documents readable and allow researchers and professionals to find and consult a much larger number of legal documents, research and old publications written in Khmer language. 

  • USAID Social Health Development 

    Open Institute participation in this project, led by University Research Corp. (URC), involves developing the necessary tools for collecting data on patients in health centers around the country, and uploading it to the national databases of the Ministry of Health.


  • USAID Quality Health Services

    Open Institute participation in this project, also led by University Research Corp. (URC), involves making automatic phone calls to mothers of newborn children with pre-recorded messages that communicate important information for their health and the health of the baby. Data on mothers of newborn babies is produced by the work beign done in the Social Health Protection project.


  • Khmer Software Initiative

    This program is the key fundamental and supporting program to all other programs of the Open Institute. This program open doors to computer program localization and development in Cambodia with the vision that language will not be a barrier to access technology, development and learning. The mission of the program is to ensure that local language echnology is available to as many people as possible, and that it is used for cultural, educational and economic growth.


  • Education (Open Schools Program)

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Open Institute jointly implement the Open Schools program with a belief that effective use of ICT can improve the quality of education. The program is committed to ensure the development of all the necessary tools required to improve the quality of education through the use of ICT, including the necessary plans, computer programs in Khmer language, curricula, distance learning methodology, training materials, and technology for sustainability. 
  • Starting in 2007, the Open Schools programs helped develop and implement the Master Plan for ICT in Education 2009-2013. As part of this work it has developed curricula for ICT for students (grades 11 and 12) and teachers. It has also written the ICT textbooks for grades 11 and 12 as well as materials for training of pre-service upper secondary school teachers. It has supported the Ministry in defining standards for the use of Khmer language in computers and maintained Khmer translations of open source applications (OpenOffice, Firefox, etc.) to enable teaching in schools using only Khmer language software. It has also supported programs to train in-service teachers on the use of ICT, and developed over 300 videos for teacher training in STEM subjects, and localized interactive multimedia applications to support student learning of STEM subjects.
  • In 2017 the Open Institute is working with the Ministry in several fronts: preparing a new Policy and Action Plan for ICT in Education 2016-2020 that is better adapted to the new reality of access to technology in Cambodia; doing research on use of technology by teachers and students; analyzing new channels of communication to engage teachers and older students; developing curricula for ICT courses for grades 4 to 10; developing mobile games to motivate students to have a better knowledge of curriculum topics; publish a book on Research Methodology; working on providing in-service teachers access to self-training materials in video format; and developing no-technology materials for development of graphomotor skills in pre-schools.
  • SPICE - Structuring Partnerships for an Innovative Communications Environment

    The USAID-funded SPICE program, implemented by the Open Institute, facilitates social and business innovation using communications technology and improves communications in Khmer via mobile devices. The purpose of the program is to build on partnerships between technology-oriented civil society organizations (CSOs) and private sector entities to utilize existing technologies to promote and deliver a greater diversity of information to the public, improve communications in Khmer using mobile devices, and increase the capacity of CSOs to use social media for development purposes.

    FInal documents about this program and a video are available at the Reports section of this website.


  • Women's Empowerment for Social Change

    This program aims at improving social and gender equality through advocacy and the promotion of information sharing and communication. This program also creates stronger synergy among the women's organizations and women activists through the open space for sharing and discussing women issues on the Women's Web Portal. Women's Empowerment for Social Change is designed to help women exercise their rights in a balanced way and can build competence to become self-sufficient, with improved women's participation in social, economic and political life, the program also provides capacity building, forum discussions on key women's issues and research on women and ICT.

  • ICT4D Cambodia Network (phase I) 
    Read more ....     

  • Promoting Youth Engagement in Development through the use of ICT” project (PYD_ICT)    
    Read More....
  • Lexicography

    Starting as a project to create electronic tools to support the use of Khmer language (a spell-checker and an electronic dictionary), the project has digitalized all the existing lexicographic resources for Khmer (old dictionaries, etc.), most of them almost lost after the Khmer Rouge genocide. Also, as the reference dictionary for the Khmer language only defines 17.000 of the almost 50.000 current words (without entering into specific fields), advancement on Khmer Lexicography must go through the writing of definitions for many of these words that still do not have them. This is a long process, but the project has started it, hoping that in a few years, with this and other efforts, it will be possible to write a dictionary of the Khmer language with all 50.000 definitions.