Study on National Systems in Cambodia

"National Structures and Systems for Aid Implementation in Cambodia"


In order to map the sue of national systems in Cambodia 2010 a study "National Structures and Systems for Aid Implementation in Cambodia" was commissioned by the development partners of the European Union, in coordination with the Partnership and Harmonisation TWG. The study, seen as a first step towards an assessment of country systems, found that


  • The importance of core reforms in strengthening sector processes, capacities and systems is central to the development and use of country systems.
  • For nearly all systems and ministries there was some use of country systems, with some support from external partners. However the approach has been piecemeal and is unlikely to succeed without both political will and substantive attention to organisational development.
  • There is political recognition that systems are weak. Change is slow because of: (i) resistance to change due to vested interests of both RGC and DPs; (ii) motivation, incentives and risk aversity relating to the use of these systems; (iii) a tacit agreement by all parties not to use established systems. Capacity is not always seen as the most limiting factor and managing change proves to be more than a technical challenge.
  • The timeframe for implementing change is an area of disagreement between RGC and development partners. RGC has a much longer time horizon based on national context while development partners apply their own norms and shorter timeframes.
  • Multiple projects and programs and the number of project implementation units reveal a preference for control and delivery over capacity and sustainability. PBAs represent a possible response to organise aid delivery around the priority of strengthening country system capacity.
  • There is often a preference by both RGC and development partners to use PIUs as these mitigate risk and promote (short-term) performance as well as permitting greater latitude in human resource management. A proposed solution is to combine a number of projects or programs under the management of one RGC-led PIU with a common set of procedures.

The study can be downloaded here
Volume 2 an annex of the available literature can also be downloaded

The study was presented at the National Workshop 
in May 2011 and a the PowerPoint presentation can also be viewed