Thursday, December 31, 2009

NGO partners Meeting at Svay Rieng

On December 29, 2009, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors who is in charge of the Project Linking Farmers to Market for Rural Prosperity (RIU/ICF) as the project manager will participate in the partner meeting at Svay Rieng Province. Representatives of IDE (International Development Enterprises) and Representatives from PADEK (Partnership for Development in Kampuchea) will present at the meeting.

By this time, it is the second year of the project enactment, buoyantly all NGO partner representatives will confer in detail about the expansion of new target communes, which communes will be covered by CEDAC, IDE and PADEK. It is expected that the NGO partners will be able to discuss indeed about the operational strategies for 2010. It is to note that CEDAC is responsible to support 500 cooperating farmers within 50 vegetable farmer producer groups (in 50 villages across Prey Veng and Svay Rieng Provinces) be able to generate more farming income from vegetable selling. According to the project document, it is expected that each cooperating farmer will make further income of 150 USD from selling of vegetables.

Exposure Visit of IFWP-MP

The project Improving Livelihood for Women and Rural Poor in Mundulkiri province (IFWP-MP) is organizing an extra exposure visit from Mundulkiri province to Takeo and Kompong Speu Provinces. 47 interested farmers as well as the community-based field assistants of the project participated in the trip.
The exposure visit is organized in order to strengthen the knowledge and skills of those who are mentioned above in relation to agricultural techniques (system of rice intensification, vegetable growing, multi-purpose farm…), community-led saving group, village based farmer association, etc. It is expected that the visitors are able to learn new ideas to attract their intention to the project. Based on the experiences of our work, there will be more and more farmers apply agricultural techniques and other innovations introduced by the project if they have actively participated in the exposure visit.
It is to review that the project IFWP-MP has firstly conducted target villages selection, introduction workshops at the district level, organized village general meeting, selected potential farmers, and it is now the stage for organizing exposure visit for those potential farmers. The project will provide monthly capacity building onward.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Working group on Local Governance

A group of CEDAC staff are working together to write up the concept note of local governance. Mr. Huot Dok, Nhep Mengcheang, Khat Bora discussed about rational background, problem statement, goal and specific objectives, expected results and outputs, strategic activities, risk management, sustainability, indicators, budget plan, etc.

It is to remind that CEDAC has been implementing a project, called “Local Administration and Reform-LAAR” in collaboration with PACT for several years. The project funding agency is USAID. The project has contributed to improve the effectiveness of social services carried out by the commune councils. Commune Monitoring Committees (CMCs) are working closely with the commune councils in terms of ensuring good local governance in their respective communities.
They expect that the concept note will be submitted to CEDAC Field Program (FNP) by January 01, 2009.

Community-led Saving Group

Mr. Soy Tith, a project officer of the project ” Community-led Saving Development for Poverty Reduction and Self-reliance in Pailin province” is working on the first quarterly report covering from 15th October to December, 2009.

The project is fudned by CARE to work ininvolve in Community-led Saving Groups. Up to the end of December 2009, the project has supported 39 saving groups comprising 837 members (of whom 55% are women). The total capital mobilized by all saving group members is 77,423,300 riel (equivalent to USD 18,883.732). These Saving for Self-Reliance Groups operate in 22 villages across 5 communes in Pailin province. 22 village-based saving group animators are now in place in all 22 target villages.
The project has drawn the interest of the most vulnerable villagers to mobilize and use capital, which had been invested so far on the borrowing costs from MFIs/Banks and Money Lenders within their own villages. The villagers seem to be aware and willing to reduce their financial dependency on outsiders and to become self-reliant in the near future. Their voluntary participation in the saving groups reflects this position.  The project contributes to building of collaboration and trust among villagers, as well as to the accessible, safe and profitable financial services for the most vulnerable families. A number of new groups have been formed into 4 new groups. At the same time, many new members joined the existing groups. Moreover, the savings mobilized by the villagers has also been increasing. Saving group members were able to take larger loans at a lower interest.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Learning is Sharing – Sharing is Learning

On 22 January 2010, Dr. Yang Saing Koma, president of CEDAC will organize a series training for CEDAC’s staff. At that time, the training will focus on Learning is Sharing and Sharing is Learning. I myself, Yim Sok Sophors, is going to present the book, called “30 minutes before a meeting”. Hopefully, I will be able to learn from myself and to learn from the other.

Concept note is accepted by EU

The concept note on Thematic Programme for Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy submitted to European Union (EU) which was developed by CEDAC and Plan is now accepted by EU. CEDAC and PLAN Cambodia will write up the full proposal and send it to EU in March 2010. It is a good sign of cooperation between CEDAC and PLAN. It is expected both organizations will gradually enhance their cooperation from time to time.

The workshop to design the project will be done on 15-17 February 2010. The workshop venue will be informed later on. The participants will come from CEDAC team and PLAN Team. Totally, about 20 participants will participate in that important meeting. We will ensure to have a good participation from the communities that is why some community representatives will also be invited to the meeting. The length of project duration will cover 60 months.

Project management discussion meeting

December 23, 2009 there was a meeting at 4:00 PM at CEDAC Office in Phnom Penh with the participation of Mr. Khim Sophanna, Mr. Oum Savin, Mr. Ouch Ngak, Mr. Sim Samoeun, Mr. Yi Kimthan and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors to discuss about the reinforcement of project management within CEDAC, included to discuss about financial management, staff management, how to do contract with the project’s staff and CEDAC’s staff, etc.
Referring to the meeting, it enabled to learn more about project management especially to follow the guideline/procedure of the funding agencies.

Vang Sean and Chhin Chhunhoir at PRS

Vang Sean and Chhin Chhunhoir went to Tramkak district, Takeo province in order to organize group discussion with the project’s staff of PRS and other relevant persons who will involve in conducted Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of PRS. The drafted questionnaires were picked up for plenary discussion with the participants. Suggestion, addition and correction were made during the meeting.
Particularly, I helped to edit the TOR of this monitoring. It has already been submitted to Mr. Bao Vuthy, the project coordinator of PRS for comment and approval. It is expected that the M&E team will do another good work at the end of this year, 2009.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Concept Note on Climate Change

This morning, I, Yim Sok Sophors, improved the concept note on climate change of CEDAC Field Program. Some relevant figures were included in the problem statement of the concept note. Additionally, I have also improved the expected outputs, indicators and sustainability, etc.
I think that the concept note is more sharpened. The team members need to give more ideas in order to improve the concept note from time to time. Hopefully, we will be able to develop a good concept note/strategy paper of climate change before the general assembly of CEDAC on 5-6 January 2009.
The strategy paper will be used effectively in order to develop some proposals concerning to climate change under the intervention of CEDAC Field Program. I impressed that what CEDAC has been doing currently are actually relevant to climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. The community resilient agricultural innovations are being promoted and disseminated to the community people. For example, we introduced System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to small farmers. The SRI is more resistant to drought and flood. The farmers who have smaller rice field can harvest more yield with a better productivity. On the other hand, Multi-Purpose Farm (MPF) is very helpful for farmers to convert their unproductive rice field to be a productive farm, the definitely can harvest various agricultural products while they applied MPF. The farmers can get fuel wood for cooking, they can have tree leaves to use a green manure to spread on the rice field, they can have pole for house construction, farmers can also get vegetable, fruit, fishes, rice… from the farm. The preparation of MPF provide to farmers multi products that is why it is called Multi Purpose Farm. There are many activities that CEDAC has been doing in the fields, such as the promotion of bio-digestor plant, improved cook-stove, tree planting, etc. All contribute to conserve and improve the natural resources, increase farmers’ agricultural production and productivity to ensure food security and market supplies in the respective communities.

A proposal to ACT, ILFARM-KTL

Today, I worked with Mr. Yi Kimthan to write up a project proposal for submission to ACT. The proposal will target to Kompong Chhnang province. We will work on improving agriculture innovations, farmer producer and farmer cooperative, strengthening to existing farmer associations, strengthen the local authorities and local stakeholder on participatory community development approaches.

If the proposal is approved from ACT, the community people will have more chance to get support from CEDAC. The existing farmer groups, agricultural cooperatives will be strengthened so that they will be able to self-managed while the project phased out. Development needs several steps. For example, first we train farmers to produce food for family consumption and then we link them to the market while they have enough food for family consumption. Practical management and leadership is being trained to farmers step by step. Finally, the community farmers will be self-reliance.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Proposal to EPN

This morning, I worked with Mr. Yi Kimthan, the director of CEDAC Field program to write up a proposal for submission to End Poverty Now (EPN). We will write this one for Prey Veng province that will contribute to implementing EU project in that province.

It is expected that CEDAC Field Program will receive fund support from EPN as a new funding agency for CEDAC if this proposal is approved.

Workshop on the project's results

On December 16, 2009 Mr. San Sorn, Farmer Community Facilitator of CEDAC's project, namely "Improvement of the most Vulnerable Families for Prevention of Human Trafficking and Unsafe Migration" participated in a workshop organized by IOM and Ministry of Women's Affairs.

The workshop was organized in order to present the results of the project under implementation of IOM in collaboration with the Ministry of Women's Affairs. CEDAC is a part of the project that is responsible to improve the livelihood of the poorest families through promotion of ecological agriculture such as system of rice intensification, ecological chicken raising, vegetable growing, etc.

Friday, December 18, 2009

CEDAC's proposal on local governance

Mr. Yi Kimthan and Mr. Yim Sok Sophors will work together for 2 days next week in order to write up the project propsal on Local Governance. The proposal will be submited to EU. Both of them will design the project proposal based on the strategy paper of local governance program of CEDAC Field Program that has been recenlty defined.

Monitoring for PRS-EU

M&E team will conduct an internal monitoring for the project PRS-EU at the end of this month, December 2009. Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir will be the team leader of this task. It is expected that the main staff of M&E team will participate in undertaking this assignment effectively. The monitoring is to bcheck and to measure the quantitative and qualitative progress of the project.

The monitoring team will closely cooperate with the project team in order to accomplish a good result of the monitoring through participatory method. Currently, Mr. Chhin Chhunhoir is preparing the questionnaires and checklist for group discussion. The discussion on the questionnaires and checklist will be done among the PRS project's staff in order to good questionnaries and checklist are established for this monitoring.

More capital for buying paddy

The shortage of money to buy paddy during this harvesting season is a main problem of a community based rice mill in Chhumkiri district, Kompot province. There are many tons of paddy are being sold currently to the middlemen in the district meanwhile the community based rice mill has no sufficient capital to buy more rice. It is expected that more capital will be provided very soon. If the community based rice mill has more money, more paddy will be bought.

The community now has established a warehouse in SreJang commune, Chhumkiri district. The community will use that warehouse to stock their paddy for a while and sell it at an appropriate time in order to maximize their profit.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rains damage harvesting paddy of farmers

There was a big rain in Chhouk and Dong Tong districts, in Kompot province yesterday, December 16, 2009 so it is difficult for farmers to bring their harvesting paddy from the field to their homestead. The paddy were wet and the grain can be damaged because of water logging. In such circumstance, the farmers are now busy to harvest their paddy as fast as possible. Some people said that the climate now is changing, when we need water for rice cultivation, but there was no rain. When we don't need anymore water, but there are much rains. It is now regular if compare to the previous climate situation.

CEDAC's Annual Assembly at CJCC

CEDAC will organize the annual assembly with the participation of all CEDAC's staff at CJCC (Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center) on 5-6 January 2010. We will present the general progress of each main program of CEDAC in 2009 as well as to think about future CEDAC's intervention in 2010 and the next 5 years (2010-2014).

Field Program will also present its strategy for 2010-2014 during the meeting at that time. It is expected that each main components of CEDAC Field Program will complete the strategy paper soon on January 01, 2010 and those will be compiled for printing and disseminating during the annual assembly of CEDAC on 5-6 Jan 2009.

CEDAC receives more funds from EC

CEDAC recenlty has received more fund support from EC concerning to the implementation of the food security projects in Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces. The fund support from EC will enable CEDAC to expand its scope of work in addressing the issues of food insecurity in the target communities (Baphnom, Kompong Trabek, and Prah Sdach districts in Prey Veng province and Kompong Ror and Chantrea districts in Svay Rieng province).

Community based Rice Mill

I am now at Chhouk district, Kompot province to conduct the study on impact of community based rice mills under facilitation by CEDAC. I have met and discussed with the management committee members of community based rice mills in Chhouk district. At 11:30 AM, I am going to meet representatives of community based rice mills at Dong Tong district.

At this time, the farmers are busy with rice harvesting, so i will meet them at the afternoon that is an available time to meet them at house. The completion of rice harvesting in this rainy season is expectedly totally finished during this week.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Strategic meeting of CEDAC field program in Phnom Penh

I am participating in the meeting of CEDAC Field Program (FNP) in Phnom Penh from 14-15 December 2009. We have discussed about the concept notes of each manage program of FNP such as the concept note on climate change, primary education of poorest children, rural women, local governance, agricultural extension, Agricultural and Local Development Associations / Service providers, monitoring and evaluation, agro ecotourism, etc. The guideline of concept note was developed by plenary brainstorming among the participants. It was to note that the participants are the project officers of FNP come from different provinces with CEDAC's target provinces throughout Cambodia. Mr. Yi Kimthan was a chairman of the meeting in the first day. 

During the first day of the meeting, the participants were divided into various groups in order to discuss in detail for developing the concept notes of their respective program. The result of the discussion will be presented for a further discussion on tomorrow morning, December 15, 2009 at CEDAC Office. It is expected that each program of FNP will be able to gain more ideas to sharpen their concept notes.

I can say that the meeting is providing more inputs for the participants to learn and to finalize the concept notes of each important program of FNP. I believe that each main program of each FNP's program will be developed for effective advantages.