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Inclusive Consultative Workshop on Master Plan of “Self-Supporting Rural Development Project with Saemaul Undong’s Participatory Approach” Held in Phnom Penh

Post date: 2015-08-07

The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) in cooperation with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) organized an Inclusive Consultative Workshop on the Master Plan of “Self-Supporting Rural Development Project with Saemaul Undong (SMU)’s Participatory Approach”, on Aug. 6 at InterContinental Hotel, Phnom Penh.

H.E. Suos Kong, Secretary of State for MRD, and Ms. Baek Sook-hee, Country Director of KOICA Cambodia Office, presided over the event.

According to a KOICA’s press release, renowned experts and specialists from different organizations like line ministries, NGOs, international organizations and development partners took part in the workshop to refine ideas on project’s Master Plan, comprising the formulation of the national policy for rural development, the establishment of the central training institute for local governors and village leaders, and the operation of thirty model villages. Mostly importantly, all of these activities will be based on South Korean Saemaul Undong’s participatory approach.

XXXNational Policy for rural development is a community based rural development policy that is formulated align to Cambodia’s NSDP under the best success of Korean community-driven development program known as Saemaul Undong. MRD and KOICA formulate policy direction focus on major components such 1) institutional arrangement of government, 2) vitalization of village development activities and 3) capacity development of field leader. The policy is based on the belief that the capacity of rural community will be developed with an effective training system to foster motivated community leaders. The core strategy is to offer trainings focused on the spiritual enlightenment, change of mindset and attitude, leadership skills for development activities such as technical innovations bringing income increase and improving living environments.

The Saemaul Undong (SMU) Training Center will be constructed in Kampong Speu province at the end of 2016 with five buildings including lecture halls, class rooms, agricultural technical training facilities, dormitory and etc.. This center has two kinds of meaning. Firstly, in a short-term view, it can be understood as a model to demonstrate the crucial roles of the training center in community-based rural development. On the other hand, in a long-term view, it will play a key role on extension to the regional training centers with the purpose to develop a nationwide SMU training system. The institute will be a base Center for both central and local government officials and village leaders as well as rural people to enhance their capacity on leadership and agriculture technique under specific designed curriculum and quality training in order to ensure ownership and sustainability. The villagers will be trained to change mindset of can-do spirit, diligence, self-help, cooperation and the willingness to fight against poverty.

Pilot project is an integrative rural development model that will enhance the living standard, increase income of villagers and improve community environment in the ways of “Diligence, Self-help and Cooperation”. This is a bottom-up approach project that beneficiaries (villagers including women and disadvantaged group) will identify problems and develop their own village development plan. They have a strong ownership to write project proposal, implement project and monitoring & evaluation. Based on baseline survey, this project will tackle with both farming problems and rural market via various types of project such income generation project, living environment improvement project and capacity building project. Cooperative and agriculture modernization like marketing infrastructure, contract farming, market access, and value chain will be introduced to villagers. Up on completing project, an innovative model to link pilot projects and the market will be established.

 Sourced: akp.gov.kh

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