Cambodia 2040 Culture and Society

Summary of Cambodia 2040 Culture and Society

KAS Cambodia

New Decade, Old Challenges?

Diplomatic Briefing Ausgabe 01/2020

The Diplomatic Briefing is a biannual collection of categorized opinion pieces and short articles from an extended network of the scholarly community and regional experts, covering a wide range of issues from international relations, to sub-regional affairs, to foreign policy, to economic and trade, and beyond.

The Law Talks: Contemporary Environmental Law in Cambodia and Future Perspectives

This publication is written with a purpose neither to analyze the draft environmental code nor the status quo of the environmental law implementation, but to develop a gateway for research and development for the environmental law and policy in the years to come when Cambodia tries to reform her environmental administration system. The publication is the collection of articles submitted by Cambodian and foreign professors and experts who are interested in the area of the environment law.

Cambodia Within ASEAN: Twenty-Years in the Making

The year 2019 marks the 20th year anniversary of Cambodia being the 10th member of ASEAN. The roadmap of Cambodia’s accession to this regional grouping has indeed come a long way and even throughout these 20-years, a lot have been spelled out. On one hand, Cambodia gradually gained more recognition on the international arena after decades of isolation due to our prolonged civil war while at the same time, the economy has seen a remarkable growth. On the other, the push and pull factors got Cambodia (and as well the region) caught in the middle of strategic power rivalry in the newly-emerging regional order, which demand ASEAN to play a much greater role. After all these 20 years, Cambodia look forward to ASEAN as a guarantor of regional peace and prosperity as well as a bridge to key partners of the region.

Digital “Government-to-Business” Services in Cambodia: Overview and Challenges

Maria Yang & Darapich Sovann

According to the UN e-government knowledgebase, e-government is a channel to strengthen the efficiency of government operations at three levels: Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B), and Government to Government (G2G). There are a number of research papers which show how, empirically, good e-government is positively associated with fostering a good business environment. This can be measured by different variables such as the ease of starting a business, electricity, taxes, construction permits, access to credit, cross-border trade and protection of minority investors. Moreover, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the digital economy, which are built on advanced new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and cloud computing, among many others, also act as driving forces of e-government, in particular at the G2B level.

How Data-Driven Technology Can Upgrade Cambodia’s E-government

Sokhna Vor

Government departments in Cambodia are increasingly embracing data-driven digitalisation initiatives in order to become more efficient, accurate and accessible to citizens. For example, the National Bank of Cambodia recently adopted blockchain technology to reduce its interbank transaction costs. The Ministry of Public Work and Transport introduced mobile payments and a QR code-enabled vehicle information database to enhance its users’ experience. Also the Ministry of Health is overhauling its Data Management and National Hospital Systems to make its services more easily accessible. As the benefits of data grow, so do its risks, including data breaches. Balancing them requires proper governance and democratization of data, good data software and data skills. This article explores the current state of Cambodia’s e-governance landscape with a particular focus on data-driven technologies, how they are implemented and how public awareness around data is growing thanks to local communities and organizations, as well as recommendations for better data strategies.

How E-learning Can Improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Practices in Rural Cambodia

Seanghak Khin & Piseth Kim

Knowledge gaps between the national and subnational departments of Cambodia’s government can lead to a poor implementation of policies and practices at rural level. This research project assesses the feasibility of e-learning as a new way to close those gaps, specifically using the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector as a case study. National WASH guidelines were adapted into an easy-to-use and interactive e-learning course with the aim to upgrade the skills and knowledge of the Provincial Department of Rural Development (PDRD) staff. Real-world tests were carried out with staff of the Disability Action Council (DAC), the WASH District Committee and four PDRD offices. The study analyses participant feedback on the e-learning course and platform, and seeks ways to further improve and adapt it to their environment. Results indicate that it works well in Phnom Penh, where participants are equipped with up-to-date computers and good internet access, but less so in rural areas due to out of date technology and incompatible web browsers which demotivate users. Rural participants also appear to prefer using smartphones and suggest to improve the e-learning experience by making it available on mobile devices, as well as allowing to print the study material and providing better Khmer language support. Implementing these features may well lead to a successful application of digitalization and e-governance at rural level.

Promoting Better Governance Through Facebook: A Pilot Study and Analysis

Makara Vorn & You Y Ly

Facebook has become the most popular social media platform in Cambodia. This study collects primary data to examine how Facebook can give Cambodian users a chance to demand better governance in terms of public services, as well as how the government can solicit public feedback through the platform. A pilot survey of 150 respondents, mostly from Phnom Penh, shows how Facebook can enable communication between government and citizens. Most respondents in the sample use Facebook to consume or share news, but also to express their opinions and ask for more action from the government. To a certain degree, this can give citizens a means to hold their government to account, but the government currently appears not to be very responsive, probably due to the lack of decision-making from higher-level officials, and the lack of attention and interest. A potential solution could be to establish a dedicated governmental committee that gathers and addresses the concerns of the citizens. This pilot study can be used as the basis for a larger scale national survey.

Cambodia v. Hackers: Balancing Security and Liberty in Cybercrime Law

Somaly Nguon & Sopheak Srun

Cybercrime is a well-known, yet poorly understood issue in Cambodia, and the country’s existing legal framework is vague and unclear compared to international standards. Government websites have been subject to cyberattacks since 2002. Targets have included those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Election Committee, the National Police, the military and the Supreme Court; thousands of official documents were leaked online by the hacktivist collective “Anonymous”. There are also reports of malicious local hackers, but most go unnoticed and unpunished. As a developing country, Cambodia lacks good technology practices and legislation because of poverty, poor infrastructure, weak institutions, low literacy and low ICT awareness. This paper outlines the cybersecurity threats it faces and analyzes existing legal measures such as the Criminal Code and the new draft Cybercrime Law, also looking at how these laws could be interpreted too broadly and thereby potentially restrict fundamental rights. Cybersecurity practices in China, Japan and Singapore are briefly explored, followed by recommendations on making cybersecurity law in Cambodia more robust, specific and proportionate, in line with international treaties like the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime.

Do Cambodians Trust E-Government Services? A Survey

Sereyvisith Sokhan , Chandary Raing , Channara Rin

Lack of user trust is a major reason why e-government projects fail. To align efforts for the successful implementation of e-government in Cambodia, the government focuses on platform development, integration between government agencies and other technical considerations. However, there is no proper discussion about how to enhance citizen trust in e-government services. This study explores user perceptions and trust around e-government in Cambodia by surveying 256 participants recruited through online platforms. The result of this study indicates that among well-educated and regular internet users in Cambodia, the knowledge of e-government is significantly low and that most are still neutral about whether it can be trusted or not. We have suggested several methods and approaches the government could consider in order to boost citizens’ knowledge and trust, which in turn could potentially influence user adoption of e-government.