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WOBA Cambodia

WOBA Cambodia is a program designed and implemented by Thrive/East Meets West (EMW) to address challenges and inequities in Cambodia’s rural water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. It is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Water for Women Fund over 4.5 years (June 2018 to December 2022) with a total budget of 3.2 million Australian dollars. WOBA Cambodia builds on the long history of DFAT’s investment in the rural WASH sector in Cambodia, and the strong partnership between the Australian Embassy and EMW over the years. WOBA supports policy advocacy at national and sub-national levels in rural WASH, an area that aligns with DFAT’s objectives for economic diplomacy in the sector.

Program objectives

The program has two objectives:

Objective 1: To improve rural livelihoods through increased access to equitable (WASH services, especially among marginalized community members;

Objective 2: To improve gender empowerment and inclusion of women through program implementation and decision making.

WOBA Cambodia has two implementation components and targets:

  • 3,750 poor households connect to piped water schemes – their connections will be co-financed through a competitive output-based pro-poor subsidy intervention.
  • Improved access to hygienic sanitation in rural communities, with hygienic latrines constructed by 15,000 poor and 15,000 non-poor households, with 4,000 of these in the poor/GESI category; this will be complemented with a commercial sanitation intervention.

WOBA Cambodia is implemented in the rural areas of nine provinces which have different geographical and socio-economic conditions. These provinces are Prey Veng, Kampot, Kracheh, Pursat, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, and Tboung Khmum.

Program’s Theory of Change and Strategies

The program has three strategies that underpin the program’s theory of change and expected to contribute to the program’s five planned outcomes.

  1. Partner with district and commune government, Committees of Women and Children, and private sector WASH operators to strengthen coordination mechanisms (at all institutional levels) and private sector capacity in delivering WASH services for poor and GESI households;
  2. Build capacity of government partners, women in committees for women and children, women in the villages, and private sector WASH operators to implement OBA WASH services for poor and GESI households;
  3. Leverage partnerships with government partners, WASH authorities, Committees for Women and children, and private water operators to facilitate workshops to mainstream and advocate for gender, disability and socially inclusive approach in WASH delivery in Cambodia. These three strategies are expected to contribute to the program’s five outcomes.

Program Key Activities

The key activities to implement these strategies include:

  • Partner with and deliver training for Cambodia’s District Authorities, Provincial Departments of Rural Development (PDRDs) to implement project activities through commune and village administrations. The aim is to strengthen governmental capacity to deliver sustainable WASH services for poor and marginalised communities (gender & socially inclusive (GESI) households).
  • Advocate and secure co-financing through the District Development funds and Commune Development funds to budget activities toward the commune or district development plans with key line ministries. The aim is to secure subsidy for poor and poor plus GESI households to take up latrine construction and water connections.
  • Partner with private sector suppliers to strengthen supply chain for sanitation products. Partner with Cambodian Water Supply Association (CWA) and Provincial Department of Industry and Handicraft (PDIH) to administer an OBA subsidy fund that encourage private water enterprise to target poor/GESI HH connections achieved by private water enterprises. The aim is to strengthen private sector ability to deliver sustainable WASH services, particularly for marginalised communities (poor and poor plus GESI households).
  • Partner with CDPO to provide training on disability for government partner (PDRD Kracheh, EMW staff and volunteers, district and commune authorities) and private sector (local suppliers) to deliver inclusive WASH to rural households, especially to disability.
  • Build capacity of Cambodia District Committees for Women and Children (DCWCs), the Commune Committees for Women and Children (CCWCs), and female village chiefs and volunteers to empower them to lead, coordinate, and deliver WASH services, and mobilize community households particularly from marginalized (poor & GESI) households to construct hygienic latrines and connect to clean water.
  • Conduct baseline data collection, verification of latrines constructions and water connections, and operational monitoring to ensure gender and social inclusion (GESI) targets are achieved and progressing according to the program’s operational plans and targets.
  • Partner with social enterprises to distribute handwashing devices and water tanks and CCWC to promote handwashing practices as part of WOBA’s COVID-19 response.
  • Organize and facilitate learning workshops with implementation partners and stakeholders to share insights, exchange knowledge, and advocate gender and inclusive WASH services in Cambodia.

Program Outcomes

WOBA Cambodia has five planned outcomes to address the program’s two objectives, and align with the Fund’s goal of improved health, gender equality and wellbeing of Asian and Pacific communities through inclusive sustainable WASH, and four end-of-program outcomes:

  1. Strengthened national and sub-national WASH systems with government able to implement and sustain inclusive output-based aid WASH approaches in rural Cambodia – achieved through a government co-financing requirement.
  2. Strengthened private sector ability in sanitation and public/private enterprises in water to operate sustainably and reach poor and GESI communities in rural Cambodia; increasing their role in providing high quality WASH services to all.
  3. Improved access to and use of equitable WASH services, especially among marginalised community members.
  4. Improved gender empowerment and systematic inclusion of women and outcomes in households and communities and institutions.
  5. Increased use of evidence and innovation in gender and inclusive WASH in Cambodia; increased contribution from Cambodia to regional and global evidence base.