Capacity building in Cambodia's rural local governments for the sanitation market

Approximately 72% of Cambodians practice open defecation. The government has implemented strategies and policies to improve access to sanitation and decentralized roles and responsibilities to the local rural district and commune governments so that it can be more effective in supporting rural sanitation marketing (SanMark). Semi-structured informal interviews with local stakeholders were analysed to understand the role of rural local governments (LGs) in SanMark and what capacities they possess – and need. The different roles perceived for LGs to fill include monitoring, regulation, and demand creation, however are not specific as to the details of how these roles can be implemented. The research found that capacity of LGs is very weak and needs to accommodate older personnel with lower levels of education. The capacities identified to support roles given to LGs are often general and unclear, such as “coordination” and “monitoring”, though the key basic capacities in need are effective communication.