Gender and Public-Private Partnerships in Cambodia

10 June 2013 -- On 5 Jun 2013, a workshop in Phnom Penh gathered about 30 national and provincial level staff of Cambodia's Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA), including directors of the network of 13 Women's Development Centers (WDC) across the country.

Her Excellency Kheng Samvada, Secretary of State of MOWA in Cambodia, and Karin Schelzig, Senior Social Sector Specialist at the ADB Cambodia Resident Mission, delivered the opening remarks for the Workshop on PPP and PPP Options for Implementing at Siem Reap Women's Development Center.

MOWA aims to transform the WDCs from non-formal vocational training providers to more dynamic enterprise development centers, but faces constraints with its limited budget. The aim of the workshop was to discuss options for public-private partnerships (PPPs) at the Siem Reap WDC, which is exploring a new partnership with a successful local social enterprise that promotes traditional Khmer skills and has a large and growing market for its products.

Her Excellency Kheng Samvada, Secretary of State of MOWA in Cambodia, emphasized the importance of partnerships for mutual benefit and the need for WDC staff and managers to understand the strengths and constraints of their WDCs, as well as those of potential partners, before seeking them out.

Karin Schelzig, Senior Social Sector Specialist at the ADB Cambodia Resident Mission mentioned in her opening remarks how ADB valued its long history of cooperation and close working relationship with MOWA and discussed the seeds of the public-private partnership initiative. She remarked that there are areas where the private sector has particular strengths, and areas where the government or the public sector is stronger. Working together, in partnership, the public and private sectors can be much more efficient because they each have certain advantages in performing specific tasks.

She expressed hope that through PPPs, the network of WDCs can better serve poor rural women with skills upgrading, enterprise development support, and access to the markets, particularly the lucrative tourism market in Siem Reap.

View the Opening Remarks.