fbpx Cambodia: Commune Council Development Project | Asian Development Bank

Raising Development Impact through Evaluation

Cambodia: Commune Council Development Project

Evaluation Document | 29 December 2013

This report examines the project's contribution to decentralization and deconcentration reforms in Cambodia as well as their  contribution to the development of stronger governance and audit systems.

Decentralization as a development strategy in Cambodia was initiated in 2001 with the adoption of the decentralization and deconcentration (D&D) strategy that focused on improving the role of the commune, the lowest tier of government. The government passed the first Decentralization Law in 2001 that called for the election of commune councils. The first local commune council elections were held in February 2002, the second elections were held in April 2007, and the third in June 2012.

The project supports the decentralization and deconcentration reforms to provide most commune councils with operating facilities and equipment, systems, training, popular understanding, and support required to function effectively. ADB provided a loan of $10 million.

Overall, the evaluation rated the project successful. It met its general objective of supporting commune councils in Cambodia to effectively manage the democratic development of their communes. It addressed the basic and immediate administrative needs of post-conflict Cambodia that was then embarking on national reconstruction. These needs included basic infrastructure to conduct the business of government at the commune level, a civil registry system of the citizens of the country, geographic maps to enable rational planning, and capacity building imperatives of the front line local officials.

One of the lessons which can be drawn from the project is the importance of consultation and dialogue with stakeholders in deepening the process of decentralization and democratization. A range of partnerships have been initiated under the project: between and among national government offices; between the national government and the communes; emerging between the government and nongovernment organizations and civil society organizations; and, finally, between the government and development partners.


  • Basic data
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Design and implementation
  • Performance assessment
  • Other assessments
  • Issues, lessons and follow-up actions
  • Appendixes