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Knowledge Digest



Knowledge Digest Issue No. 4

In This Issue:
- Global Reports/UNICEF  Collaborations
- Resources and Publications
- Feature Stories
- Cambodia focus

Equitable inclusive economic growth and allocation of resources.
While poverty rates have continued to decrease in Cambodia, inequality persists and in some cases has widened.  A child born in the poorest household remains 3 times more likely to die before reaching their fifth birthday as compared to a child from the wealthiest household.  This equity gap can be addressed through ensuring better links between Government and other investments and the real needs on the ground.

© UNICEF Cambodia/2013/Reid

Dear reader,

Welcome to the fourth Issue of UNICEF Cambodia’s Knowledge Digest. A country’s budget is perhaps the most powerful tool to implement policies and advance the rights of its population – including children and young people. Good public financial management (PFM) enables a government to use public resources efficiently and promote the development of the country.
As countries grow richer, the challenge is to manage that growth agenda in a credible, desirable and sustainable manner. Growth brings the opportunity of higher resource mobilization as well as the challenge of strengthening systems and capacity to utilize these resources efficiently and equitably to achieve results for all.

This issue of KD aims at strengthening our knowledge and evidence base for enhanced efforts towards more efficient and effective national investments. It draws together some interesting UNICEF documents on the importance on the budget and also shares good practices on how public finance policies have contributed to equitable resource allocation and inclusive growth.

With best wishes for the new year 2014,

The UNICEF Cambodia Team


Global Reports/UNICEF Collaborations


Public Financial Management for the Rights of Children and Young People

Good public financial management (PFM) enables a government to use public resources efficiently and promote the development of the country. Through the budget process, available resources are marshalled and policies and priorities are translated into financial commitments. Thus good PFM is a prerequisite for democratic governance and guaranteeing human rights.

Read more, please click HERE.


Advancing the Rights of Children, Women and Poor Families Through Better Public Finance Policies

Social budgeting can be defined as a process by which society‘s goals and priorities, as well as the rights of all of the population, are better reflected in public policymaking, notably in the government budget. This paper provides a review of the background literature on social budgeting, introduces the reader to the different stages of budgeting and public finance management, and presents selected examples of social budgeting initiatives, that together form a resource guide for undertaking social budgeting work. It draws upon and is underpinned by policy research undertaken by UNICEF‘s Social and Economic Policy Unit as well studies, reports and policy engagements in public finance policies by UNICEF‘s country and regional offices, often in collaboration with other stakeholders in government, civil society, the UN family of agencies and the donor community.

Read more, please click HERE.

Resources and Publications


Social budgeting and making public finance work for children

UNICEF’s mission is to help countries ensure that all children enjoy the right to conditions necessary for a safe and happy childhood, as well as those that will allow them to develop to their full potential as human beings and citizens. The extent to which public investments are appropriately targeted toward boys and girls makes a huge difference in the fulfilment of these goals.
From a child rights perspective, social budget work focuses on building long-term institutions for child-friendly policies, as reflected in public sector budgets. Among the outcomes of social budget work are more—and more effectively channelled—resources for children, women and poor families.

Read more, please click HERE.

  Increasing investment in social protection for poverty reduction and inclusive growth

The brief highlights the returns on investment on four basic social protection instruments that could be implemented in Cambodia including cash transfers for children, social pensions, scholarships for lower secondary education, and public works programmes. It calls for investing in these interventions to achieve immediate result in reducing poverty and inequality and increasing income of the poor households which could lead to increased investment in children.

Read more, please click English and/or Khmer.
  Rates of Return of Social Protection Instruments in Cambodia

The Rates of Return Study provides empirical evidence for the implementation of the National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) making the case for a basic package of non-contributory social protection provisions targeted at poor persons covering various life-cycle risks. The instruments include cash transfers for children, social pensions, scholarships for lower secondary education, and public works programmes. A micro simulation model is designed using data from the Cambodian Socio Economic Survey 2004 and 2009. The model estimates the potential effects, benefits and returns of the implementation of social protection in Cambodia.

Read more, please click HERE.
  A guide to public financial management literature

This guide has been prepared by Overseas Development Institute (ODI) for people seeking to deepen their knowledge on public financial management (PFM) in developing countries. It caters to the needs of newcomers to the field who want to familiarise themselves with the introductory PFM literature, as well as practitioners broadening their PFM knowledge beyond their own area of expertise.

Read more, please click HERE.

Feature Stories

  Public Finance for Children in Cambodia

As Cambodia’s economy grows, foreign aid donors are increasingly turning to the government to tackle development challenges with its own growing resources.  Traditionally, UNICEF and organizations like it have worked directly with children, doing things like building schools, providing textbooks and giving vaccines.  But as economies grow, governments have the money to provide these kinds of services themselves — and the question of how they do this becomes very important.

Read full story, please click HERE.
  Employment opportunities for parents reduces the number of children at risk

Theany’s regular income from making handicraft items ensures that her children have enough to eat and regularly attend school. However, her life used to be very different.  In 2003 Theany and her family migrated from a rural village to Siem Reap town, northern Cambodia. They found it difficult to obtain employment and lived on roughly 7000 riels (US1.75) which Theany would earn from a day of washing clothes or selling cakes and fried crickets door to door.

Read full story, please click HERE.
  A long way back home

When Sombath was 13 years old, his mother agreed to a neighbour’s suggestion to take Sombath to Thailand to earn money. “I was really afraid to go to place I did not know,” said Sombath, “but I tried to be strong because my mother was counting on me and I wanted to protect her.” In Thailand, Sombath worked illegally on a construction site. He earned just 40 Bahts (US$1.50) for 14 hours a day in risky conditions where he inhaled a lot of dust. He slept in a makeshift hut on the construction site with other working children.. Many of them fell ill and had no access to health services.

Read full story, please click HERE.

Cambodia Focus

  Public Finance for Children in East Asia and Pacific
TWO-THIRDS of the world’s poor still live in Asia on less than $1.25 a day, despite recent economic growth and decrease in income poverty.  While impressive strides towards achieving the MDGs have been made in many countries in the region, the economic boom has also led to increases in inequality, with devastating results for the millions of children left behind. Critical equity challenges are posed by increasing disparities between rich and poor, urban and rural, and ethnic minority and majority populations. UNICEF is increasingly working with national governments to address some of the challenges through enhancing national capacity in developing more efficient and effective budgets.  UNICEF Regional Office for East and Pacific Asia recently organised a workshop to strengthen regional dialogue among the national governments and enhance capacity to work better on this agenda making public finance work better for children.
Watch video, please click HERE.
  Budgeting for Equitable Development in Cambodia:
An Analysis of Budgetary Process and Expenditure of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation

This study has been prepared by Cambodia Economic Association (CEA) to provide an analysis of budgetary process and expenditure of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran, and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSAVY). It presents and discusses the MoSAVY’s budget formulation, composition, allocation and execution, , the challenges MoSAVY has faced and the progress the ministry has made relating to the Public Financial Management Reform Program (PFMRP).
For full study report, please click HERE.
  Budgeting for Equitable Education in Cambodia:
An analysis of the process bottlenecks
This study has been prepared by Cambodian Economic Association to examine issues in the budgeting for equitable development in the education sector. It identifies critical issues and challenges related to budget planning and execution, which can affect equity and efficiency. Despite improvement, there are still many challenges in the budget instruments and processes, such as Budget Strategic Plan (BSP), annual budget preparation, Annual Operation Plan (AOP), Salary Budget, and School Operating Budget (SOB).
For full study report, please click HERE.

UNICEF Cambodia is committed to creating a discursive environment for the dissemination of knowledge among its partners. If you wish to submit a report or article to be shared with others, we would be happy to receive it.

The information contained in this package does not necessarily reflect the views of UNICEF Cambodia and is meant for general information purposes only. Neither UNICEF Cambodia, nor the Policy, Advocacy and Communication Unit, accept responsibility for errors or omissions.

  For more info, please contact:
Mr. Sanoz Lim,
Senior KM Assistant
Knowledge Management
UNICEF Cambodia Office
No. 11, Street 75, Phnom Penh

To download PDF version, please click HERE.



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