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Youth participation in democracy process is very limited in Cambodia. When young people get involved in activities related human rights and democracy, they often remain passive supporter rather than active decision makers. Rather than viewing themselves as major players with rights and responsible, they believe that responsibility to bring about positive change and build democracy lies with their leaders. For this reason project Dialogue on Democracy has been created with the main aims to create an enabling environment for a series of dialogue on participation of Youth and Commune councilor in Phnom Penh and five provinces include Batambang, Banteay Meanchey, Kratie, Siem reap, and Kampong Chhnang through the use of ICT for their effective participation in democratic process.
There are three main components in the project: 1) training on good governance, access to information, development/democracy, and how ICT is used to promote communication, 2) Dialogue on Democracy enabling young people and councilors to collaborate through forums, debates and seminars, 3) the Democracy information campaign, whereby target groups will be encouraged to share information on democracy through websites, social media, mailing lists, video clips etc.
The Open Institute (OI) is the leading organization to implement the project in partnership with other 4 institutions such as the National League of Communes/Sangkats(NLC/s), Voice of Democracy (VoD), People Health Development Association (PHD), Khmer Youth and Social Development (KYSD). This Project creates synergies among partners and people involved. While Open Institute is expertise in building capacity on the use of ICT to partners, youth, councilors, and others relevant institutions, KYSD and PHD have been very actively in mobilizing youth from five different provinces to participate in training, forum for debate, and workshop. VOD has been also empowering communities' people, youth, and many audiences through radio and media broadcast almost across the country addressing the issues of election, health, Good Governance, and Democracy.
The partners and their geographical locations are as follows: 1) (VOD)- 13 provinces – Kandal, Phnom Penh, Kompong Speu, Takeo, Preach Vihear, Prey Veng, Bantey Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kompong Chhnang, Kompong Thom, Pursat, Battambang, Oudor Meanchey, 2) (OI) Phnom Penh and the project partners’ area, 3) (PHD) Battambang. Siem Reap, Bantey Meanchey, 4) (KYSD) Kampong Chhang, Kampong Speu, Kratie and Phnom Penh. Some of the project activities will be implemented in the same provinces and municipality, but in different districts and communes.
The main program activities: