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All programs of the Open Institute are strategically implemented to ensure that the benefits of technology for social and economic advance are usable in Cambodian society.
(Click here to see past programs of the Open Institute)
As part of the USAID Cambodia CTIP Program Open Institute has developed and launched Bong Pheak, an employment service that aims to prevent situations of trafficking in persons by linking unskilled and low-skilled workers with available job opportunities in their own country. The Bong Pheak service uses innovative technologies to identify those who are at highest risk of becoming victims of TIP, provides them with employment information, and simplifies contact with employers, reducing their vulnerability. After only a few months of operation, Bong Pheak has already proven its usefulness in helping potential migrants find unskilled and low-skilled jobs inside Cambodia.
Bong Pheak is the first attempt, worldwide, to use technology to fill the information gap between employers and low-skilled workers. This worker group is usually not addressed by Employment Services in developing countries because of their lack of knowledge and access to the Internet. However, the Bong Pheak employment service has been able to work around this limitation by applying social engineering and an innovative mix of well-established technologies. Reducing this gap strongly decreases one of the main factors of risk for migrants: usage of risky intermediaries or traveling to find jobs without having secured one first.
The USAID Countering Trafficking-in-Persons program, led by Winrock,ith support from International Justice Mission (IJM) and Open Institute, works to strengthen the Royal Government of Cambodia's capacity to design, lead, coordinate and evaluate in-country and regional efforts to combat all forms of trafficking in persons; enhance survivor protection and care services of all forms of trafficking in persons; improve law enforcement capacity to identify and prosecute traffickers and crimes related to trafficking; and promote effective national and local prevention strategies to reduce trafficking in persons.
The Open Institute provides technical support to this three 3-year project funded by the EU and by the Czech Cooperation Agency. The project, led by People in Need, and with the participation of Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD), and Open Institute, involves:
a) Mapping, enumerating and undertaking legal land tenure surveys in the urban poor communities excluded from the systematic land titling process in Phnom Penh; b) Participatory preparation of onsite re-development plans with an aim to identify win-win solutions for the communities, private developers and local authorities; c) Environmental sanitation and small scale infrastructure upgrades in the selected communities, and d) Supporting the Phnom Penh Municipality led Urban Poor Poverty Reduction Working Group.
Open Institute's participation in this project involves developing and facilitating the use of data collection tools for collecting information on land claims, and using this data to automatically generate personalized legal advice sheets about each claim.
Our participation in the CitiesForAll project involves automatically generating text and voice documents that describe the specific legal status of a given property, based on data entered by the occupant, on maps, and on the current land law in Cambodia. The text report can be used in a court or negotiation, while the voice file provides information in colloquial local language that can be easily understood by the occupants. For data collection and storage in this work the Open Institute uses and develops on top of the open source application "Open Tenure" designed and created by FAO.
Open Institute, as a partner of UNICEF, support the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on the modernization of the system used by the Ministry to monitor the improvement of the schools on their goal of being supportive educational centers for the students. The objective of the work is to enable the Ministry to produce, as fast as possible after monitoring them, feedback for the schools that will help them improve the quality of the education they render to students and the conditions under which this education takes place. The system also allows the Ministry to supervise how the monitoring takes place and how individual schools and the whole system advance towards true child friendly schools. Open Institute has supported the Ministry and UNICEF on the improvement of the school checklist, making inspections simpler, faster, and objective. The survey has been implemented as a tablet aplication, and data is immediatly collected and available to the Ministry through an specialized dashboard, allowing Ministry staff to understand the state of schools in their area and measure advance. Piloted in 2016, the system is being widely deployed in 2017 and 2018.
Monitoring of Residential Care Institutions.
Open Institute partners with UNICEF to support the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) to do a first level assessment of the conditions under which children live in residential care institutions (such as orphanages) in Cambodia. Open Institute has worked with UNICEF and the MoSVY to define a survey that will provide sufficient information to understand if deeper inspection of a residential care institution if necessary. The survey has been implemented as a tablet aplication, and data is immediatly collected and available to the Ministry through an specialized dashboard, allowing Ministry staff to understand the state of inspections and if furhter interventions are necessary. The project is being scaled nationally in 2017.
SPIDER ICT4D Network
Creation of a netwrok of ICT4D practitioners in Cambodia through which organisations can meet and learn about the use of ICT for development in their sector and about specific technologies that they can consider. The network attempts to increase access to knowledge for NGO ICT practitioners in Cambodia, often isolated. It also pretends to help start-ups or social entrepreneurs better understand the problems they attempt to solve through business approaches. The project will generate a collection/database of lessons learned of ICT in development in the Cambodian context, as well as reports that analyse these experiences.
Khmer OPtical Character Recognition (OCR)
Open Institute, in close collaboration with technical universities in Cambodia, is working on creating a solid OCR solution for Khmer script that will make selected old Khmer documents readable and allow researchers and professionals to find and consult a much larger number of legal documents, research and old publications written in Khmer language.
Open Institute participation in this project, led by University Research Corp. (URC), involves developing the necessary tools for collecting data on patients in health centers around the country, and uploading it to the national databases of the Ministry of Health.
Open Institute participation in this project, also led by University Research Corp. (URC), involves making automatic phone calls to mothers of newborn children with pre-recorded messages that communicate important information for their health and the health of the baby. Data on mothers of newborn babies is produced by the work beign done in the Social Health Protection project.
The USAID-funded SPICE program, implemented by the Open Institute, facilitates social and business innovation using communications technology and improves communications in Khmer via mobile devices. The purpose of the program is to build on partnerships between technology-oriented civil society organizations (CSOs) and private sector entities to utilize existing technologies to promote and deliver a greater diversity of information to the public, improve communications in Khmer using mobile devices, and increase the capacity of CSOs to use social media for development purposes.
FInal documents about this program and a video are available at the Reports section of this website.