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Non-State Providers (NSP) in Education Cambodian Case Study. Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE) (The Role of NSPs in Delivering Basic Social Services, Manila, 20 April 2010) . Content Summary. Aspects of Regulatory Environment & Service Delivery KAPE : Brief Agency Background

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Non-State Providers (NSP) in Education Cambodian Case Study

Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE)

(The Role of NSPs in Delivering Basic Social Services, Manila, 20 April 2010)

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Content Summary

  • Aspects of Regulatory Environment & Service Delivery

  • KAPE: Brief Agency Background

  • Approaches to Service Delivery & Manifestations of PPP

  • Successes, Challenges, & Lessons Learned

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A General Note on Relevance . . .

  • The Cambodian regulatory framework and experience may have considerable relevance to many countries that have or are emerging from socialist backgrounds

  • Thus, the Cambodian experience may have relevance to such countries as Mongolia, Lao PDR, (where there are currently no LNGOs), and others.

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Part 1: Aspects of the Regulatory Environment & Service Delivery

General Aspects

  • The first LNGO was established in 1991, so the idea of NGO involvement in the service area is relatively new

  • There are now about 2,000 NGOs/CBOs operating in Cambodia

  • In the Education Sector, there are about 100 NGOs, both international and local, according to the NGO Education Partnership

  • The vast majority of the 80 or so LNGOs work in Non-formal and only a handful in the Formal Education Sector

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It’s important to note that we often take for granted the availability of LNGOs . . .

  • The few LNGOs operating in the formal sector are niche agencies, focusing on specific areas such as children’s rights, youth, and other technical areas

  • It is difficult to imagine a big role for NSPs in the formal sector in Cambodia as direct service providers without more LNGOs

  • Why is there this disparity in the number of LNGOs working in the formal sector?

    • The funding environment has not supported the creation of LNGOs, particularly in the formal sector

    • Issues of staff credentials, expertise, knowledge of policies, etc. are serious obstacles

    • The sector tends to be dominated by INGOs

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The contrast with the Health Sector. . . availability of LNGOs . . .

  • The Health Sector boasts an NSP sector that is considerably more developed

  • In contrast to Education, there are very large NSPs working in the Health Sector

  • Why??

  • The donors, particularly the bilaterals, in Health had much more foresight in building up Non-profit NSPs

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About for-profit service providers in education . . . availability of LNGOs . . .

  • There is a vibrant involvement of for-profit NSPs in direct service delivery in the formal sector, mainly in the form of private schools

  • This is mainly limited to pre-primary and/or urban settings

  • At primary and secondary level, such service delivery is marginal and is mainly aimed at the children of the urban elite

  • Some private schools also focus on the needs of minority children (Chinese, Chams, etc.)

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Kinds of Service Support Provided by Non-profits availability of LNGOs . . .

  • Most NGO (both local and international) funding of educational services for the poor occur within the state system, mainly as pilots

    • State buildings

    • State teachers

    • State policy

  • There is little or no direct service delivery independent of the state system for the rural poor

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Why do availability of LNGOs . . .INGOs, LNGOs, and CSOs focus mainly on providing formal educational services for the rural poor within the state sector?

  • Acceptance of the fact that the state sector is the primary modality in educational provision for the rural poor, the majority of the country

  • Most donors until now have had no interest in funding services for the poor outside of the state system

  • Funding private schools seems to contradict notions of equity among donors and government, since sustainability issues require a reliance on private fees.

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About the Regulatory Framework availability of LNGOs . . .

  • Cambodia currently does not have an NGO law so most regulation is mainly based on a series of decrees

  • In spite of the less developed nature of the legal framework, the attitude of government towards NGO/NSP involvement in the education sector has been very liberal. For example, . . .

    • Registration is not difficult

    • MoUs are preferred but not required

    • LNGOs can negotiate MoUs directly with local government for investments under $2 million

    • Reporting requirements are negotiated directly with local authorities

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Overall Impacts of the Regulatory Framework on NSP Engagement . . . .

  • Most Public Private Partnerships in the formal education sector occur as pilots within the state system, which then go national

  • Donor/Government focus is on national level replication, which often leads to a lowest common denominator approach to service delivery

  • This creates a glass ceiling with respect to quality service delivery due to . . .

    • Structural factors, resourcing issues (e.g., salaries), accountability issues,

  • In many ways, the regulatory framework promotes de facto decentralization

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Overall Impacts (cont.) Engagement . . . .

  • The still developing legal framework amplifies the effects of variability between local govt entities

  • The role of local variability (with respect to strictness) in certain provinces ensures that some provinces are favored while others are not

  • Low bureaucratic demands on NGOs by government promote expeditious implementation of projects/high efficiency

  • The absence of a ‘funding role’ by government ensures that services are delivered in project frameworks rather than government frameworks

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But . . . Engagement . . . .

  • The current environment has ensured that Public Private Partnerships with non-profits have not focused on direct service delivery independent of the state sector

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Part 2 Engagement . . . .: About KAPE -Agency Background

  • Date Established: 1999

  • Staffing: 70

  • Revenues 1999-2009: $4,957,000

    • Bilateral: 80%

    • Multilateral: 4%

    • Private: 16%

  • Main Sector of Focus Formal Education

  • Current Projects: 8 Projects

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Some Key Observations . . . Engagement . . . .

  • As Non-profit NSPs go, KAPE is perhaps the biggest (educational) NSP in Cambodia (i.e., it is not a niche agency)

  • Some donors (and government) see KAPE as having the most potential for direct service delivery (with links to government)

  • Is it replicable? How did KAPE get started?

  • By Accident

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  • Historical Beginnings Engagement . . . .

    • Grew out of a pre-existing project funded by USAID

    • Established BY Stakeholders FOR Stakeholders

  • Key factors in its early success/survival

    • LUCK

    • Personal networks

    • Close links with government

    • Innovative Proposal Content

  • Unique Characteristics

    • Not nationally based/based in one province

    • One of the few LNGOs working in formal education

    • Programming based on empirical research

    • Acts as an extension of local Government

    • Stakeholder representation in the Board

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Service Content Engagement . . . .

  • Child Friendly School Programming

  • Scholarships

  • School Breakfasts

  • Girls’ Education

  • Life Skills Education

  • Minority Education

  • Prevention of Child Labor

  • Child to Child Educational Services

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Part 3 Engagement . . . .: Approaches to Service Delivery

  • Advocacy for Funding

  • Stakeholder-driven Development

  • Innovation

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1. Advocacy Engagement . . . .

Key Point: Funding Advocacy fills a vacuum for local gov’t, which often finds it difficult to advocate for funds


Local gov’t has neither the time nor expertise in writing proposals

Local government is not well equipped for project implementation

Through LNGO Advocacy, it can participate in design decisions but assign responsibility to LNGO for implementation

  • KAPE sees its primary role as an advocate for resources in its home base/province

  • It was a deliberate choice to avoid being nationally based because it . . .

    • Keeps the agency in touch with local needs

    • Limits competition with national government for donor funds

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Key Conclusions: Engagement . . . .

  • Funding Advocacy has been an important form of PPP with $5 million in revenues raised in 10 years

  • Funding Advocacy is welcomed by local government (nothing to lose and everything to gain)

  • Complements resourcing from Central Government and promotes local innovation

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2. Stakeholder-Driven Development Engagement . . . .

In all of its projects, there is a conscious effort to avoid top-down development

KAPE does not use standardized packages for services; stakeholders design the programming

This promotes ownership and by extension sustainability

Implementation approaches are guided by the maxim, ‘Freedom in a fixed structure’

Examples of mediating approaches

Open-ended school grants

Activity Menus

Local Implementation Committees

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3. Focus on Innovation Pilots Engagement . . . .

  • As noted earlier, Public Private Partnership between KAPE and government has mainly taken the form of innovative pilots within the state system

  • KAPE has developed several pilots that have since helped government with national replication:

    • Girls’ Scholarships (2001)

    • Student Remedial Classes (2002)

    • Child Friendly Schools Initiative (2002)

    • Community Teachers (2005)

    • Thin Client Technology in IT provision (2008)

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In summary, . . . Engagement . . . .

  • KAPE has pursued Public Private Partnerships in the form of

    • Funding Advocacy and

    • Innovative Pilots

  • It has been lucky that PPPs have been facilitated by a convergence of agendas

  • KAPE would reject the ‘blank slate’ model of service delivery

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Part 4 Engagement . . . .: Successes & Challenges

General Reflections

  • KAPE’s influence on service delivery in the sector has been disproportionate to its size

  • There is little doubt that the education service sector in Cambodia would be quite different without the inputs made

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How did KAPE have this influence? . . . Engagement . . . .

  • Basing service delivery on empirical investigation

  • Innovative programming based on empirical understanding of the context made for compelling proposals

  • Second-guessing the Zeitgeist

  • Non-threatening approach

  • Networking

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Successes Engagement . . . .

Established a unique relationship with national and local government to promote innovation & policy change

Through advocacy, the agency brought $5 million in cash investment in its service area, mainly for services (not infrastructure)

An additional $15 million in in-kind investment occurred, mainly for school breakfast programming

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Challenges for an Expanded PPP Engagement . . . .

The Two Scourges of PPP when it comes to direct service delivery: Replication & Sustainability

Replication because it implies formulaic definitions of service delivery for an expanded roll out (local agendas, quality)

Sustainability because it disallows payments for incentives

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  • As the agency gets bigger, the pressure to go national becomes greater

  • How to avoid compromising local development agendas with government/donor agendas?

  • Becoming bigger is changing the management culture in the agency, which affects service delivery (e.g., access to decision-makers)

  • Expanded service delivery networks means less time and resources for innovation

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Lessons Learned becomes greater

  • Service delivery models developed by KAPE are quite localized and not designed for national replication

  • Community-based NSPs such as KAPE are solicitous of their local agendas. This must be taken into account in efforts to better utilize them in the future

  • Utilization requires more systematic capacity building investments in NSPs, particularly the non-profit ones

  • Need to complement, not replace or compete with gov’t

  • Key Issue: Donors and Government often see the necessity of innovative pilots going national;

  • This often presents us with a difficult choice between fragmentation/innovation versus uniform replication and dilution