GoAL WaSH Cambodia

Enhancing for pro-poor Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) governance through improved decision-making and performance management.


Cambodia joined the GoAL WaSH Programme in 2015. The planned work includes development of a WaSH Governance Guide and other capacity building efforts, to strengthen management of the WaSH sector at the sub-national level. The programme is a joint collaboration between UNDP and UN-Habitat in the region.

To meet the growing demands of water supply and sanitation in the context of population growth in Cambodia (at the rate of 4-4.5%) and accelerated urban migration, the current top-down approach in the sector needs be de-concentrated and, at a later stage, decentralized. In order to achieve such reforms, significant capacity building at the commune, district and provincial levels with sufficient allocation of the resources is an urgent need.

Currently the capacity and understanding of WASH related issues and management are quite limited. In addition, there are limited resources of inadequate quality to manage WASH initiatives at sub-national levels. The importance of de-centralization and de-concentration reforms is to bring decision-making down to the level where there is specific knowledge about the problems so as to make the management process more effective and efficient. In particular the ownership of the WASH sector needs to be increasingly managed by sub-national governments because sustainability of WASH initiatives could only be sustained by increasing the capacity and ownership of the local governments.

Cambodia has a good legal and institutional foundation for developing good governance in the WASH sector at the sub-national levels, based on national policies and strategies. This sets the direction to improve the quality of service delivery at the provincial, district and commune levels. However, implementation has been far from effective particularly at sub-national levels.

The GoAL WaSH project intends to generate a framework to overcome the ineffectiveness in the WASH sector at sub-national levels by enhancing coordination and augmenting decision-making at the sub-national levels through the development of a governance guide and related capacity building efforts.

The WASH Governance Guide aims to empower sub-national levels to better manage the WASH sector. The strengthened sub-national governments will contribute to the nationally initiated decentralisation and deconcentration reforms process.


Mr. Avi Sarkar (external)

Regional Technical Advisor South-East Asia Water for Asian Cities Programme & MEK-WATSAN Initiative, UN-HABITAT

Dr. Alejandro Jiménez

Programme Director

Ms. Lotten Hubendick

Programme Officer