From a small office in Takeo province to a professional organization characterized by innovation: 10 years of People in Need CambodiaPublished: Jan 9, 2019 Reading time: 4 minutes
In 2008, People in Need (PIN) laid ground in Cambodia with a small main office in Takeo province. A decade later, from its base in the capital, PIN Cambodia has matured into a vigorous and professional organization characterized by innovation.
“We were the first organization in Cambodia to collect monitoring and evaluation data using mobile phones. Moreover, we have also developed some of the most innovative technology solutions that respond to critical needs of people — Tepmaccha, Early Warning System 1294, iTenure, and mHealth to name a few,” says PIN Cambodia Country Director Paul Conrad.
To date, PIN Cambodia is home to 53 passionate staff, two of whom are EU aid volunteers. Our passionate team are full of creativity, professional drive, innovative ideas, and commitment to achieve our vision. With donor support, we are working on four different programs. PIN Cambodia has shed positive light on both rural and urban areas of Cambodia using its expertise in health, alternative livelihood development, disaster management, and land use planning.
Maternal and Child Health
Since our inception, the soaring maternal death rate has been reduced and poor child development outcomes related to malnutrition have improved. “The strengthening of midwives and health center staff capacity, and the development of infrastructure, coupled with the delivery of voice messages via mobile phone technology, are helping rural and disadvantaged communities have better access to health services, knowledge, and practices,” Paul Conrad explains. Along with maternal and child health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure are promoted at local levels through community-based education. As a result, the program is benefiting over 17,000 rural households in 5 Cambodian provinces where we operate has improved.
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Livelihood and environment
Sustainability is part of our story. We strive to enable rural people to pursue sustainable development. “With the introduction of biogas and solar energy - more efficient, convenient and environmental sources of energy - rural families, and the natural environment, are both in a better condition,” says Paul Conrad. In a similar vein, we have placed strong emphasis on the livestock sector. We use a variety of methods and techniques in order to strengthen stakeholders’ capacity, increase accessibility to services and create a network among livestock producers, service providers and market actors. As a result, our program has benefitted approximately 60,000 households across 17 provinces in Cambodia.
We use information and communication technologies to sustainably increase and improve disaster resilience and management. To this end, we have three main areas of focus: disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, and emergency response and recovery.
We combine local knowledge with satellite images and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technologies to map, construct and upgrade community safe sites and key community assets to build resilience to future hazards. “Moreover, PIN Cambodia has developed an early warning system, EWS 1294, using mobile and cloud technologies with an aim to ensure timely warning to people in disaster prone communities,” Paul Conrad says. Lastly, PIN has supported communities to recover by providing humanitarian assistance to affected individuals and families as a response to natural disasters. For instance, after severe flooding in 2016, PIN Cambodia responded with immediate logistical assistance to affected people in Koh Kong province.
We use participatory and innovative approaches with local authorities and communities, to implement pro-poor initiatives that build sustainable futures for communities.
“Like all of People in Need’s programs, we use innovative technology – in this case the iTenure application - to empower urban eviction-prone households to exercise their rights and confidently bring issues to the discussion table,” explains Paul Conrad. We have also integrated WASH action planning to promote healthcare and life-saving activities, and equip urban households with knowledge to improve their lives.
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Accepting our limitations is vital to improvement. “People in Need Cambodia, though rich in ideas and insight, would not have been able to advance our programs effectively without the collective efforts of our donors, international and local partners, the authorities, the private sector, NGOs, volunteers, and interns,” says PIN Regional Director for Asia Vera Exnerova.
People in Need Cambodia would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all relevant stakeholders who have worked with us over the past 10 years. We look forward to successful cooperation in the future!