Our Rights, Our Development

Tuesday 4 December 2018

While holding a poster on Information for Citizens which he had been presenting to communities, a Community Accountability Facilitator, Yim Soksan, told us about his achievements since starting this role in mid-2016.

“I am happy to do this as I can help myself and my community to understand about their rights,” said Soksan.

Like other people in his village in Tboung Khmum, Soksan did not have access to basic information about citizens’ rights to essential social services: local health centers, commune administration, and primary schools. Plus, he was not satisfied with the attitudes, behaviors and quality of service provided, particularly by the commune health center.

“One day, I brought my mother to Dar health center, and the commune health workers looked her up and down,” explained Soksan. “After asking me a few questions related to my mother and money, they rudely told me to take her to Memot district hospital without clarifying the reasons at all.”

In 2016, Save the Children and our partner, Phnom Srey Organisation for Development (PSOD), started implementing the Voice and Action project in his community. Soksan was selected to be a Community Accountability Facilitator – a community volunteer who works with citizens and service providers to facilitate discussion on how local services can be improved. Through trainings provided by the project, he has gained a good understanding of citizens’ rights and been coached on facilitation skills, which he has applied to facilitate meetings, disseminate information for citizens, and conduct reflections with his team and staff from PSOD. He has shown great confidence in facilitating community scorecards, self-assessments, and interface meetings with citizens and local authorities.

Due in part to Soksan’s successful facilitation, the health workers at Dar Health Center have changed their attitudes and behaviors towards citizens.

“Health center staff are now providing patients friendly service delivery,” explained Soksan. “The villagers are happy with their services and as a result, we have seen more people accessing the healthcare at Dar health center.”

Soksan explained that the center has made their service more user-friendly, such as by posting signs to show the direction to the latrines, and staff members now make a point of welcoming patients to the health center.  

Because of these changes, he has seen that citizens are more satisfied with the health center services; in 2017, citizens rated the health center much more favorably than in 2016.

Soksan told us that he is very proud to be Community Accountability Facilitator, and he’s not stopping now. “I will increase my knowledge and capacity in my role so I can better support citizens in my community,” said Soksan. “With this achievement, I will be able to improve other services, so they can provide better services to my community.”