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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)
1. Aspects of Regulatory
Environment & Service Delivery
2. KAPE: Brief Agency
3. Approaches to Service
Delivery & Manifestations of PPP
4. Successes, Challenges,
& Lessons Learned
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.
Part 1: Aspects of the Regulatory Environment & Service Delivery
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
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
The contrast with the Health Sector. ..
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 Nonprofit NSPs
About for-profit service providers in education . . .
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.)
Kinds of Service Support Provided by Nonprofits
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
Why do 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.
About the Regulatory Framework
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
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
Overall Impacts (cont.)
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
But . . .
The current environment has ensured that Public Private Partnerships with non-profits have not focused on direct service delivery independent of the state sector
Part 2: About KAPE Agency Background
Date Established: Staffing: Revenues 1999-2009:
Bilateral: Multilateral: Private:
1999 70 $4,957,000
80% 4% 16%
Main Sector of Focus Current Projects:
Formal Education 8 Projects
Some Key Observations . . .
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
Historical Beginnings 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
Child Friendly School Programming Scholarships School Breakfasts Girls’ Education Life Skills Education Minority Education Prevention of Child Labor Child to Child Educational Services
Part 3: Approaches to Service Delivery
1. Advocacy for
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
Key Point: Funding Advocacy fills a vacuum for local gov’t, which often finds it difficult to advocate for funds Why?? 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
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
2. Stakeholder-Driven Development
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
3. Focus on Innovation Pilots
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)
In summary, . . .
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
Part 4: 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
How did KAPE have this influence? . . .
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
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
Challenges for an Expanded PPP
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
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
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