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The Asia Foundation and The Australian Embassy Launch Second Phase of Ponlok Chomnes

November 17, 2023 — On November 15, The Australian Embassy and The Asia Foundation announced the second phase of the Ponlok Chomnes: Data and Dialogue for Development in Cambodia program to strengthen Cambodia’s knowledge sector and inclusive policy processes. In addition to keynote remarks from H.E. Ros Seilava, Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance, representatives from the government, development partners, think tanks, universities, civil society organizations, and media attended, highlighting the collaborative spirit of the development program. The event also marked the availability of program funding opportunities for Cambodian knowledge sector institutions and civil society organizations.

Ponlok Chomnes: Data and Dialogue for Development in Cambodia Phase II (2023-2027) aims to advance the integration of evidence-informed decision-making and inclusive dialogue into public policy processes. This initiative builds on the learnings from Ponlok Chomnes Phase I (2019-2023), which focused on developing the capacities of Cambodian institutions in conducting quality research to inform policy analysis and discussion. The second phase will focus on the practical application of these approaches, striving to establish evidence-informed decision-making as routine practice in the governance of Cambodia.

Ambassador Justin Whyatt highlighted the timeliness of the initiative, aligning with the Royal Government’s recent announcement of the Pentagonal Strategy Phase I following the general election. “The Pentagonal Strategy will guide Cambodia’s development in the next five years, including the Royal Government’s commitment to inclusive development. The government has demonstrated strong support for data-informed approaches to policymaking, and the Ponlok Chomnes program stands ready to assist governmental bodies and civil society to navigate the evolving developmental landscape of Cambodia.”

Meloney Lindberg, country representative for The Asia Foundation Cambodia, reiterated the program’s goals, “In its second phase, Ponlok Chomnes seeks to address emerging opportunities in Cambodia, such as enhancing platforms for inclusive dialogue and contributing to increasing integrated policy evidence and demands for local knowledge sources. The program will engage and build trust among diverse groups of policy actors in the policy processes, including representatives from the government, local think tanks, academics, individual experts, civil society organizations, and local communities.”

The event discussion highlighted key program strategies, approaches, and partners, reflecting the program’s emphasis on inclusive dialogue. This includes the support provided by the Ponlok Chomnes I Technical Advisory Council and partners, the Technical Steering Committee, Strategic Partners, and the Gender Equality, Disability and Inclusion Consortium.

Cambodian knowledge sector institutions and civil society organizations can apply for the Innovation Fund to conduct inclusive research, communication, or dialogue initiatives in Cambodia. Details and application processes can be found on the Ponlok Chomnes’ Policy Pulse website at

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by 70 years of experience and deep local knowledge, our work is focused on governance, climate action, gender equity, education and leadership, inclusive growth, and international cooperation. We work in more than 20 countries through our 17 permanent country offices and programs across Asia and the Pacific, supported by a headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Washington, DC. Our funding comes from a diverse array of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals.

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Related locations: Cambodia
Related programs: Good Governance
Related topics: Ponlok Chomnes

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