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May 2005

Announcement of a publication

Guidelines for participatory village planning for the National Programme for Food Security and Poverty Reduction

Cambodia 2005

by Bernd Seiffert
Rural Institutions and Participation Service
FAO Rural Development Division

and Joseph Kodamanchaly

These guidelines are for the use of Village Planning Workshop Facilitation Team members working with the National Programme for Food Security and Poverty (FSPR) in Cambodia. The development objective of the Programme is to improve the food security situation and to reduce the levels of poverty in currently 6 provinces, 15 districts and 180 villages.

At the village level the programme operates mainly through:

  1. Farmer Field Schools and field demonstration
  2. Small Savings and Credit Groups of FFS participants
  3. Community Micro Projects relevant to Food Security

The participatory village planning workshops are conducted to bring the villagers to the centre of decision making when preparing community micro projects that are part of their overall village development plans. While the Farmer Field School (FFS) activities of the FSPR primarily benefit 30 food insecure Farmer Field School participants, the Community micro projects are aimed to support the entire community or larger groups of the most food insecure in the village.

The participatory village planning workshop is conducted to jointly identify common key problems relevant to the food security situation in the village, to analyze the causes of key problems, to identify the livelihood strategies people use to cope with the problem and to discuss the potentials available to minimize or solve the problems to improve food security and livelihoods. Based on this analysis priorities for community micro project ideas will be identified and draft community micro project plans will be developed.

The results of the participatory village planning workshop will help the FSPR team to prepare draft village investment plans. The implementation of the Community Micro Projects will be the responsibility of the village. The supervision of the micro projects will fall into the responsibility of the VDC, while an elected group of villagers will have the key responsibility to take the necessary actions as outlined in their community micro project plans. The district officers will have the responsibility of providing technical advice and regular monitoring, while being backstopped by the provincial FSPR team.

Community micro projects that are regarded as a priority, technically feasible and financially sound, can also directly support activities of the FFS (e.g. wells, irrigation infrastructure), provided they benefit the entire community or a large group of the most poor. This linkage to the seasonal planning calendar of the FFS makes it unfortunately difficult to follow the planning calendar used in some villages/communes as part of the governmental decentralized planning process. However, the results of the village planning workshops will be integrated in the overall village and commune level planning processes.

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