Final ACCESS Steering Committee Meeting: Phase I Achievements and introduction to Phase II

Final ACCESS Steering Committee Meeting: Phase I Achievements and introduction to Phase II

The Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) program collaborated with the government partners to organise its Final ACCESS Steering Committee (ASC) Meeting to celebrate the achievements and key lessons learned in Phase I and to introduce ACCESS II.

The meeting was held on 31 August 2023 in Phnom Penh and co-chaired by Mr Andreas Zurbrugg, Deputy Ambassador of the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, and H.E Em Chan Makara, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Social Affairs Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), and Secretary General of the Disability Action Council-Secretariat General (DAC-SG). Other ACCESS Steering Committee members, including representatives from the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, MoSVY, MoWA, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Interior, DAC, Independent Member and ACCESS team members also joined the discussion. Deputy Provincial Governors in charge of the gender-based violence (GBV) response working group and Provincial DAC in the targeted provinces, including Kampong Speu, Siem Reap, and Kampong Cham, were in attendance to witness the highlighting of the program’s remarkable achievements and to learn about the transition to ACCESS II.

Key government partners from MoSVY and MoWA presented the achievements in each sector over the five-year implementation period of ACCESS I and shared key lessons learned, while recommendations from the final evaluation of ACCESS I were presented by representatives from DFAT.

Mr Andreas Zurbrugg stated in the meeting, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank this steering committee for great leadership and oversight of the implementation of the ACCESS Program, that has achieved tremendous outcomes, despite the many challenges and difficulties the program has encountered during the past few years such as the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, and the very busy diplomatic schedule for Cambodia.”

H.E Em Chan Makara stated during his address that he appreciated the work of ACCESS which supported both persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV. He said: “ACCESS actually works within the framework of partnership with the Royal Government and for the sustainability of work by mobilising other partners to implement the National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women (NAPVAW) and the National Disability Strategic Plan (NDSP).”

H.E Em Chan Makara further commended the Steering Committee, Implementing Partners and program team for the many achievements that had been made together over the past five years of program implementation both in the disability and GBV sectors at the national and sub-national levels.

The Australian Government, through the ACCESS Program, works in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia and Implementing Partners to improve the sustainability, quality and inclusiveness of services for persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV.