Six-Monthly Program Reflection Workshop

Six-Monthly Program Reflection Workshop

On 26 August 2020, the six-monthly program reflection workshop was organised by the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program with participants from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), Disability Action Council (DAC), Persons with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF), and the ACCESS Implementing Partners (IP).

The six-monthly reflection workshop is a routine learning exercise for the program that provides an opportunity for relevant program stakeholders to meet, brainstorm and discuss major achievements, lessons learnt and challenges, as well as propose recommendations or corrective actions for future implementation. This exercise was even more essential in the given context of the global COVID-19 pandemic which has had a severe impact on Cambodia and its development programs including ACCESS. Specifically, the restrictions imposed as part of the prevention measures such as international and in-country mobility, social distancing, and avoidance of public gatherings, affected program implementation.

Her excellency Nhean Sochetra, General Director of the Social Development Department, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, stated, “Due to COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to restrict movement for several months. However, we continue to provide support services to the victims of gender-based violence. Even though we faced challenges in meeting our planned targets during the past six months, we are now presented with a new opportunity of finding ways to implement our planned activities while practising social distancing. The GBV services hotline and Zoom are examples of how we have pivoted our services in light of COVID-19.”

She added, “During the pandemic, we provided capacity building to GBV service providers through workshops and online counselling to survivors of GBV. Furthermore, we also handed overprotective materials to targeted provinces through the support of the ACCESS Program.”

Through the ACCESS Program, the Government of Australia has put persons with disabilities and women affected by violence at the centre of COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. The reflection workshop was a fruitful exercise that engaged all the stakeholders of the Program to ensure a holistic approach towards program implementation, and the continuation of the provision of services to respond to the additional challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.