San Chey, ANSA-EAP Network Fellow for Cambodia
For San Chey, ANSA EAP's first network fellow, the association with ANSA-EAP has been an enriching one. It strengthened his governance work in Cambodia, gave him the experience he needed to become a more effective builder of coalitions, and molded him to become a leader in his own right.
ANSA-EAP, he says, helped him become an effective builder of coalitions. “ANSA EAP gave me the experience I needed in coordinating with NGOs and government agencies. Because of this, I am able to work with the local government, the youth, and other stakeholders. I am able to coordinate activities better because of my improved experience.”
Beyond improving his skills, ANSA EAP also made him a more knowledgeable and more effective guide to other networks. Being able to contribute to others is a two-way process: just as it enriches others, it also expands Chey’s understanding of issues and processes and makes him grow as a person.
With his expanded capacities, Chey is able to provide assistance to more stakeholders. “Some networks are not strong or familiar on how to approach government agencies and need intervention, and we are able to provide that. I can lead, consult, and give them points of intervention in demanding for accountability. Their capacity is expanded from us. I am able to choose the right NGO in working for, solving and demanding good governance and transparency. [By b]ecoming a network fellow, I can provide capacity building to the right people and the right NGO in their required field. They say that ANSA-EAP is helpful to their current work. Together with my colleagues and other members of the team, we are able to work well together with NGOs.”
Chey leads ANSA EAP’s activities to build up the network’s capacity for social accountability. The trainings include sessions on negotiation skills, dealing with media and interacting with government. The network has its own Freedom of Expression team that works on awareness campaigns and provides training and orientation.
This year, his team provided an orientation and gave recommendations on monitoring vehicle tax collection, which has been the focus of anticorruption activists. His team was able to attest to the government agency’s anticorruption efforts and worked with the ministries on how to link NGO’s and government’s efforts together. “We paved the way for cooperation through our team,” he said. “Through government engagement, we saw the importance of cooperation among groups.” Being able to set the stage for these engagements to take place adds value to his work as a network fellow and as a good governance advocate.
Because of ANSA’s good reputation, Chey says his mandate to build coalitions and strengthen the network has become less challenging. Whenever he has to invite a resource person, he encounters no difficulty because of ANSA’s good reputation. “This is because of the personality of ANSA. We have real capacity because of it.” Personally, he also benefits from ANSA EAP’s good reputation, because it allows him to push forward with his personal agenda of pushing for transparency and good governance in his country.
Complementing his work at ANSA EAP, Chey hosts a radio show and is often interviewed on corruption, governance and social accountability issues in Cambodia. This is how he shares his knowledge of issues and processes, learned through ANSA-EAP, to the larger population. He attributes the high regard that people and media hold for him and his team to ANSA EAP. “Our team likes speaking to media, and we are reachable and accessible to all –- the government and the NGO community. Our personal success stories make the public aware of us,” he says. This awareness, in turn, helps raise the demand for good governance and builds good relations with other stakeholders in Cambodia, which is what Chey aspires for.