EWMI takes pride in its commitment to its local partners, and established the Partner Legacy Support Program in 2013 as a mechanism to continue to fund its partners around the world. To date, EWMI has accepted donations from individuals, foundations, and donor advised funds for partners in Cambodia, Kosovo and Liberia that promote access to justice for the most vulnerable groups in various political, economic and cultural contexts.
EWMI Programs in Cambodia
Green Equity Asia, a special initiative of the East-West Management Institute, Inc., works at the intersection of private equity investment, natural resources conservation and community empowerment in the dynamic growth economies of Asia. Our initial priority is the Lower Mekong sub-region, a region of breathtaking biodiversity, conservation innovation, and mounting investment. In Cambodia, for example, the Ministry of Environment has consolidated the government’s conservation lands – a full 40 percent of Cambodia’s land mass is now under the Ministry’s protected areas system.
The Cambodian Civil Society Strengthening (CCSS) project, implemented by the East-West Management Institute, Inc., is a USAID project aimed at strengthening the organizational and technical capacity of Cambodian civil society organizations (CSOs) and grassroots networks. The project will work with CSOs to improve their management, planning, and analytical skills while enabling them to play a more active role in Cambodia’s economic and political development.
Building Foundations of Justice is a two-year, EU-funded projected implemented in partnership by International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), Samreth Law Group (SLG), and the East West Management Institute (EWMI). The project aims to enhance delivery of justice and rule of law in Cambodia, particularly at the local level, by building and strengthening three of the key foundations of an effective justice sector: trained and accountable justice officials, effective legal aid providers, and citizens who are knowledgeable of their rights and responsibilities.
The Open Development Initiative (ODI) is an open data and information network developed by EWMI that sheds light on development trends in the Lower Mekong Basin. The lower Mekong basin is a trans-boundary ecosystem shared by 6 countries providing a central livelihood and food security to 65 million people as the largest inland fishery in the world.
2008 – 2014
Cambodia has suffered decades of political volatility and civil war, including the devastating violence of the Khmer Rouge period that still scars the country. Over the past 10 years, a measure of stability and economic progress has been achieved, but significant challenges to development still remain: weak government institutions, displaced populations, an increased demand for natural resources, especially land, and a weak civil society.
Cambodia is home to a wealth of natural resources and diverse ecosystems, yet it has one of the worst deforestation rates in the world. Rich, powerful developers are rapidly transforming Cambodia’s forests into plantations and mining operations. This unbridled exploitation of natural resources threatens the economic and social fabric of Cambodia’s forest-dependent communities, especially its indigenous minorities.
Through the Safeguarding Cambodian’s Land Rights Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, EWMI worked to help Cambodian citizens secure their rights to land. The project focused on improving individuals' ability to secure title to lands that historically they and their families have occupied. As part of its efforts, EWMI trained and supported a network of grassroots "Party Assistants" to advise and assist citizens in resolving land disputes.
EWMI designed and implemented a public awareness campaign to increase awareness on land rights and other issues related to land tenure in Cambodia through a contract with the European Commission, as part of its Economic and Social Relaunch of Northwest Provinces (ECOSORN) project. Building on the design and project approach of EWMI’s other land rights and education initiatives in Cambodia, EWMI, conducted a baseline survey in the target areas to get information about gaps in land law knowledge as well as media preferences among target beneficiaries.
2005 – 2008
EWMI, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), provided assistance to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) in Cambodia to support ADB and international efforts to develop the policy and legal framework to ensure that the Royal Government of Cambodia is in compliance with ADB and World Bank policies on involuntary resettlement. More specifically, EWMI assisted the Government to develop a resettlement policy and prepare a sub decree on compensation, resettlement, and rehabilitation for use when the state takes privately owned or occupied land.
2003 – 2008
EWMI’s USAID-funded Program on Rights and Justice (PRAJ) in Cambodia combined work with Cambodian NGOs and legal institutions to improve access and quality of justice and judicial system transparency in Cambodia. Through financial and technical support to local NGOs, EWMI supported legal aid and advocacy efforts for those people most marginalized and underrepresented. From a legal standpoint, EWMI worked with local organizations to litigate high impact cases that represent larger issues relevant outside the scope of the actual case. EWMI also promoted clinical legal training through the Cambodian Bar Association’s Legal Training Center.
2001 – 2006
With support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), EMWI provided extensive assistance to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) from 2001 – 2006 through two phases of a program geared towards improving the security of land tenure in the Kingdom of Cambodia.