Thursday, July 17, 2014

Welcome to the Kingdom of Cambodia!!

Hello!  I am a dual degree graduate student pursuing a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) and a Masters of Applied Economics (MAE) at the University of Michigan.  Since May 25, I have been working with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.  My assignments here are to increase the reach of the ILO’s small enterprise support efforts and create new approaches that facilitate this effort.

This is my first visit to Cambodia, even though I’ve been to many Southeast Asian countries, such as Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Cambodia has common things with other Southeast Asian countries, but features its singular cultures and long history which cannot be found in other countries.

After regaining its political stability, Cambodia’s economy has grown rapidly and enjoyed sustained growth. That’s why there are a lot of foreigners visiting to do business here and many nonprofit organizations eager to establish advantageous programs for Cambodians. C-BED, an innovative methodology developed by the ILO, is also one of those programs.  Last year, Jordi Prat Tuca, the first WDI intern working for C-BED in the ILO, supported the sub-regional program on C-BED, identifying new governmental and non-governmental partners in Cambodia, enabling them to understand how the C-BED approach works, and how it fits with their own services. This year, my assignments are a little different in that my specific tasks are to analyze how C-BED has linkages and add value to programs at the national level in Cambodia, and to develop a working knowledge of community-based training methodologies and development approaches to enterprise development at the base of the pyramid.

I want to introduce my office located in the Phnom Penh center, and a few colleagues.

This is the front of the building where the ILO places, and the ILO office is on the third floor.

Can you see ILO’s logo?

The ILO office has been under construction due to reducing the size of the office, and last week, it was finished. The lady in the above picture is the receptionist of the ILO, and she is also responsible for administrative assistance for staff.

I asked my college, Lody, to take a picture together!!!  She is so kind and awesome!  Lody is a program assistant working for the ILO for more than 4 years.  She is so knowledgaeable about Phnom Penh that with her help, I could handle many logistic problems easily.
Except for the ILO, there are many UN agencies in Phnom Penh, which means Cambodia has a potential to grow  and needs strong external support to develop the whole areas in terms of economic, politics, and society. I am very happy I can be of help as well.  Personally, I am so happy with this great opportunity to experience the ILO because I have long wished to utilize my academic and professional experience, combined with my passion and commitment to participate in the development of the Southeast Asian economy.

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