Building Stronger Local Organizations in Cambodia

For Cambodians returning to their native country, starting over is an extraordinary challenge. Few of those returning have much, if any, knowledge of the local language and customs; even fewer have the necessary resources. The Returnee Integration Support Center, or RISC, was established in 2009 as a locally owned and led organization dedicated to helping returnees become independent, productive members of Cambodian society and ensuring their long-term integration into the community.

Villa Kim (left), co-director of RISC, received management training from the CBCLO Program. RISC has now established robust management policies and practices so that it can better serve Cambodia’s returnee population.

RISC is staffed by a small, dedicated team of four people. In 2014, RISC was identified to receive funding from the USAID mission in Cambodia; however, with no written policies, procedures, or electronic accounting system, RISC was ineligible for funding.

The organization began working with the Capacity Building of Cambodia’s Local Organizations (CBCLO) Program to improve RISC’s financial, administrative, procurement, M&E, and organizational management systems.

Since then, RISC staff members have attended four trainings, including courses on USAID allowable and unallowable costs, QuickBooks for NGOs, concept note development, and M&E indicators. In addition, CBCLO staff provided nearly 80 hours of direct mentorship and support to RISC to develop finance and procurement policies. As a result of the training and support, RISC adopted QuickBooks accounting software to accurately track expenses.

The results were immediate and significant. RISC is now able to generate financial reports that allow them to better understand their financial needs and resources.

‘[Program implementer] IESC helped RISC develop items that RISC never had before: an internal policy, financial and procurement policies and guidance to create forms for financial use,’ said Villa Kim, RISC’s co-director.

As a result of this support, RISC is a stronger organization that can be sustained into the future. What is more, RISC can capitalize on these improvements to scale its activities for Cambodian returnees.

This story is made possible with the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of IESC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

© 2008-2023 Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC)