Day in the Life of a Cambodian CSO

This week I took a pause from drafting the literature review on comparative cyber law and data privacy. Instead, my assignments were related to non-profit practice in Cambodia.


I researched Cambodian administrative and education law, in support of a new project ODC is developing. For municipal permitting, Cambodia has a system called “OWSO,” or the “One Window Service Office.” This functions as a one-stop shop for Cambodians for land use, business, education and sport permits, and other administrative permits, and studies show it has been well-received by the citizenry. Most people who have worked in state government in the United States will have at one point told someone over the phone that they need to call another office, get another document or permit; that generally, they’re in the wrong place. An OWSO system, at least in theory, prevents confusion and lower transaction costs.


The education law in Cambodia that I research was more specific than the cyber law. Lists identify concrete, measurable requirements; the language is more specific. Nevertheless, I was not able to find a directly analogous situation in the law for the proposed project, which will be a relatively uncommon one in Cambodia. This makes OWSOs all the more valuable, and hopefully they will be able to provide an authoritative interpretation on whether certain requirements apply or not.


Finally, I had several assignments writing grant proposals and grant impact statements. Having been a classical musician before law school, I am well aware of the importance of fundraising, and I have always been curious about the grant writing process. While the written work was brief, it offered a good look and practical experience in this field.