Partners under Ponlok Chomnes Phase II

Strategic Partners

With support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Ponlok Chomnes II (PCII) will support five strategic partners to implement the program strategy and activities. The program strategy and activities will be guided by the Strategic Partners’ strategic directions, their specific areas of expertise, and their selected opportunity cases.

During the Program implementation, under each opportunity case, the Strategic Partners will conduct research or use existing research; communicate this research through a variety of methods; and hold inclusive dialogues. Across all these three policy approaches, The Asia Foundation will supplement with organizational capacity.

The Strategic Partners can implement all or some of the following program activities based on their selected opportunity cases. The phasing of the activities will differ from partner to partner.

The five strategic partners have been identified and they are:

Innovation Partners

The Ponlok Chomnes Innovation Fund is a competitive process for Cambodian organisations to propose and test their innovative ideas in response to emerging policy opportunities/issues either at the national or subnational level. This Innovation Fund is expected to support up to four Cambodian organisations. This would be an eight-month to twelve-month grant.

The Ponlok Chomnes Innovation Fund will support innovative ideas that use inclusive approaches to address inclusive climate resilience; digital transformation; situation, needs, and access of GEDSI accessing public services; women, peace, and security; and other policy-relevant topics. In addition, selected partners will have access to a wider network of knowledge ecosystem in Cambodia. Partners will be able to strengthen their existing networks and build new networks through Ponlok Chomnes’ convening mechanisms, including policy dialogues. Through these mechanisms, partners will be able to increase their opportunities to interact with other partners and policymakers at both the national and sub-national levels.

During the call for Expressions of Interest for Innovation Fund (ROUND ONE), four institutions were identified. They include:


GEDSI Consortium

The Ponlok Chomnes Program aims to promote the voices and perspectives of women, people with disabilities, and other socially disadvantaged groups by ensuring their meaningful participation in select policy issues. Therefore, the program has formed the Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Consortium consisting of expert organisations in gender, disability, and other socially disadvantaged groups to integrate the GEDSI lens into the program’s processes, activities, and operations. The GEDSI Consortium also provides the program and the program partners access to their wide range of local networks and groups in Cambodia such as indigenous, ethnic minorities, and marginalised communities.


Three Civil Society Organisations have been identified and sought partnership establishment to support GEDSI mainstreaming within the program. They encompass:


Within the 4-year program of the Ponlok Chomnes Program, the GEDSI Consortium will perform the following capacity-building and advisory roles:

  • Provide gender and disability capacity building to the program team and program partners;
  • Offer expert insights on specific needs and priorities of marginalised communities;
  • Advise the program partners’ activities such as research (review designs and proposals), effective communication, and inclusive dialogue;
  • Facilitate various target groups’ engagement at both national and sub-national levels;
  • Support the program on Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning to ensure GEDSI objectives and desired results are properly tracked, monitored, and reported;
  • Support Strategic Partners to create internal GEDSI policies to be utilised within the organisations (where relevant); and
  • Provide recommendations to the program (where relevant and based on request).


Technical Steering Committee

The Technical Steering Committee is a semi-formal body consisting of approximately 12 members to support implementation and ensure active engagement and ownership of the government.

Members include representatives from the ministries actively involved in policy planning, implementation and review processes; technical experts; key informants and representatives from academia and civil society organizations involved in diverse policy processes.

The Technical Steering Committee provides strategic advice to support the successful implementation of the program.

  • Providing strategic guidance and oversight to the program’s partners in navigating policy processes
  • Bridging where possible between the program’s partners and relevant policy processes
  • Participate in policy dialogues and program events as a speaker/panelist
  • Championing the importance of evidence-based decision-making and independent research within the wider public and communities
  • Identifying opportunities for holding dialogues and using evidence in their work, seeking ways to maximize the impact of research findings on policy processes and outcomes

Ministry Focal Points

In Phase 1, the Ponlok Chomnes Program recognized the importance of engaging with ministries early on and therefore have been engaging with 21 Ministry Focal Points. In Phase 2, the Program team has decided to continue and refine this practice to align with the program’s commitment to sustaining and improving successful engagement strategies.

Potential engagement of the Ministry Focal Points with the Program includes:

  • Share crucial policy process information, including research and dialogue updates on behalf of their ministries. From the Program’s side, send regular updates.
  • Participate in Ponlok Chomnes policy dialogue.
  • Facilitate connections with relevant individuals within their ministry and across networks.
  • Engage in knowledge-sharing sessions, including topics like M&E, research methodologies, and data sourcing organized by the Program.


Partners Under Ponlok Chomnes Phase I


The Asia Foundation selected a number of local organizations each round to receive Emerging Research Fund and Collaborative Research Fund to conduct discrete pieces of quality research with policy relevance either at local or national level.

The Ponlok Chomnes Phase I Emerging Research Fund competition aimed to support any organizations doing action research or working on diverse development issues that impact policy, particularly, nascent, traditionally under-represented, and/or smaller organizations. This effort will give visibility and voice to a broad and diverse pool of potential recipients to propose innovative research and are ultimately able to produce quality research, particularly on issues that may not be areas of focus for larger, more established organizations.

During the Expression of Interest (EOI) for Emerging Research Fund (ROUND ONE), four institutions were identified. They include:

During the Expression of Interest (EOI) for Emerging Research Fund (ROUND TWO), two institutions were identified. They include:

During the Expression of Interest (EOI) for Emerging Research Fund (ROUND THREE), four institutions were identified. They include:


The Ponlok Chomnes Phase I Collaborative Research Fund was a competitive process for think tanks/research institutions to propose a joint rapid action-research in consultation and collaboration with various government ministries in Cambodia. The proposed research should focus on policy issues related to Cambodia’s post-COVID-19 recovery; Cambodia’s foreign policy and/or international relations; domestic issues and challenges that Cambodia could raise as being of regional importance during its chairpersonship of ASEAN; and social protection challenges; among other emerging issues.

During the Expression of Interest (EOI) for Collaborative Research Fund, four institutions were identified. They include: