Capacity-Building Projects


Workshops on Inland Fisheries in Cambodia held

Two back-to-back discussion-workshops were held on November 24 and 25, 2005 on “Socioeconomic and Livelihood Values of the Tonle Sap Fisheries” and on the Mid-term Accomplishments of the capacity-building of the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute (IFReDI) of the Department of Fisheries (DoF). The Keynote Speaker was His Excellency Nao Thuok, Director General of the DoF. Both activities are under the auspices of the Asian Development Bank Technical Assistance 4563-CAM.

Researchers of IFReDI and the DoF as well as provincial fisheries officers, and representatives of local and international NGOs actively participated in the workshop discussions. On the first-day workshop on socioeconomic values and livelihood values, feedbacks on the key issues concerning the problems and aspirations of the community fisheries with focus on the social science aspects were articulated by the various stakeholders of the fishery sector. The concerns and issues brought out in the workshop will provide inputs in preparing policy briefs to improve governance of the inland fisheries.

During the second-day, the accomplishments of the on-going technical assistance on the capacity-building of IFReDI research and management staff were presented with emphasis on the upholding of the research and development, accelerating the technology transfer, and galvanizing of the policy development of the Institute. Focus of the discussion was the importance and strategies of effectively communicating scientific information to the information users like policy makers, extensions workers, researchers, and the fishing communities. Various information materials in form of the posters, brochures and video clips are now being designed and produced for distribution to the different clientele starting January 2006. The book on “Cambodian Inland Fisheries: Facts, Figures and Context by Dr. Eric Baran was launched during the workshop.

Phase 2 of Capacity-Building of IFReDI launched (ADB TA-4563-CAM)

The capacity-building of IFReDI has taken in big boost with the continuing support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The 6-months ADB Technical Assistance 4025-CAM was launched in August 22, 2005 to build further the skills and awareness of the research and management staff of IFReDI so that the institute is better able to disseminate research findings. The components of the TA are: 1) Research and Development (Bio-ecology and Socioeconomics); 2) Technology Transfer; and 3) Policy Development and Dialogue.The general strategy will be “learning-by-doing” which was found to be effective I Phase 1.

The international resource specialists will prepare and implement training programs in coordination with the domestic resource specialists and local counterparts. Three accomplishments will achieve the TA’s purpose: research and development are upheld, technology will be accelerated, and policy development and dialogue will be galvanized.

The Inception Workshop held on September 9, 2005 and attended by researchers and key officers of IFReDI and the Department of Fisheries of Cambodia, served as forum for critically assessing the TA plans and discussion tom improve it and ensure successful implementation. In a message from the ADB Senior Project Economist, Dr. Olivier Serrat, he emphasized the need for IFReDI to have a dissemination policy, plan and strategy so that it can reach out to its various clientele and motivate them to use its research information. Some of the expected deliverables at the end of the project are policy briefs on valuation of fishery resources, posters and CDs on fish–flood relationship, and other information materials extracted from IFREDI and DoF research outputs. The participants generally approved the TA objectives, framework and work plan (ADB TA 4563-CAM Inception Report).

As in Phase 1, WorldFish Center was again invited to implement the project. WorldFish Center is an international non-government, non-profit research and development organization. Recently, it has established the Greater Mekong Subregion office based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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Phase 1 of Capacity-Building of IFReDI Completed (ADB TA 4025-CAM)

The 13-month Asian Development Bank Technical Assistance 4025-CAM on the Capacity-Building of IFReDI was completed on June 19, 2004. The TA Project dealt with four components: institute management (setting up of an operational and sustainable institute), 44 research and development (development of capacities in biology and socioeconomics), technology transfer (efficient diffusion of information produced by R&D), and policy development and dialogue (improvement of mechanisms for fisheries management). A major approach of the TA is capacity building in situ that relies on "learning-by-doing" and "on-the-job" training wthin the framework of a well-integrated and coherent strategy and pipeline of projects that has enviable multiplier effects.
The WorldFish Center, by invitation of the Cambodian Government and the ADB, implemented the TA Project. WorldFish (formerly International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management or ICLARM) is an autonomous, non-government, non-profit organization established in 1977 as an international center committed to the promotion of food security, eradication of poverty, and conservation of the environment in developing countries. Headquartered in Penang, Malaysia, WorldFish has offices in nine other countries, including the Greater Mekong Subregion Office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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The major achievements of the ADB TA are the following:

Institute Management

The Institute Management Component has accomplished the task of defining the management framework for the operation of IFReDI as a credible organization. The task was accomplished through the conduct of planning exercises and training courses on organization development and management, accounting and budgeting, procurement and asset management, and human resources development.
The IFReDI Management Plan has been finalized and submitted to DoF/IFReDI for approval. Manuals on administrative and financial procedures and the human resource development plan have been drafted and discussed with concerned IFReDI staff through meetings and consultations. The 2004 Operational Plan of IFReDI has been prepared, which also includes the 2004 budget.
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Bio-ecology and Modeling Sub-Component

The bioecology and modeling component trained the biologists, expanded their knowledge in the bio-ecology of key fish species, and designed a model of the flood-fish relationships in the Tonle Sap.
Sixteen IFReDI staff received 30 hours of formal training and on-the-job training in fish biology, research methods and data analysis. Two counterparts have also been trained in Bayesian modeling.
A reliable methodology for long term monitoring of fishes has been defined and tested. Key commercial fish species have been identified. All published information on 15 dominant species has been compiled and made available. A dictionary of Khmer-Latin fish names has been produced, as well as a dictionary of valid species names for Mekong species.
A model of the Tonle Sap fish resource has been produced. The model integrates the interactions of 35 variables leading ultimately to fish harvest. This model can be very helpful in assessing qualitatively the consequences of various basin management options (scenario study).
As for publications, 7 technical reports, 1 book, 5 booklets and 1 journal publication have been prepared.
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Socioeconomic Sub-component

The socioeconomic component provided training to the IFReDI staff (on-the job and formal) on natural and agricultural resources economics, research methods and data analysis, and database development and analytical tools. The component undertook research as part of learning-by-doing so that staff are able to initiate and conduct research independently.
As part of “learning-by-doing” three research topics were undertaken


  1. Circumscribing value of aquatic resources to elucidate policy directions
  2. Investigation of marketing, distribution and utilization of key fish species, and
  3. Analysis of cost and benefits, markets, and livelihoods opportunities in fish processing.
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Technology Transfer Component

The Technology Transfer component developed a technology transfer and information dissemination framework for IFReDI and provided skills training to staff of IFReDI in various aspects of technology transfer and information dissemination. These were achieved through a series of on-the-job and class room training to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of IFReDI in conducting research and transfer of research results for sustainable management of aquatic resources. These objectives have been achieved through the following activities:
  1. Development of framework for technology transfer and information dissemination;
  2. Preparation of research proposals;
  3. Training on library management and project proposal preparation;
  4. Training on web-page designing and desk top publication
  5. Procurement of equipment for the library and technology transfer including LCD, digital and video cameras, desk top publishing hardware and software, and scanner.
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Policy Development and Dialogue

The Policy Development and Dialogue Component has clarified the major inland fisheries policy issues and concerns in Cambodia at the international (regional), national, and local (geographical and administrative) scale. This also includes the identification of stakeholders, legal frameworks, organizations involved and the role and direction of policy research at the various scales/levels.
In addition to on-the-job training the IFReDI staff training activities have included weeklong out-of-office training workshops in priority setting in fisheries research (August 2003) and co-management research (March 2004). The priority setting workshop which took-off from the identification of critical policy and management issues in Cambodian inland fisheries led to the formulation of the IFReDI Medium-term Research Plan 2003-2006.
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