Reforming solid waste management in Phnom Penh

Working and discussion papers
June 2016

This paper tracks the efforts of an Asia Foundation team working with local stakeholders to support improvements in the solid waste management sector in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The team worked in a flexible way with a range of partners, and with a particular focus on understanding the incentives and politics affecting service delivery. While reform of the sector remains in progress, steps have been taken to introduce more competition and better public sector management of solid waste collection in the city.

This case study lays out the real-time decisions and processes which drove the strategy and implementation of this project, providing useful insights into how politically astute and flexible programmes can be successfully implemented. This case emerged from an action research process, led by a researcher from the Overseas Development Institute and conducted over the course of almost two years.

By capturing and analyzing the experiences of the programme team in Phnom Penh, the paper intends to provide practical insights for others in the development community aiming to implement similar kinds of programming.