GIZ: EU Project for Decentralisation and Administrative Reform (EU DAR)


The EU Project for Decentralisation and Administrative Reform (EU DAR) is part of the Decentralisation and Administrative Reform (DAR) Programme and aims to support sub-national administrations and line agencies in partner districts and municipalities to deliver public services in a more harmonised, responsive and accountable manner, with a focus on improving selected areas of service provision.

The project is commissioned by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the European Union (EU) for the time period from May 2016 to December 2018. It is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Its partners are the National Committee for Sub-national Democratic Development (NCDD) and all districts/ the municipality in Battambang and selected districts in Kandal Province. The Ministry of Civil Service (MCS) also partners with the BMZ-funded component of the DAR Programme.

The EU DAR Programme builds on a previous Administration Reform and Decentralisation Programme / EU Strengthening Performance, Accountability and Civic Engagement of Democratic Councils in Cambodia (EU SPACE) Project implemented between 2011 and 2016. With the collaboration of these projects, government agencies and non-governmental organisations have developed a deeper understanding of administrative reform and democratic decentralisation and democratic accountability has been strengthened.

Approach and Results

At the national level, the programme works with NCCD-S, MCS and selected sector ministries to support policy development. At the sub-national level, EU DAR provides technical support to assist partner districts and the municipality in Battambang and selected districts in Kandal Province to provide better public services to citizens. Through capacity development, EU DAR works with sub-national government agencies to trial and implement mechanisms which ensure responsive and accountable service delivery.

One-Window Service Offices are being expanded at the district level and the decision-making powers of councils and administrations are being strengthened. In addition, NCDD-S, MCS and selected sector ministries are supported in formulating and disseminating minimum service standards and introducing feedback mechanisms for public services.

The cooperation between sub-national administrations, line agencies and sector ministries is also being expanded. Sub-national councils, administrations and line agencies are supported to manage their service delivery personnel in an increasingly performance-oriented manner. New human resource management tools such as job descriptions and performance appraisals are being developed and introduced.

Moreover, EU DAR focuses on the cooperation of national and sub-national actors concerning the transfer of health and education functions from the deconcentrated line ministries to the decentralised sub-national administrations (SNAs). SNAs will be supported to take over new responsibilities in implementing transferred functions. In addition councils are supported and strengthened in practicing their “right of initiative” as part of their general mandate.

Policy experimentation, learning and sharing plays an essential role to promote good practices and to advance the decentralisation process. By managing their own funds granted by EU DAR (local subsidies), subnational authorities will strengthen their role in serving citizens’ needs. Thus, the programme supports the Royal Government’s efforts to bring public service delivery closer to local citizens, aiming to improve the capacity to respond to the real needs of the people in their jurisdictions in a timely and efficient manner.

It is expected that the EU DAR Programme will help to increase the number of service-related council decisions taken in response to the needs voiced by citizens during council meetings, along with increasing delivery of selected administrative and social services. Improved performance-oriented human resource management will build the capacities of staff providing these services. Moreover, EU DAR expects sub-national and national government institutions to follow best practice in the coordination of service delivery between local governments and line agencies in partner districts.

EU DAR’S Results in Detail

Together with its national and subnational partners, EU DAR Project developed different materials with the aim to strengthen subnational administrations and governments to implement their roles and responsibilities and to exercise their general mandate. In addition, good practices from partner districts have been collected for vertical and horizontal upscaling. To get to know the needs and realities at district and municipal level better, studies have been undertaken and tailor-made training courses have been developed to react to needs of SNA and councillors. All these efforts aim to improve service delivery and thus to better serve citizen’s needs. The documents developed under EU DAR can be downloaded below:

  1. Toolkits to support the implementation of selected permissive functions for districts, including step-by-step practical guides as well as relevant materials:
  1. Selected factsheets and capacity development materials to highlight topics relevant to SNA and councillors:
  1. Study reports as well as lessons from the implementation of the general mandate:
  1. Success stories – selected best practices in service delivery implemented by EU DAR’s partner districts and municipalities:
  1. Other materials produced by EU DAR and its partners:


The predecessor Project of EU DAR, the European Project for Strengthening Performance, Accountability and Civic Engagement (EU SPACE) produced very important documents relevant for the implementation of SNDD Reform. Those products are summarized below:

  1. Technical documents and relevant coaching manual
  1. A compilation of legal documents related to SNDD and PAR in order to improve the quality of service delivery:
  1. Reports and studies