Poverty is complex, multifaceted, and deeply rooted in global, national, and local socioeconomic and power structures. In Cambodia, 17.7 percent of the population lives below a threshold of USD 1.90 a day, but the lived experience of poverty goes beyond monetary measures. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has developed a multidimensional poverty analysis framework (MDPA) that includes not only lack of material resources, but also lack of power and voice, human security, and opportunities and choice. The intent is to provide a more holistic definition of poverty, who is living in poverty, what keeps people in poverty, and why.
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), The Asia Foundation, and Winrock International are applying this framework to better understand the interconnectedness of water, gender, and poverty in the Stung Chinit Watershed in northeastern Cambodia. Here, we present preliminary findings of this analysis. Along with an extensive literature review, we conducted 14 key informant interviews with representatives of organizations and agencies active in the region. Our initial findings were used to develop a survey of 800 households, the results of which are currently being analyzed. This work builds upon previous watershed modeling and stakeholder engagement under the Sustainable Water Partnership funded by USAID, and findings will be integrated into the MDPA model and technical analysis in an effort to improve watershed management for gender equality and poverty reduction in the Stung Chinit basin.
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