Illustration: Traffic cameras

Opinion: Cambodia Needs People-Centric Planning Before ‘Smart Cities’

Asean is promoting a “Smart City Network” of tech-focused solutions to the region’s urban problems. But there are simpler, cheaper and more sound urban policies without falling for the notion that technology is the answer to everything, writes Future Forum’s Ses Aronsakda.

Opinion: Southeast Asia Needs to Catch Up to Cybercriminals

If governments and regional actors do not step up to the law enforcement challenge of cyber scams, and increase their ability to meet these criminal operations where they are — that is, online — then this problem will only grow in scale, writes Future Forum fellow Sokvy Rim.

Traffic at the intersections of boulevards 271, Monivong and Hun Sen, on September 19, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)

Opinion: Prioritizing Cars Sabotages Phnom Penh’s Transportation Policy

Phnom Penh is planning a colossal flyover on St. 271 that would cost $36.8 million and take three years to build. For half the cost, the whole 13 km of the ring road can be transformed with bus lanes, cycleways and pleasant sidewalks — and actually reduce congestion, writes Future Forum’s Sek Aronsakda.

Students at Phnom Penh’s Chea Sim Boeng Keng Kang High School on November 9, 2020. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Opinion: Reimagining a Wall-Less Classroom for All in Cambodia 

A face-to-face, one-size-fits-all school system where education is contained within classroom walls keeps learning out of reach for many students in rural underserved areas. A wall-less classroom would level the playing field, writes Future Forum’s Dara Chea.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on his phone, in a photo he posted to his Facebook page on September 15, 2021.

Opinion: ‘Digital Transformation’ Needs to Be Usable by All

Achieving a “digital transformation” in Cambodia in an equitable way will require the country to address the lack of inclusiveness in the design and development of digital products, especially for public services, writes Future Forum’s Nay Darlin.

(Illustration: Michael Dickison/VOD)

Opinion: Shame Around Premarital Sex Is Making Abortions More Dangerous

Abortions have been legal in Cambodia since 1997, but social, cultural and religious stigmas are preventing women from accessing them in safe settings. Cambodia needs information campaigns that tackle the stigmas keeping women silent, writes Future Forum’s Heng Molika.

Opinion: Building Cities for Everyone Is Crucial for Fair, Cohesive Society

For Cambodians at present, fully equitable mobility is not the reality, as cities are built for cars and motorbikes. Designing for visual impairments, pregnancies, all age groups and financial situations will create vibrant cities and a more cohesive society, writes Future Forum’s Ses Aronsakda.

Women politicians who ran in the June 4 election, Chao Ratanak, Orm Youreth and Sor Sarath.

Opinion: Cambodia’s Women Politicians Lead With Empathy, Pragmatism

In the recent election, it was women candidates who promoted empathy in policy. Empathy is stereotypically seen as feminine, and men who cultivate it can face ridicule. But empathetic leadership, beyond populist messaging, is needed and effective, Future Forum’s Theang Soriya says.

A lawmaker votes on legislation at the National Assembly on May 11, 2022.

Opinion: Should Cambodia Adopt a Gender Quota Policy?

Cultural barriers to greater women’s equality in Cambodia require a major shake-up to dislodge, and quotas — whether mandatory or voluntary — have been necessary globally to make even gradual progress, writes Future Forum’s Heng Molika.

A wheelchair-accessible ramp at Phnom Penh’s Aeon 2 mall on July 7, 2022. (Roun Ry/VOD)

Opinion: Cambodia Can Build an Inclusive Urban Landscape

Designing and building spaces with disabilities in mind will end up benefiting almost everyone at some point in their lives. But work is needed to overturn apathy, including formulating Cambodia-appropriate design standards, writes Future Forum’s Sek Aronsakda.