Singapore University of Social Sciences

Community Empowerment Practices in Cambodia

Community Empowerment Practices in Cambodia (OEL337)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Linguistics and Languages, Business Administration, International Trade, Science and Technology

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: College of Interdisciplinary & Experiential Learning


The objective of OEL337 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of community empowerment practices vis-a-vis United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in Cambodia. This objective will be achieved through a combination of experiential learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to Cambodia. Cambodia is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies with an average 7% growth in GDP over the last decade, and in 2016 graduated from one of the world’s Least Developed Countries to a Lower Income Country. Since Cambodia’s endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, it has reported good progress with many targets in its Voluntary National Review. The review also emphasised the importance of socioeconomic inclusion and environmental sustainability. This presents a good learning opportunity for students to observe how developmental strategies interact with local circumstances to engender unique social policies and community practices. This course will expose students to the complexities in trying to actualise SDGs in Cambodia. Through working on a community empowerment project, students will learn about the challenges faced by locals and the country in negotiating with international bodies in the practices of ethical interventions. Through reflecting on the relationships between community empowerment practices in the local context and sustainable development ideals, students will develop an appreciation of how particular ethical conduct are shaped by global and often Eurocentric conceptions of “sustainable development”.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Experiential learning
  • Principles behind community empowerment
  • Cambodian community development practices
  • The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Monitoring SDG achievements across different countries
  • Key historical and political events in Cambodia
  • Key factors that shape Cambodian social developments
  • Realising sustainable development through community development in Cambodia
  • Challenges faced in Cambodian community developmental projects
  • SDG and community empowerment: consensus and conflict
  • Preparation and design of the overseas experiential learning project – Service-Learning activities, liaising with local community partner(s), safety and emergency response, project management, cultural sensitivity
  • Preparation and design of the local experiential learning project - Service-Learning activities, liaising with local community partner(s), safety and emergency response

Learning Outcome

  • Compare the different criteria for measuring sustainable development in different
  • Examine factors influencing the outcome of sustainable development interventions in local communities
  • Analyse how governments, NGOs and other stakeholders shape community empowerment practices
  • Apply social scientific perspectives to relate community empowerment practices to sustainable development
  • Deconstruct preconceptions about Cambodian approaches towards community empowerment practices
  • Explain how communities, government and private sectors interact to shape how SDGs are implemented
  • Construct new approaches to relate selected community empowerment practices to SDGs
  • Verify approaches with stakeholders
  • Appraise team members’ roles and responsibilities in shaping team-based experiential learning
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