The Digital Advocacy Compass will enable easy public access to the state of the Chamber’s dialogues with Cambodia’s government on key issues, and facilitate collaboration amongst industry stakeholders
EuroCham Cambodia unveiled its new Digital Advocacy Compass during last week’s ASEAN-Cambodia Business summit. One of the first of its kind in the region, the Compass enables stakeholders to gain an up-to-date understanding of the progress of current dialogues on key issues, and insight into where, within the government, these issues are being addressed.
Focus sat down with Joachim Dautais, a senior advocacy officer at EuroCham, to learn more about this new advocacy tool.
What advantages does the Digital Advocacy Compass have over the standard White Book?
The main advantage is you don’t need to wait for years to be aware of the changes on one specific topic. Between the printing and the publication of the White Book, a new regulation can be implemented and make our recommendations outdated. Between White Book publications, two to three years can pass. The standard White Book became outdated very quickly. The Digital Advocacy Compass will never be outdated because it will be updated on a daily basis.
How does EuroCham envision the Digital Advocacy Compass fitting into the organisation’s broader advocacy efforts, going forward?
This tool will bring clarification to everyone. Not only to understand the issue itself, but to know which Ministry is responsible or knowledgeable on a certain subject and who in that Ministry is working on the subject. Plus, we believe it will serve as a tool not only for EuroCham but for the private sector as a whole.
Indeed, every business association that has the same issue as EuroCham members can endorse any recommendation in the matrix. The idea is to really show that EuroCham is not alone on certain issues. And in the long run, it will show the efficiency of EuroCham’s advocacy work. By tracking the number of issues tackled and solved, we can get a ratio to measure the effectiveness of using this new tool. It will also give an overview of the work accomplished.
How will the ability to track the progress of private sector-government dialogues, on particular issues in real time, help to drive both government and private sector engagement?
It forces transparency from both sides. With this tool, everyone knows the initiatives, or the lack of initiatives from the other, even including opinions and contextual information. And this tool is a good way to disseminate information from the government. Indeed, for every new regulation on a topic covered by the Advocacy Compass, we will be able to share it by just adding a hyperlink.
Are there any precedents or best practices that inspired you in putting together this advocacy tool?
The idea of developing this tool was a result of internal reflection. We did not get the idea because we saw it somewhere else. It was during the development stage that we started to look around, notably at the other European Chambers of Commerce. For example, EuroCham Vietnam redesigned its website and modified their committees’ pages. In it, you can find the list of every member of the Committee, their activities, their publications, etc. We also discovered the Digital White Paper of the European Business Council in Japan. This tool allows the chamber to follow up on each of their recommendations and their statutes: new, urgent, resolved, etc.
They did not inspire us to create this tool, but I would say that it helped to better conceptualise it, especially concerning the specific content that should be included in the matrix.