On 2 July 2018, the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia (PIC) welcomed 15 Regional Fellows from the Parliaments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand who are joining the Regional Fellowship Program in Parliamentary Research.

The Regional Fellowship Program was initiated in 2015 with the objective of offering the opportunity to staff from AIPA Member Parliaments to undertake a six-month parliamentary research training course at PIC. This initiative is part of PIC’s wider needs-oriented Knowledge Exchange Program which aims to contribute to strengthening parliamentary staff capacity.

During the orientation session, Ms. Sony Fernandez, Acting Executive Director of PIC, greeted the Fellows and stressed that the program not only focused on building individual skills in parliamentary research, but also in establishing information and knowledge sharing mechanisms among Parliaments of ASEAN countries. Fellows will have the opportunity to benefit from both professional and interpersonal networking, she said.

Dr Peou Rathana, Director of the Parliamentary Research Capacity Development Department (PRCD), explained the objectives of the training program to the Fellows. She indicated that their research focus would be on gender, adding that they would be assessed not only on their research-related competence but also on their interpersonal skills which involve teamwork, diligence and leadership. PIC training team leaders will guide the Fellows throughout their learning journey in Cambodia.

Ms. Kong Kunthea, Parliamentary Relations Coordinator, provided an overview of the program to the Fellows, in particular the activities they would be participating in during the orientation week. She highlighted that the purpose of the orientation session was to give information about PIC, the Cambodian Parliament as well as Cambodia’s history and culture, through visits to the National Assembly and the Senate, and a number of historical and cultural sites in the city.