Village Hive Project

Building a Public Social Protection System

Working ourselves out of a job

We are striving towards a goal that few organisations ever achieve – lasting systemic change and our own redundancy.

Since 2007, we have been delivering essential social services in Battambang District for a population of over 100,000 people. The services we have been delivering – such as health, education, housing, employment, and social support – are essential for realising fundamental human rights. However, delivering these services indefinitely on behalf of the local council in Battambang District is not sustainable or empowering.

We are now working towards building a public social protection system called the Village Hive in all ten communes and 62 villages in Battambang District that is owned and operated by the local council.

The Village Hive is being built through collaborative co-creation with each commune. All the services we have been operating privately and the institutional knowledge developed over 16 years are being integrated into the public sector. Our staff are being transferred to join the public sector, and we are investing in the professional development of the public health, education and social services workforce.

The first Village Hive was established in 2022 in Ou Char Commune. In 2023, the second Village Hive was established in Svay Pao Commune. We aim to establish one Village Hive per commune per year until we achieve our goal.

With ten communes in Battambang District, we are set to complete the Village Hive Project and transfer all our services to the public sector by 2032.

A longitudinal study is being conducted across the entire lifespan of the Village Hive Project to create an evidence base that will support the Cambodian Government in scaling into other districts across Cambodia.

After 2032, we will no longer need to deliver essential social services in Battambang District.

Village Hive Explainer

A three-tiered upstream model

The Village Hive is built on a three-tiered, upstream model of social protection that untangles the complex, interwoven dimensions of poverty. It prioritises Universal Prevention and Early Intervention to ultimately prevent people from falling into crisis and therefore reduces the demand for costly crisis services. 

Universal Prevention

These are services available to all members of the community. They optimise well-being, raise the standard of living, and create safe and healthy environments for the whole village.

Village Hive universal services are focused on public education and public health care, which includes strengthening village health clinics, public schools, teacher training colleges and establishing quality child care.

Early Intervention

These services are targeted to support children, youth and families where vulnerability or special needs have been identified. Early identification of the need for additional support de-escalates risks and prevents people from falling into crisis.

The Village Hive’s early intervention services reduce risk by ensuring basic needs are met, including providing access to education, quality nutrition, child care, ID documentation, health care support, and safe housing. Once immediate basic needs are met through the provision of support payments, families are empowered to achieve financial self-reliance and resilience to safeguard against future risks; these programs and services include financial literacy, vocational training, and income generation assistance.

Crisis Response

These services are specialised, intensive services targeted at children, youth and families in crisis who are experiencing or have experienced harm. Crisis services aim to minimise the long-term impacts of crises and subsequent trauma.

The Village Hive crisis services include child protection with a focus on safety planning and cultivation of strong family support networks, an emergency hotline, counselling, crisis accommodation, kinship care, care leaver support groups, family reintegration, addiction support groups, and disaster relief.