Motivation and challenge: Working for international nongovernmental organizations in Cambodia

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Kung-fu Hillbilly
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Motivation and challenge: Working for international nongovernmental organizations in Cambodia

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Motivation and challenge: Working for international nongovernmental organizations in Cambodia

Dick Prat, Season Yongyanit
27 March 2018

The factors that motivate Cambodians working for International Nonprofit Organizations (INGOs) were explored and compared to perceived challenges to their ability to be effective. It was based on interviews conducted with individuals working for INGOs in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and the regional city of Battambang.

One interesting Personal challenge consisted of not being well organized, being too impatient in work, and balancing working hard to reach an outcome with realism about how long a project or task should take. Personal challenges also were found in maintaining health in the face of work-related stress and the associated risk of illness. Consistently displaying good behavior toward others was a Personal challenge.nterestingly, deciding how much power is desirable and when to seek more of it were seen as challenging tests of personal character. Finally building and maintaining personal capacity in order to match newcomers' education and, in their organization's international environment, better English language skills, was a personal challenge.

....the next largest grouping, was composed of differing dimensions of staff relations. This refers to low performing employees who cannot be expected or, alternatively, trusted to do their work; managing people who have differing personalities and motivations; coping with especially difficult staff and bosses; teams that require blending members who have different skill sets and priorities; the on-going need to find compromises where there are conflicting ideas; staff who do not trust or are jealous of one another; older staff who will not by managed by someone younger; and bosses afraid of more talented or younger staff.

Vovaeun's motivation comes from his personal history. His family was desperately poor during his childhood prior to and during the Khmer Rouge period. Seeing his family's struggle for survival in the lives of others moved him to help them. Over the years that basic motivation broadened to incorporate building a better future for his country. His drive remains very strong, but years of experience have clarified the challenges. One is in the gulf between communities and government and the effort needed to join their very different ways of operating.

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