Research Consultancy for Social Media Accountability in the Cambodian Election

The 2023 Cambodian General Election is coming on July 23, 2023 in which the political parties will compete for 125 seats in the National Assembly. Cambodia has been led by Hun Sen as Prime Minister since 1985. In this upcoming election, his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will compete for majority in the parliament, while Hun Sen himself will seek another five-year term in office.

As a prime minister for 38 years, Hun Sen holds nearly absolute power. In the past few years, the government has tirelessly crackdown on their political opponents, critics, and independent media using many political tactics. The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), once the major opposition political party in Cambodia was dissolved in 2017 by the Supreme Court in a case that is widely believed to be politically motivated. This came after the close call in the 2013 election in which the CPP suffered the largest seat loss to the CNRP.  Many that affiliates with the party have been arrested and detained on politically motivated charges including conspiracy, incitement, and treason. The CNRP leader, Sam Rainsy was sentenced to life in prison in October 2022 while living in exile[1]. Another CNRP leader, Kem Sokha was also sentenced to 27 years of house arrest in March 2023[2].

In 2023, the government ordered an independent media, Voice of Democracy, to be shut down following closure of the Cambodia Daily in 2017 and the sale of Phnom Penh Post in 2018 to a firm affiliated with the government. The crackdown on independent media is seen as part of the government’s attempt to control information in which other efforts have also been documented.

In 2021, the government passed a law to implement the national internet gateway. If successfully implemented, it would allow the government to conduct surveillance and censorship at a much more sophisticated level[3]. The government has also been in the process of drafting a cybercrime law in which the repressive provisions that can be used to control the flow of information, conduct surveillance, and impose censorship.

In the 2023 upcoming election, the CPP is likely to compete in an election that has no real competitor similar to what happened in 2018 which has resulted in Cambodia being ruled by a de-facto one party. Along with other tactics that may be used in the upcoming election, digital tactics might also be included. Given the situation, this project is set to explore how the social media platforms may be weaponized or used during the election in order to determine how social media platforms will play a role in the event and what can be the accountability of social media platforms.


  • To explore social media platforms accountability in the 2023 Cambodian General Election.
  • To address the areas that social media platforms have overlooked in the 2023 Cambodian Election
  • To use the findings for advocacy for greater accountability of social media platforms under the SEACT Coalition.


The researcher will be responsible for the project on the following tasks;

  • Document the situation on social media accountability during the Cambodian election using mixed approaches such as online research, observations, and in-depth interviews for the election.
  • Analyze the situation based on the given framework.
  • Write a report based on the findings.


  • Fluency in Khmer and English
  • Demonstrable knowledge of Cambodian politics and its dynamics
  • Have at least a bachelor’s degree in political science or related fields
  • Have proven research and written communication skills in English
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office or other similar software
  • Demonstrable knowledge of human rights issues in Cambodia
  • Being able to work remotely.


July, 2023The researcher is to monitor the situation, collect information, and analyze the trends of how social media platforms have been weaponized during the election.
August 2023The process of writing starts.
September 2023The first draft is expected to be submitted by the second week of September. The final draft is expected to be finished by the end of September.


The researcher will work for 3 months starting from July 1, 2023 – September 30, 2023, during which the consultant is expected to complete the tasks described above, based on a work plan agreed upon with DigitalReach, the SEACT’s secretariat. The researcher will work under the direct supervision of the Executive Director. The work is full time (40 hours a week) and the consultant is expected to be responsive to communications and provide updates related to the work on a weekly basis. The compensation is 5,400 USD (five thousand four hundred dollars) for completing the tasks.


Please fill in the application form below and submit the following application documents by June 11, 2023. All documents are preferably in PDF.

  • A 1-page cover letter detailing why you are interested in this consultancy, and how you will be able to contribute to the consultancy given your experience.
  • Your curriculum vitae/resume
  • 2 unedited writing samples




Apply for this position

Personal Details:

1st Reference:

2nd Reference:



Drop files here or click to uploadMaximum allowed file size is 256 MB.
Allowed Type(s): .pdf
Drop files here or click to uploadMaximum allowed file size is 256 MB.
Allowed Type(s): .pdf
Drop files here or click to uploadYou can upload upto 2 files, 256 MB per file.
Allowed Type(s): .pdf

The applicant will receive an email confirmation upon submission. If you have not received the email, please check your spam folder. If you have questions regarding the application, please contact us at [email protected]