Cambodian Disabled People Organisation (CDPO) is a Cambodian non-governmental organisation (NGO) established in 1994 as a movement of Cambodian people with disabilities. As a membership-based organisation, it is run and governed by people with disabilities, representing people with all types of disabilities in Cambodia. In 2018, CDPO had a network of 75 disabled people organisations (DPOs) including 11 Women with Disabilities Forums (WWDFs) as members with an additional 1000 Self-Help Groups (SHG). In total, CDPO have over 20,000 members of people with disabilities in all 25 provinces and the capital city.

CDPO is also different from other disability organisations because it does not provide goods or rehabilitation services but rather represents DPOs/WWDFs nationally, advocates for their rights and interests, as well as helps build their awareness of their rights and capacity towards achieving a life with dignity for people with disabilities.

Cambodian Disabled People Organisation’s Main Activities

CDPO has been providing trainings and technical support on disability rights and inclusive development on policy; public health, including sexual and reproductive health; the social protection scheme; education; job opportunities; disaster risk reduction; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); water governance; and airport infrastructure, as well as supporting communication with people with disabilities to international NGOs (INGOs), NGOs, government, subnational authorities, local communities, and private companies. CDPO also cooperates with key stakeholders to assist in implementing specific laws and policies and contributes to the evidence-based research on disability in Cambodia as a vital component in achieving better outcomes for people with disabilities. In terms of communication, CDPO develops public information including traditional and social media through the Voices of People with Disability (VPD) radio station to promote disability and social inclusion in Cambodian society. Additionally, CDPO has provided sub-grants to OPDs and worked closely with OPDs within provinces and the capital city to identify the issues and needs of people with disabilities as well as to share information back to them on various sectors to build their awareness and understanding of their rights.

CDPO works to promote disability inclusion and access to mainstream services for people with disabilities at strategic and policy or program levels. CDPO implementation on social protection through the provision of disability benefits is one of the most effective means of empowering people with disabilities. Social protection systems – both mainstream schemes and those targeting people with disabilities only – can play critical roles in laying the foundation for many people with disabilities to enter and/or stay in employment. By ensuring that their disability-related needs and extra costs are met, that they have effective access to healthcare services and education, and that people with disabilities have income security to purchase goods, these systems can significantly promote the participation of people with disabilities in the labor market and in society at large.

Partnership with Ponlok Chomnes

Under the Ponlok Chomnes II Program, CDPO provides advisory support to Ponlok Chomnes Strategic Partners on GEDSI in research, communication, dialogues, and networks, as well as supports the program to ensure GEDSI is embedded in its processes and activities, where relevant.

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