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What we do?


All Cambodians enjoy a high quality of life as full citizens, accessing, using and protecting their rights.


DPA partners with, empowers and supports poor ad vulnerable Cambodians, especially in rural areas, actively contributing to an enabling environment for sustainable and equitable development.


We have nine value are Transparency, Accountability, Participation, Partnership, Equity, Empowerment, Ownership, Sustainability and Innovation.


Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) is a Cambodian non-government organisation (NGO) which localised from an international NGO called CIDSE. The organisation has been active in Cambodia for over 30 years, tackling issues as diverse as building capacity to community leaders, gender equality, natural resource management, health and education, and food security and as well as adapting to address emerging issues such as climate change and extractive industries as these topics became relevant to the Cambodian context. DPA has applied a new strategic plan for 2013-2016 with a vision for all Cambodians to enjoy a high quality of life as full citizens, accessing, using and protecting their rights. DPA continues to apply the key approaches as Community Organising (CO) and Rights Based Approach (RBA) for empowering and supporting poor and vulnerable people, building community resilience, building engagement and cooperation with relevant stakeholders and advocating for an enabling environment for sustainable development. Through these approaches, poor and vulnerable Cambodians in target areas will increase the access to rights and resources, improve livelihood, increase ownership, improve the capacity for participation, leadership of women, youth and Indigenous People (IP) and increase community resilience. In addition, the strategic plan makes further progress in the areas of improving, strengthening and empowering people, particularly women and those living in indigenous communities, encouraging them to participate in decision-making for development activities since they are the keys for the success of sustainable development. This strategic plan is focusing on the areas of natural resource management, climate change resilience and food security, support for grassroots organisations and social enterprises and other initiatives related to livelihood.

DPA has three main programme areas: Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP); Partnership Programme (PP) and Development Education and Advocacy Programme (DEAP). The ICD programme aims to improve the quality of life of the rural poor through improving food security, health, education and natural resource management for and supporting collaboration between commune councils and people’s associations. The Partnership programme supports Community NGOs, Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and Agricultural Co-operatives, providing capacity building for their organisational management and funding support for their activities. The DEA programme team aim to strengthen development education on gender, as well as strengthening advocacy on issues related to land, logging, extractive industry (EI) social environmental impacts and resource revenue management.

Year CIDSE Cambodia Cambodian Context Global Development Policies / Issues
1979–1981 Emergency/relief programmes
Provision of material inputs
Working through Government
A few expatriate staff
Vietnamese-backed government – No UN recognition
Fighting continues
Severe food shortage
Huge Aid Campaign to Thai Border camps but little within Cambodia
Massive infrastructural damage
Collectivised Agriculture
Local NGO staff not allowed
UN/US sanctions against Vietnamese-backed Government
State-centred development
Modernisation Theory
Large Infrastructure Projects
OPEC oil crisis and huge debt defaults leading to the gradual decline of the statist model of development
1982–1987 Emergency/relief programmes
From material inputs to technical assistance & skills transfer
Working through Government
Small office established
Expatriate and counterpart staff
1988–1990 Shift towards grass roots level
Sectoral focus: agriculture, irrigation, health, education
Office located within Government
More counterpart staff
Vietnamese withdrawal
Entry into free market economy
Greater social and economic disparity
Great exploitation of Cambodia’s Gem and Timber resources
Fighting intensifies between Government and Guerrillas
End of the Cold War
Introduction of Neo-Liberalism
Crisis in development thinking
Heavy indebtedness leading to Structural Adjustment Policies
Aid Tied to SAPs
1991–1993 From emergency relief to rehabilitation /reconstruction
Sectoral, infrastructure-based programmes
More Cambodian staff
Expatriates in all senior management positions
Signing of the Paris Peace Accords
First National Elections
Opening up of political and social environment making it easier for NGOs to operate
Weak human and social capital
1994–1997 From sectoral approach to ICD
Emphasis on community management of development activities
Hand over of sectoral programmes to Government New programmes: Partnership with CNGOs, development education,
Training in advocacy, gender and Community Development
First external financial audit
Major organisational restructuring process; consolidation of two main programme departments – ICDD and PD
Cambodians in most senior management positions; Expatriate FR
Improved Economic Growth and Agricultural production
Pervasive poverty affects most of rural Cambodia
Sporadic Fighting remains
Launch of the UNDP support SEILA programme to pilot a system of decentralisation
Political turmoil in 1997
Growth in INGO and CNGO presence
Crisis in Governance: Country plagued by corruption, illegal logging, land grabbing, etc.
Emergence of Civil Society
Massive growth in number of Non-Governmental Organisations
Beginnings of “Alternative Development Theories”
Greater focus on Partnerships, Grassroots Development; Participation; Gender; Equitity; Sustainability
Greater ‘professionalisation’ within NGOs
More focus on social and environmental concerns
2002-2005 Formation of CBOs in Svay Rieng and Muk Kampul
Phase out of Svay Rieng and Muk Kampoul ICD programme
ICD/PD partnership & Small Desk Office support to CBOs in Svay Rieng
Expand ICD programme to Mondulkiri
Decision to become CNGO approved
Transition Process underway – advisory board selected; by-laws developed
Transition of Advisory Board to Governing Board
Registration of DPA at Ministry of Interior
Launching of DPA
Decentralisation: First Commune Council Elections
Governance Action Plan approved
Greater co-operation, co-ordination and partnership between civil society and government
Third National Elections
Economic growth without equitable distribution
Corruption and a culture of impunity remain
Entry into WTO
Reflection on innovative approaches to community development and strengthening of civil society