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Views and Insights

Cambodia Disability Survey 2015

We are co-ordinating the first-ever internet survey to obtain views and insights from disabled people and in relation to disabled people.  E-mails have been sent out to as many interested parties as possible.  Everyone is invited to complete the survey.

The results will be posted here in late January 2016.

Below you can see the invitations and explanations sent out.


Dear Colleague

We invite you to take part in our online survey about the situation of
disabled people in Cambodia.

Please click on:

This survey is in English, but we give an option to contact us for Khmer.

As mentioned in the survey, this is the first stage of an analysis  of
the situation in Cambodia.  We will analyze the results and post on
the website and directly to you if you wish.  We will then conduct
selected interviews followed by a workshop to gather interested
parties.  As explained we wish to reach beyond partners only or mainly
in the disability sector – to development NGOs and the private sector,

This survey is therefore a short introduction covering some issues
that will lead on to others.

By way of background, in the last few months I have had discussions
with four longtime donors who are withdrawing or wanting to change the
way that they support the sector.  I think that they need to be better
informed.  I note also that International Day for People Living with
Disability passed with a lower profile than in the past.

Your co-operation is very much appreciated.

John Lowrie
(Engaged with Cambodia’s disability sector since 1998)


The purpose is to obtain views from a wide cross section, with the aim
of stimulating thoughts and ideas.  We especially want to hear from
people living with disability.

The emphasis is mostly on “where do we go from here?” in policies and
plans, although of course we want to know what works best now; needs
to continue, and lessons learned.

Many of you will be familiar with this kind of survey, as whenever you
use the internet to obtain information or to shop, many websites ask
you to complete surveys like this, in this format.

Please feel free to ask friends or colleagues to complete it too.  I
have tried to reach people within the two largest areas of employment
in Cambodia – Garments and Tourism – to find out what they do with/for
disabled people.  So far none have replied, but if you can approach
any on our behalf, please ask them if they would kindly complete the

We will post the results here and on:


This is an online survey that anyone can complete.  No names or
identities are needed, but we hope to attract interested and informed

Any other method of collecting information could inhibit people from
truly expressing his or her views, and perhaps giving answers led by

This survey guarantees everyone anonymity.  It would be hard to trace
you if you do complete it and we undertake not to try.

We are sorry but for technical reasons, an online survey like this can
only be done in English.  So you need fair English and computer
skills. However, one question will tell us if this is a worry for
Khmer language-only people.

Obviously we are happy to hear directly from people happy to take part
openly and who will offer thoughts and ideas. <>


This is a conventional online survey that many will be familiar with.
Many organizations now produce them.  They have to be short and

In general all you have to do is to “click” to select an option.
However we do invite further comments and suggestions, with an “other”
box.  You may want to read through all questions and return to the
first page for any major comments, before finally completing and
closing the survey.

The hardest task is where we ask you to rank options in order of
importance.  We need that to understand which ones matter more than
others. You will need to read all the options and then rank them.

The questions and sections should be self-explanatory. They survey may
remind you what to do.

The survey will be open until 10 January 2016

You may invite colleagues or friends to access the survey.

We are happy to hear directly from you in answer to the email going
out announcing it.


We hope that we have succeeded in designing the survey to be open even
to people unfamiliar with the sector.  However most of us are aware of
disability issues.  Certainly all that most people living with
disability want is simply to be accepted in mainstream society.

Cambodia has a large and vibrant disability sector, very much funded
to date by international and private donors, working initially through
international NGOs.  In recent years, local NGOs have emerged as well
as self-help or community groups.  This has in turn led towards social
and commercial enterprises and new opportunities. Cambodia’s growing
economy is or should be helpful to disabled people in this regard.

Cambodia is known for its victims from conflict and landmines – i.e.
physical disabilities.  Usually it has been NGOs who have helped
people of all disabilities, including sensory difficulties, and there
is growing appreciation of psycho-social difficulties, although there
may not be reliable information.  Children with learning difficulties
may simply never receive attention.

Therefore this review is broadening consideration of what constitutes
“disability” in the wider context, right from measures we can take to
prevent disability to giving sustained practical help to people with
multiple disabilities. Inevitably thought has to be given as to how
vulnerable people can be included, rather than excluded, with who is
best able to do this?

We need to persuade donors to stay engaged in Cambodia to advance and
complete their mission.  We hope the survey and follow-up work will
help them and their international supporters to agree on where and how
they can best contribute alongside others.


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