In Cambodia, the Population Council collaborates with government ministries, non-governmental organizations, national research institutions, and private sector partners to conduct research, evaluate programs, and inform policies that improve health and social outcomes for some of the country’s most vulnerable populations.
The Population Council has been helping to improve access to quality, affordable health in Cambodia since 2000 and formally opened an office in Phnom Penh in December 2016. Much of the Council’s work in Cambodia has focused on improving sexual, reproductive and maternal health care and family planning services for poor and vulnerable women. The Council’s recent work has focused on improving the health and wellbeing of women working in Cambodia’s garment industry, who represent a significant proportion of the country’s female labor force, and a substantial segment of the population of young women of reproductive age.
From 2015 to 2018, The Population Council co-led the Cambodia WorkerHealth Coalition (WorkerHealth) with its partner Marie Stopes International. WorkerHealth aimed at improving the reproductive health and family planning outcomes through improved factory and infirmary practices, access and quality of community health services, and government and industry policies. The project, in partnership with Meridian Group International and co-implemented with Marie Stopes International, was supported by USAID Cambodia under the Council’s global Evidence Project, a multi-country implementation science project to improve family planning policies, programs, and practices.
The Population Council is currently supporting the Cambodian People living with HIV Network (CPN+) and partners in the implementation of the People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Stigma Index 2.0 Study in six provinces in Cambodia with support from FHI360 Linkages/USAID and UNAIDS. The PLHIV Stigma Index was developed in 2008 by a global group of partners as a research initiative to gather evidence on stigma and discrimination experienced by PLHIV around the world, with people who live with HIV at the center of the process, both as interviewers and interviewees. This original version of the study has been conducted in over 100 countries. In 2019, Cambodia will be among the first countries in the world to implement the revised and strengthened second version of the original study, the PLHIV Stigma Index 2.0, which was developed in 2017 after extensive participatory consultations and testing by a global group of experts, including those from the Council’s Project SOAR.
Between 2010 and 2014, the Council helped generate evidence on the Cambodian Ministry of Health’s Reproductive Health Voucher Program, demonstrating that the program significantly increased the uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods. The Council also evaluated the pilot of the Integrated Social Health Protection Scheme, a program supported by GIZ Cambodia, which integrated Health Equity Funds and the voluntary payment of micro-health insurance to improve access to healthcare for the poor. The uptake of services in the public sector, reduced health expenditures, and improved operational and financial efficiency of the delivery of health services. In 2004, the Council conducted the first comprehensive examination of the lives of older people in the country, assessing the social, economic, and health status of Cambodia’s elderly.