Established in 1986, Partnership for Development of Kampuchea (Padek) was one of the first non-government organisations (NGOs) to begin working in community development in Cambodia. Given the fragile state of civil society and the immense poverty in the country, Padek aimed to improve the livelihoods and quality of life of the rural poor.

Padek was established from a consortium of five international donors, with Oxfam Novib acting as the leading donor. In 2002 Padek registered in Cambodia as an International NGO with the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Subsequently, Padek became a Cambodian NGO with the Ministry of Interior in 2008 and Cambodian staff took over the management and leadership of the organisation.

Community development work in the mid-1980s focused on relief and rehabilitation projects. As the Cambodian government allowed NGOs to carry out longer term development work at the local level, Padek began working with government departments at the district and provincial levels to improve their capacity to educate people on agricultural techniques. In the 1990s Padek began working directly with communities with a focus on rural development in specific target areas and beneficiary

Drawing on Padek’s experience in rural development, a new model of integrated community development was adopted in 1999 and formed the core of Padek’s work for the next decade. The ‘Padek’s Integrated Community Development Model’ or PICDM developed the basic needs of communities (such as food security, health and education) and improved livelihoods. This approach strengthened and enhanced community based organisations (CBOs) at the grassroots level so that they acquired the skills and expertise to become sustainable and to meet the needs of their local community. The PICDM approach put in place community structures that effectively addressed poverty and encouraged community participation and empowerment in sustainable community development. Padek’s program approach also incorporated disaster management, gender mainstreaming, HIV/AIDS, networking and policy advocacy.

Between 2005 and 2008 Padek expanded its project areas to include Oddar Meanchey and Kompong Speu. By 2010 Padek was working with communities in Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kratie, Oral, Kompong Speu, Oddar Meanchey, Siem Reap, and Phnom Penh.

In 2011 Padek began developing a new approach to ensure the organisation remained relevant in the face of changing community needs, new international priorities, and the changing socioeconomic and political environment within Cambodia. Our new Strategic Plan 2013-2016 was adopted in January 2013 and its core focus is community savings groups, livelihood enhancement and disaster resilience.