14 August 2021
Category : Interview
#PublicExpertise: inclusive disability policies in Cambodia
We interviewed Laura Diego, an expert on disability from the Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda who has promoted inclusive social protection disability policies in Cambodia.
What has been the greatest achievement of your experience as an expatriate expert?
Being able to offer more than ten years of national and international experience in public policies directed towards people with disabilities that could be of use to the National Council on Social Protection, the Cambodian institution that sought the support of SOCIEUX.
What are you most proud of?
The General Directorate for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, for which I work, has taken part in a number of international projects, especially in European Neighbourhood Policy countries (Tunisia and Ukraine) and in Latin America. My work on this mission has opened up the chance for other international actors to get to know the work we do in countries where Spain has less presence or fewer historical, social, commercial etc. ties.
How has your assignment helped to improve the lives of people and the planet?
The aim of the mission was to map and assess Cambodia’s existing social protection policies, including those that focus on disability. As a result of this work, my colleague (a Greek expert on disability from the WHO) and I have offered conclusions and recommendations to the Cambodian institution on the way forward for social protection policies aimed at people with disabilities in Cambodia which may improve the living conditions of people with disabilities and their families, and in general, of Cambodian society as a whole.
What is the main value of the public sector for you?
The main value of the public sector is that it means we work for everybody, seeking the general interest of society as a whole, which I believe is very important today in a globalised world in which there are groups with conflicting interests.
What have you learned from this experience?
This experience has made it easier for me to get to know a part of the Cambodian reality, a country whose recent history has been very difficult, in which a large number of international actors operate such as the main United Nations organisations, the World Bank, various cooperation agencies international (Australia, Japan, the US, the EU etc.), NGOs from a number of different places with a wide range characteristics etc. This multiplicity of actors has its pros and cons, although the important thing is that the Cambodian government is committed to improving the living conditions of people with disabilities and their families.
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