Dr CHEA Phal

Senior Research Fellow

Prior to joining CDRI’s Education Unit in 2020 as Research Fellow, Dr CHEA Phal worked as consultant for the World Bank, as research fellow at Kobe University, and as adjunct researcher at the Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration (RIEB), Japan. He earned his Master and Ph.D. degrees in economics of education from Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Japan. He also actively involved in joint projects between UNESCO Bangkok and Kobe University, conducting several educational research projects in Cambodia. His research interest includes economics of education, education finance, higher education, learning assessment, and field experiment. He has authored and co-authored many scientific papers including those indexed in SCOPUS journal database.

Email : phalchea@cdri.org.kh


CHEA Phal


Working Paper 134

The Covid-19 pandemic locked students all around the world out of school and caused unprecedented educational disruptions for more than two years. Like other countries, Cambodia switched from the traditional physical classrooms to online and distance learning during school closures. Cambodian schools were able to reopen their doors briefly at the e...

International Publications

This study intends to identify existing permeability pathways between post-secondary education and training in Cambodia and to highlight hindrances that hamper the smooth permeability between the two systems. Adopting a hybrid process, the study combines both inductive and deductive thematic analysis approaches in coding transcribed interviews at 1...

Working Paper 133

Strengthening the quality of education, science and technology education is one of the four strategic rectangles of Rectangular Strategy Phase IV and at the heart of Cambodia’s ambition to achieve higher-middle-income status by 2030 and high-income status by 2050. To that end, increasing attention has been paid to improving both the quantity and qu...

Other Publications

The study assesses current and future demand for and supply of digital and ICT skills and investigates the challenges firms of all sizes, universities, and TVET institutions face in preparing themselves and their students for digital technology adoption under the framework of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). A mixed-methods approach of quant...

Cambodia Development Review 25 - 3

The purposes of this study are to explore learning pathways when students transit from high school to higher education among Cambodian students and examine the probable causes behind their decision to switch academic majors. The study found that about half of surveyed students switched their academic majors. Virtually all the switchers are science-...

Working Paper 130

The distinction between vocational training and academic education can be traced back to different institutional structures in medieval Europe. However, owing to an increasing need for higher-level skills to respond to market demand, countries have resolved to establish flexible pathways for students on both tracks or systems to move or transfer ac...

Cambodia Development Review 24 - 4

The twofold aim of this study is to: identify the challenges and opportunities posed by the immediate response to school and university closures; and assess the edtech readiness and preparedness of HEI teaching staff. The findings demonstrate that unstable internet connection and difficulty assessing student performance are the biggest obstacles im...

Cambodia Development Review 24 - 3

Permeability, in the context of education and training systems, refers to flexible learning pathways, that is, the horizontal and vertical links between education and training programmes and institutions that enable students to move through different learning environments at different speeds regardless of programme orientation. This study aims at d...

International Publications

The study applies the Hierarchical Linear Modeling(HLM) approach using the international learning assessment survey, PISA for Development (PISA-D), to examine the effects of demand-side and supply-side factors associated with academic performance in Cambodia. Findings from the study suggest that students' characteristics and family background are g...

Cambodia Development Review 24 - 1

This study investigates the relationships between school resources and student learning achievements using large-scale Programme for International Student Assessment for Development (PISA-D) survey data, the first international student learning assessment Cambodia participated in 2017. It found the positive effects on school infrastructure on stude...


Access to formal financial services and technology across low-, middle- and high-income countries is far from universal. East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia together account for over 800 million unbanked people, and the region is home to over 50% of the unbanked and digitally under-served globally. Digital financial inclusion is becoming centr...


This is a part of the Supporting Holistic and Actionable Research in Education (SHARE), a five-year cooperative agreement with the University of Notre Dame (UND) supported by the USAID’s new Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation/Center for Education (DDI/EDU), to advance global education learning priorities to improve learning outcomes....


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about educational disruptions from pre-school to higher education in Cambodia and around the world. Although the impact of the pandemic in Cambodia was relatively low in comparison to other countries in the region and the world in 2020, and schools were able to reopen its door again in early 2021, the February 20,...


Under the Capacity Building Research and Development Fund of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, United Nation Development Programme, Cambodia and the Russian Federation, the Cambodia Development Resource Institute in collaboration with the Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology (formerly known as the National Institute of Posts, Telecoms...


This three-year programme is supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through The Asia Foundation (TAF)’s Ponlok Chomnes Programme: Data and Dialogue for Development in Cambodia. In this programme CDRI aims at strengthening the capacity of knowledge-sector institutions to undertake quality research, informing publi...


With a steady economic growth hovering between 7-8 percent over the past two decades, Cambodia achieved a lower-middle-income in 2015. Building on this progress, the government aspires to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.  Several key issues need to be urgently addressed if Cambodia is to realise the a...


Cambodia has achieved strong growth in the past two decades, and the country has graduated to lower-middle-income status with a per capita income of about USD1,215 (2015). A feat that neighbouring Vietnam achieved in 2010 and Laos in 2011. Building on this achievement, Cambodia aspires to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-inc...


A five-year project called ‘Education Research for Effective Policy Reforms’ with a total funding of USD446,713 aims to produce independent, objective, high quality policy-relevant higher education research, and to maximise the accessibility of this knowledge to policymakers, influencers and stakeholders, and its policy impact. This project also wo...