The Civil Development Organization (CDO) is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organization founded in 1999 in cooperation with the Swedish organization Diakonia. Registered with the Kurdistan Ministry of Humanitarian Aid and Cooperation in 2001 and under the NGOs Directorate in Baghdad in 2011.
CDO works across a wide spectrum of humanitarian activities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, including emergency relief, human rights education, empowerment of women, protection of refugees and internally displaced persons. In 2003, CDO opened a democracy and peace promotion department. Peace promotion is essential to enhance social cohesion and reduce tension existing within the disputed territories in the north of Iraq where mixed communities live. The waves of internally displaced persons coming from central and southern Iraq seeking refuge in the Kurdistan region increase the level of tension with the host community. CDO promotes peace education, reconciliation and social cohesion through specific projects’ activities as well as workshops and training for leaders and NGOs, encouraging dialogue among communities, tribal, political and religious leaders.