Participatory Development Associates (PDA), is a social development, project management and advisory organisation that is based in Ghana and works across Sub-Sahara Africa. PDA’s work over the last 20 years has focused on development research, design of independent and evidence-based process and impact evaluations systems for programme improvement, and project design and management.
PDA has a proven track record in the use of various participatory methodologies and mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) in the design and implementation of projects across communities, districts and national government systems. The organisation has a pool of experienced research and impact evaluation experts, development consultants and associates who have wide range of expertise in designing and management of projects; conducting research, impact evaluations and analysing data at different levels and across various sectors. Further details can be found here: https://www.pdaghana.com/
Our vision is: of a world where states, communities and organisations provide an enabling environment in which all people, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, creed, age or disability, can realise their full potential and contribute their best to the common good.
Our mission is: to work with communities, organisations and government to facilitate the participation of all people towards taking greater control over their own lives and determining their own destiny.
Our Core Values
We care about:
- Empowerment We believe in balance of power – gender, race, age, class. We work to strengthen capacities and give equal opportunity to all.
- Inclusiveness We believe everyone has an active role to play in realising social change. Together we are more and we achieve more.
- Innovation and Creativity We believe we attain resilience and self-reliance by recognising opportunity, adapting and breaking new ground.
- Quality We do what we say we will do, maintaining and improving standards.
- Efficiency We strive to make judicious use of resources, including time.
- Effectiveness and Impact We strive to excel, exceed expectations and leave a lasting effect.
- Transparency and accountability We value openness, the building of trust, and being accountable to ourselves, our partners and our clients.
What we do
Our approach is to work with people, in groups and as individuals, to help them build their awareness of their situation, see it in a wider context, explore options, make decisions and then move towards a chosen future. We believe that change is a key feature of everyone’s reality and that each of us has an active role to play in shaping the future – be it our personal future or that of an organisation or community.
PDA uses a broad range of methodologies, most of which enable a high degree of participation and interactive, experiential learning. Our practice is especially inspired by Freirian approaches and also places a premium on creativity and innovation. We are conversant with a number of well-known development approaches including Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technology, World Café, Most Significant Change and Participatory Rapid Appraisal. We seek always to adapt and experiment with each unique set of circumstances, combining and drawing selectively on a range of tools and approaches as each process unfolds.
We are committed as an organisation to realising a proud and prosperous future for Africa, building on its own history and indigenous systems. We seek to work with others to find a path that celebrates our strengths, and critically engages with our weaknesses.
Internally, we seek to work with our own change too – as practitioners, as colleagues and team members, and as an organisation as a whole. We believe that in any encounter we have with partners and clients we are all affected by our work together and we seek to make this as positive an experience as possible for each person.
In pursuance of this, the following units were established
Areas of work
We have worked in a wide range of areas in development including:
- Research, Evaluation and Learning (REL)
- Longitudinal Learning & Impact Partnerships
- Local economic development – education, healthcare, agriculture and decentralization
- Financial Inclusion (VSLAs and Cooperatives)
- Women, Youth and Economic Opportunities
- Policy analysis and advocacy
- Poverty and social assessments
- Child and Social Protection
- Reproductive health
- Gender and development
- Strategic planning
About our staff and associates
PDA has a team of 42 staff, as well as a network of about 50 part-time associates who work on specific programmes as they arise. Heading the organisation is the Managing Director, assisted by a Deputy Managing Director and supported by two Technical Advisors:
Tony Dogbe, BA (Hons), MSc. specialises in social development, facilitating participatory development processes, and NGO management having worked in these areas for over 28 years as a community development worker, programme manager, consultant and executive director of a major Ghanaian NGO, and the co-founder and past Managing Director of PDA.
Celia Marshall, BA (Hons), MSc. PGCE, has lived and worked in Ghana for the last 24 years. She has worked for and in state and non-state organisations as a director, manager, OD consultant, team leader, facilitator, trainer and researcher, teacher and volunteer. She is a co-founder and past co-director of PDA.
The other PDA Programme staff are conversant with a range of competencies required to support the development of organisations and participatory learning and decision-making processes at different levels.
PDA is audited annually by Richard Owusu Afriye and Associates, Kumasi. PDA has a computerised accounting system (SAGE).
PDA routinely organises workshops, training and research programmes, often involving large teams and many participants. The organisation has the necessary logistical capacity to facilitate both office and field work. Our logistical capacity includes:
- Offices in Kumasi and Accra
- Vehicles – 4×4 cross country cars and saloon cars
- Motor Bikes
- Computer equipment – laptops, desk-tops , tablets and printers,
- Scanners, flip chart stands, laminators, comb- binders, photocopiers
- Audio visual equipment including: LCD Projectors, digital cameras, video cameras and MP3 sound recorders
- Fixed high speed DSL broadband wireless internet facility in both offices
- Standby generators