Participatory Development Associates (PDA) is an organisation of skilled people who aim to support processes of empowerment and self-determination in communities, organisations and individuals.
It is a private limited liability company (registration no. C-95,118) founded in 2001. PDA is based in Ghana, with its main office in Accra and a sub-office in Kumasi.
PDA works with government, non-government and private organisations, as well as multilateral and bilateral organisations in areas such as decentralisation, policy analysis and advocacy, poverty and social assessments, reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS, gender and development, issues of governance in education, health and forestry, organisation development with NGOs and other civil society organisations, and monitoring and evaluation.
Our basic approach is to work with communities, organisations and individuals to reflect, to learn and to act, thus bringing about a transformation in their present situation.
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 government, communities and organisations to facilitate the participation of all people towards taking greater control over their own lives and determine their own destiny.
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
About our Staff and Associates
PDA has a team of 20 staff, as well as a network of about 25 part-time associates who work on specific programmes as they arise. Heading the organisation is the Managing Director, assisted by an Administration and Finance Manager and supported by two Technical Advisors:
Glowen Kyei Mensah, M.BA, Edinburgh Business School of the Heriot Watt University, Scotland, has lived and worked in Ghana for the last 20 years, with more than 10 years of experience in working with development organisations. Since 2010 Glowen has been with PDA, where she served as head of the Advocacy and Communications Unit as well as National Coordinator of the Mwananchi Project Ghana, before becoming the Managing Director of PDA in September 2012.
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.
Logistical capacity includes
- Offices in Kumasi and Accra
- Vehicles – 4x4 cross country cars and saloon cars
- Computer equipment – laptops, desk-tops 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