A About PDA


PDA Strategic Themes 2022 - 2027

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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.  



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.



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.



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


Our strategic themes represent our broad working framework, where we intend to focus to achieve vision, create impact and change in communities, districts and national levels.

Strategic Theme 1

Community-driven development and demand for accountability in service delivery

Focal Areas 

This strategic theme will mainly focus on developing the capacity of communities to:

  • define, plan and implement their own development agenda
  • facilitate improvements in local accountability mechanisms, particularly in decentralised government, food security, education, sanitation and waste management
  • support the integration of traditional actors (chiefs) as agents of change.

 Strategic Theme 2

Youth empowerment to generate positive development in their communities

Focal Areas

This strategic theme focuses on empowering the youth through coaching, mentoring, appropriate use of technology and skill development in the following areas:

  • Advocating for decent employment, internship and a smooth school-to-work transition.
  • Entrepreneurial and social enterprise development skills
  • Youth participation in decision-making and governance processes
  • Promote health, safety and wellbeing of the youth
  • Nurturing leadership capability among the youth

Strategic Theme 3

Promoting empowering and experiential forms of Learning

Focal Areas

This strategic theme seeks to explore and promote innovative forms of learning, advocate for good quality teaching and meeting the different learning needs of children. 

Areas of particular focus will be:

  • Facilitating community ownership of education
  • Promoting the concepts behind and the practical application of Multiple Intelligences
  • Advocating for quality teaching and learning methods at all levels
  • Partnering and collaborating with organizations working with marginalised children such as those with intellectual and physical disabilities
  • Developing innovative and creative online education opportunities. 
  • Assisting private schools in terms of restructuring and enabling them to be resilient in post-COVID-19 era

 Strategic Theme 4

Child rights and social protection

Focal Areas

This area will aim to promote child rights by paying particular attention to:

  • advocating for the implementation of the national child protection policy
  • respecting and amplifying the voice of children in family and community decision making
  • Empowering families to reduce child neglect and abuse
  • Advocate against child slavery and child labour.
  • Child and youth online protection
  • Advocate for organizational safeguarding policies

Strategic Theme 5

Good Governance and Political Stability 

Focal Areas

PDA will engage citizens’ organizations for social and political change, partnering with others to promote peace and security, and facilitate transparency and accountability in governance institutions in order to nurture political stability. Focal areas will be:

  • Promoting and facilitating the kind of leadership practices needed for good governance, enhancing the legitimacy of the state and making accountability a practical reality in the lives of all citizens
  • Working with others to promote peace and security in Ghana and the sub-region
  • Promoting citizenship and participation in local governance processes Joining with and engaging citizens’ organisations for social and political change
  • Promoting and building responsible and capable media
  • Joining citizens’ organisations to speak out, and where possible, take action against corrupt practices.

Strategic Theme 6

Climate change and environmental sustainability

Focal Areas

Support mitigation and adaptation to climate change and the protection of the environment by strengthening the capacity of citizens and local institutions, engaging actively with natural resource governance and sharing innovative practices and methodologies. Focusing in particular on:

  • Climate change, environmental protection, and responsible mining advocacy
  • Natural resource governance, with an emphasis on citizens’ voice
  • Partnerships with organisations focused on climate change and environmental sustainability.
  • Advocacy for the use of renewable energy

 Strategic Theme 7

Agribusiness, improved agriculture and climate change

Focal Areas

Promote innovative, sustainable agriculture and agribusiness by developing a production centre for sustainable, inexpensive and environmentally sound agricultural production. This centre will also serve as:

  • An incubation centre for interested youth and women agricultural entrepreneurs in the experimentation and promotion of agricultural technology and good agricultural practices
  • A best-practice resource centre for training small-scale farmers, especially the youth, women, and persons with disability, in successful crop production, livestock production and fish farming
  • A research centre in the optimized use of natural products, agricultural production and processing, and in integrated management of plant pests and diseases
  • An extension service centre for making the lessons from our production centre and from research centres and institutions of higher learning across the country directly available to farmers.
  • A renewable energy centre in the utilization of organic waste into bioenergy for domestic and commercial use.

Strategic Theme 8

Financial Inclusion and Access to Finance

 Focal Areas

Create an enabling environment for communities and individuals including the youth, women and the vulnerable to development a savings culture and facilitate access to microcredit.

  • Facilitate processes for communities and individuals to build savings culture
  • Provide financial literacy training 
  • Create a platform for gender mainstreaming through the provision of social, economic and life skills training.
  • Support and promote the use of digital financial inclusion (savings and payments)