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Strategic Direction and Themes

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PDA’s Strategic Direction and Themes 2016-2021


PDA guides the broad strategic direction and positioning of its work by periodically identifying strategic themes (and focus areas within these themes)of national concern. These themes are distilled during an in-depth strategic thinking process that takes place every 5 years and involves all staff and Board members of PDA, as well as advisory inputs from some of its organizational partners and friends.

One such process took place in September 2015. The following thus constitute our preferred agenda for the next 5 years. These are the things that PDA as an organization intends to pursue, both by working with our development partners (clients) and by undertaking our own initiatives.  These strategic themes have emerged from a process that reviewed political, economic and social trends, both past, present and future, while also listening to what our own experience as development workers and active citizens was telling us.

As a private organisation, PDA does not receive grants to undertake its activities. It rather undertakes work for clients (offering a service for a fee) and creates its own work.  This enables PDA the freedom to follow its organisational heart and expend its resources in the sustainability of the organisation and in pioneering initiatives which may not conform to current global trends.

Our overall strategic direction

In the next 5 years (2016-2021), PDA will continue to weave its work through themes and sectors, making a qualitative difference to development related tasks in a variety of settings, in a way that is people-centred and participatory.

Our Vision

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

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 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.

Our Structure

PDA will continue to offer services in facilitation, training, project management and research, organised through its main units: 

  • Advocacy and Communication
  • Community-driven Development
  • Finance and Administration
  • Research
  • The Institute for Development Practice and Management
  • PDA Agri-Industry and Social Enterprise (PASE)

Our Strategic Themes

Strategic theme 1: Community-driven development and demand for accountability in service delivery

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

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

Strategic theme 2: Youth empowerment to generate positive development in their communities

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

  • Advocating for decent employment 
  • Entrepreneurial and social enterprise development skills
  • Youth participation in decision-making and governance processes
  • Financial inclusion of the youth and access to finance
  • Nurturing leadership capability among the youth, including those in faith-based organizations.

Strategic theme 3: Promoting empowering and experiential forms of Learning

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
  • Advocating for the implementation and scaling up of the national KG policy especially in rural communities.

Strategic theme 4: Child rights and child protection

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
  • supporting families to reduce child neglect and abuse
  • Ending child slavery and child labour.

Strategic theme 5: Political stability and citizen engagement

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

Support 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. Focussing in particular on:

  • Climate change and environmental protection advocacy
  • Natural resource governance, with an emphasis on citizens’ voice
  • Partnerships with organisations focused on climate change and environmental sustainability.

Strategic Theme 7: Agribusiness and improved agriculture

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.

In all our work, we will seek to use innovative information and communication tools, and methods that empower marginalised citizens. 

We will also seek to integrate action on gender, migration and northern development into our programmes.