DAI works on the frontlines of global development. Transforming ideas into action—action into impact. We are committed to shaping a more livable world.


We tackle fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. We work with a wide range of clients, including national and local governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, private corporations, and philanthropies.


Since 1970, we have worked in more than 150 countries—delivering results across the spectrum of international development contexts, from stable societies and high-growth economies to challenging environments racked by political or military conflict.


We partner with local people and institutions on scores of projects worldwide.

Having worked in more than 150 countries since 1970, we have extensive networks and deep roots in every region of the world.

DAI traces its corporate roots to Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we help African governments, businesses, private organizations, and communities overcome their most pressing challenges.


Active Projects in Nigeria
- MADE (DFID):Nigeria—Market Development Programme (MADE)

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2013-2018

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Economic Growth Digital

This 4½-year design and implement project in the Niger Delta is applying a market development approach (M4P) to improve market access, increase economic activity, and raise the incomes of 150,000 poor people, half of whom will be women. We are initially focusing on the critical constraints to pro-poor growth in the value chains of palm oil, aquaculture and fisheries, agricultural inputs, and backyard poultry. Activities will stimulate private sector provision of services and promote innovative, inclusive business models that reach a large number of low-income households.

The first year of the project focused on drafting the Business Case and implementing pilot activities in the target value chains. With approval of the Business Case in July 2014, the Implementation Phase will proceed through March 2018. Working out of Port Harcourt, MADE works closely with the Chevron-funded Partnership Initiative for the Niger Delta (PIND) implementing synergistic activities across the nine states.

Sample Activities

  • Select and analyze key value chains.

  • Conduct market, environmental, conflict, and political economy analyses and draft the Business Case.

- PDF2 (DFID): Nigeria—DFID Policy Development Facility (PDF2).

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2015-2020

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Economic Growth Governance

To develop a competitive and dynamic non-oil economy, particularly one based on pro-poor growth, Nigeria needs to pursue innovation and reform in its policy and public investment framework.

Funded by the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), this Abuja-based facility is increasing capacity throughout Nigeria to craft and implement evidence-based policies and initiatives. These may be in: economics (macro, fiscal, industry), trade and trade relations, private sector development, public expenditure management, tax policy and regulation, fiscal decentralisation, social development, poverty analysis, and social impact assessment.

The first phase (PDF1) operated from 2010 to 2015. Our approach for PDF2 will continue to be both responsive and proactive, so that DFID can offer information, organizational support, and initiatives useful to stakeholders that may not otherwise have been requested.

- SPARC (DFID): Nigeria—Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government (ARC)

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2016-2020

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Governance Fragile States

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and one that continues to grows in size and dynamism. However, inefficient resource management, corruption, and a lack of accountability have undermined the government’s ability to translate this economic progress into inclusive growth and improved public services for more Nigerians. Advancements in public administration, public financial management, and enhanced policy making will be crucial in helping the Nigerian government provide better services to its citizen and reduce high levels of poverty.

To promote progress in these key areas, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) launched the Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government (ARC) programme to support the Nigerian government in more effectively managing resources and providing more responsive and accountable services to its citizens. ARC will work at both the state and national levels to build on the success of its predecessor program, the State Partnership for Accountability Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC). Over seven years, SPARC helped to support responsive policy formulation and encourage performance-focused public service in Nigeria by helping state governments to improve revenue collection, reduce budgetary waste, and implement strategies for locally led planning.

In implementing ARC, DAI will take a collective action approach to reducing corruption and strengthening public accountability by working with stakeholders both inside and outside of government. ARC will also utilize Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation methods to improve public services by involving community members in identifying and solving specific issues.

Sample Activities

  • Support state partners in moving to e-government services that create more secure, paperless platforms, and enhance service delivery while reducing costs.

  • Strengthen capacity of Nigerian think tanks to deliver high-quality research and use results for advocacy and to contribute to the country’s current policy debates.

  • Improve delivery of government services for marginalised groups, such as women living in poverty and people with disabilities, by collaborating with the State Accountability and Voice Initiative.

Select Results

  • SPARC helped state governments collect an additional £600 million in funds to support public services by improving domestic revenue mobilization, reclaiming funds from dormant bank accounts, reducing procurement costs, and recovering outstanding debts.

  • SPARC supported the development of 10 State Development Plans and strengthened linkage to budgets.

  • SPARC advocated for increased state spending on health and education, contributing to an additional £329 million in these sectors, which resulted in 2.1 million additional children enrolling in school and an additional 300,000 children receiving basic vaccinations.

  • SPARC set up an online resource center with more than 60 documents, resources, and reports that shared best practices, lessons learned, and data from SPARC activities.

- PIND (NDPI/PIND) : Nigeria—Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND)

Client: NDPI Foundation and PIND (Funded by Chevron Corporation)

Duration: 2010-2017

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Corporate Sustainability Economic Growth

DAI assisted the Chevron Corporation with the strategic design of this Nigerian-registered foundation by helping outline a strategy for its Economic Development Program, specifically orienting its activities around a Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach and developing monitoring and evaluating mechanisms to document their impact. Collectively, these recommendations informed the principles of intervention, program areas, sustainable outcomes, and intermediate and final impacts of PIND’s Strategic Plan 2011–2014. We also identified resources to execute the economic development component of the plan, and established criteria for prioritizing projects and selecting implementing partners.

Sample Activities

  • Assure PIND’s plan coheres with and integrates into its broader social and business objectives.

  • Provide long-term technical assistance and capacity building expertise to help implement the strategic plan and operationalize the Economic Development Centre into a sustainable local institution.

  • Train foundation and centre staff and implementing partners in the M4P approach and techniques of value chain analysis.

  • Supervise implementation of five value chain studies by local partners.

  • Help PIND plan and refine program activities targeting systemic value chain development programs, infrastructure projects designed to create sustainable employment through building the capacity of local firms to provide high labor intensity contracting, and business linkage programs to enhance the ability of local firms to supply goods and services to international oil companies.

Select Results

  • Identified key economic sector opportunities in the Delta Region through industry studies and value chain analyses to determine the optimum point of leverage for market strengthening interventions and focusing on broader value chains for which Chevron’s significant spend represents a strong growth market.

  • Identified and addressed underlying causes of weak market performance and the exclusion of the poor by facilitating changes in market systems to improve incomes.

  • Designed Chevron’s Economic Development Program, which informs interventions, program areas, sustainable outcomes, and intermediate and final impacts of PIND’s Strategic Plan 2011–2014, and developed monitoring and evaluating mechanisms to document impact.

  • Operating an Economic Development Center in Warri, Nigeria, to allow communities to take advantage of opportunities in Chevron and surrounding supply chains.

  • Decreased violent social disruptions and reduced social risks due to higher levels of inclusive growth.

  • Lowered costs for goods and services sourced locally due to more competitive business practices.

  • Increased the quality of local goods and services from better production techniques.

- WCP (USAiD): Nigeria—Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Coordination Project (WCP)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2016-2018

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Environment and Energy

The state of Nigeria’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector has reached an alarming state of decline, with nearly one-third of the population lacking access to improved drinking water sources and approximately two-thirds living without adequate sanitation facilities. With one of the fastest-growing urban populations in the world, Nigeria’s municipal centers in particular are likely to face increasing difficulty in meeting the water and sanitation service needs of their citizens.

Despite these challenges, reform-minded states in the country’s impoverished northern region have shown a commitment to necessary policy changes and an interest in actively collaborating with development partners. The WASH Coordination Project (WCP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will assist these forward-looking states and utilities in improving WASH governance and service delivery. DAI is supporting Development Innovations Group in the implementation of WCP through data collection and analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and institutional capacity building.

Sample Activities

  • Provide baseline data, analysis, and recommendations on engaging civil society and nongovernmental organizations in improving the urban WASH sector.

  • Conduct urban sanitation baseline surveys and frameworks for improvement.

  • Contribute to the creation of a community of practice to collect best practices on urban WASH and to share impacts and lessons with policymakers.

  • Provide support in conducting environmental, gender, and sustainability analyses related to water and sanitation factors in target regions.