Since the mid-1990s, CDS has been distinguished as a leading organization in the use of participatory research approaches in rural and urban settings. Heavily engaged in adapting such research technology into various settings, CDS aims to bring the voices of community groups at grassroots level to the forefront of development planning and policy making. Over the years, CDS has trained hundreds of practitioners on the use of participatory tools and techniques to develop alternatives for evidence-based action. Whenever appropriate, we combine both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, using surveys to complement the qualitative research tools such as focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, physical mapping, trend analysis, ranking, among many others.


CDS’ research projects range from small community-based Participatory Rapid Appraisals (PRAs), to large nation-wide participatory researches. While some of our research is self-initiated, others are client-driven. In recognition of its leadership in planning and managing research projects, CDS has been selected by eminent organizations such as the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), Ford Foundation as well as many UN agencies and governments in diverse countries to undertake and/or advise on the undertaking of research. Our research experience spans over many countries in diverse regions around the world, East and South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East.