The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) was founded in 1998, at a time when the Ghanaian democratic process was entering an important new phase—transitioning from an elected president and administration with military authoritarian antecedents to one without—and when the democratic space had been opened up to a point where it was possible to set up an explicitly non-governmental democratic and political governance research and advocacy organization.
Using a wide range of avenues to instill democratic values and institutionalize good governance practices in Ghana and Africa, the CDD-Ghana has over the years established itself as a leader in the production and dissemination of high-quality public opinion surveys and other relevant data for effective policy-making in Ghana and across the continent. Aside from undertaking high-quality policy research and technical analyses, the Center organizes roundtables, conferences and capacity building workshops, and engages in extensive networking with relevant state and non-state stakeholders to inform and educate, to foster public and policy-maker’s awareness, to support advocacy and stimulate policy reform.
Since its inception, the Center has mobilized and organized civil society voice and activism on key national issues by building effective national coalitions and networks (e.g., the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), the West Africa Election Observers Network, WAEON amongst others) and has provided important (often solicited), technical and analytic input to relevant state ministries, and committees of Parliament for the drafting and passage of key legislations, including the recent anti-corruption Office of Special Prosecutor law.
CDD-Ghana has been a consistent champion and promoter of decentralized governance and democratic local government. Under its Social Accountability program, the Center has undertaken various projects to enhance citizens’ engagement with local political authorities, empowering communities with evidence and information to demand accountability and responsiveness from duty-bearers and helping build the capacity of community-based civic organizations and elected local officials. In the area of elections, CDD-Ghana has worked consistently to enhance voter participation in elections and improve the credibility of elections in Ghana, including by pioneering the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to independently verify presidential election results in Ghana’s last three general elections. In the area of human capital development, CDD-Ghana has nurtured and promoted the careers of a crop of young, top-notch democracy, governance and social accountability technocrats, intellectuals, analysts and advocates.