The Democracy Development Program (DDP) was initiated in 1993 as a partner project of the German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). DDP is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation that supports capacity building on governance and civil society levels to ensure meaningful participation in South Africa’s social transition.

We advocate for an active citizenry that can hold those in power to account, and a society in which our constitutionally enshrined Bill of Rights yields tangible benefits for all, especially those living on the margins.

We are passionate about the power of ordinary citizens to hold the government to account and to achieve their full potential whilst exploring possibilities through their gifts and talents in service of self, community and nation.

DDP contributes to the democratic development of SA by facilitating lived values of democracy in individuals, organisations and communities. These values then give rise to new norms and practices in DDP’s clients which support equality, power-sharing, active citizenship and social justice.



Our Core Areas of Work

Citizen Engagement and Political Education

- Local Government and traditional authorities
- Citizens Political Education
- Youth-in-Democracy & Politics

Civil Society Strengthening and Mentoring – capacity building to engage with the state, political parties & citizens

Democracy, voter & Civic Education – voter and civic education

Political Parties – targeted capacity building to engage with citizens, civil society and among themselves

Community of Practice – Nurturing a cadre of DDP Associate Facilitators who form our outreach team

Parliamentary engagement and Advocacy

Women in politics and leadership

Migration and Social Cohesion



Our Founding Director

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Dr Rama Naidu - Founding Director

Dr Naidu started his career as an academic in the Department of Geography at UKZN where he completed his PhD in social geography. Moved on to head the Department of Geography at the Umlazi College for Further Education where he was soon appointed as Vice-Rector, a post he held up to 1993.



Our Current Director

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Dr Paul Kariuki - Executive Director

Paul has worked in the NPO sector for more than 10 years & is passionate about community development, good governance & monitoring & evaluation. He is also passionate about community engagement with government at all levels of governance. He graduated with a PhD in Administration specializing in Monitoring & Evaluation in Local Government.



Our Past Board Members

Prof Herbert Vilakazi: 1997 -2016

Dr Rama Naidu: 1994 - 2018

Mr. P. Matthee: 1997 -2016

Mr Musa Myeni: 2005 - 2014

Dr G Wolman: 2010- 2016

Dr John Daniels: 2010 – 2014

Prof Susan Booysen: 2010 – 2018

Mr John Bhengu: 2013 - 2018

Mr BB Biyela: 2007 – 2019

Mrs Kaise Ngcobo: 2017 – 2018

Mrs Ntombifikile Mazibuko: 2019 – 2021