Centre for Development and Population Activities
The Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in developing countries through education, health and training programs.
CEDPA was founded in 1975 as the Centre for Population Activities. The initial focus of the organization was improving health and community development by training family planning managers to ensure those programs reflected community needs. At that time, management was seen as a man’s job and 80 percent of initial training participants were men. Very few women led community-based health and nutrition organizations, despite providing most of the services in the communities. Fewer still were in top government ranks where reproductive health policies were formulated.
CEDPA developed its first comprehensive training for women in 1978 and since that time has trained over 5,000 women, men and youth in a range of critical development topics. These alumni have advanced to assume various leadership positions around the world, including heads of local organizations, ministers and parliamentarians.
The organization also expanded to work in partnership with local organizations to improve education, health and well-being of women and their families within communities worldwide. By providing sub-grants and technical assistance to local partners, CEDPA strengthens community organizations for lasting change. The organization has awarded nearly $100 million in sub-grants to local organizations and women’s groups since its founding.
Organization and beliefs
At the core of CEDPA’s work is the belief that women are critical for advancing global development, democracy and progress. CEDPA works closely with women leaders, local partners and other organizations to expand access to education for women and girls, improve reproductive health and confront HIV/AIDS, and train and empower women to become leaders in their communities and countries. CEDPA also holds regional and global training workshops and regularly publishes materials related to Gender and Development. Through social mobilization and advocacy, CEDPA works to change policy, social norms, and behavior to yield sustainable development. CEDPA believes that:
- gender equality is essential to progress
- improving the future for women begins with girls
- solutions and programs must be comprehensive and tailored to each community
- men and boys must be included and engaged
- working with local organizations prompts sustainability.
CEDPA is an international leader in designing and implementing programs to improve the lives of women and girls in developing countries. CEDPA's programs:
- increase educational opportunities for girls and youth;
- ensure access to lifesaving reproductive health and HIV/AIDS information and services; and
- strengthen governance and women’s leadership.
To ensure that women have the skills to advance development in their nations, CEDPA also sponsors global training programs to build leadership abilities, technical expertise and program management skills on a range of critical issues.
CEDPA programs and projects are funded and supported by individual donors, US government grants from agencies including the US Agency for International Development and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, private foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation, and international agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme.
- “Realizing the Promise: Thirty Years of Making Change with Women and Girls”
- “WomenLead in Peace and Stability”
- “WomenLead in the Fight Against AIDS”
- Peggy McDowell Curlin, president from 1989-2003