The CDD Story

The CDD Story

The Formation

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. 

How We Work

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-makers 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 and Africa-wide coalitions and networks including the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), the West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON), the Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations (PMOs) Africa, amongst others.

The Center has also 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.

As a research oriented Organization, the Center has emerged as a leader in the generation and dissemination of high-quality public opinion surveys and other relevant data for effective advocacy and policy-making in Ghana and across the continent. 

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 four general elections.

With a commitment to youth development, the Center has initiated a number of youth-centered interventions including the Democracy & Governance (D&G) Bootcamp which mobilizes and grooms Senior High School (SHS) students to imbibe good leadership and democratic principles to challenge the status quo; the West African Young Leaders Fellowship (WAYLead) which builds the capacity and capability of the youth to be active positive shapers of the West African sub-region; and the C-Watchers Network which focuses on mobilizing and empowering young people to feel capable of actually doing something about corruption.

CDD-Ghana has become the preferred destination for delegations seeking analysis and strategic insights on political and economic developments in Ghana and other African countries and has over the years received over 200 delegations from Africa and across the globe.

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.

Legacy founding fathers 27-09-2018 lowres

In 2018, CDD-Ghana celebrated 20 years of bridging research and practice to promote democracy, good governance, and inclusive development in Ghana and beyond.
This is how the journey started, as recounted by the Center’s three founding fathers.


Instituted in 1999, Afrobarometer is a Pan-African, non-partisan survey research project that conducts...


CDD-Ghana established the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) in the year 2000...

Corruption Watch

It seeks to promote integrity in public life by demanding and activating responsiveness and accountability ...

D&G Bootcamp

The overall goal is to promote and deepen democratic consolidation, good governance...

Freedom Project

The overall goal is to promote and deepen democratic consolidation, good governance...

I Am Aware

The I AM AWARE project is CDD-Ghana’s non-partisan citizen empowerment campaign..


WAEON is an independent, non-partisan, and non-religious organization...

WAYLead Fellowship

The overall goal is to promote and deepen democratic consolidation, good governance...