Introducing the PDIA Toolkit

1 min read

written by Salimah Samji

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In 2009, we began to explore how to do PDIA in the real world. Our early engagements helped us learn, develop and refine our tools – some of our key ideas (problem construction, problem driven convening, problem deconstruction, sequencing, action pushes etc.) emerged from this process.

In 2012, the Building State Capability program was created to house the action research, learning and experimentation of the PDIA approach. Since then, we have tried, tested, iterated and adapted our tools in our direct work with 349 government officials, across 45 teams, in 12 countries (Africa, Sri Lanka and Albania). In addition, 970 development practitioners in 83 countries (47% in Africa and 22% in Asia) have used these tools in our free PDIA online courses and have found them useful.

In keeping with our commitment to democratize PDIA knowledge, and to make it freely accessible to those who are in the trenches of implementing development policies and programs, we are proud to release the PDIAtoolkit : A DIY approach to Solving Complex Problems (Version 1.0). It is an open access publication, available online and distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution –Non Commercial –No Derivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

The PDIAtoolkit is designed to guide you through the process of solving complex problems which requires working in teams. We call it a Do-it-Yourself (DIY) kit, where the ‘you’ is a committed team of 4-6 people mobilized to work together to solve a complex problem that cannot be solved by one person.

The PDIAtoolkit draws from two key resources. The first is the Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action book which is available as a free download and the second is a set of short videos explaining the key concepts of PDIA.

While the PDIA process is not linear, we recommend that you first read this toolkit in sequence to understand the steps. The toolkit has eight sections. Each section introduces a new concept and has one or more worksheets which are the tools to help you try PDIA for yourself. All the tools are dynamic and should be reviewed and adapted on a regular basis.

We hope that you find this toolkit useful and wish you the best on your PDIA Journey. Please share your experiences with us #PDIAToolkit

You can listen to the podcast and watch the video of the launch below.



  1. Hello!

    I would like to get further information regarding any upcoming series and enrollment in Principles of PDIA: Building Capacity by Delivering Results. I have been navigating the site, however, I have not been able to get some insights re registration process as well as program schedules. I would definitely like, if possible, to receive some leads vis-a-vis the next sessions.

    Regards — — Emmanuel

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