Partnership For Advancing Human Development In Africa And Asia (PAHDAA)

Duration: 2012-2018

Location: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, Egypt, Uganda, India, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania

Reach: 2.3 million people (1.3 million women and girls; 1 million men and boys)

Budget: $100 million (Global Affairs Canada: $75 million; AKFC: $25 million)


The partnership, which began its full range of programming in April 2013, is a joint initiative between AKFC and the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada. It represents a new, strategic approach to development cooperation that allows for projects of significant scale, adopts a regional perspective to persistent development challenges in health and education, employs system-wide interventions, promotes innovation, gender equality, and community leadership, and creates a platform for Canadian institutions and individuals to both gain and contribute expertise on global issues.

The partnership is made up of six integrated components:

Central Asia Health Systems Strengthening

This initiative addressed the health needs of vulnerable populations – particularly women, newborns, and children under five – in Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. It did so by (1) strengthening service delivery through a network of 20 health facilities across the region; (2) improving the knowledge and skills of health professionals to manage and provide quality care; (3) mobilizing community health workers to improve local health-seeking behaviours and disease prevention; and (4) supporting locally-relevant health research, learning, and knowledge sharing to improve health systems in Central Asia.

Over the course of the program, an average of 170,960 people benefited annually from local health awareness campaigns, improved health services delivered by trained professionals, and improved facilities, medical equipment, and supplies – including the establishment of eHealth systems to increase access to quality care in remote communities.

Strengthening Education Systems in East Africa

The aim of this program was to make sustainable improvements to teacher education and learning outcomes for pre-primary and primary students in the public education systems in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. This program equipped both experienced and aspiring teachers to use child-centred and gender-responsive teaching strategies in the classroom; strengthened institutions and technical capacities of governments and communities to ensure accountable school leadership and management; and generated regionally-relevant evidence to inform educational policies and practices.

More than 330,000 children are now getting a quality education, parents and teachers are better equipped to nurture young minds from an early age, and girls and boys have more equal opportunities as they progress through school.

Strengthening Civil Society Institutions

By building the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of local organizations to conduct human development programming, this initiative strengthened the permanent capacity of communities to lead their own development over the long term. The initiative focused on three areas:

  • Civil society organizations enhanced their understanding of gender equality issues and used practical methods and strategies in project planning and implementation to ensure that their programming is equitable.
  • Recognizing that advances and improvements in development programming often come from experimentation, the innovation component supported civil society organizations to test new and innovative development approaches across sectors.
  • The climate change adaptation component supported civil society organizations in developing and implementing climate change adaptation strategies and/or interventions in various sectors including agriculture, water conservation, micro-finance, and disaster risk reduction.

A total of 168 local organizations in Africa and Asia benefitted from capacity building to implement programming to improve human development. Taken together, this initiative benefitted 247,218 women, men, and children.


Institutional Partnerships for Human Development

By facilitating partnerships between higher education institutions in Africa, Asia, and Canada, this initiative aimed to mobilize Canadian expertise and institutions to respond to a broad set of needs within local institutions in Asia and Africa, in their efforts to improve human development. Partnerships were focused on building capacity in the areas of early human development, medicine, natural resource governance, technical education, and academic research. The initiative:

  • Increased skills and knowledge of female and male professionals in a range of technical fields contributing to human development in Africa and Asia.
  • Increased the availability of quality, independent analysis and research on issues affecting human development in Africa and Asia.
  • Increased opportunities for the effective and sustained engagement of Canadian institutions in overseas development initiatives.

In total, this initiative supported 12 partnerships between Canadian universities and colleges and overseas institutions.


Canadian Professionals for Development

To meet the demands for capacity strengthening of partner institutions overseas, this initiative engaged Canadians with a range of skill sets and levels of experience to support these needs. It also developed the capabilities of the placed Canadian professionals, helping them to become more employable, more able to operate in the developing world, more knowledgeable about global development issues, and better global citizens.

The initiative offered placements in two categories: (1) the Canadian Development Exchange, for entry to mid-level Canadian professionals; and (2) the International Youth Fellowship, for Canadian professionals under age 30.

In total, 196 Canadians participated in overseas placements, in areas such as program monitoring, gender equality, and communications, contributing to key technical needs of partner institutions and acquiring meaningful experience overseas.


Public Engagement and Professional Learning

This initiative sought to raise awareness of international development and inspire Canadians to get involved. AKFC worked with over 80 organizations across the country to deliver a diverse set of activities targeting members of the public, educators, youth, media, and the international development community. Engagement platforms include a volunteer speaker bureau; events such as workshops, seminars and speaker series; interactive exhibitions; resources and publications; digital and social media outreach; and a media fellowship for Canadian journalists.

AKFC reached more than 120,000 Canadians across the country through in-person activities, and 15 million people through digital communication and print media. Ninety-three percent of surveyed respondents reported an increase in knowledge on international development issues as a result of participating in project activities.


The Partnership for Advancing Human Development in Africa and Asia benefitted from the regional expertise and assets of the Aga Khan Development Network in Africa and Asia and collaboration with local governments and civil society organizations to ensure the long-term sustainability of program outcomes.

  • CAHSS Beneficiaries: 170,960 women, men, and children annually through health promotion activities
  • SESEA Beneficiaries: 766,598 students and education stakeholders (386,648 female and 379,950 male)
  • SCSI Beneficiaries: 247,218 women, men, and children (109,180 female and 138,038 male)
  • PE&PL Beneficiaries: 128,838 women, men, and children in Canada
  • IPHD Beneficiaries: 11,443 (6,512 female and 4,931 male)
  • CPD Beneficiaries: 196 (155 female and 41 male)