About Us

Putting social inclusion, equality and human rights at the centre
of the development process

About Us

Social Development Direct (SDDirect) is a leading provider of high-quality, innovative and expert social development assistance and research services. We work to build inclusive societies in which all women, men, girls and boys and people of all gender and identities are valued and empowered to make choices about their own development.

We are a technical firm that offers in-depth thematic expertise in conflict prevention and peace building, governance voice and accountability, girls’ education, women’s economic empowerment, health rights and violence against women and girls.

We have a 20 year track record of providing high quality services that include technical advice and support, research, development assistance programme design, delivery and management, monitoring and evaluation. Our clients are leading international development agencies, iNGOs and Foundations. They trust us to provide robust, honest advice that is underpinned by the latest evidence.

We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Plan International UK, a leader in gender-based programming for children. 


Our History

We were established in 1999 by a small network of independent consultants and researchers who were committed to eradicating poverty, inequality and injustice globally. As passionate social development professionals, they saw an opportunity to offer their specialist technical expertise directly to development agencies and others and hence Social Development Direct was born. The company grew rapidly and is now a team of over 40 in-house technical and corporate staff and an established network of hand-picked senior associates and specialists.  

We are proud of achieving some major milestones in the last 17 years including:

  • a five year contract providing technical advice and support to DFID’s head of profession for social development
  • being appointed as the lead gender and inclusion advisors on DFID’s £300m Girls Education Challenge Fund
  • serving as the lead technical advisor on Voices for Change, DFID’s flagship women and girls empowerment programme in Nigeria
  • leading the technical direction of DFID Somalia’s innovative new governance programme: Implementation and Analysis in Action of Accountability Programme (IAAAP)
  • delivering directly to DFID DRC an innovative multi-year initiative focussed on the economic empowerment of girls to name just a few.