Making gender equality a reality.

Development Action Association (DAA)

Country: Ghana
Mission: DAA works to reduce poverty by empowering rural women.
Founded: 1997
Size: Works in 46 rural communities and serves hundreds of rural women and their families.
Executive Director: Lydia Sasu


In 1997, Lydia Sasu founded the Development Action Association (DAA) in Ghana.  DAA is an association of rural women farmers in Ghana that works to reduce poverty by empowering group members to be self-reliant and to participate fully in their own development. Ghana has an estimated population of 20.5 million, of which 63 percent live in rural areas and work in agriculture. DAA operates in 46 communities with 98 percent of its beneficiaries being rural women. Because most of DAA’s leaders are women, the association values and promotes the importance of  female leadership as well as expanding women's access to education, land, credit, infrastructure and technology.  DAA is also a member of the Farmers Organization Network in Ghana (FONG).

World Rural Women’s Day

On October 15, 2010, DAA hosted a special event in honor of World Rural Women’s Day.

  • Read a speech on women’s leadership, delivered by Lydia Sasu.
  • Read the recommendations (.pdf) for action the rural women presented to the Deputy Minister and representatives from Action Aid, the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CADAAP), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • See coverage of the event in the local paper - the Daily Graphic (.pdf).

About Lydia Sasu, Executive Director

As a small girl living in Ghana, Lydia Sasu saw her mother spend years growing food for others, yet struggling to make enough money to feed her own family. As a small farmer, Lydia's mother often encountered setbacks, including when customers at the local market were unable to pay for their cassava on time. Even though they grew food, Lydia and her family often went to bed hungry.

After graduating from the University of Ghana, Lydia began working with DAA.  She was the first female agricultural extension worker in her country.  Now she is a national and international voice for rural women and issues relating to smallholder farms.

How We Work Together

In 2010, Women Thrive and DAA initiated a partnership and we have been working together ever since. In April 2010, we invited Lydia to come to Washington DC to speak at two high-level congressional events on food security and land rights for women, as well as to meet directly with a wide range of U.S. congressional officials.  Lydia returned to DC in March 2011 to speak at our Third Annual International Women’s Day event.

As part of our partnership, DAA is now advocating to include rural women’s issues into the current agriculture and food security investments of her country via the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CADAAP). Also, DAA hopes to ensure that rural women benefit from donor-investments including USAID’s program on food security, Feed the Future.

Women Thrive will continue to work with DAA in an effort to better understand the needs, barriers, and opportunities women encounter, and pursue the type of advocacy that addresses those issues.

To read more about how teaming up with Women Thrive has benefited Lydia and the DAA, click here.

Contact Information

Lydia Sasu
Development Action Association
P.O. Box AN 10479 Accra
+233 21 315894