Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t see the answer you’re looking for below? Send us your question and we’ll find an answer for you.

Where is DAI located?

Since 1970, we have worked in more than 150 countries, and at any one time we are likely to have active projects in 90 or more countries. This worldwide portfolio is supported from more than a dozen corporate offices, including locations in Abuja, Nigeria; Amman, Jordan; Ankara, Turkey; Apsley, United Kingdom; Belgrade, Serbia; Bethesda (Md.), United States; Bogota, Colombia; Brussels, Belgium; Georgetown, Guyana; Islamabad, Pakistan; Lagos, Nigeria; London, United Kingdom; Muscat, Oman; Ramallah, Palestine; Sofia, Bulgaria; and Vienna, Austria.

What do the letters DAI stand for?

It is no longer correct to refer to DAI as “Development Alternatives, Inc.” When the founders incorporated the company in 1970, they chose that name because they thought they could bring fresh alternatives and innovations to the way development was being done. And that spirit remains essential to the firm. But over the decades we have come to be known by the acronym, and in recent years we have opted to present ourselves as DAI, no spelling out required. As of 2016, the formal legal name of the company is DAI Global, LLC and the correct way to refer to the company is simply as DAI.

What does DAI do?

We are skilled technical specialists and project managers, trained in the disciplines of international development and steeped in the challenges of operating overseas. We work for development agencies, private corporations, and philanthropies to tackle fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. This means working across the spectrum of international development. Today, for example, it means:

Is DAI a company or an NGO?

DAI is a company, wholly owned by its employees. Our founders created a business model that would embrace the rigors of the marketplace—competition and innovation—and plough its returns back into the organization and its people so that DAI can serve as an engine for progress in emerging and developing nations. Competition is at the heart of this vision. We compete for 99 percent of our projects. For DAI, open competition keeps us sharp and tests our claims to quality and value. For our clients, for taxpayers, and for development as a whole, competition yields lower costs, better value, superior technical innovation, and more diverse technical choices. DAI is a proud member of the Council for International Development Companies, but we also believe that the enterprise of development is best served by a diverse ecosystem of service providers including private firms large and small, local and international NGOs, multilateral organizations, academic institutions, think tanks, and so on.

Who owns DAI?

DAI is wholly owned by its employees. All global corporate employees may invest in the firm, and more than 80 percent have done so. In 2016, at the annual conference of the Global Equity Organization (GEO), an organization dedicated to advancing understanding of employee share plans, DAI’s plan won the award for Best Use of a Share Plan in a Private Company. “DAI has raised the bar in achieving its corporate objectives and inclusively engaging its workforce as owners,” wrote GEO.

How many people work for DAI?

Given the churn of projects and the mix of long- and short-term assignments, this is a moving target. But as of December 2021, we employ approximately 5,000 people worldwide, a large majority of them local staff.

Who are your partners?

In terms of consultants, we tap an in-house database of more than 60,000 highly qualified individuals. Organizational partners vary from country to country, assignment to assignment, but all told we work with more than 200 institutional collaborators.

Does DAI offer funding for development programs?

As a rule, no. Typically we implement programs funded by international donors, national governments, private corporations, or major philanthropies. As part of those programs, we very often are charged with overseeing and disbursing program funds in support of civil society organizations, local institutions, or programs with development-oriented goals, but those disbursements are invariably on a local, program-by-program basis.

Does DAI offer internships?

DAI does not have a formal internship program. Periodically, targeted internship opportunities arise and when they do, we post information about them on our careers page. When offered, internships are paid; the individuals selected must be eligible to work in the country of the internship without company sponsorship. We encourage anyone who is interested to monitor our website and apply through the site for opportunities of interest to them.