About DEC

About Us

DEC is a non-governmental, non-discriminating, not-for-profit, women-focused organisation improving the wellbeing of women groups and communities in Nigeria through socio-economic interventions for sustainable development.

DEC is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as an entity incorporated by trust with number (IT-10826).

Organizational philosophy: The family is the bedrock of meaningful and lasting development in the society, and women play a vital role in the overall well-being of the family. Therefore, the empowerment of the woman, to a large extent, guarantees improved livelihood of the family.

Brief History

The establishment of Development Exchange Centre (DEC) in 1987 was inspired by a research conducted by a group of volunteers from the Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO) with support from the Adult and Non-Formal Education Agency (ANFEA), Bauchi state which highlighted various ways and areas in which women were disadvantaged and marginalized, particularly in the northern Nigeria. DEC was conceived as a social enterprise to empower women and improve their living conditions and status through integrated development services and initiatives.

DEC started as a forum to exchange development ideas among practitioners in the industry and women groups, and it emerged with the mission to deliver both social and economic development services to identified target populations. Over the years DEC has pursued its mission through various capacity building programmes including functional adult education; vocational skills development; livelihood & resilience; sexual and reproductive health education; water, sanitation & sustainable environment; democracy and good governance; and microfinance for which DEC is most known. Currently, DEC is present in 22 States, operating through 30 Area Offices that oversee 122 business units.


a. To empower rural and urban women through project funding for women groups, capacity building and entrepreneurial skills training, water supply, sanitation and hygiene, health education, adult literacy and children education (formal and non-formal).
b. To improve the living conditions of women by providing access to microcredit services and promoting entrepreneurial development to women groups and providing investment opportunities for women and cooperative societies.
c. To improve the skills (capacity building) of government and non-governmental development agencies, CBOs, FBOs and workers (who have the mandate to provide services to women) and the skills of the rural and urban women’s groups by providing appropriate training and workshops.
d. To support community development efforts and initiatives through integrated and participatory approaches for sustainable development at the grassroots.
e. To facilitate the provision of appropriate extension services to women through governmental channels and non-governmental agents, (such as Traditional Birth Attendants and Adult literacy).
f. To promote and raise awareness on reproductive health issues amongst men and women as regards the dangers of early marriage and subsequent childbirth as well as their responsibilities to themselves, their children and their entire family.
g. To empower women for improved wellbeing and encourage women to see their common interest that adds value to their lives with other women groups and facilitate such interests in understanding and addressing the sources of exclusion which hinders them from self-development and building common trust among themselves.

Core Values

Transparency: Being open and accountable in the use of resources and in the ways decisions are made on matters of interest to the organization and its stakeholders.
Accountability: Willing and ready to perform in a manner that shows the organization is responsible and answerable to all its stakeholders, both internal and external.
Teamwork: Complementing each other’s ideas and expertise towards achieving both individuals as well as organizational goals.
Integrity: Ensuring credibility, trustworthiness and projecting a positive image of individual and organization at all times and in all things.
Innovation/Creativity: Valuing and encouraging the ability to bring out new and great ideas that bring unique insights into DEC’s work, giving it a competitive advantage or resulting in lowering the cost of operations for the organization.
Inclusion: Ensuring social inclusion and respect for human dignity and creating an environment where everyone counts.
Partnership: DEC values relationship, rights, responsibilities and mutual sharing of resources for the achievement of common goals.

A society with equitable opportunities for sustainable development.

Empowering women to improve their living conditions and status through partnerships and integrated development services and initiatives.

Our Partners