Our History


DAI has had a base in the UK since 2006 for supporting global curriculum development and training and for fundraising. In 2020 DAI’s focus in the UK was expanded to provide leadership training and coaching within the UK itself. The desire is to provide opportunities for leaders of different ethnicities and cultures to come together to explore the skills and behaviours of a true servant leader, to provide safe spaces to study, debate, imagine and reflect together and to learn from one another.

This element of DAI’s ministry in the UK is embryonic but has a real sense of energy and purpose. New workshops and courses are scheduled throughout the year and partnerships are being forged with a number of agencies and Church groups to facilitate joint working, and the efficient use of resources.

Given the coronavirus pandemic workshops are being held online and particularly popular has been the Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity course.

Liz Taylor, Chief Executive

DAI International

Dave, Jim and Jane

In 1990, two distinguished professors wanted to make a difference in the lives and ministries of key leaders in the majority world. Their dream was to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of Christian leaders worldwide.

Dr. James F. Engel taught at Wheaton College for 18 years. Beside a highly successful secular career in marketing research, he served as a trainer and consultant to over 250 Christian organisations in 60 countries.

Meanwhile, Dr. David Fraser had gained significant exposure to leaders at grassroots level, serving as a member of the senior staff of the MARC (Mission Advanced Research and Communication Centre) Division of World Vision International with responsibilities for Unreached Peoples. He had also served with World Vision’s Mission Training and Resource Centre, helping to develop curricula and training models.

Together the two undertook nearly three years of global research to identify the greatest areas of leadership growth needed by Christian leaders in the majority world to effectively transform their communities.

Over the next five years the curriculum was created, field-tested, modified and retested. It began to become clear that interactive, story-based learning focused on asking the leader questions and requiring application enabled leaders to change. This method put the focus on learning and transformation of the leader and his or her leadership practices. Staff and volunteers were recruited, including men and women with expertise in the most critical fields, and the ministry began to expand. In 1996, the organization adopted the name Development Associates International (DAI). Link to the global site.

Today DAI operates in over 80 countries coordinated through 37 ministry centres each led by a national leader.
In 2020 135,440 leaders benefited from DAI programmes.

DAI UK is a registered charity no. 1115741 and a Company Limited by Guarantee No. 50750186
DAI UK registered address at 25 Gordon Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 3RG

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