The Population and Community Development Association (PDA) was founded in 1974, with the initial aim of complementing the efforts of the Royal Thai Government in promoting family planning in Thailand, especially in areas where knowledge and access to services were scarce.
Using a participatory, community-based approach, PDA recruited and trained residents of villages and urban neighborhoods to provide information on family planning, including the supervised, non-medical distribution of oral contraceptives.
This distribution network covered more than one-third of the country and contributed significantly to the decrease in the annual population growth rate from 3.3 percent in the mid-1970s to 0.6 percent in 2005. During the same period, the number of children per family fell from seven to under two.
Today, PDA is a leading diversified NGO in Thailand, employing over 800 staff members and working with over 12,000 volunteers. PDA has 18 regional development centers and branch offices located across 15 provinces in rural Thailand. It also manages the Lamplaimat-Pattana Primary and Secondary Schools, which offer revolutionary private education for the poor.
PCDA began in Thailand with a radical approach to campaigning for family planning and HIV/AIDS education.
Health and family planning remain important but now are embedded in programs that address the core problem of poverty through Village Development Partnerships.
Once known as "Dr. Condom," Mechai Viravaidya leads the most diversified NGO in Thailand, still with a sense of humor.
PDA social enterprises include the popular restaurant chain Cabbages and Condoms and the Business for Rural Education and Development Co. (BREAD).
Eradication of poverty in rural communities through partnerships with the private sector.
Today, PDA is the leading and most diversified NGO in Thailand employing 800 staff and working with 12,000 volunteers in 18 regional development centers and branch offices in 15 provinces.
As a young economist working for the government, Mechai Viravaidya saw that rapid population growth in rural Thailand was compounding the problems of poverty. He launched the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) in 1974 to try a radical approach: a campaign for family planning and HIV/AIDS education that brought conversations about condoms out into the open and added humor, achieving for himself a nickname, “Condom King of Thailand.” The population growth rate fell from 3.2 percent in 1974 to 0.5 percent in 2005. Mechai considered this important but returned to the core problem of poverty with PDA’s Village Development Partnership (VDP) model, a serious endeavor to eradicate poverty by partnering a rural village with a sponsoring company or organization. It addresses development in five key areas: community empowerment, income generation, education, environmental promotion, and health.