Development Alternatives - Beware of STTA's | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Development Alternatives

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"Beware of STTA's"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Contractor - STTA
Current Contractor - STTA
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

I have been working at Development Alternatives as a contractor (Less than a year)

Pros

Outstanding benefits IF you work longer than 1000 hours.

Cons

If brought on board for Short Term Technical Assistance, you are likely to be terminated easily. Too easily - such as being hired by an "unpopular" manager and let go by someone higher up the food chain.

Advice to Management

Keep a closer eye on the gravy train staff overseas and question why so many HQ staff need to earn an uplift and spend project funds to fly overseas for just a one-week visit.

Other Employee Reviews for Development Alternatives

  1. Helpful (2)

    "A great company in an increasingly challenging sector...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management in Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - Management in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Development Alternatives full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Over its 43 year history DAI has always tried to make a difference in the world through its projects, be a great place to work, and be a successful business that responds to the requirements of its customers and stakeholders. Generally, the company has succeeded in achieving its goals. DAI has always been led by development professionals, not professional business leaders. We have elected to try our best and err on the side of good development rather than good business. In spite of a rough couple of years in the USAID market (increased focused on compliance and audit; declining market size; confusion of development and post-war reconstruction; and, noise about private sectors contractors), DAI has remained USAID's top implementing partner (ask to see DAI's survey of customers). DAI has also been actively working -- with some success -- to diversify its US government business and become a valued partner to DFID, the European Commission, private companies, and local governments.

    Cons

    The field of development, particularly in Washington, D.C., has changed. There is more competition; there are more "experts" writing about development; and, there are more "politics" to the field than ever before. The world has also changed -- there is more capacity in the countries where DAI works than ever before. These changes (among others) are putting pressure on all of the actors in the development field. Some companies are being forced to reduce headcount and benefits and others are accelerating staff turnover to keep down labor costs. Nonetheless, in my view, there remain real opportunities for entrepreneurial, smart, geographically mobile individuals who wish to feel good about the work they do every (or almost every) day. There are lots of nuts and bolts that go into delivering international technical assistance, so most entry-level job seekers will be doing some of these mundane tasks. Read job descriptions carefully. But, patience and drive, is generally rewarded!

    Advice to Management

    Managers at all levels need to work on being good managers!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting company going through a lot of change"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Consultant in Bethesda, MD
    Former Contractor - Consultant in Bethesda, MD
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Development Alternatives as a contractor

    Pros

    DAI implements some very innovative, high-impact projects throughout the world. It has left an impressive imprint on the field of agricultural development in particular. Technical staff aren't too overworked, and are paid well. Employees are extremely intelligent and professional.

    Cons

    Working on the technical side in Bethesda could mean you spend 90% of your time writing USAID proposals, which is a great skill but can get old quickly if you are looking to diversify your skill set (and it can start to feel like a "sales" job). Project management staff face limited career mobility. There also seems to be a fair amount of nepotism in the company, as several divisions have multiple workers who are also siblings, etc. There seems to be a very limited understanding across the company of M&E, which could become more of an issue as development donors are becoming increasingly results-oriented. Finally, the company is adjusting to more limited funding opportunities from USAID by altering its business model and diversifying its portfolio - there's a lot of risk in this strategy (the company's entire business model is based on winning USAID contracts), so it's hard to tell how it will all play out, and depends on incredibly capable executive leadership.

    Advice to Management

    None really - best of luck!


There are newer employer reviews for Development Alternatives
There are newer employer reviews for Development Alternatives

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