Around the world, individuals and groups miss out on economic opportunities because they do not trust each other or cannot overcome a history of conflict to work together. Even when opportunities exist in their communities, they are unable to take advantage of them due to a lack of communication and problem-solving skills. Using experiential learning and adult learning methodologies, DecidoSer empowers individuals to take advantage of incentives available, with the agency and sense of belonging to a socio-economic system that did not seem previously accessible.

DecidoSer empowers participants to be agents of change and catalysts for real transformation in their own lives and communities. Not intended as a course or workshop, it is a process for generating spaces for reflection and self-actualization.

To design the program, ACDI/VOCA’s psychosocial experts identified the common elements of success present in all individuals and teams and synthesized these elements into fundamental capabilities. These 18 skills include emotional management, empathy, strategic thinking, respect, teamwork, adaptability to change, effective communication, and more.

ACDI/VOCA initially developed DecidoSer in 2016 for use under the USAID-funded Program of Alliances for Reconciliation as a tool for collective action and reconciling communities in a post-conflict Colombia. Now, the tool inspires many communities to come together to rebuild trust, teamwork, and communication to allow everyone to better access to economic opportunities.

In 2020, an impact evaluation of DecidoSer by Deloitte documented that the approach generates social impact, including a return on social investment of US$33 for every US$1 invested when applied in business contexts.

What Is Included

DecidoSer has 29 modules, each addressing different skill development needs, delivered over facilitated sessions ranging between 15 to 30 hours.

How to Apply it to a Project

Prior to using DecidoSer in a new country context or new project, it is important to first determine the relevance and feasibility of introducing the tool, the cultural context, and the application of Do No Harm* principles. Certain modules of DecidoSer may not be applicable or appropriate in different cultural or security contexts. ACDI/VOCA experts can support adaptation to different social, cultural, and economic dynamics to address needs and opportunities. Modules of DecidoSer can be adapted as needed. For example, an environment- and climate-focused version of DecidoSer has exercises and activities that should be adapted according to the geographic area of focus.

*Do No Harm is a tool first developed by Mary Anderson and published by the organization CDA ( Download a brief introduction to Do No Harm.

Versions Available

Multiple versions of the DecidoSer tool are available for use in other contexts, including within families, within the work or business environment, and within groups of youth

DecidoSer Tool

(Please note: This website linked above is in Spanish. An English version is coming soon. In the meantime, please use a translation tool to convert the existing website into English.)