CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

Practical learning for International Action

aka CDA Collaborative   |   Cambridge, MA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

EIN: 56-2339052


CDA Collaborative Learning Projects (CDA) is a non-profit organization committed to improving the effectiveness of those who work to provide humanitarian assistance, engage in peace practice, support sustainable development, and conduct corporate operations in a socially responsible manner. We combine rigorous analysis with pragmatic field-level work and deliver practical tools to field staff and policymakers alike.

Ruling year info



Ruth Allen

Main address

255 Main Street 8th Floor

Cambridge, MA 02142 USA

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Formerly known as

Collaborative for Development Action



Subject area info

Human rights

International relations

Population served info


Victims of conflict and war

NTEE code info

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (Q19)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms



What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

CDA uses ethical methods, rigorous analysis and locally-led processes to learn from those most affected by conflict produce useful tools for policymakers and practitioners to inform policy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Stopping as Success

In partnership with PeaceDirect, Search for Common Ground and funded through USAID, Stopping as Success (SaS) uses case study methodology to evaluate international aid exits.

Population(s) Served

While the peacebuilding field has made meaningful strides developing innovative strategies to measure and learn from its current practices and programs, many of the fundamental challenges of peacebuilding evaluation are based on funding structures and systems which are beyond the capacity of any one actor to change. As a result, advancing the field of peacebuilding evaluation requires a whole-of-community effort. In response to this reality, the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP), Besa: Catalyzing Change, CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, Mercy Corps, and Search for Common Ground (SFCG), and formerly the Center for Peacebuilding and Development and the US Institute of Peace, partner together on the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium—a field-wide effort to address the unique challenges to measuring and learning from peacebuilding programs.

Population(s) Served

Funded by Humanity United, this project uses case study methodology to examine the role and effectiveness of peacebuilding networks and coalitions towards achieving greater impact on conflict systems.

Population(s) Served

CDA helps companies to improve their social impacts, support development in communities they affect, and operate in ways that strengthen their relationships with those communities. CDA works on a bi-lateral partnership basis with individual companies, and also works in multi-stakeholder initiatives to advance public understanding of corporate social impacts and their mitigation.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

InterAction - Member

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

A future where communities and nations demonstrate resilience, drive their own development, and resolve conflicts without resorting to armed violence.

Supporting the application of lessons from collaborative learning processes to improve effective and accountable engagements that result in significant, positive, lasting change for people and societies.

CDA is widely recognized for its established expertise in the professional fields of Accountability and Feedback Loops, Conflict Sensitivity/Do No Harm, Peacebuilding Effectiveness, and Responsible Business.

Our expertise is rooted in evidence-based collaborative learning projects, and in the extensive advisory work, that we have completed and continue to perform. Throughout the years we have worked in more than seventy conflict-affected and fragile contexts!

For almost twenty years, CDA has provided services in relation to accountability and feedback loops, conflict sensitivity/Do No Harm, peacebuilding effectiveness, and responsible business. We have worked in more than 70 conflict-affected and fragile contexts, and support development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding agencies, as well as private sector companies, to improve the impacts of their operations. Our services, guidance, and tools are grounded in field experience, enable organizations to learn with and from each other, are oriented towards practical application, are broadly relevant across many contexts

CDA’s expertise on effective engagement in complex situations is more relevant today than ever. Addressing the cascade of crisis, from Syria and South Sudan, to Yemen and Myanmar, along with increased global fragility and rapidly evolving forms of political violence, requires the context-specific and practical tools CDA has honed over two decades.


CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc
Fiscal year: Jun 01 - May 31
Financial documents
2022 Gabrielle Collins 2018 A-133 Single Audit
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1.27 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 16% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jun 01 - May 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jun 01 - May 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jun 01 - May 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$78,735 -$132,828 -$14,319 -$97,214 -$156,773
As % of expenses -3.3% -9.6% -1.7% -11.7% -14.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$87,045 -$139,160 -$14,319 -$97,214 -$156,773
As % of expenses -3.6% -10.0% -1.7% -11.7% -14.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,512,299 $689,245 $745,001 $642,803 $1,268,911
Total revenue, % change over prior year -26.5% -54.4% 8.1% -13.7% 97.4%
Program services revenue 43.6% 65.1% 57.7% 36.2% 22.4%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 15.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 57.7% 34.5% 42.2% 44.8% 77.5%
Other revenue -1.2% 0.4% 0.1% 4.0% 0.1%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,403,851 $1,379,470 $835,895 $830,920 $1,052,979
Total expenses, % change over prior year -20.0% -42.6% -39.4% -0.6% 26.7%
Personnel 59.7% 62.5% 58.2% 74.4% 44.3%
Professional fees 4.0% 4.1% 3.4% 4.2% 1.8%
Occupancy 3.2% 2.7% 2.3% 1.9% 1.2%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 21.5%
All other expenses 33.1% 30.7% 36.1% 19.5% 31.2%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,412,161 $1,385,802 $835,895 $830,920 $1,052,979
One month of savings $200,321 $114,956 $69,658 $69,243 $87,748
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $2,612,482 $1,500,758 $905,553 $900,163 $1,140,727

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 0.6 0.4 2.6 0.3 1.5
Months of cash and investments 0.6 0.4 2.6 0.3 1.5
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.0 0.5 0.6 -0.8 -2.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $114,324 $42,812 $180,142 $23,373 $134,253
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $937,969 $371,191 $191,890 $120,625 $225,752
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $16,753 $16,753 $16,753 $16,753 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 92.9% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 6.9% 21.3% 65.9% 136.4% 56.8%
Unrestricted net assets $194,290 $55,130 $40,811 -$56,403 -$213,176
Temporarily restricted net assets $837,627 $280,230 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $837,627 $280,230 $90,903 $0 $372,705
Total net assets $1,031,917 $335,360 $131,714 -$56,403 $159,529

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Ruth Allen

Ruth joined CDA staff in 2019 to lead the organization in its next chapter as a collaborative platform. Having partnered with CDA throughout her career and previously serving on the board, Ruth understands the power of CDA’s collaborative learning approach, the resulting principles and practices for positive social change, and the global network grown over nearly 30 years. Her shared leadership approach facilitates co-creation of CDA’s vision, culture, technical focus, learning partnerships, and network engagement. Ruth also works directly on several CDA project teams, lending her expertise in participatory research, cross-sector partnerships, civil society leadership, and good governance related to peacebuilding and humanitarian action.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects Inc

Board of directors
as of 07/18/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Neil Levine

Levine Strategies

Term: 2022 - 2026

Neil A. Levine

Sharon Flynn


Rebecca Miller

Jeannette Carneiro


Pushpa Ayer

Center for Conflict Studies

Alain Ondias-Souna

Jessica Wattman

Fredrick Tutu Kama Kama

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/18/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.