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‘PDG was started in 1990 by Ian Palmer with the objective of offering development consulting services in an emerging field. The firm started off with a strong emphasis on applied research, consulting to parastatal organisations engaged in development and NGOs, as it did not wish to consult to the government of the time. Much of the initial work was in the water services, housing and energy fields, with emphasis on applying social and economic analysis to what were previously technically-driven sectors.
By 1995, when fresh opportunities arose to contribute to the building of a new government, PDG was fairly well established with eight consultants in two offices (Johannesburg and Cape Town). PDG expanded its focus from research to policy and public sector strategic management support, including financial, legal, management and environmental disciplines.
Between 1998 and 2005, the firm adjusted its ownership and control arrangements, to provide for greater participation by black professionals and to improve the way it is managed.’