The FIDA/pcH mission statement is guided by the right to dignity and self-determination. This requires a strict adherence to the principles of participatory methodology. Participatory methodology advocates the involvement of the local population and all those with a vested interest in a particular project or activity in their community. The approach is founded on the belief that a population has the capacity to assess their situation and the ability to make decisions that ultimately affects their lives.

Commitment to practicing participatory methodology requires considerable time, patience, and skilled facilitators. However, for FIDA/pcH its use is considered critical for sustainability. It is a methodology that fosters dialogue, respect, equality, and an appreciative awareness of individual capacities and local resources. Although time consuming, it has long been viewed as a more cost-effective approach toward achieving long term sustainability.

"True development must be in the hands of the people. If it is not accepted by the people, understood by the people, made feasible by the people, and owned by the people, it will surely fail."

Jack F. Wall