Our Story

The PlanNET story begins in Bali, in 1975, several years prior to the launch of the firm. Five of the firm’s original seven partners brought their diverse skills together on an integrated World Bank development project for the region of East Indonesia. There, they saw the merits of being organized as an interdisciplinary team and the experience inspired them to create the firm.

PlanNET was formally incorporated in Calgary, Canada in 1984. The firm was created as an umbrella organization, to open access to assignments of different scales.  Each partner had their own professional services company and it was from PlanNET that they collectively launched their bids for larger assignments.

The firm widened its client base beyond the Canadian Government to include a number of United Nations Agencies, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), faith-based organizations and a variety of other large institutions world-wide. Our work has taken us to: Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America, as well as to Europe and the USA.

To augment PlanNET’s sectoral expertise, others[1] came aboard with expertise in public health, community development, elections management, public sector management, environmental engineering, gender equality and diversity, and human rights and legal empowerment.

As public administrations and development organizations honed in on accountability and value for money, PlanNET shifted its offering towards monitoring and evaluation using Results-Based Management (RBM) approaches.  At the same time, the firm expanded on the domestic scene training, coaching and setting up monitoring systems for government and foundation funders and grantees.

How We Work


 PlanNET is made up of a small leadership team, a small group of administrative and research personnel, and a larger diverse roster of experienced professionals. We are a community with shared values trained on social, economic and environmental justice.

Regardless of the client, PlanNET is an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised. When we determine that a client’s project or program is not effectively addressing these goals, we are duty bound to confront the situation.  In all instances, we are solutions focused in our engagements.

The firm does not grow for growth’s sake. The firm’s expansion is only to increase our capabilities to better serve our clients. We know we are doing well when we build and maintain multi-year relationships with our clients.

PlanNET strives for minimal administrative overhead. We maximize the limited resources available for development assistance, while passing on as large a percentage of our fees as possible to our consultant associates. After capital and operational expenses are accounted for, remaining funds are invested in consultant training or are donated to worthy causes.

The firm has pioneered participatory approaches, to build trust with our clients and stakeholders, incorporating their values and ideas. Abroad, our teams prioritize the inclusion of relevant national specialists.  We seek gender balance on our teams.

PlanNET’s present management is shared between an Executive Director, a Business Manager and an active Board of Directors. The Board is selected by our shareholders.

Thank you to:

Sheila Robinson, Brian Unger, Elaine Ward, Steve Hope, Colin Funk, Matt Knapik, and Eimer Niilo for all their contributions and hard work on this website.