ICS takes a different approach to international volunteering. By bringing together young people from the UK to work side-by-side with young people from developing countries, we believe change lies in the hands of young people.
Funded by the UK government and led by respected development organisation VSO in partnership with a consortium of agencies, ICS has been supporting young people to make change since the programme's launch in 2011.
Since then, ICS has created a global community of almost 40,000 active citizens and a lasting legacy of youth-driven change.
What we achieved in 2019
Last year, ICS teams supported communities to earn a decent living, gain access to health services and information, increase education opportunities that are inclusive to all, and understand their rights as citizens.
Over three quarters of ICS volunteers said they gained personal development from their placement, and 80% were in further education, employment or training after finishing.
Read our annual report (PDF) to discover the highlights of ICS in 2019.
Download the full report
Thematic overview of the year
- 1,763 volunteers
- 88 teams
- 6 countries
Livelihoods projects aim to increase the economic opportunities and self-sufficiency of communities, particularly disadvantaged groups.
ICS volunteers have facilitated the skills development of women and youth to help set up small businesses, and supported young people in accessing employment opportunities.
- 430 volunteers
- 20 teams
- 4 countries
Education projects aim to improve access to education among disadvantaged groups in rural communities.
ICS volunteers have supported the retention of school-aged children through extracurricular activities, and raised awareness of the rights of education access for children with disabilities.
- 445 volunteers
- 26 teams
- 3 countries
Health projects focus on improving access and awareness of health rights and services and promoting healthy practices among communities.
ICS volunteers have highlighted the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices, and raised awareness of young people’s sexual health rights and services.
- 249 volunteers
- 13 teams
- 3 countries
Civic participation projects amplify the voices of marginalised groups in society, and build awareness of people’s rights and their capacity to exercise control over decisions and resources.
ICS volunteers have raised awareness of the rights of people living with disabilities, and energized community participation in local decision making.
Other ICS reports
- Download the Annual report 2018-19 (PDF)
- Download the Annual report 2017-18 (PDF)
- ICS and mental health: Exploring the relationship between international youth volunteering and mental health (October 2018)
- ICS Mid-Term Evaluation (November 2017)
- Download the Annual report 2016-17 (PDF)
- Download the Annual Report 2014-2015 (PDF)
- Download the Evaluation of the International Citizen Service: Phase One Report (PDF)
- Evaluation of DFID’s International Citizens' Service (ICS) Pilot Programme (on gov.uk)
- Evaluation of DFID's International Citizen Service (ICS) pilot stage - mid term review (on gov.uk)