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ICS reports

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 35,000 active citizens and a lasting legacy of youth-driven change.

community action in Nepal
© ICS / Restless Development / Suraj Ratna Shakya

ICS impact

Here's what we've achieved this year

In 2017-18:

  • 92% of partners involved in ICS have said that their organisation is better able to bring positive change
  • 28,400 hours of peer education delivered

  • 17,700 hours of awareness raising carried out

  • 1,870 community infrastructure projects developed

Download full report:

ICS 2017-18 Annual Report (PDF)

Thematic overview of the year


  • 1,238 volunteers
  • 31 projects
  • 13 countries

In education, ICS volunteers work to improve delivery of and access to basic education for poor and marginalised girls and boys.

The mid-term evaluation demonstrated the positive impact ICS is making within the education sector of the countries we operate in. We've seen huge improvements in teaching methods and engagement with out-of-school children and a big reduction in corporal punishment.

Civic participation

  • 480 volunteers
  • 16 projects
  • 5 countries
Jamie Phillips and Sukanya Sinha undertake a survey in Paner, Rajasthan
© IS / Pravah
Volunteers Jamie Phillips and Sukanya Sinha undertake a survey in Paner, Rajasthan

ICS projects amplify the voice of marginalised groups, increase knowledge of their rights and strengthen their capacity to exercise control over decisions and resources that affect them.

Local people have – with the support of volunteers – acquired new skills in areas such as advocacy, active citizenship and community participation.


  • 1,520 volunteers
  • 26 projects
  • 11 countries

We're committed to improving the delivery and access of basic health services as well as promoting healthy practices in communities.

ICS volunteers raise awareness of the importance of sanitation and hygiene as well as promote the availability of government and NGO health services.

Many ICS health projects improve sexual and reproductive health and rights - vital to empowering women and girls and advancing gender equality.

“It's been great working on a project that relates so much to my experience as an HIV positive man. If we're doing a session on positive living in school, talking about how you can live a healthy life while being HIV positive, I’m living proof."

 - For volunteer Nathaniel Antonio-Gorse, his experience as an HIV positive man helped with his work on placement in Malawi promoting sexual health services.

In Tanzania, Raleigh ICS volunteers have been working to address issues of health, hygiene, water and sanitation in Kilombero District. ICS volunteers aim to improve the quality of hygiene education, giving sessions on handwashing and sanitation to the local community and schools.

The project also focused on raising awareness of menstrual hygiene, training local peer educators to continue the ongoing mentoring to their peers.

Masibu Mahokala Salumu, a primary school teacher, said the following about the project:

“The community members’ attitudes have changed through the knowledge and education on SWASH (School, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). For example, I have noticed the emergence of tippy taps in the village. I recognise that change takes a long time yet, despite this, there are definite visual improvements and changes in behaviour.”


  • 3,334 volunteers
  • 63 projects
  • 19 countries

Across the world, ICS volunteers work with local communities on livelihoods projects, helping to increase economic opportunities and self-sufficiency, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

This includes delivering workshops to build skills, improving chances of finding employment, helping aspiring entrepreneurs to set up new businesses; and working with business owners to boost their income.

ICS volunteers visiting Upendo enterprise
© Andrew Aitchison
ICS volunteers visiting Upendo enterprise, a local garment making company, part of the VSO / ICS Elimu Fursa project (Opportunities in Education) Lindi, Tanzania.

Other ICS reports


ICS and mental health: Exploring the relationship between international youth volunteering and mental health. October 2018.


ICS Mid-Term Evaluation. November 2017.


Annual report 2016-17


ICS Annual Report 2014-2015


Evaluation of the International Citizen Service. Phase One Report. December 2013.


Evaluation of DFID’s International Citizens' Service (ICS) Pilot Programme. November 2013.


Evaluation of DFID's International Citizen Service (ICS) pilot stage - mid term review. October 2011


Also see

community action in Nepal
© ICS / Restless Development / Suraj Ratna Shakya

ICS impact

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Funded by the UK Government

ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

Find out more