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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. 

In that time, 30,000 young people have volunteered in more than 25 countries across the world. By 2018, ICS will have 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:

  • 95% of our partners said working with ICS made their organisation better at creating positive change

  • 75,000 hours of volunteer time put in

  • 26,400 hours of peer education delivered

  • 14,600 hours of awareness raising carried out

  • 1,779 community infrastructure projects developed

Download full report:

ICS 2016-17 Annual Report (PDF)

Thematic overview of the year


  • 1,277 volunteers
  • 26 projects
  • 12 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

  • 493 volunteers
  • 19 projects
  • 8 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.

Take our projects, in Rajasthan, India, for example. Access to government welfare schemes was restricted by a lack of awareness within the most marginalised in the community - and often women.

Pravah ICS volunteers delivered training sessions, showing people how to apply for government funds. And the result? 200 new applicants were supported and 300 people received pensions which had been delayed.


  • 1,569 volunteers
  • 32 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.


  • 3,090 volunteers
  • 68 projects
  • 17 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.

Previous ICS reports

ICS Mid-Term Evaluation. November 2017.

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. Last updated 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