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, a total of 40,167 young people volunteered in 32 countries across the world as a part of ICS. They have made positive changes in the communities where they have volunteered, developed skills and personal resilience to face an ever-changing world and started a lifelong journey of active citizenship.
ICS Report 2011-2020
The International Citizen Service has created positive change in the communities our volunteers work with. Some 92 percent of project partners say they are better able to bring out change as a result of working with young ICS volunteers.
Volunteers have worked on education, healthcare, livelihoods and social accountability projects. Our projects are successful because they have strong relationships and communities at their heart.
Download the full report
172 livelihood projects have taken place in 17 countries
Livelihoods projects aimed to increase the economic opportunities and self-sufficiency of communities, particularly disadvantaged groups.
ICS volunteers have facilitated the skills development of women and youth enabling them to set up small businesses, and supported young people in accessing employment opportunities.
78 education projects have taken place in 17 countries
Education projects aimed 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.
90 health projects have been carried out in 18 countries.
Health projects focused 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.
55 social accountability projects have been carried out in 9 countries
Social accountability projects amplified the voices of marginalised groups in society and built 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
- ICS Evaluation (2019)
- Download the summary report of ICS Sector Reviews 2021 (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 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)