Active Citizen Alikah at Serbian Parliament
Value £9 million
2009 to 2015

The British Council delivers the Active Citizens programme in 40 countries, through a network of over 400 partner organisations. Our sector specialists design and develop the programme content, which gives groups of volunteers the skills, attitudes and networks to tackle issues which they have identified in their community. It is designed to be adaptive so it can be delivered in any community in the world, making it as powerful in South Sudan as it is in East London. 

The programme content equips the Active Citizens with the knowledge and skills to run sustainable social action projects. The British Council provides digital platforms, social media and events to connect the global network of Active Citizens so they can connect, share and inspire one another with minimal support. 

We leverage our global network of on the ground staff to manage a series of International Study Visits in a range of countries. These bring together Active Citizens from around the world to learn about the local volunteering landscape and generate ideas for social action back in their own communities. 

Active Citizens was able to achieve rapid scale through tapping into the British Council’s global network. By working with government and civil society partners on the ground, the programme has gone from 18,000 participants to 80,000 in four years. Globally there are now 80,000 Active Citizens participants, who between them have created over 3,200 social action projects. These projects have dealt with issues ranging from youth unemployment in East London to firewood shortages in South Sudan. 

The British Council manages Active Citizens in accordance to strict quality benchmarks. The programme team is responsible for financial reporting, event management, marketing and communications and general programme administration.

‘The British Council is a valued partner of the Shoreditch Trust. They offer a flexible, collaborative and supportive approach to programme delivery.’  

Jacqui Roberts, The Shoreditch Trust

‘When I deliver the Active Citizens training, I see a group blossom in front of me. Through the confidence, skills and networks that the programme gives them, they become influencers of lasting social change.’  

Paula Manley, Active Citizens Facilitator, Women Making A Difference, Wales 

 Active Citizens in numbers 

  • 82,000 Active Citizens worldwide
  • 3,200 social action projects
  • 143,000,000 people reached (477,665 face-to-face).