People are their own greatest champions. World Learning believes society is stronger when people can influence the life of their communities, stand up for their fundamental rights, and hold their government accountable.

Civic engagement is most effective when it takes place within a system that encourages collaboration between government and a country’s people. In such a system: Individuals understand their rights and responsibilities. Civil society mobilizes people, advocates for progress, and works with stakeholders to implement solutions. Stakeholders form coalitions and communicate with their government to promote change. Government is responsive to constituents, while laws and policies promote freedom and access to information.

World Learning’s civic engagement programming cultivates emerging leaders and engaged youth, provides civic education and skills building, connects activists across borders, strengthens the internal performance of civil society organizations, and provides sub-grants to local groups to take direct action.

Read on to see how we incorporate the five signature elements of World Learning’s approach to change into our civic engagement programs or check out our Theory of Change for an even more detailed look at what sets us apart.


Experiential Learning: Since its founding, World Learning has encouraged people to learn by doing. We draw on that expertise to design civic engagement programs that promote deep learning and skills development, collaboration, and self-reflection. Through this process, participants gain deeper knowledge and skills to make change. Read more.
Leadership Development: Civic engagement is a powerful way for local leaders to galvanize community support and enact change. We work alongside leaders and organizations as they develop the capacity to advocate for their community’s needs, develop a civic action plan to meet those needs, and strengthen their ability to achieve results. Read more.
Innovation: It’s essential to stay on the cutting-edge, constantly testing new ideas and solutions for global challenges. We constantly seek new and creative approaches to our civic engagement programs, whether we’re providing technical assistance or sharing tools that can strengthen civil society’s ability to hold government accountable. Read more.
Grants Management: With adequate funding, people and organizations can expand their reach. We work closely with local organizations to strengthen their ability to manage grant funding, which is an effective way to provide organizations the resources to put new skills and knowledge into practice or to implement strategic plans. We also work with local leaders to provide small grants that help them get their projects off the ground. Read more.