Our local initiatives | ActionAid UK

Our local initiatives

Building a life that’s more than just survival takes time. Our unique approach means building relationships with communities — especially women and girls who are often the most affected by poverty, listening to the challenges they face, and working with them to find the best long term solutions.

From over 40 years’ experience we have found several tried and tested initiatives and ways of working that are truly effective in empowering communities to bring about lasting change. Here are some typical examples that we use in countries we work in all over the world.

Local partners

Local partners

Any local organisation, group or network of people that we work with or fund in order to support a community.

Mother and baby centres

Mother and baby centres

A room or tent set up for mothers and babies after a disaster – a safe place for them to breastfeed in private and get the specific support they need.

Children’s club

Children’s clubs

A fun, safe space for children to share their views and problems and get a say in how their communities develop.

Reflect circle

Reflect circles

An adult education group where women learn to read, write and become numerate, as well as understanding their rights and how to claim them.


School management committees

A group including children, parents and teachers who help improve local schools and quality of education and track government money to make sure it is spent properly.


Women’s cooperatives

A self-reliant group of women who are given a small loan to build a business, which they put money back into over time.


Community seed banks

Seed banks contribute to food
by ensuring that the seeds of useful crops are available when they’re needed.

Person holding hammer

Cash for work schemes

In the aftermath of a disaster, cash-for-work schemes enable local people to carry out activities which benefit the whole community. This includes clearing debris or rebuilding schools, in return for a daily wage.

Girl’s clubs

Girls’ clubs

A safe space which encourages girls to be confident, understand their rights, learn skills for life and raise their voices to help tackle the issues affecting their lives.


Women’s watch groups

Community groups trained by ActionAid to recognise, prevent and report all forms of violence against women and girls, including abduction, child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Cash transfers

Cash transfers

Money we give directly to people in critical need after a disaster, empowering them to choose how they spend the money and helping support local markets.



ActionAid’s global youth network involving more than 50 ActionAid partners and thousands of volunteers in more than 25 countries.


Page updated 14 May 2019