What We Do

We change the lives of women and children for good, by providing long term support in developing countries, so communities can overcome the obstacles holding them back.

How are we different?

  • We don’t impose solutions. We work with communities over many years to strengthen their own efforts to throw off poverty.
  • We see poverty as an injustice and poor people as our partners in tackling the causes of poverty.
  • Protecting women from violence is an integral part of all our work, including in emergencies.
  • We have a committed, long-term supporter base.
  • We do not have any religious or political affiliations.
  • We see on the ground how the system is holding women back and work at all levels to help change the system in their favour.

Women’s Rights

Supporting women in a community has a powerful effect on everybody, lifting up their children, their families and future generations

We make sure girls go to and stay in school. We work with communities to end gender-based violence. And we train women in the skills they need to earn a living.

Everyday we see problems women face that hold them back and we campaign at every level to tackle these issues, including to end child marriage, eradicate female genital mutilation and stop violence against women.

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Photo credit: Nirmala volunteers with one of ActionAid’s partners in Nepal. Photo credit: ActionAid Nepal

Child Sponsorship

Because of Child Sponsors communities where we work know that they can rely on regular financial support. This allows them to plan ahead and transform their lives in a sustainable way. It gives all the children in that community the best possible chance in the future.

Sponsor a child

Photo credit: Phearin washes her hands at a new school building in Cambodia. Photo taken by: Krong Chanthou/ActionAid

Photograph credit: Chief Njoka opening a new water, sanitation and hygiene  facility in an informal settlement in Majengo, in the outskirts of Nairobi. Photo taken by: Africa Youth Trust


When disaster strikes, because of our presence in so many countries oftentimes we can respond within hours, providing vital things like food and shelter.

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ActionAid Ireland is committed to building on  international development research and best practices. We have ongoing relationships with Dublin City University (DCU) and the Centre for Behaviour Change (CBC) in University College London..

ActionAid Ireland is collaborating with DCU  post-doctoral research fellow Dr Arpita Chakraborty, who is inspecting the effect of the caste system on sexual violence survivors’ access to medical care in India and Nepal. And with Dr Niamh Gaynor, who’s work will involve exploring the potential for political activism among women’s groups and networks in North-East and South-East Kenya. Learn More

We have also recently published a Behaviour Change Manual in collaboration with University College London, following the successful implementation of their Behaviour Change approach in a development context for the first time as part of our Irish Aid funded women’s rights programme. Read more.

Photographed: Paska Akello the Chairperson of Lubanga Twero sewing clothes for a customer. Photo taken by ActionAid Uganda.

REFLECT Approach

Around the world ActionAid uses the REFLECT circle method.

It was developed by ActionAid in the 1990s and is now used by thousands of organisations in over 70 countries around the globe. Watch our uplifting video that shows the approach in action.

ActionAid soap making class in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by ActionAid

Human Rights Based Approach

In simple language this means that development needs to:

  • Be based on the international human rights legal framework
  • Promote the right to active, free and meaningful participation for all
  • Address discrimination and prioritise vulnerable groups
  • Clarify links between rights and duties, and relationships between rights-holders and duty-bearers.

Pictured in the heading image is Rakhi, 10, taking part in an ActionAid handwashing campaign in Nepal. Photo by: Bahadur Sadaya/ActionAid

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