Active Citizens is a social leadership training programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and community-led social development. 

Active Citizens is a non-profit programme that promotes community cohesion and improvement through civic engagement or volunteering. 

Through the programme we bring together people with different beliefs and perspectives to learn from and share with each other. Working with our partners, we train participants in the skills and knowledge needed to affect social change in their communities.

Since the launch of Active Citizens 2009 to April 2019, we have worked in 68 countries worldwide with over 971 partner organisations. Through these partners we have trained 243,129 Active Citizens who have designed and implemented 9,305 social action projects.

Run by the British Council and partner organisations, it aims to increase the contribution of community leaders towards achieving sustainable development both locally and globally.

It also encourages peer-to-peer relations across cultural, geographic and political boundaries via a lively online social network of participants, as well as occasional international exchange visits.

Active Citizens in Myanmar was launched in 2010 and since then has engaged with over 3000 community leaders across the country. The programme has been delivered in 30 communities ranging from Karen and Mon states, to the northern parts of Shan State as well as Rakhine State in Western Myanmar.

How does Active Citizens work?

  1. A national strategy
    Research identifies key national issues. For example, in some countries a key issue might be literacy, in others, environmental protection might be considered more urgent. The British Council then forms partnerships with civil society organisations (delivery partners) working in these areas, to enable the delivery of Active Citizens locally.
  2. Facilitator development workshops 
    Delivery partners identify local facilitators. These facilitators take part in facilitator development workshops to find out more about the programme and explore approaches to delivering the programme locally.
  3. Local community delivery
    Local facilitators adapt and deliver local workshops to groups of Active Citizens in their communities.
  4. Facilitation
    Active Citizens work with facilitators to design and deliver social action projects in their communities.
  5. Globally connected
    Locally engaged Active Citizens connect to a global network through study visits and exchanges with other countries, as well as through sharing via online portals and working on joint activities with communities around the world.

British Council’s partner since 2013, this year Edulife is delivering Active Citizens with a focus on strengthening Myanmar’s democratic process through civic engagement. The project covers four areas –Thingangyun and Hlaing Tharyar in Yangon Region, Myaung Mya in Ayeyarwaddy Region and Kalay in Sagaing Region.


Active Citizens is delivered through a range of local partners in Myanmar, which includes Universities, Civil Society Organisations, and Millennium Centres network across the country. 

In 2018-19 the programme partnered with a number of organisations and networks working on a number of areas on education, youth empowerment and advocacy, civic engagement and political leadership, income generation through community development, libraries and community services, women empowerment, Transparency and accountability, engaging with a wide spectrum of social actors from civil society, private and public sector as they develop and deliver social action projects in their respective communities.

Find out our partners here

A significant amount of volunteer hours are also contributed in the programme by the participants across the country. 

Active Citizens connects thousands of like-minded people in country and around the world who collectively want to make a fairer and more inclusive society. If you want to makes changes in your community, find out more about the Active Citizens.