Innovative Projects

As a leader in the field of Youth Civic Engagement, ICP is always working on new projects to help carry out our mission.  Additionally, ICP has also completed a multitude of highly successful projects.

Current Projects

SummerTrek:  A Journey of Self-Discovery and Community Problem Solving 

SummerTrek is a four-to-six-week customized expanded learning program designed to engage middle school students as community problem-solvers. Through a series of personally motivating and dynamic project-based activities, participating youth become “trekkers”, developing and building upon their interests, skills, and expertise in the process of making positive contributions to their communities and to the world. 

International Association for National Youth Service

The International Association for National Youth Service (IANYS) is a unique global network of practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and other professionals actively working to encourage countries worldwide to implement policies and programs that support youth civic engagement. In addition to advocating for strong youth policies, IANYS also facilitates the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices in youth service and provides assistance to nations wishing either to introduce new programs or to reshape existing programs.

Past Projects

University Civic Engagement Initiative, Wajibi: My Education, My Community

In 2013 ICP launched the University Civic Engagement Initiative in partnership with Silatech.  The Initiative was designed to provide the support and resources necessary to expand and build youth civic engagement within universities in the Arab world, serving as catalysts and conveners for an expanded and re-invigorated “movement” of youth civic engagement in the MENA region.

Talloires Network Professional Development Program

The Talloires Network Professional Development Project provided training in institutional leadership in the global higher education community around civic engagement issues. The Talloires Network surveyed member needs for professional development and identified access to resources and training as the crucial next step to help develop skills for engagement at more operational levels of academic institutions. Participants in the Faculty and Staff Professional Development Program gained technical skills and knowledge that will enable them to expand and strengthen civic engagement efforts at their universities, as well as develop strategies and methods to promote institutional policy change and quality improvement.

TOMODACHI-ICP Collegiate Civic Engagement Program

Beginning in early 2014, ICP began working with the TOMODACHI Initiative in Japan to design and facilitate a program focused on providing information and tools to help to foster civic engagement programs throughout Japanese higher education institutions. The partnerships that were established, between universities in Japan and the US, provideed for ongoing exchanges of cultures, ideas and best practices geared towards strengthening and spreading a strong foundation for student civic participation in both countries.

National Youth Service in Sub-Saharan Africa

ICP partnered The MasterCard Foundation and Volunteer and Service Enquiry Southern Africa (VOSESA) to undertake a research study to assess how National Youth Service (NYS) programs in Sub-Saharan Africa can better prepare young people for the workforce.

US-Pakistan Higher Education Initiative on Civic Engagement

Sponsored by the US Embassy in Islamabad, this project twinned 5 US and Pakistani universities to build capacity for civic engagement and student and community youth leadership. Throughout the year-long project members from participating universities in the United States and Pakistan engaged in a series of exchanges, including visits to partnering campuses.

Youth Civic Engagement in East Asia and the Pacific

In the summer of 2007 ICP was contracted by UNICEF to carry-out a study of youth civic engagement in 16 countries in the East Asia and the Pacific Region (EAPRO). Recently ICP completed the study and presented the findings in a Report to UNICEF.  As part of the project ICP published a report called “Young People’s Civic Engagement in East Asia and the Pacific.”

Adolescent Participation in Latin America and the Caribbean

ICP in partnership with UNICEF developed a handbook which addresses the link between participation and citizenship and serves as a guide to some of the most promising practices in the field to assist practitioners to engage adolescents through participation. Through this project both the handbook,“What Works:  Adolescent Participation in Latin America and the Caribbean” and a toolkit were created and published.

The Impact of National Service on Critical Social Issues

ICP stimulated new thinking in the field by organizing a forum and three other events to address the impact of national service programs in community development in three specific issue areas: youth in out-of-school time, rural development, and independent living for seniors.

Catalyzing Youth Active Citizenship in South Asia

To address the impact of the best models of Youth Civic Engagement programs, a framework for conducting impact assessments of Youth Civic Participation initiatives was developed by ICP and local partners in India through a consultative process during the years of 2009 and 2010.  This project was funded by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi/ U.S. Department of State.  ICP produced two publications as a result of this work:   Making Youth Work Visible and Nurturing Youth Active Citizenship in India.

Green Youth Service

In the fall of 2007, ICP became a founding member of the Clean Energy Corps Working Group.  As part of this group, ICP contributed to the concept for “Clean Energy Corps.”  As founding member, ICP launched a multi-year initiative called Youth Service and Climate Change. This project produced a Toolkit called “Integrating Service-Learning into Public Lands Policy.

Highlighting Innovative Programs and Assisting Initiatives and Policies

In 2006, ICP provided technical assistance to policymakers and program staff from several countries in regions around the world. Through multi-day study tours, seminars, and tailored consultations, ICP contributed to advancing innovative and quality practices in these countries and also provided them with strategic advice on the opportunities for governments and civil society organizations to invest in youth participation.

Making the Case for Youth Civic Engagement-World Bank Collaboration

ICP strives to enhance the quality of youth service programs around the world as well as to include youth service and service-learning strategies in the international development community as a means of engaging youth and securing their futures.  ICP has worked with the World Bank staff to ensure that service in a central component of the institution’s strategy to address the needs of children and youth in developing countries. ICP co-planned a conference on measuring the impact of National Youth Service.

Innovations in International Youth Volunteering

In 2008, ICP teamed up with v, an independent charity championing youth volunteering in England to conduct research on innovative youth volunteering projects from around the world.  As a result, ICP produced a report highlighting 22 case studies from around the world.  The report demonstrates that empowering young people-not just the usual suspects, but young people who are themselves marginalized and excluded-is the most important factor for innovation in youth volunteering.  In addition to the report, ICP awarded cash prizes up to $1,000 for the three top-ranked programs.

Pathways to a New Future: Service as a Strategy for Vulnerable Youth

Through this project, ICP, in partnership with CorpsNetwork, focused on a limited number of youth corps around the country and helped them to create pathways to employment and education by connecting them with community colleges and employers in their communities.

US-UK Exchange on Youth Civic Engagement

In 2004 and 2005, ICP co-organized seminars in partnership with the National Center for Learning and Citizenship at the Education Commission of the States.  The 2004 seminar was held in Edinburgh and the 2005 seminar was held in Charleston, SC.  The seminar brought together approximately 40 participants from the US and UK to discuss the relationship between service-learning and political literacy, with a specific focus on research and assessment practices.

US Department of State

ICP was invited by the US Department of State to make a presentation to staff across the Department on youth service as a potential strategy for the development of a democratic culture. Before the presentation, ICP prepared a document to illustrate how youth service programs are, despite being an effective vehicle for providing opportunities to young people to gain skills in participation by actively addressing community needs, an underutilized tool.

For more information about past projects contact: