What we do

World Vision works with communities to develop long-term solutions to overcome poverty, provides emergency assistance to children and families affected by natural disasters and civil conflict, and advocates for justice on behalf of the poor.


Lasting change through long-term partnerships

World Vision partners with groups of communities in defined geographic regions, which we refer to as Area Development Programs, or ADPs. These ADPs encompass an average of 10,000 to 50,000 people and have a life span of 10 to 15 years—or until the community is empowered to continue driving development without World Vision’s presence.

Social Transformation

In partnership with adults and children, local leaders, and community groups, we help change harmful beliefs and practices. Together, we address issues such as gender-based violence, disability access, and more—so the community can flourish.

Physical Transformation

The steps toward physical transformation typically begin with clean water or food security and build on a strong foundation of cooperation. We empower families to create a self-sustaining local economy so they can meet all their own needs—and also help build their resilience through disaster preparedness.

Spiritual Transformation

Many communities living in physical poverty are spiritually rich. World Vision strives to point people to God in all we do—whether that’s partnering with the local church or offering the quiet witness of life and deed in a community where there is no Christian church. We pray for our work to reinforce people’s understanding of God’s love, grace, and transformational power.

How a community is transformed

  • Build Trust. Social transformation starts with the building and nurturing of relationships among all partners. This includes World Vision staff and community members; members of different religious and ethnic groups; and local leadership and the community—including women and children, who are often left out of decisions that affect their lives.
  • Come together. Community participation encourages a sense of ownership. Local leaders, groups, and families join each other in development activities that benefit everyone. As they work together, relationships are strengthened—helping ensure success in the steps that follow.
  • Make decisions.In this phase, community members assess their needs and priorities and develop a multi-year plan of action. Together they decide how to use a large portion of the project budget. World Vision encourages local leaders to involve women and young people in this process, as the many positive effects carry over into other aspects of community life.
  • Design solutions.Now that the community has decided on their destination, they begin designing practical steps that will take them there. These can include agricultural, health-related, educational, and economic activities. World Vision provides oversight and help as needed, but encourages community members to work together to come up with their own solutions.
  • Take ownership. In this final step, the community takes full ownership of their future—establishing long-term social structures such as water committees, food marketing co-ops, parent-teacher associations, and community banks. Economic and productive activities become the engine that drives the community’s success without outside assistance.

7 Signature Initiatives

2 cross-cutting themes