What we do

We believe in a big-picture approach to helping communities address critical needs — bringing together all of the pieces for a full solution to the puzzle of poverty. Doing this creates lasting change, thriving communities, and the chance for all children to reach their God-given potential.


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 (ADPs). These ADPs encompass an average of 10,000 to 50,000 people and last 10 to 15 years — or until the community is empowered to continue driving development without World Vision’s presence.

Social Transformation

Beginning with the first handshake, World Vision and the communities we serve become partners in a journey toward self-sustainability. World Vision’s hands-on involvement gradually lessens as community members make their own decisions, introduce solutions, and establish self-sustaining social structures.

Physical Transformation

The steps a community takes toward physical transformation usually begin with access to clean water and other life essentials, which build on each other to create a strong foundation in which every child has the opportunity to thrive and build a healthy, hope-filled future.

Spiritual Transformation

Another transformation occurs as a community continues the journey toward spiritual transformation. World Vision staff members through their words, values, actions, and relationships demonstrate God’s love to a community. We nurture spiritual growth in contextually appropriate ways by supporting biblical teaching and partnering with local churches where they exist.

How a community is transformed

  • Build Trust. Social transformation starts with building trust — trust between World Vision staff and the community. This step can last from two months to two years.
  • Come together. Community participation gains momentum in this phase. As the community works together on early projects, relationships are strengthened. These stronger ties become critical to the success of the steps to follow.
  • Make decisions. During this phase, community members assess their needs and priorities and develop a multi-year plan of action. Men, women, and young people work together to determine how a large portion of the project budget is to be allocated.
  • Design solutions. Once community members have decided where they want to go, they begin designing practical steps to take them there. World Vision provides oversight and assistance as needed, but lets community members work collaboratively to design their own solutions.
  • Take ownership. The final step in this transformation marks the beginning of true self-sustainability for a community. Communities assume ownership as they create durable structures and economic activities that become the engine that sustains and perpetuates these structures for years to come.

7 Signature Initiatives

2 cross-cutting themes