Reference Work Entry

International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

pp 10-11


  • Claudia Bode-HarlassAffiliated with

Address of Organization

PostNet Suite #248 Private Bag Y31 Saxonwold 2132 Johannesburg South Africa www.​actionaid.​org


ActionAid describes itself as an “international anti-poverty agency” working with the “world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people” through cooperation with local partners all around the world.

Brief History

ActionAid was founded in 1972 by the British businessman Cecil Jackson Cole as a British Charity called “Action in Distress” when Cole and 87 other concerned British citizens came together to sponsor 88 poor children in India and Kenya to enable them access to education. In the following years the organization expanded not only the geographical but also the thematic areas it was working in. This resulted in a mission shift from solely giving charity to empowering poor people, which led to the renaming of the organization to ActionAid in 1985. In 2003 ActionAid International was founded as a foundation registe ...

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