The Active Citizen Framework

As JCI members, our Mission is to create positive change in the world. We believe that by taking responsibility for our communities, we can create solutions to the problems we see around us.

But just talking about positive change is not enough. To make an impact, we must turn our words into action. With the JCI Active Citizen Framework, JCI introduces a concrete method for developing, executing and tracking our initiatives to ensure successful projects and sustainable solutions to problems in our world.

Formerly known as the JCI Better World Framework, the new JCI Active Citizen Framework, an outcome of 2010 JCI Global Partnership Summit Resolution, was adopted by the JCI General Assembly at the 2010 JCI World Congress. The Framework describes a better way to create long-lasting positive change and measure our impact.

JCI carefully studied the elements of successful local and national projects over several years. This led to the development of a comprehensive system for carrying out projects, engaging partners and monitoring results to effectively address community issues. With the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a foundation, the JCI Active Citizen Framework provides a global platform for measurable, results-driven actionable steps that produce positive change.

Following the 2010 JCI Global Partnership Summit, JCI has committed to developing partnerships across the three sectors – business, government and civil society. The JCI Active Citizen Framework will also provide a context for building partnerships with entities mutually aligned with our goals. By assessing local needs, we can gain a reputation for relevance and, by measuring our results, we can clearly demonstrate our impact.

Objectives

  • Empower and activate young people to take ownership of their communities.
  • Provide a framework for sustainable action that produces tangible results and measurable societal development.
  • Align JCI partners at global, national and local levels in cohesive, strategic format for societal development.

Activation and Training

The recipe for change starts with the young active citizens of JCI. JCI members are the developers, managers and executors of every local project. A JCI Official Course, JCI Impact will introduce the JCI Active Citizen Framework. Participants will learn how to assess a community’s needs, find the root causes of problems and decide on projects that create sustainable solutions. JCI members will explore their role as active citizens and learn how to work with partners in business, government and civil society to effectively address issues facing our communities and world. Once an individual has taken this course, that person will be ready to apply the JCI Active Citizen Framework as a methodology to implement local projects.

Analyzing Community Needs

The first step in creating a successful project involves analyzing the community and assessing its needs. To make a lasting impact, we must critically examine and understand most pressing problems around us. Using tools like surveys, demographic data and discussions with community leaders will deepen your understanding of the challenges and their real causes. The data gathered will ensure that the project is relevant and the process of gathering it will connect JCI members to potential partners.

Formulating Sustainable Solutions

After collecting and analyzing data on community needs, the next step is to begin crafting projects that address the core problems and provide long-term solutions with maximum impact within the community. Issues can be addressed through three integrated stages of development that drive a community toward prosperity and enhance development. JCI members can adapt these three steps separately or in combination to help any community based on its unique situation.

Health and Wellness

Healthy people are fundamental to building a successful society. Projects related to this stage will address barriers that stand between citizens and healthy lives. Solutions may include disease prevention, sanitation, nutrition and access to medical treatment. Projects related to MDG 1: End Poverty and Hunger, MDG 4: Child Health, MDG 5: Maternal Health and MDG 6: Combat Disease will apply to this stage.

Education and Economic Empowerment

Education and empowerment are the engines behind economies that lift citizens out of poverty. This step builds on the foundation of Health and Wellness to ensure the development of skills and opportunities related to economic growth, employment, gender equality and entrepreneurship. Projects related to MDG 2: Universal Education and MDG 3: Gender Equality will apply to this stage.

Sustainability

When addressing issues in the first two stages, we must take a long-term view of development. Avoiding environmental and economic crises that reverse progress requires a sustainable approach. Projects in stage three will prepare a community to maintain its successes by educating businesses and the public about their role in all types of sustainability, including environmental sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Projects related to MDG 7: Environmental Sustainability and MDG 8: Global Partnership for Development will apply to this stage.

Engaging Partners and Taking Action

In accordance with 2010 JCI Global Partnership Summit Resolution, JCI and its members are committed to developing partnerships with businesses, governments and civil society organizations. Throughout the planning and action phases of a project, approach and engage partners that have objectives similar to those of JCI. The JCI Active Citizen Framework provides a context for building these strategic alliances.

By following the steps outlined in the Framework, partners will gain a clear understanding of the benefits of partnership with JCI and how they might contribute to the many aspects of the initiative. Look at ways to increase impact by sharing resources, such as people, expertise, physical or web-based tools, information, training or financial resources. When leveraging the strength of partners and the action of JCI members, we can achieve more than by working independently.

Measuring and Evaluating Results

Throughout the project, JCI members must quantify the effects of their actions – how many people’s lives are improved? In what ways? To what extent? Compare data collected before the project to data collected after the project to measure how much positive change was created. Results will prove JCI’s value to partners and helps us earn recognition as an organization of citizens committed to positive change.

After completion, take time to reflect on how those results measure up to the goals established in the beginning. Evaluate your performance in creating a long-lasting impact. Report your project’s actions and results on the JCI website under My JCI. Using the database allows you to see the progression of your impact over time, and it allows JCI to include your projects when portraying our global impact. What you learn from this evaluation and reporting process will help you design future projects that exceed your goals and create a meaningful positive change.

Leading Positive Change

To become the leading global network of young active citizens, JCI must lead in thoughts, words, actions and results. We must turn our focus outward toward actions that are relevant to our communities. We must look to the future and create solutions for tomorrow. This will demonstrate that JCI is a solution provider that can bring results to every community. JCI has a unique opportunity to make great progress toward global development and the achievement of the MDGs. The JCI Active Citizen Framework provides the structure we need to act as one global team and create a global impact.