Our impact

Ernawati from Indonesia with the family survival kit she received from CARE after the Indian Ocean tsunami

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In 2018, CARE directly reached 55.8 million people (74% of them women) through 965 humanitarian and development projects and initiatives.

We measure our reach based on the number of participants in our projects and initiatives. These are people who are directly affected by the problem(s) that a CARE project seeks to address, and who are directly involved and actively engaged in project activities or are receiving services/goods/resources from CARE or through a CARE partner organisation.

Find out how:

By the end of financial year 2018, we had obtained evidence of impact in reducing poverty and social injustice for over 46 million people.

This is based on impact evidence gathered since 2015 (the start of our current 5-year programme strategy) from 713 projects. During this time more than 800 projects ended without clear impact evidence. This accounts for the difference between our impact figures – based on evidence of impact – and our reach – based on numbers of people who participate in our projects and initiatives. We are continuing to improve the way we gather and analyse impact data, so that we can learn from our most transformational projects and initiatives in order to improve the quality and increase the impact of our life-saving and poverty-fighting work around the world.

We recognise that in addition to CARE and the partners we work with, there are always many other stakeholders (communities, governments, civil society groups, private sector, etc) contributing to change in the dynamic and complex contexts in which we work. So, when talking about our impact, we are not claiming that CARE’s work alone led to any given change; we are referring to our contribution to change.

  • Find out about our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals in CARE’s SDG Impact report (available in English, French and Spanish versions):




In 2019, CARE worked in 100 countries.

This includes 85 countries where CARE delivered or supported humanitarian and/or development projects and initiatives. It also includes CARE member countries (like CARE International UK) and affiliate offices which raise funds for CARE's work, provide technical support and guidance for our humanitarian and development programmes, and carry out advocacy, campaigning and other activities to tackle global poverty. Find out more on our countries page.

How are we doing on our 2015-2020 Programme Strategy outcome areas?

Our reach

Below are the number of people we directly reached in 2018 in each of our outcome areas:

  • Humanitarian response: 9.9 million disaster or crisis-affected people with life-saving humanitarian assistance, through 405 projects/initiatives
  • Sexual, reproductive and maternal health and rights: 30.2 million people to support women's rights to sexual, reproductive and maternal health, through 176 projects/initiatives
  • A life free from violence: 4.1 million people to support women and girls’ rights to a life free from violence, through 244 projects/initiatives
  • Food and nutrition security and resilience to climate change: 15.8 million people to support their food and nutrition security and resilience to climate change, through 513 projects/initiatives
  • Women’s economic empowerment: 2.2 million women and girls to promote their access to and control of economic resources, through 362 projects/initiatives

CARE promotes sustainable development by tackling the range of inequalities, injustices and lack of opportunity that keeps people locked in poverty. This means that some projects and initiatives work with people across more than one outcome area. Adding together the figures for each outcome area would involve some double counting, and therefore gives a bigger figure than the total number of individual people reached by our work.

Our impact

By the end of financial year 2018, we had evidence of impact since 2015 in reducing poverty and social injustice for people in each of our outcome areas, as follows:

  • Humanitarian response: 14.5 million people
  • Sexual, reproductive and maternal health and rights: 14.9 million people
  • A life free from violence: 740,000 people
  • Food and nutrition security and resilience to climate change: 21.9 million people
  • Women’s economic empowerment: 5.2 million people

Strengthening gender equality and women’s voice

In 2018, 21% of our projects and initiatives were gender transformative – meaning they contributed to a lasting change in the power and choices women and girls have over their own lives, rather than just a temporary increase in opportunities. A further 13% were gender responsive – meaning they challenged inequitable gender structures, systems, norms, and power relations. Both of these percentages are an increase on the previous year. A further 45% of our projects and initiatives were gender sensitive – meaning they identified and addressed the different needs of people based on their gender, but did not challenge the root causes of gender inequality.

12% of our projects and initiatives were fully focused on addressing gender-based violence, while a further 45% mainstreamed GBV in other project activities.

Promoting dialogue and inclusive governance

In 2018, 9% of our projects and initiatives were transformative for inclusive governance and a further 6% were responsive. A further 67% worked to make existing institutions and power relations more inclusive, but without significantly challenging or changing the underlying power dynamics.

Activities to strengthen civil society were included in 56% of projects and initiatives; civil society strengthening was an explicit objective in 33% of projects.

Increasing resilience

In 2018, 60% of our projects and initiatives included actions to increase resilience.

9% of projects fully addressed vulnerability caused by climate change, and 30% did so partially. 59% of projects had no strategy to address climate change vulnerability.

Multiplying impact

  • 42% of our projects and initiatives promoted innovative approaches to tackling poverty and social injustice.
  • Just over half of our projects and initiatives (51%) carried out advocacy for pro-poor policy change.
  • Partners implemented all activities in 31% of projects, most activities in 22% of projects, and some activities in 23% of projects.
  • 35% of our projects and initiatives linked and worked with others to scale up proven solutions.