Global citizens were out in force in 2014, using their voices to campaign for tangible commitments from world leaders.

And boy did you succeed. Your actions in support of partners had a huge impact.

Your voices were heard, from campaigning to end open defecation and pass the Water for the World Act, to fully replenishing the Global Partnership for Education and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. You campaigned to support women and girls, protect aid budgets in Australia and the United Kingdom, and called on leaders to ensure that the post 2015 development agenda creates a set of global goals for global citizens that will help achieve the end of extreme poverty by 2030.

In support of partners, you achieved commitments for the world’s poor set to affect around 341.5 million lives by 2020.

Impact highlights

Together, we achieved much in 2014 including:

  • Working to get sanitation onto the global agenda. Together with 18 partners, we saw commitments made by the World Bank, Sesame Workshop, H&M Conscious Foundation, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, the governments of Nepal and Madagascar, and the passage of the Water for the World Act in the United States.
  • Securing US $639 million with our partners for the Global Partnership for Education’s mission of providing quality education to children in the poorest countries. We’re especially pleased  to see the US Government double their commitment, and the UK increasing their support by 25%. Together with all our partners, our impact towards achieving universal education is set to affect the lives of 6.17 million lives by 2018.
  • Supporting the full replenishment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Securing a commitment from Prime Minister Solberg of Norway of more than US $1 billion over five years to vaccinate the world’s poorest children is something we’re especially proud of.

What World Leaders Said

The voices of global citizens around the world have been heard by world leaders, policy and decision makers. Here are some of the highlights of what they said to you in response to your actions:

President Barack Obama, United States

“Whether you’re here in Central Park or watching from somewhere else, you are now part of the global fight to end extreme poverty. And this is a fight we can win.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India

“Some believe that the world changes with the wisdom of the old. I think that the idealism, innovation, energy and “can do” attitude of the youth is even more powerful. That is my hope for India too, 800 million youth joining hands to transform our nation. To put the light of hope in every eye, and the joy of belief in every heart. Lift people out of poverty, put clean water and sanitation within the reach of all, make healthcare available to all. A roof over every head. I know it is possible”.

And as Global Citizen Tickets launched in Britain, global citizens saw boy band One Direction and Chancellor Osborne in aid budget tweet off, helping encourage him to dedicate a long promised aid budget of 0.7% GNI. The Chancellor even tweeted a thank you to global citizens and One Direction for their efforts!


Globally, 58 million children do not receive a basic primary education. If all children attended and left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be pulled out of poverty. In 2014, Global Poverty Project worked with 11 partners advocating for the full replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

2014’s Education commitments are set to affect the lives of 6.17 million lives by 2018

In the build up to Global Citizen Festival, global citizens took 100,000 actions on universal education. Denmark restated their commitment to increase their support for GPE from US $50 million to $70 million, and made one-off commitments of US $9 million to GPE and US $11 million to UNICEF Pakistan. These commitments are set to affect the lives of up to 1.3 million children by 2017.

With our partners, Plan UK and RESULTS UK, we raised the issue of replenishing GPE up the agenda through the Write to Learn campaign, also using the #BecauseOfSchool hashtag for a twitter campaign. Developed by GPP, #BecauseofSchool was supported by over 200 NGOs across the world, becoming an official GPE campaign in its own right. #BecauseofSchool was seen 41 million times by the public, receiving praise from GPE chair, Julia Gillard and CEO, Alice Albright. This influenced United Kingdom’s commitment worth approximately US $509 million over four years, which is set to affect the lives of up to 4.2 million children by 2018.

In the United States, global citizens supported RESULTS, Global Poverty Project and Plan International, petitioning world leaders to commit funds to the GPE. The petition secured 40,000 signatures globally and was handed over to politicians on Capitol Hill ahead of the Thank You Festival.  

The United States made a commitment to GPE of US $40 million for 2014 which is set to affect 330,600 lives. Later, at Thank You Festival in front of 15,000 global citizens, Dr. Raj Shah, USAID Administrator, committed to work with Senate to ensure the 2015 budget would increase to US $50 million.  In the fall, a further commitment to GPE made US $45m for 2015 is set to affect 374,100 lives and sees Raj Shah’s promise partially fulfilled, so our campaigning continues until it is fully met!


Currently, 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.  In 2014, global citizens supported partners to call for a world where everyone has access to and also understands the importance of using quality toilets.  Through our efforts and those of our partners, the world unashamedly talked shit.

2014’s Sanitation commitments are set to affect the lives of 224.6 million people by 2020

Global citizens took 65,000 actions in the lead up to the Global Citizen Festival, where commitments were made that are set to affect the lives of up to 224 million people by 2020. Prime Minister Modi attended to champion efforts towards universal sanitation, by reiterating his pledge to put a toilet in every household and school by 2019.

Global Citizen Festival saw the following commitments announced:  

  • The H&M Conscious Foundation reaffirmed their commitment of US $9.3 million to WaterAid, which is set to affect the lives of 250,000 children.
  • Procter & Gamble made a commitment set to reach more than 40,000 school children in 60 schools in Nigeria and Malawi by fall 2016.
  • The Sesame Workshop committed to affect the lives up to 40 million children with their new Muppet Raya. Raya will be educating children in Nigeria, India and Bangladesh on the importance of sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • Unilever committed to affecting the lives of 25 million people, mostly in South Asia, South East Asia and Africa, by helping them gain improved access to a toilet by 2020.
  • The World Bank made a commitment worth US $15 billion over the next five years, which is set to affect the lives of 150 million people.
  • Nepal made a commitment worth approximately US $160 million towards achieving open defecation free status by 2017. These new funds can affect the lives of 6 million people.
  • Madagascar made a commitment worth approximately US $40 million towards becoming open defecation free by 2018. These additional funds can affect almost 3 million lives.

Beginning on World Water Day, March 22, global citizens added their voice to a coalition of 80 partners, including WaterAid America to support the passage of the Water for the World Act. You took 53,000 actions, playing an instrumental role in securing 23 new co-sponsors for the bill, and ultimately contributing to the act’s passage in December. This act will enable aid to increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene through more efficient use of its aid dollars.

Vaccines & Health

Lack of access to vaccines is a major cause of poverty and unnecessary deaths disproportionately affecting children. In 2014, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, (Gavi) was busy building up to their January 2015 replenishment calling for $7.5 billion to immunize 300 million additional children by 2020 - and throughout the year, global citizens were supporting them.

2014’s Vaccines commitments are set to affect the lives of 89.7 million lives by 2020

Over 148,000 global citizens signed a joint petition calling on world leaders to replenish Gavi. This petition was presented jointly by RESULTS, Global Poverty Project and The ONE Campaign to USAID Administrator Raj Shah in late 2014.

Your efforts Our campaigning had three peak moments:

  1. The build up to Global Citizen Festival saw  global citizens partnering with the band No Doubt, when 85,000 new signatories and No Doubt’s direct outreach encouraged Norway to increase its Gavi commitment to US $1 billion over five years and is set to affect the lives of 33.9 million children by 2020. Additionally, Luxembourg’s commitment of approximately US $542,000 to The Global Fund, matched by US $268,000 from the US government is set to affect the lives of 30,000 people.
  2. Global citizens tweeted the Australian Government, ensuring the Government did not roll back its support for Gavi despite widespread cuts to the Australian aid budget.
  3. In December, the US government announced a commitment of US $200 million for Gavi in 2015, representing a US $25 million increase on the previous year’s funding,  the largest ever US single year commitment to Gavi. This commitment is set to affect 6.3 million lives.

In the UK, we partnered with The ONE Campaign, Save the Children UK and Results UK to make the case for a substantial UK commitment to Gavi. We asked global citizens to write and tweet the Secretary of State for International Development and the Prime Minister who announced a pledge of up to GBP £1 billion if Gavi’s replenishment goal of US $7.5 billion was fully met in January 2015 in Berlin - which it was.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

Since 1988, the world has seen polio cases decrease by over 99 percent. To ensure polio stays on the development agenda, Global Poverty Project worked with partners, especially Rotary International, to continue eradication efforts.

To date, over 60,000 global citizens have called on leaders to increase funds for polio eradication, and hundreds have written to their local members asking for support. In Australia, this contributed to a commitment of AU $100 million over five years, set to affect around 21 million lives. We will work to ensure the government maintains this commitment in light of recent aid cuts.

In the United States, global citizens write to Senators asking for increased support, with a handover to targeted Senator Murray with Rotary International. These actions, plus those of partners led by Rotary International saw US support for polio eradication increasing from US $205 million in 2014 to US $217.7 million for financial year 2015, which is set to affect 49.5 million lives.


Demand Equity

2014 Global Citizen Impact