ICAN - International Community Action Network

The power to effect change is in the hands of the people

ICAN is an international network of civil society leaders, researchers, community organizations and universities, working together to advance social justice and community development. We believe that social justice is the most reliable foundation for strong, healthy, and tolerant communities. Through a holistic approach combining research, education, training and policy change, ICAN works to strengthen civil society through local institutions and to promote access to justice by empowering communities and individuals to initiate practical actions. 

Built on a Canadian model, ICAN works in cooperation with Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli institutional partners to promote the rule of law, equity, peace and civil society among disadvantaged groups in the Middle East. We place great emphasis on the empowerment of children, youth, minorities, and women, involving marginalized groups in processes that affect their lives. These efforts have created links between government and citizens, created opportunities for cooperation and sharing of expertise, and promoted a culture of peace in the region. 

Nablus Mobile Center

Fellows 2014-2016

RBCP guiding principles
RBCP guiding principles

Since 1993, ICAN has established 11 front-line rights-based practice community centres in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Palestine, Jordan and Israel. These ICAN centres provide basic human rights such as legal aid, education, housing, and more to over 120,000 people each year, implementing programs that engage, educate and empower the citizens most affected by conflict, economic hardship, and instability in the practice of their entitlements. Learn more about the centres.

The professional capacity to develop and manage these centres takes place through our flagship Master in Social Work Fellowship program at McGill University offered to leaders at the forefront of civil society. More than 65 alumni have trained in community organizing as part of our Fellowship. These Fellows continue to work at our centres and across the Middle East to promote regional rights-based civil society organizations and grassroots movements. Learn more about the Fellowship.

ICAN trains its Fellows in an approach called Rights-Based Community Practice (RBCP), developed at McGill University, in which Social Work and Law work together to promote the rule of law among people of diversity both within and between different social groups. RBCP is driven by the notion that the people within their own community are the best placed to know exactly what their community needs and how best to serve them and to identify communal issues for policy change.  Learn more about RBCP

Back to top