Annual report and accounts 2013-14

Reporting back

Practical Action's annual report and accounts for 2013-14 are available to download as a PDF file. They include a review of our international programmes against strategic objectives, the report of the independent auditors and a detailed financial statement.

Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14

Reporting Back - Practical Action's annual report for 2013-14, including highlights of our work and full financial statement.

Video review from the Chief Executive

Joint message from the Chair and Chief Executive

Practical Action’s work has continued to improve the lives of poor people in communities across sub Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America through more than 100 projects on the ground, combined with our knowledge sharing activity and policy influencing work. This review provides a snapshot of that work and the various ways by which we are helping people use technology to find a path out of poverty.

More than a million people have directly benefited from Practical Action’s project work this year and many more have been helped indirectly through changes in national or local policy brought about by our influencing work. We are particularly proud of the work of our knowledge-sharing service Practical Answers, which has doubled its impact for the second year running, answering over 68,000 technical enquiries during the year.

The year has seen expansion of our work in Bolivia and Malawi and the opening of a new office in Senegal to serve French-speaking West Africa. This West African venture is an exciting experiment for us testing out how we might be able to develop in the future, with our consultancy arm and Practical Answers taking a lead into new regions, delivering impact at scale for lower cost.

As these new areas of work start up, our work in other areas matures. This year our office in Sri Lanka is closing, after delivering massive change in the country over the past 25 years. Practical Action will oversee the completion of some existing projects in Sri Lanka for another three years but, as we wind down, we are very pleased to see the local NGO Janathakshan, the organisation formed by our staff to take forward the philosophy and legacy of Practical Action in Sri Lanka, starting its first few projects. Janathakshan will also be our agent for the Practical Answers service in Sri Lanka in the future and we look forward to having a productive relationship with them in years to come.

We have been growing our income – which this year increased by 15% to £30.3 million. This included a 18% increase in voluntary income to £12.4m, despite the difficult economic climate, and reflects success in building corporate partnerships and exceptionally strong legacy income in the year. We continue to explore new fundraising and communications channels, including a first trial of direct TV advertising, and invest in recruiting new supporters.

We continue to have high ambitions. In 2014 we will expand our work to deliver direct impact to 1.2 million people whilst reaching many more though our knowledge sharing and practical policy change. We will continue to influence national policy and practice in the countries where we work and, in addition, work to shape global policy debates that we believe have significant potential to impact positively on the lives of the poor.

In the coming year we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of our publishing subsidiary Practical Action Publishing, recognising the huge contribution it has made to development, and we will continue to see the transformation of this business through increased digital access.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we are able to continue to support communities in their struggle to find technology justice. With your help we can transform lives in a sustainable way by providing access to those technologies and skills that enable people to take control of their own future.

Helena Molyneux

Simon Trace
(Chief Executive)


  • Joint message from the Chair and Chief Executive
  • Trustees' Annual and Strategic Report
    1. Review of the year and strategic objectives
    2. Financial review
  • Trustee's Administrative Report
  • Trustees' Annual and Strategic Report
    1. Structure, governance and management
    2. Legal and administrative details
  • Independent auditor’s report
  • Financial statements
    • Consolidated statement of financial activities
    • Consolidated and company balance sheet
    • Consolidated cash flow statement
    • Notes on the financial statements

Previous editions of Practical Action's Annual Report & Accounts can be viewed here.

Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14

Reporting Back - Practical Action's annual report for 2013-14, including highlights of our work and full financial statement.

Download this year's annual report

Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14

Reporting Back - Practical Action's annual report for 2013-14, including highlights of our work and full financial statement.

Impact report 2013-14

Changing lives

In the last year Practical Action has worked with over a million people in some of the poorest and most remote places in the world. Read how your support has made these amazing transformations possible.

Regional and country offices

Annual reports from Practical Action's regional and country offices can also be downloaded. Some regional reports for the financial year 2013-14 are still in preparation, so the previous year's reports are linked at the bottom of the page.

East Africa annual report 2013-14

Once again, Practical Action Eastern Africa is celebrating the impacts it has made in 2013-14; we are proud to report that our activities have enabled many poor people in the region to use technology to fight poverty.

Soluciones Prácticas Memoría Institucional 2013-14

Practical Action Latin America's annual report for 2013-14 (in Spanish).

South Asia annual report 2013-14

Annual report and financial summary for Practical Action's South Asia office for 2013-14.

Bangladesh annual report 2013-14

Practical Action Bangladesh's annual report for 2014, including detailed reports on programmes and financial statement.

Previous year's reports: 2012-13

Archive of previous years' reports and accounts

Annual Report and Accounts 2012-13

Reporting Back – Practical Action's annual report for 2012-13, including highlights of our work and full financial statement.

Southern Africa annual report 2012-13

Practical Action's annual report for the Southern Africa region, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Sudan annual highlights 2012-13

Annual highlights of Practical Action's work in Sudan.

How we raise the money

In 2013-14 Practical Action had an income of £30.3 million. Of this, 47% was raised from voluntary donations and legacies. Donations are received by individuals, small family trusts and companies.

A further 53% came from grants made by the UK and other governments for development assistance, by multilateral development agencies and other large funders such as international trusts.

How is the money spent?

Practical Action spent £27.8 million in 2013-14. The majority of spend, 84%, was on charitable activities - on our programmes round the world and the operations of the subsidiaries - and 15% was reinvested in further fundraising. Only 1% of expenditure was on management and administration (calculated by UK Charity Commission-regulated norms).

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