Annual report and accounts 2014-15

Reporting back

Practical Action's annual report and accounts for 2014-15 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 2014-15

Reporting Back – Practical Action's annual report for 2014-15, including highlights of our work and full financial statement.

Please note: this is an archive file, and does not contain the most recent information. For Practical Action's latest Annual Report and Accounts, please go to

Joint message from the Chair and Chief Executive

Practical Action is a unique organisation able to create impact and change at scale. We are extremely proud of our work on the ground which, this year, has helped more than 1.2 million people use technology to transform their lives in one way or another. But our project work on the ground is not an end in itself: it’s also a means to lever much larger scale positive change for poor people.

Our work on energy is a good example of how we are able to bring different parts of the organisation to bear on a particular issue to create greater impact. We have worked for more than 40 years to help rural communities in the developing world get access to electricity through a variety of approaches, ranging from solar lanterns to micro-hydro electricity generation and clean and efficient cooking facilities. Over the past three years of our current strategy alone, we have helped more than half a million people access electricity supplies or clean cooking facilities. Our goal, though, is not to stop there but to distil that experience into practical and policy lessons that can help others improve the way they also deliver energy services to the poor.

To that end, our Practical Answers technical information service produces standardised ‘technical briefs’ to help people understand different energy technologies and how they can be used, which 203,270 people downloaded from our websites during the year. In addition, our technical enquiry service, which provides a more tailored response to people looking for specific advice on energy projects, answered 1,265 energyrelated enquiries during the year.

Beyond the provision of practical advice, we also seek to identify important policy lessons that could help transform the way energy access programmes are delivered around the world. For the past four years we have published, through Practical Action Publishing, an annual Poor People’s Energy Outlook report which looks at poor people’s experience of energy access policies and the real impacts of energy poverty. This report has already had huge influence, for example helping shape the Global Tracking framework used by the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Its importance to the international energy sector is such that the UK Government’s Department for International Development has just awarded a grant of over £840,000 to Practical Action to fund the research and production for the next four issues.

Writing at this time, we also want to acknowledge the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April 2015. Many of the communities we work with there were impacted. In some villages in the districts of Gorkha, Dhading and Rasuwa, up to 95% of houses were destroyed and many lives lost. Practical Action was able to provide immediate material support to the relief efforts in these districts, but we would especially like to pay tribute to our staff, who thankfully were all safe. The courage and generosity they displayed – immediately seeking to help as many people as possible and donating a week of their own salaries to aid relief efforts – was remarkable. We are now seeking to use our expertise in ‘building back better’ to help ensure the post-earthquake reconstruction takes account of future hazards, and that it is done in a way that engages communities and reflects their needs.

The past year has been an important one for Practical Action with many achievements. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported us over the period. We hope that this report will give you an idea of the difference Practical Action has made and a sense of the extent of the influence this unique organisation has. We look forward to 2015 and to taking yet more steps towards Technology Justice.

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
    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 2014-15

Reporting Back – Practical Action's annual report for 2014-15, including highlights of our work and full financial statement.

Download this year's annual report

Annual Report and Accounts 2014-15

Reporting Back – Practical Action's annual report for 2014-15, including highlights of our work and full financial statement.

Previous year's reports

Archive of previous years' reports and accounts

Annual Reports and Accounts 2013-14

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

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.

Regional and country offices

Annual reports from Practical Action's regional and country offices can also be downloaded. Regional reports for the financial year 2014-15 are still in preparation, so some link to the previous year's report.

Practical Action Bangladesh Annual Report 2014-15

An overview of Practical Action's work in Bangladesh, including results and impacts, during the financial year April 2014 – March 2015.

Nepal annual report 2014-15

Practical Action's Nepal Annual Report for 2014-15 is available to download as a fully-illustrated colour PDF.

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).

How we raise the money

In 2014-15 Practical Action had an income of £25.9 million. Of this, 48% was raised from voluntary donations and legacies. Donations are received by individuals, small family trusts and companies.

A further 52% 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 £27.1 million in 2014-15. The majority of spend, 82%, was on charitable activities - on our programmes round the world and the operations of the subsidiaries - and 17% 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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