Board of Trustees

Practical Action is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity in the UK, under the direction of a Board of Trustees.

One third (or the number nearest to one third) of the trustees retire by rotation each year. The Trustees have the power to appoint any person to be a Trustee so long as the total number of trustees do not exceed the number fixed in accordance with the Articles of Association. Such a person so appointed holds office until the next following AGM at which time he/she shall be eligible for re-election.


Ms Helena Molyneux (Chair)

Helena’s career includes extensive international senior management experience in HR in both the private and public sectors and over 10 years as an organisational consultant in people strategy, change and communications. She was HR Director for Bankers Trust Company in Europe and then Personnel Director for the British Council for seven years. Her involvement in international development started with her interest in geography in which she graduated. After starting her career with United Biscuits, she was sponsored by them to undertake a VSO assignment in the Extra Mural Studies department of the University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College. This was followed by a further two years there as a Geography Lecturer. She has served as Vice Chair of Traidcraft Plc, the pioneer fair trading business, and Chair of Progressio, the skill share and advocacy NGO. She has an MBA from Cranfield and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Dr Roger Clarke (Vice Chair)

Roger has a lifetime’s interest in the relationship between people and the environment, and the search for sustainable patterns of living. He is Chair of Friends of the Earth and a Board member of the National Forest Company. Roger was CEO at the Youth Hostels Association from 2000-2008 and a Board member of the European Federation of Youth Hostel Associations. He was a Director at the Countryside Agency from 1984-2000. Roger began his career as a community worker in the west of Scotland and from 1976-1984 was a Director at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. He has served as Chair of the Civil Society Advisory Board at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a non-executive Board member at Natural England and a Council member at English Nature, a Board member of the Peak District National Park Authority, Chair of Think Global (the Development Education Association), Chair of the Appointments Committee for the new Canal and River Trust, a member of the Expert Panel at the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a Board member at the Woodland Trust, the Conservation Volunteers and Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. Roger has a BA in geography from Oxford University and a PhD from McGill University, Montreal.

Mr Nigel Saxby-Soffe (Treasurer)

Nigel qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1974. After 20 years in the profession and in investment banking, he moved to ActionAid, the international development NGO, as its finance director in 1994. There he oversaw the transformation of the organisation from a small UK-based charity into an international federation of local NGOs, based in the South. He took a particular interest in issues of financial and operational performance and accountability and of resource allocation. He left ActionAid at the end of 2009. He is currently a trustee of two other UK NGOs. He was awarded an OBE for services to international development in 2010.

Ms Mary Chadwick

Mary’s experience crosses the private, non-profit and academic sectors. She was Chair of the international development charity, One World Action, for seven years; Chair of an active constituency political party for five years; an NED of a Strategic Health Authority, and is currently a Board member of an IPS, Cass and Claredale Halls of Residence Ltd and Treasurer of St Peter de Beauvoir. Mary’s private sector background was as a banker, an executive Director, jointly responsible for the mind and management of PaineWebber International Bank Ltd, a subsidiary of a major US investment bank. Following a takeover in 2001 Mary happily decided to follow her heart into the third sector, where she set up a successful social enterprise. She is currently a Principal Consultant at the Centre for Charity Effectiveness, Cass Business School, primarily engaged in consultancy, teaching, mentoring and research. Her other areas of interest include governance, mergers and collaborations, social enterprise, and marketing and business development.

Mr Dominic Haslam

Dominic has 19 years of experience in the development sector, having worked for several international agencies including Christian Aid and WaterAid and he is currently Director of Policy and Programme Strategies at Sightsavers. He strongly believes development agencies work better together and has been active within the BOND network for over 10 years, including representing UK NGOs at the European level. He has led Sightsavers strong engagement in the Beyond 2015 campaign, which Sightsavers now co-chairs and is passionate about getting a better international development framework, while recognsing that is only one piece of the change puzzle. Dominic is privileged to have travelled and learnt from knowledgeable colleagues across Africa and Asia and hopes the work he has done on these visits has had a positive impact to counteract his carbon footprint.

Mr Mahmood Hassan

Mahmood is the Founder Chairman of Islamic Aid, the Founder Chairman of the Pakistan Development Network, the co-founder/President of the Pakistan Foundation and a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque. He has an MBA and MSc in Management from Imperial College and started his career as a university lecturer in marketing and strategic management. His own experience of being born and brought-up in one of the most deprived areas of Pakistan continues to be a source of inspiration and passion for all his poverty alleviation work. Mahmood’s more formal involvement with the “development” sector started when, in 1986, he established a voluntary consulting group at his university aimed at helping SMEs and community groups providing education, healthcare other services to local communities in Pakistan. Most recently, he runs his own company CRESTAR, a marketing consultancy and project management practice specialising in marketing to the Muslim community both in the UK and internationally.

Mr Imran Khan

Imran is Chief Executive of the British Science Association, a charity which seeks to improve the public's engagement with science and science's accountability to the public. He previously ran the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), where he worked to raise the political profile of science and engineering and campaigned for better policies for that sector. Imran has also worked as a researcher in the House of Commons and as a science writer with organisations including the World Health Organisation, the BBC, the Guardian, and New Scientist. With an initial training in biology, followed by a masters in science communication, Imran is passionate about bridging the gaps between science and wider society and the potential of technology to change lives.

Ms Brenda Lipson

Brenda provides consultancy services in civil society capacity development, primarily within the international development sector. Previously a Director at INTRAC (International NGO Training & Research Centre), she has worked on consultancies with a diverse range of International NGOs, Social Movements, Official Aid Agencies and local non-governmental organisations across the world. Brenda also worked for Oxfam and for Progressio in the past, with a focus on the Latin America & Caribbean region – a part of the world which continues to fascinate and engage Brenda’s interest. Brenda has an MSc in Management Development and Social Responsibility from Bristol University.

Ms Alison Marshall

Alison is Senior Advocacy Adviser at the International Planned Parenthood Federation working on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including the post-2015 development goals. She was previously Public Affairs Director at UNICEF UK working on child rights, including issues such as adaptation to climate change, business and development and child nutrition (including the IF campaign). Alison has worked for a number of development and environmental charities including as Advocacy and Representation Manager at Bond (the network of UK international development NGOs), CAFOD, the World Development Movement and FARM-Africa, as well as with networks like the Trade Justice Movement and Jubilee Debt Campaign. During 2005 she was part of the Make Poverty History co-ordination team and one of the campaign’s spokespeople. She has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America and was privileged to visit Practical Action’s programme in Peru in 2009. Alison is Chair of Children's Rights Alliance England. She has an LLM in Human Rights and has just completed a Masters in NGO Management.

Prof. James Smith

James holds a personal chair in African and Development Studies and is Vice Principal International at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a visiting professor at the Open University and the University of Johannesburg. Since completing his PhD in 2001 at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, he has worked with and advised a wide range of organisations concerned with development, on issues such as rural development, science and technology policy and capacity building. His current research focuses on the evolution of research, treatment and control of African trypamosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in both humans and animals across the continent.

Mr Paul Turner

Paul is an international development consultant, specialising in the institutional and technical aspects of water supply and sanitation. Recently he also undertook the role of Programme Director for Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) running their East African Programme with a primary focus on Kenya. He has been a divisional director of Mott MacDonald, a global management, engineering and development consultancy, managing international water projects in Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe. Previously he worked for UK Government managing a multi sector partnership between governments, civil society and private sector in Africa. He has over 30 years experience in operational management and has also held a number of senior management and operational positions in the UK water industry. He has managed through takeover and merger situations and has extensive change management experience. He is also a trustee of the Great North Air Ambulance.

Ms Veronica Walford

Veronica is an economic and management consultant working in international development, particularly in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Since mid-2014 she has worked with the World Health Organisation in a partnership promoting effective development cooperation. For the last 20 years her work has focused on the health sector, including 4 years in Uganda as an adviser to the Ministry of Health Planning Unit. Her recent consultancy work includes design of new funding mechanisms; analysis on health financing and on public sector partnerships with the private health sector; planning and evaluation of health projects; development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks; economic appraisal and value for money of health programmes. She has been a director and member of the Board of an international consultancy firm. Earlier in her career she worked for PwC management consultancy, managing and conducting consultancies in public sector reform and service planning, in the UK and overseas. She also spent 2 years working for the Swaziland Government in the Economic Planning Department.

Mr Angus Walker

Angus is a Chartered Accountant who has spent the last 40 years working in the voluntary sector, in paid and unpaid capacities. Having trained with Price Waterhouse Angus was Chief Executive of an innovative housing association for 12 years. He then established a consultancy company specialising in the research, development and implementation of community-based initiatives throughout the UK and overseas. He has focused on issues relating to training, health, housing, criminal justice services, enterprise and anti-poverty strategies. For 8 years, to 2006, he provided consultancy services to the Community Fund/Big Lottery Fund where he assessed the governance and financial health of all its large charitable sector applications for their UK and International Grants Programmes. His resultant interest in international development led to him being appointed as Head of Finance and Support Services for Skillshare International. He currently works part-time as business development consultant to two UK-based regeneration and educational charities, Angus has chaired and served on a variety of public and voluntary bodies.

Ms Helena Wayth

Helena has over 18 years of strategic marketing and management experience working with global organisations such as Unilever and L’Oreal across markets (Asia, Europe, US & Africa), sectors and cultures. This experience ranges from leading large global brands, repositioning and building local businesses, to leading small entrepreneurial start-ups. Over the past five years she has worked in the NGO sector with Marie Stopes, Oxfam and SolarAid, primarily in Africa and Asia, with a focus on energy, sanitation and sexual reproductive health contributing at a strategic, programme and community level. Combining her commercial, social and sustainability experience Helena recently founded a consulting company, A Bird’s Eye View, to help provide strategic thinking and executional support for organisations seeking change. She has a Bachelor of Business and completed a Masters in Sustainability & Responsibility with a focus on action research and sustainable sanitation solutions for the urban poor. She was a member of the Unilever Toilet Board initiative, and is a trustee of the charity Helping The Burmese Delta.

Mr Graham Young

Graham is a freelance Consultant with more than 30 years of experience in International Development, particularly in Fair Trade. After working with the NGO Christian Aid, Graham was involved in the development of Traidcraft, the UK’s leading independent Fair Trade organisation. He was founder chair and then Director of Traidcraft Exchange (the development, policy and education wing of Traidcraft) for 14 years. During this period he was the founder Chair of the European and World Fair Trade organisations and of the Fairtrade Foundation which he chaired for its first 9 years. He was also a founder Board member of Fair Trade organisations Just Exchange in South Africa and Amka in Tanzania. Since leaving Traidcraft, Graham has been a freelance consultant, working with many Fair Trade and development organisations around the world, including Fairtrade Foundation, Fairtrade International, FLO-CERT, CBI, Progressio, Gatsby Foundation, Comic Relief. Graham was involved in the early days of SolarAid and was a Trustee of it and a Board Member of its social venture company SunnyMoney (Kenya), which has become the largest 'last mile' seller of Pico Solar lights in Africa. In his home valley of Teesdale, County Durham, Graham is the Chair of The Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership which is exploring, celebrating and conserving Teesdale's unique landscape and cultural heritage.

Trustees’ Sub-committees

Remuneration and Nominations Sub Committee
Helena Molyneux (Chair)
Roger Clarke
Nigel Saxby-Soffe

Finance Audit and Risk Sub Committee
Nigel Saxby-Soffe (Chair)
Veronica Walford
Angus Walker
Mary Chadwick

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.

Trustee conflict of interest policy

The aim of this Policy is to ensure that there is fairness in Practical Action’s decision making processes, to protect the reputation and integrity of the Charity and to ensure public trust and confidence in our activities.

Practical Action was formerly known as Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG). It changed its working name to Practical Action in June 2005, and its legal name to Practical Action Ltd in November 2008 and to Practical Action in September 2009.

Company information

Practical Action is a registered UK charity, no 247257, and a company limited by guarantee and not having share capital (registration no 871954).

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Strategic Leadership Team

Practical Action's senior management team, which has executive responsibilities, is called the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and it comprises the Chief Executive and twelve Directors, including seven Country and Regional Directors.

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Annual report and accounts 2013-14

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.

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