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Annual Report

Annual Report 2020-21

The pandemic has exposed just how fragile modern economics are. And now the world is waking up to the power of local, sustainable, community powered solutions to tough problems.

Our strategy builds on our strengths and lessons from the last three years. While it takes the ongoing impact of the pandemic into account, it has been created to achieve long-term, systemic change.

Our work with communities on the ground will be supported by influencing work with policy-makers and governments. This will ensure the voices of the most vulnerable are heard and that solutions can be scaled up to achieve the greatest impact.

This is our chance to drive forward a new way, where renewable power, planet-friendly farming and sustainable livelihoods come to the fore.

Report Downloads

A warm welcome from our Chief Executive, Sarah Roberts

It’s a privilege to be writing this welcome as Practical Action’s new Chief Executive. I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Paul Smith Lomas for leading the organisation through a period of growth and change, and to the supporters, partners and staff who make our work possible.

I joined Practical Action because we work on the issues that really matter for the future of our world. This report shows that, despite all the challenges we faced during the year, we delivered significant impact in these goal areas at all levels, from community to systemic.

I have seen how Covid-19 has added significantly to the vulnerability of the world’s poorest. Throughout this period of crisis and uncertainty, I have been hugely impressed with the way our staff and partners have innovated and adapted so that critical work can continue. Our strategy to 2025 sets out ambitious targets and we are developing a range of new collaborations as well building on long-standing relationships to help us achieve this.

I’m a passionate believer that our core vision for a world that work better for everyone is needed more than ever. The philosophy of our founder, E.F. Schumacher inspires so much of our work. His principles of sustainability, adaptability and collaboration have never been more relevant. You’ll see them reflected throughout this report.

In 2020-2021

We raised £30.4 million, spent £26.7 million on our work and 91p out of every £1 was spent on our programmes around the world.

We achieved all this…

We delivered


on the ground in


working with






With progress towards our four key aims:

Energy that transforms

173k | £6.5m

We reached 173,000 people whilst spending £6,461,000

Farming that works

873k | £8.5m

We reached 873,000 people whilst spending £8,456,000

Cities fit for people

875k | £5.4m

We reached 875,000 people whilst spending £5,393,000

Resilience that protects

296k | £4.4m

We reached 296,000 people whilst spending £4,400,000

How we were funded in 2020-21

Total income: £30.4M

  • Donations from individuals, trusts and companies: £9.7M
  • Legacies from people remembering us in their Will: £3.7M
  • Income from our consultancy and publishing work: £2.6M
  • Grants and awards from governments, trusts, companies and other institutions: £14.1M
Our Finances

Previous reports

Historic editions of Practical Action’s Annual Report and Accounts are available to download as PDF files.