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Company information

Constitution

Practical Action is a registered UK charity, no 247257, and a company limited by guarantee and not having share capital (registration no 871954). The governing document is the Articles of Association.

The organisation was established in 1965 and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 21 February 1966 under the name of the Intermediate Technology Development Group Limited. It was registered as a charity with the Charity Commission on 26 April 1966. The Charity changed its registered name to Practical Action on 25 September 2009.

The Charity’s governing document is its Articles of Association dated 21 February 1966, as amended on 19 October 1995, 16 October 1997 and 27 September 2012. The Charity is governed by a Board of Trustees referred to in the governing document as “the Committee” and has a Membership. The maximum number of Members allowed in accordance with the governing document is 100 not counting those Members who are employees or ex-employees of the Charity. Currently there are 45 Members.

Objectives, mission statements and activities

The objects of the charitable company, as set out in its Memorandum and Articles of Association are:

“the advancement of education and the relief of poverty by the promotion and advancement (in ways that are charitable) of knowledge of technical, economic and social science, and for other charitable purposes beneficial to the community.”

The charity’s Mission Statement, approved at the Annual General Meeting in 1998, states:

“Our mission is to build the technical skills of poor people in developing countries enabling them to improve the quality of their lives and that of future generations.”

The activities undertaken to further the charitable objects and achieve our mission are as follows:

Practical Action works together with communities to deliver practical answers to poverty. Activities include, technology development, the pilot testing and commercialisation of different technologies, technical assistance to other NGOs and community organisations, training, research and advocacy. Practical Action works across a variety of technologies with particular focus on food processing, food production, building materials and shelter, energy, mining, manufacturing, transport and disaster management. It also maintains a programme of work in policy research and analysis, including gender and technology and is developing new areas in the fields of information and communications technology, the environment and small-scale producers and urbanisation.

Practical Action disseminates information through many channels, including a technical enquiry service, international workshops, newsletters, journals and publications. It also engages in advocacy to influence the policy environment at local and international levels.

Organisational structure

Practical Action is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity in the UK, under the direction of a Board of Trustees. The senior management team, which has executive responsibilities, is called the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) and it comprises the Chief Executive and twelve Directors, including six Country and Regional Directors.

The charity has two wholly-owned trading subsidiaries, and three dormant.

Practical Action Publishing Ltd – Activities comprise book and journal publishing, book distribution and publishing services, mainly for development professionals, practitioners and researchers worldwide. These activities are in line with the Charity’s charitable objectives.

Practical Action Consulting Ltd – Provides high quality, independent and professional advice to governments, NGOs, aid agencies and the private sector. These activities are in line with the Charity’s charitable objectives. It operates regional offices in the UK, Eastern, Western and Southern Africa, Asia and Latin America. During 2015 it expanded its operations by registering two subsidiaries both carrying the Practical Action Consulting name:

  • Practical Action Consulting Private Ltd registered as a private limited company in Nepal.
  • Practical Action Consulting (India) Private Ltd registered as a private limited company in India.

For both these subsidiaries Practical Action Consulting Ltd holds a majority shareholding and they have been set up to further the aims and objectives of the parent

We have two dormant subsidiaries held in order to protect our previous company names: Intermediate Technology Development Group Ltd (CRN 1017062) and Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd (CRN 6424984).

ATS Property Holdings (Pvt) was established as a private limited company registered in Sri Lanka in order to purchase Practical Action’s office premises there. It was deemed appropriate to do this through a locally registered, wholly-owned subsidiary rather than the Charity itself, and we are at present still holding this for this purpose.

We are also associated with two locally-registered overseas entities carrying the Practical Action name. Practical Action is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organisation in Kenya and has a board made up of two Kenya nationals plus four directors nominated by Practical Action in the UK. Three of these Practical Action nominees are from the Executive and the other a Practical Action Trustee. For accounting purposes this entity is included in the Group’s consolidated accounts as a branch office.

The Practical Action Foundation was incorporated in Delhi as a locally registered not-for-profit company in December 2014. All the directors are Indian nationals. Practical Action and Practical Action Consulting Ltd work with this foundation in India.

Secretary and registered office

Pat Adey,
Practical Action,
The Schumacher Centre,
Bourton-on-Dunsmore,
Rugby,
Warwickshire,
CV23 9QZ
United Kingdom

Charity name Practical Action. Practical Action is a company limited by guarantee, and is a Charity.

Company number 871954
Registered in England and Wales

Chief Executive Paul Smith Lomas

Charity number 247257

VAT number 880 9924 76

Auditors
Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP, St Bride’s House, 10 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8EH

Principal Bankers
Barclays Bank plc, North Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 2AN

Solicitors
Bates Wells and Braithwaite, 10 Queen Street Place, London EC4

Patron
HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB

Annual report and accounts 2016-17

Practical Action group trustees report and accounts

Articles of Association

The Charity’s governing document is its Articles of Association dated 21 February 1966, as amended on 19 October 1995, 16 October 1997 and 27 September 2012.

AGM minutes 2016

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN on Thursday 6 October 2016.

AGM minutes 2015

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Practical Action, held in London on 8 October 2015. The Board agreed that the AGM minutes were a true and accurate record of the proceedings but wished for them to be formally approved by the Members at the next AGM on 6 October 2016.

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.

About the organisation

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

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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.

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Strategic leadership team - Directors

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 six Country and Regional Directors.

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Annual report and accounts 2016-17

Practical Action's annual report and accounts for 2015-16 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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How we are funded

In 2015-16 Practical Action had an income of £29.7 million. Of this, 37% was raised from voluntary donations and legacies from individuals, and 10% from donations from 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.

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Practical Action's organisational policies

Practical Action's key organisational policies, including policies on Open Information, Gender, Corporate Engagement and Data Protection.

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