Open information policy (January 2009)


The DEC trustees are committed to openness and wish to show leadership in public accountability through timely and transparent reporting. Trustees will disclose information or give reasons for any decision not to disclose primarily in light of the impact on the DEC’s mission of raising money from the public.

The DEC is primarily accountable to the donors who generously respond to the national appeals at times of major crisis overseas, while its members are accountable to the survivors and their families who will benefit from the appeal. The DEC will also remain responsive to the information needs of the various stakeholders, especially the broadcasters, who make the appeals cost effective and the members agencies through whom the appeal fund is spent.

The DEC open information policy is in support of the DEC’s efforts to promote trust and ensure learning across the Secretariat and the Member Agencies through timely and transparent reporting. It will be supported by the accountability framework which was introduced in 2008 which will enable a regular report on performance of the Secretariat and the member agencies.


  • The DEC will report to the public primarily through its annual report which will be signed off by the chair and treasurer. This will summarise DEC activities and performance, drawing on reports from members, field missions, desk studies, lesson learning events and continuous performance monitoring undertaken by the secretariat.
  • The DEC will maintain an up to date website which will include the most recent  annual report, and relevant policy statements on is strategic direction and mandate.
  • Responding to donor queries and complaints will be prioritised and performance will be guided by sector standards enshrined in the Fundraising Standards Board. 


These can be made by contacting us here and will be answered within 20 days, unless there is a compelling reason why this is not possible.


Our approach is that information should be disclosed unless there is a good public policy reason for withholding it or the cost of disclosure would be disproportionate.

Other factors that will influence a decision to publish:

  • data protection legislation
  • security of staff and beneficiaries
  • legal or contractual constraints or where premature publication might jeopardise actions of the DEC
  • could it hamper immediate or future life saving work.


This policy addresses information generated since April 2007. While we will make reasonable efforts to deal with request for information, it is more likely we will not disclose historic information.


You may request a review of any decision not to publish with the Company Secretary of the DEC. If you consider that the DEC has acted illegally you may contact the Charity Commission.


This policy will evolve as we learn about our stakeholders needs and we would be happy to receive feedback by contacting us