How we work

When major disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently, enabling our member charities to rapidly scale up their operations on the ground.

When we launch an appeal

We respond to disasters in the world’s poorest countries, using a set of criteria to help us decide when we launch an appeal and how we can be most effective. The DEC consists of member agencies who are experts in humanitarian aid, delivering the efficient disaster responses which donors expect and those affected by disasters need.

We are governed by a board of trustees which includes the chief executives of all our members and up to six independent trustees, with a small permanent staff of 23 – the DEC secretariat – to carry out the day-to-day running of the organisation. Along with the support of the Rapid Response Network, our media and corporate partners, we form a unique collaborative hub, able to launch appeals and raise funds to tackle some of the world’s most devastating crises.

How we spend and allocate your money

Our priority is delivering aid and support to those that need it, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Decisions about how we allocate your money to each of our members when a disaster strikes are taken in advance, based on each member’s ability to deliver aid where it is needed. We make certain that how we spend your money ensures that communities receive the urgent humanitarian aid required, as well as long term support to rebuild their lives after a disaster.

We operate an extremely cost effective model, spending an average of just 8.2% of the money we raise, on running our appeals, with the rest distributed to our members to carry out their vital work.

How we ensure quality and accountability

The DEC’s work is governed by a commitment to best practice and being accountable to both our donors and those affected by disasters.

Our high standards begin with our membership, for which we have a strict set of criteria to make sure that the DEC is made up of the UK’s leading aid agencies. 

We conduct and publish regular independent appeal evaluations, to check our members’ disaster responses are really helping the communities that need them most, and our annual reports provide details on the DEC’s operational and financial performance every year. 

About the DEC

When large-scale disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.