DEC 2008 AGM


DEC unveils new ‘continuous improvement’ tool at AGM

Transparency and learning from experience ‘at the heart of the new method’

The Disasters Emergency Committee – the national fundraising mechanism for UK humanitarian aid agencies - this week unveils a new system for ensuring that both it and its members are accountable to the people who donate to its appeals and those who are intended to benefit from money it raises.

The new framework, prepared with the help of Ernst & Young, is the key element of the DEC’s commitment to public accountability and continuous improvement.

The findings from the first review and included in the Annual Report were presented by the Board of Trustees to the organisation’s Annual General Meeting today, highlighting key management achievements and challenges going forward.

The framework is based on each of the organisation’s 13 member agencies and the Secretariat testing its performance against 6 key criteria including accountability to donors and learning from experience.

Overall the report showed a strong management response in terms of use of appeal money, achieving intended objectives and commitment to standards. The areas where even greater progress may be made were in how far member agencies are accountable to beneficiaries for the programmes delivered – always a challenge in the white heat of an emergency response, and in systematically learning from past experience.

Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the DEC, said:

‘Across the voluntary sector, a major issue is ensuring charities are accountable to donors and to those who they wish to benefit from their efforts.

‘This new framework will make serious progress against that objective and is a system we can all be proud of. The first step in a journey of continuous improvement has been taken.’

Mike Walsh, Chair of the Board of Trustees said:

‘The Trustees take their responsibility for the effective use of appeal monies very seriously and want to demonstrate that they and their organisations are accountable to those they serve.

‘The important first steps in this annual process have now been taken, meaning that the life saving work of the leading international charities in the UK will benefit from an even greater level of scrutiny – this can only be a healthy development.’

Notes to editors

1. The DEC Accountability Framework was devised in association with Ernst and Young, and will be used to measure the performance of the member agencies and of the Secretariat annually under the guidance of the Board of Trustees.

2. The AGM is being held today (9 July 2008). You can download the DEC’s annual report and accounts from

3. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is the emergency fundraising organisation for 13 of the UK’s leading aid and relief agencies. The DEC comes together when there is a pressing need for coordinated action, when the members have the ability to make a real difference and when there is sufficient public awareness of a disaster as to assume an appeal would succeed.