Practical Action’s Annual Report 2017-18

December 2018

Practical Action

Type of work
Annual report and feedback report

In previous annual reports, Practical Action had concentrated on listing activities instead of showing impact. I wrote a report that focused on the charity’s achievements and how these contributed to its long-term ambitions.

Donors were among our key audiences. We wanted to thank them for contributing to our work and encourage them to carry on supporting it. The traditional annual report, full of complex administrative and financial data, wasn’t going to achieve that.

That’s where the feedback report came in. The feedback report was a mini version of the annual report for donors. I took the most donor-friendly elements of the annual report, such as the fundraising stats and case studies, and condensed them into a digestible format.

The two reports got a lot of praise from Practical Action’s senior managers and Governors. As well as complements about the finished documents, I got positive feedback about the organised way I managed the project. My forward planning and collaborative approach made things straightforward and stress-free for colleagues.

Looking for help writing your own annual report? Check out my blog post: Writing your charity’s annual report: A 7-step plan for worry-free annual reporting.


In some of the poorest districts of Nepal, smallholder farmers struggle to produce enough food to feed their families. Isolation, poor infrastructure and erratic rainfall make the situation worse. Many men migrate to India for work, leaving women to manage families and farms on their own. Good seeds are the foundation of a successful harvest, but they are often not available to smallholder farmers. Instead, farmers must buy expensive seeds from further afield. These may be of low quality and not well suited to local conditions.

The European Union and Jersey Overseas Aid are supporting us with funding to help address these problems. As part of this project, we’ve upgraded water mills to extract more water for consumption, crops and livestock. We’ve reintroduced traditional seed varieties that suit the local environment. They also produce a bountiful and valuable harvest. We’ve trained existing small businesses so they can expand and diversify into the buying and selling of these seeds. This improves their own prospects and those of the farmers they work alongside.


“A brilliant read. This report marks a major step forwards in articulating our work by change ambition, and not by activity, which I think is a great achievement.”

Paul Smith Lomas
Chief Executive, Practical Action