How the DEC works

  • How does the DEC work?

    The DEC raises funds for work done by our 13 member UK charities. They, not the DEC, deliver aid directly or through trusted partners to those in need in disaster areas. We do not deliver the aid ourselves or decide which programmes member agencies should run in the field. 

    A formula known as the Indicator of Capacity (IoC) is used to allocate DEC appeal funds amongst our member agencies. The calculation, updated annually, takes into consideration how much each member spends on emergency relief and recovery work overseas, and their UK fundraising capacity. The formula ensures that no one agency gets more than 20% of the funds available and none get less than 3%.

    Because of the IoC, each of our members will know roughly how much money they will get from the DEC as soon as the funds are raised. This helps them begin delivering vital aid within days of a disaster.

    This, we hope, allows the DEC to have maximum fundraising reach and run as efficiently as possible. As the DEC is effectively 'owned' by its charity members the DEC essentially acts as a joint funding pool for UK charity disaster response operations.

    For more details about our member agencies you can find their details here - http://www.dec.org.uk/member-charities

    More information on how the DEC works can be found at http://www.dec.org.uk/how-we-work.

  • When do you launch an appeal?

    The full criteria for when we launch an appeal can be found here. The main criteria are:

    • The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift international humanitarian assistance  
    • The DEC member agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national appeal  
    • There must be reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal would be successful, either because of evidence of existing public sympathy for the humanitarian situation or because there is a compelling case indicating the likelihood of significant public support should an appeal be launched
  • How do you decide how much money each of the DEC member charities should get?

    A formula known as the Indicator of Capacity (IoC) is used to allocate DEC appeal funds amongst our member agencies. The calculation, updated annually, takes into consideration how much each member spends on emergency relief and recovery work overseas, and their UK fundraising capacity. The formula ensures that no one agency gets more than 20% of the funds available and none get less than 3%.

    Because of the IoC, each of our members will know roughly how much money they will get from the DEC as soon as the funds are raised. This helps them begin delivering vital aid within days of a disaster.

    For more information on this go to How we spend and allocate your money

  • Why do the DEC not launch an appeal for every disaster?

    The DEC have a set of criteria which are used to determine whether we will launch an appeal after a disaster has occurred. Details of these criteria can be found by following this link.

    These criteria have been established to ensure that a DEC appeal is launched only when there is dire need for international response, the capability to run an effective response and enough public sympathy and awareness to make an appeal a viable option.

    This is not to say that the DEC do not want to see everyone affected by disaster being helped, but that a DEC appeal is not always going to be the most effective way to respond to a disaster. In many instances, international humanitarian aid will not be called for at all, so there would not be programmes for DEC funds to be used for. Further to this, most of the DEC member charities are international humanitarian aid organisations working in the poorest and most undeveloped countries in the world, so if a disaster happens in a more developed country the lack of DEC member presence will mean that there is nowhere for DEC appeal funds to go.

  • Why doesn't the DEC launch appeals for disasters in the UK?

    The decision for the DEC to launch an appeal for any country in the world is, in a large part, about unmet need. Large scale disasters can affect anyone, but for countries that have suitable infrastructure and resources for disaster response, international humanitarian aid is usually not called for. In many cases the country affect may not even call for international humanitarian assistance if they have a framework in place.

    While people in countries like the UK may be struggling after an emergency, there is funding and a framework to help them get back on their feet and return to their every day lives. This is not to say the DEC does not want to see help provided to those affected, but there are systems in place to ensure they get help without a DEC appeal.  Also, as most of our member agencies won't be working within the affected regions, there are no direct programmes for DEC funds to go to.

    One of our members, the British Red Cross, are usually involved in assisting British people who are caught up in the most difficult situations. If you go to their website at http://www.redcross.org.uk/Where-we-work/In-the-UK you can see where they are providing help and support.