October 23, 2018
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Trustee's Organisation Name
Outline the vision and the mission of the chosen nominee's organisation
Sightsavers' mission is to prevent avoidable blindness and fight for disability rights.To this end we work with partners in more than 30 countries around the world to address the root causes of avoidable blindness such as access to clean water and education. With the help of our local partners, we distribute treatments for diseases, carry out operations and eye examinations, and fighting for the rights of people with disabilities.
At Sightsavers Ireland, we believe that everyone has the economic, social and cultural right to a life where they can earn and learn on an equal footing with their peers. In doing so not only will they fulfill their own lives, but they will also provide critical support to their families and communities in ways that otherwise would have been impossible.
Describe the nominee's involvement with the organisation
Since 2004, Sightsavers Ireland has been a critical extension of the Sightsavers global initiative. During this time, the organisation has consistently engaged with the Irish public to raise awareness and financial support to combat the often-daunting challenges confronting people who are visually impaired throughout many of the world’s low and middle-income countries.
A core aspect of this initiative has been Sightsavers Ireland’s long-standing partnership with Irish Aid that has focused providing eye care and social inclusion programmes for people living with disability throughout West Africa since 2012. Since the launch of this engagement, Howard Dalzell of Ballinatona, in West Wicklow has contributed extensively to the development of the Sightsavers Ireland / Irish Aid partnership as well as to the overall development of the organisation’s public engagement and fundraising strategies.
Howard has over 30 years practical experience in development and humanitarian assistance. Before Joining the Sightsavers Irland Board of Directors in 2009, he served for 22 years as Overseas Programme and Policy Director for Concern Worldwide.
Mr. Dalzell holds a Degree in Agricultural Science and a Masters in Animal Nutrition. His training was in agriculture, and he spent 17 years in India, developing programmes from agriculture to microfinance and education. A highlight of his work was developing community management of acute malnutrition, which has been adopted by the UN and more than 55 governments. Howard is also a member of the Sightsavers Global board and is part of Sightsavers’ Programme Expert Group (advisory).
What special qualities and skills does the nominee bring to their role as trustee?
Howard Dalzell has over 30 years practical experience in development and humanitarian assistance. Before Joining the Sightsavers Irland Board of Directors in 2009, he served for 22 years as Overseas Programme and Policy Director for Concern Worldwide. Mr. Dalzell holds a Degree in Agricultural Science and a Masters in Animal Nutrition. His training was in agriculture, and he spent 17 years in India, developing programmes from agriculture to microfinance and education. A highlight of his work was developing community management of acute malnutrition, which has been adopted by the UN and more than 55 governments. Mr. Dalzell is also a member of the Sightsavers Global board and is part of Sightsavers’ Programme Expert Group (advisory).
Beyond these professional accomplishments, Howard is an active and readily approachable member of the Sightsavers Ireland Board – offering regular advice and consultation to the staff and management team – as well as ongoing encouragement and fundraising support within his local community. In short, he is a kind and generous leader within Sightsavers Ireland and is a frequent visitor to the office where he always keen to hear the latest news and provide insight into strategic discussions of the day.
How has the nominee's involvement had a positive impact on the organisation and the people it serves? Give a specific example of their impact on the organisation
As described in the previous sections of this nomination, Howard Dalzell brings a tremendous amount of background and expertise to the Sightsavers Ireland board. Many past and present trustees bring with them significant backgrounds and skill sets that are critical to the administration of the organisation - yet none have Mr. Dalzell’s depth of knowledge in the space of international development, multi-lateral fora a such as the UN and the European Union, or the current objectives of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In addition, his lifetime of experience of working with local communities and national governments in many of the world’s poorest countries has directly informed the methodology and approach of Sightsavers both within Ireland and on a global scale.
How is the nominee's organisation transparent and accountable?
Sightsavers Ireland is committed to the highest standards of transparency, governance and accountability in ensuring that it delivers the maximum value and impact with the donations it receives from supporters and partners. We comply with the following Codes of Practice:
• The Irish Development NGOs Code of Corporate Governance
• The Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising
• The Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images & Messages
In addition, Sightsavers Ireland has voluntarily adopted the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) for accounting and reporting by charities, as recommended by the UK Charities Commission, in the absence of there being a similar code in Ireland. We publish our independently audited Annual Accounts online. Our Accounts contain details of staff salaries and pension arrangements, with the salary levels of senior management outlined within bands of €10,000 for all positions where remuneration is at €60,000 or above. The salary level of all staff is externally benchmarked and it is the policy of Sightsavers Ireland to set salaries at the median level compared to similar jobs in the charity sector. This policy was established to ensure that we obtain maximum value from public donations, recruit and retain high-calibre people and that we pay staff fairly. We also publish an Annual Review setting out the results achieved in our programmes and the impact of this work, funded by public donations.