Practical Action Blogs

    How to maintain momentum: Fundraising edition

    So you’ve had that great idea – you are raring to go. But how do you keep up the momentum? After having the idea to end all ideas, it can sometimes be quite difficult to keep the money coming in. So here are a few ideas to keep your audience – and yourself – engaged with the grand challenge ahead. Get your social media on Social media is tricky. It can be hard to know sometimes how much to post: […]

    October 18th, 2016

    Make handwashing a habit

    handwshing in Zimbabwe using a tippy tap
    So many global days are commemorated and at times you ask for what? After understanding the background, you will learn to appreciate why. On Saturday it was Global Handwashing Day – a campaign to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits by washing their hands with soap at critical moments throughout each day. This simple action of handwashing, when practiced religiously can reduce the risk of illness and death from diarrheal diseases. With 1.7 million children dying […]

    Habitat III: The buzz word is “implementation” – but will anything really change?

    Quito Habitat III
    This week in Quito, the UN Secretary General and delegations from around the world are gathering for the Habitat III conference, and to sign up to the “New Urban Agenda”. This is the first all-UN meeting since the SDGs were agreed and the Paris Climate Agreement was signed. It is a once-in-twenty years opportunity for all member states to agree to a more sustainable, equitable, resilient future for the world’s cities and urban spaces. Practical Action is here, speaking at […]
    Lucy Stevens

    Quito, Ecuador, Quito | October 17th, 2016

    What if? Risk prevention, urban planning and Habitat III

    Self-built houses in a risky area in Peru prone to landslides.
    What if instead of reducing risks, we avoid creating risks in the first place? What if, instead of building dykes to protect flood-prone riverbanks where people live, we convert these areas into public areas [rather than residential areas], roads, gardens, soccer playgrounds or any infrastructure that could be flooded without major impacts? In the technical language of Disaster Risk Management, this issue lays within ‘risk prevention’, or ‘reducing exposure to hazards’. Exposure to hazards is one of the main causes of […]

    Peru, South America | October 17th, 2016

    Global Handwashing Day: Making handwashing a habit

    Teaching children how to wash their hands properly at an early age.
    For many of us, washing our hands is a habit acquired from childhood. We unconsciously wash our hands after using the bathroom, eating and preparing meals. But globally the hand washing habit has yet to completely solidify, mainly due to lack of soap and water or lack of awareness and understanding of its effectiveness in washing away illness-inducing germs and bacteria. That’s why on October 15, hundreds of thousands of schools, community groups, organizations, and governments will join together to […]
    Gemma Hume

    October 14th, 2016

    20 seconds – the difference between life and death

    Yesterday marked my first month of working for Practical Action. I’m amazed at how engaged with the projects I feel and how excited I am to be a part of such an interesting organisation after such a short amount of time! So what better way to celebrate than by writing my first blog?! Intrigued by the buzz around the office about the upcoming campaign, I decided to do a bit of reading around indoor smoke inhalation. One thing that really stood out to […]
    Kelly Osborne

    October 14th, 2016

    Resilience – what works, what doesn’t?

    Flood victims are evacuated with their children as they rescued by naval boats in a village in Sukkur in Pakistan's Sindh province August 8, 2010.
    In his latest blog Colin McQuistan says that preparedness and response for disasters should be a last resort. The extensive time needed to recover and to rebuild capacity following a disaster in low income countries puts a halt to the development process, lends itself to massive economic costs and endangers lives. There seems little disagreement amongst development professionals that proactively building community resilience to disasters is much more effective at maintaining development than solely reactive interventions. The Resilience in Practice […]
    Adele Murphy

    October 14th, 2016

    Climate change is fuelling extreme weather events

    Empty shelves as in the US as people stock up on supplies
    On International Day for Disaster Reduction, Hurricane Matthew is a timely reminder of the consequences of inaction on climate change. Changing climates exacerbated by years of ineffective development generates risk for everyone, especially the poorest and most vulnerable those least responsible for the climate change problem. We have all seen the news of the devastation that Hurricane Matthew has wrecked on the Caribbean. Matthew, which spawned late in the hurricane season, first struck Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba before turning its […]
    Colin McQuistan

    October 13th, 2016

    Three obstinate questions of energy access

    This blog is based on a note prepared for a Panel at a South Asian Regional Workshop held in Kathmandu funded by DfID and executed jointly by the University of Berkeley and Oxford Policy Management. 1. What is the most pervasive form of energy poverty? Understanding energy poverty or lack of energy access, as I see, needs understanding of energy access in three spheres of energy needs for human society to prosper in a sustained way. These three spheres are: i) […]
    Vishwa Amatya

    October 9th, 2016

    Providing food security through appropriate technology

    Technological advances have increased the quality of life expectancy, productivity and income. However, as technology advances, developing countries have consistently missed out on the opportunities to increase their production potential in the varied development fields. Appropriate technological solutions are not easily accessible to poor people who need them most. Food production, for example, offers a clear distinction between technology justice and injustice. The lack of appropriate technology to improve systems denies vulnerable populations off sustainable food production. There is technology […]
    Francis Muchiri

    October 4th, 2016