Practical Action Blogs
Practical Action’s science resources get the thumbs up from Oxfam
We were delighted to see what a high profile our schools resources have in the new ‘Science and Global Citizenship guide’ from Oxfam. Written in conjunction with the Association of Science Education (ASE) the new guide explains the benefits of a global citizenship approach to science and has practical ideas for implementing it in topics such as water, energy , climate change and ecosystems. The guide contains reference to 10 of Practical Action’s science resources, some of which were written […]
Technology Justice is critical to reduce risk for the poorest
Technology can greatly enhance the ability of disaster-affected communities to reduce their risk thus preventing natural hazards turning into human disasters. Technology has driven our development. Key technological innovations have heralded revolutions in the way we interact with the environment, but this drive for development has now started to threaten our future. Many scientists are proposing that we have now entered a new epoch “The Anthropocene”. This started when human activities began to have a significant impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Climate change […]
Complexity doesn’t have to be confusing
I was recently inspired by a talk by Danny Budzak at the International Data and Information Management Conference (IDIMC) in Loughborough. Danny works for the London Legacy Development Organisation and is responsible for their knowledge management. Many of us were recently inspired by Chris Collison’s case study on IOC knowledge management so I was interested to hear Danny’s take on the reality. But in fact, the main thing that stuck in my head was Danny’s description of how office life […]
An inclusive toilet in Nepal brings smiles to the third gender
In the second week of January, I was on a regular monitoring visit of the SAFA & SWASTHA Gulariya project. As per the plan, I headed to the public toilet site in Gulariya bazaar. Reaching the site, I was amazed to see a large group of third gender colleagues around the public toilet. I could see delighted faces beaming with joy. Everybody had come together to see themselves being recognised. It was quite hard for me to believe that such […]
Sandbar cropping to eradicate extreme poverty in Bangladesh
Every year in monsoon, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Meghna and their hundreds of branches carry enormous amounts of water and silt and flood at least a quarter of Bangladesh. The scenario is very different in winter. As the water reduces in the main river channels, thousands of hectares of sandbars (sand-covered silty riverbeds) surface. Sandbar cropping is an innovation, tested and scaled up in northern Bangladesh by Practical Action over the last decade, making these uncultivable lands arable. A life […]
Our 50th anniversary quilt
Our collection of beautiful quilt squares for the 50th Anniversary quilt, is growing steadily with the latest one arriving today from Maddy Broome – thank you so much Maddy! If I understand correctly from the bundle of letters that came with the square, Maddy not only went to her book group, neighbours and colleagues for button donations but also sent requests to friends all over the place. They sent back their buttons with a few lines about why they had chosen […]
Who controls innovation?
Innovation is often heralded as the measure of progress of businesses, technologies and even societies. It is through innovation that we create not only new tools or apps, but also how we shift entire systems to new sets of standards, regulations and performance. But the focus and direction of innovation efforts are most often to create new private value – through more business profit – rather than greater social value – through meeting the basic needs of global populations.
Join a movement for Technology Justice!
Today Practical Action released Technology Justice: A Call to Action. In it we introduce the idea of Technology Justice – how so many existing technologies are not available to people who need them; how many technologies we use today are destroying the planet; and how technology innovation is not focussed on addressing real needs. This call to action is designed to reach out to and engage with like-minded individuals and organisations and inspire them to collaborate with Practical Action to take action […]
When Manjari met Badamanjari
Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes ~ EF Schumacher This is about a story of two entities carrying the same name and few similarities; however the differences make this quite a story. It began when we took a journey from Bhubaneswar to Koraput to see a few micro hydro projects. I was assigned to document the good practices and was figuring out ways to start. By the time we left Bhubaneswar, both the […]
Mobilization is vital to sustainable governance
Mobilization plays a critical role in every development project. This is the strategy used to ensure that beneficiaries actively participate in development planning, implementing and monitoring. One may say that mobilization brings beneficiaries from a state of non participation or passive participation to a stage of active participation. However, this is an immensely challenging process. Sherry R. Arnstein, the author of “A Ladder of Citizen Participation,” (1969), explains eight rungs of participation. Understanding the eight rungs is of vital importance […]