Practical Action Blogs

    Calculating the cost of landslides in Nepal

    Landslide Nepal cost communities
    Nepal is a mountainous country characterized by rugged topography, steep relief, extensive deforestation and high levels of seismic activity. With a climate characterized by intense rainfall and flash flooding, especially during monsoon season, the country is highly susceptible to landslides. All natural disasters pose a threat to poverty reduction efforts, as communities are forced to divert scarce resources towards rebuilding their lives. However, the socio-economic cost of landslides at the community level is difficult to measure and often overlooked. Direct […]
    Jodi Sugden

    April 20th, 2015

    Why Urban Resilience Matters

    urban water kisumu
    One of my colleagues here at Practical Action was recently prodded to talk about the work he does on WASH (short for water, sanitation, and hygiene), and he began to talk about the importance of urban resilience. Instead of letting this discussion float in my inbox, I thought I might add it here. Just over half the world’s population (3.6 billion people) live in urban centres, and by 2030 numbers are expected to rise to 5 billion. “Virtually all of […]
    Glen Burnett

    April 17th, 2015

    The 9th Community-Based Adaptation Conference: ensuring adaptation works for smallholder farmers

    Women smallholder farmers community-based adaptation
    The 9th Community-Based Adaptation conference (CBA9) will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 24-30 April, 2015. Organized by the International Institute of Environment and Development, and co-sponsored by Practical Action, the conference will bring together development practitioners to discuss current challenges and opportunities facing community-based adaptation to climate change. The challenge of climate change adaptation Climate change will exacerbate the global challenges we face: delivery of basic services, providing enough food for a growing and urbanizing population, and responding to […]
    Jodi Sugden

    April 17th, 2015

    Talking about shit

    Pilot sludge treatment plant in Faridpur
    Shit – It’s a problem: I love my toilet and on days when I have a bad tummy I love it even more! But imagine….. You live in a slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh and you pay someone to empty your latrine – where do you think the faecal sludge matter (shit) goes? I’ve just read a survey that says 2.3% is dumped ‘here and there’ 43.5% is dumped in an open drain 30.6% dumped in a particular place (undesignated) 8.3% […]
    Margaret Gardner

    April 14th, 2015

    So what exactly is Technology Justice?

    Tuin river crossing nepal
    If you work in the development sector, the term may be familiar and you may well know the answer. But as an outsider, joining the Practical Action team in Kathmandu for three weeks in January, I had no idea. Here’s the first thing I found: It does not mean giving everyone an iPhone. Joking aside, it is something more conceptual, best explained through examples: Practical Action uses simple technologies to help improve the lives of poor people. For villagers in […]
    Rebecca Morgan

    April 10th, 2015

    Experiencing humanity beyond boundary

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    Travelling is my hobby and every year I travel number of countries for different reasons. During March 18-21, 2015, for attending and presenting a paper in the conference on “M & E for Responsible Innovation,” I travelled to Wageningen, Netherlands. The Netherlands was not a new place for me. I spent 1.5 years in the Hauge for my Masters study that, someway, made me overconfident. Therefore, I did not take proper preparation what I usually do. As a result, the […]
    Mokhlesur Rahman

    April 10th, 2015

    Swift action when disaster strikes

    2015 03 30 Obra Maria Parado de Bellido 2 (7)
    Landslides are unfortunately a common phenomenon in Peru. On the eastern slope of the Andes, they cause serious damage to people, but when they occur on the western slope of the Pacific Ocean, where the largest cities are, they are turned into real disasters. They consist of rock slides, sand and water streams moving downwards, destroying everything in their path. On March 23rd, the eastern part of Lima experienced nearly four hours of rain, which is not frequent since Lima […]

    April 7th, 2015

    Turning cow poo into electricity

    It was drizzling when we drove to the biogas electrification project site. Going through the maze of roads, it took us 45 minutes from Narayanghat, the main market in the Chitwan district, to reach there. Chitwan, in the southern plains in Nepal, is home not only to the magnificent royal Bengal tigers and one-horned rhinoceroses but also a happening trade hub. Regarded as the country’s poultry capital, with the establishment of Nepal’s largest milk industry, Chitwan is seeing a wave […]
    Sanjib Chaudhary

    April 6th, 2015

    Human Sludge: National Framework where to focus

    Clearing out faecal sludge
    Bangladesh has achieved tremendous successes to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. The WHO/UNICEF-JMP, 2012 joint report says currently only 4% of the population openly defecate. The most important factors of this success were the development and implementation of a National Sanitation Strategy and WASH Sector Development Plan with shared coordinated and functional partnership of all State and Non State agencies including Government, Investor, Civil Society Organization, Research and Academic institutes.  Media and community lead approaches to design, deliver projects […]

    April 4th, 2015

    New Plastics STEM Challenge…launched at the Big Bang Fair

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      When I met with a group of D&T and Science teachers in the UK last year to explore which of Practical Action’s international projects would form the basis for our new STEM challenge…we were unanimous that our work in Nepal with waste collecting communities would make a great context for exploring some ‘big’ global issues with students. In Kathmandu, Nepal, poverty forces thousands of people, including children to make a living from collecting rubbish from the streets and/or sorting […]