Practical Action Blogs

    7 steps for developing shoestring feedback loops for the rest of us

    Market Bangladesh private sector community-based adaptation
    It depends where you work. Which sector. If you are in the private sector, they sometimes call it voice of customer feedback. If you are in international development, or government, you might hear of feedback looping mechanisms. Ultimately, for most of the sectors I often think of, the important thing is this: people are realizing they do better work when they have participatory engagement with the people they are trying to serve. It’s not enough to say you interviewed people […]
    Glen Burnett

    July 7th, 2015

    Can we recycle human waste into a useful resource?

    compost from human waste
    In the national sanitation survey in Bangladesh in 2003 it was observed that only 58% households had some form of latrines whereas the remaining 42% of households had no latrines at all. With a special drive undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh and development partners with the active engagement of local government institutions and communities, sanitation progress gained momentum with a focus on building different types of low-cost pit latrines. As a result, the open defecation rate has been reduced to less […]
    Hasin Jahan

    July 6th, 2015

    Technology Justice reaches Poland

    Polish 'Make the Link' students
    ‘We invited experts on land fill into our school to talk to them about technology justice’ So said one student from Poland when asked what the action was they took following a science project they did in school.  The project was inspired by their teacher who had been on a teacher training programme run in Poland by the NGO CEO as part of an EC project Practical Action is leading on called Make the Link.  The teacher had used the […]
    Julie Brown

    July 3rd, 2015

    Just throw it on the ground! Waste disposal in Nairobi’s informal settlements

    Megan pic
    From May, 2015, three university students joined Practical Action, Eastern Africa, as interns within the Urban WASH team to assist in conducting research for the “Technology and the Future of Work” project, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The WASH intern team consists of Eric Mugaa and Charles Kwena, both in their fifth year at the University of Nairobi in the Civil Engineering programme, and Megan Douglas, a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh in the International Development programme. The […]

    June 29th, 2015

    Reflection on the Asia Clean Energy Forum ACEF2015

    Spending a week in Manila at the Asia Clean Energy Forum was an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues and learn about what is going on in the energy access space in this key region of the world. What I learned there was both inspiring and disappointing however. Check out my thoughts on what the Asian Development Bank and others need to do to begin seriously addressing the global challenge of energy poverty.   Thank you for watching this video blog, which will […]
    Aaron Leopold

    June 26th, 2015

    Climate Smart Agriculture: why avoiding ambiguity is vital to success

    farmer adaptation climate change
    Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is a phrase that has been gaining increasing prominence in both the sphere of international development and in mainstream media. But despite some powerful backers, CSA has not been without criticism. There are growing calls for clear guidelines in order to distinguish between what is ‘climate-smart’ and what is just business as usual under a different name.   “Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes Adapting and building resilience to climate change Reducing and/or removing greenhouse gases […]
    Jack Spoor

    June 25th, 2015

    Supporters’ day out!

    Supporters Day 2015
    On June 13th we held our annual Supporters’ day in London. Taking inspiration from our heritage the theme of the day was ‘Grassroots to Muddy boots’ it was a fantastic opportunity for supporters to get closer to the work their support has made possible – and what a day! Margaret Gardner opened the proceedings, followed by our Nepal Country Director, Achyut Luitel who gave an update on the recent Earthquake and, explained our involvement at present and going forward. There […]

    RECAP: The Energy-Agriculture Nexus

    Lily Odarno from WRI
    This is a guest post from WRI’s Lily Odarno about the joint Energy Engagement Series Practical Action hosts with WRI each month in Washington, DC. This event is meant to be a discussion that brings together leaders in the energy access  space. This summary is from an event we held in May discussing the Energy-Agriculture nexus.  Discussions on the role of energy in development are becoming increasingly focused on the nexus between energy and other aspects of development. The energy-agriculture nexus […]
    Glen Burnett

    June 24th, 2015

    Technology Justice: a new paradigm for the SDGs

    A woman cooking over a traditional stove in Nepal
    We are now entering the final few months of discussions that will cement global development targets for the next 15 years.  As discussions on goals and targets conclude and we look towards the vital task of implementation, Practical Action is launching a new series of policy briefing papers that capture the learning from our programme and policy work with technology and development. The first paper, launched today, introduces Technology Justice: a new paradigm to inform the design and implementation of these Sustainable […]
    Amber Meikle

    June 18th, 2015