Practical Action Blogs

    Reaching the Last Mile: Challenges and Lessons from Early Warning Systems

    Understanding Risk is a global community of researchers and practitioners working to identify, assess and communicate disaster risk. This year, the fifth Understanding Risk Forum was held in Mexico City. The Forum was attended by 1,050 people from 101 different countries and over 550 organisations, including Practical Action. Our session on “Reaching the last mile” focused on communicating risk effectively to the people most vulnerable to disasters. In order for people to protect themselves from hazards, they need to receive […]

    … and it (FSTP) is working …

    CW
    This is not a normal garden but a constructed wetland with Canna lily and Phragmites karka — components of a decentralized faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP) at Gulariya municipality in mid-west Nepal. They help treat the faecal sludge and keep the environment clean and unpolluted. FSTP is a series of treatment process to reduce the pollution levels from faecal sludge. In this treatment series, the first step is to separate the liquids from the solids, treat both liquid and solid […]

    July 5th, 2018

    Don’t squash the tomatoes!! #INWED18 at Birmingham City University with Practical Action

    It was a day of learning new skills, problem solving, developing understanding of global issues, breaking down stereotypes and a lot of fun at Birmingham City University last Friday. All in celebration of International Women in Engineering Day #INWED18 80 girls aged 12-16 years from 5 different schools took part in our Squashed Tomato Challenge, designing, building and testing a model of a system to move tomatoes down a mountainside…which in the real world would enable famers to transport tomatoes […]

    June 29th, 2018

    Technology for Development

    Why is technology justice central to international development? As history demonstrates, technology provides a catalyst for change. Practical Action has been working on flood Early Warning Systems (EWS) for over ten years and we have seen not only technology adoption taking place but also social change occurring. At the Technology for Development conference the focus is very much on the former, but in my active participation and interaction with the conference delegates I am interested to explore the latter. Looking […]

    June 28th, 2018

    Why universal access to the Internet should become a priority for Practical Action?

    This is the second part of “doing development in a digital world“ blog series. You can read the first part here. The Internet has had profound impact on our lives – from accessing information to communication with each other to civic participation. But for many people, access to the Internet is still a privilege, not a right. In this post, I would argue why universal access to the Internet should be a priority for Practical Action. The progress to achieve […]

    June 27th, 2018

    Molding the mud for better future agricultural extension

    Access to extension services is one of the critical constraints in agriculture. Only 15% of the worlds’ extension agents are women. Globally, women have limited access to agriculture inputs, technology, knowledge and practices. In case of rural areas of Nepal, due to existing socio-cultural norms, women have even minimal access to extension services. Reshma Shahi from Galje, Kalikot which is one of the remotest corner of the country would like to have more women extension workers in her village. She […]

    June 21st, 2018

    Support For Developing Countries – Great choice AQA!

    At Practical Action we are delighted that the examination board AQA have included ‘support to developing countries’ as one of their recently released contextual challenges offered to GCSE D&T students. As an international development organisation with a focus on technology to address poverty, we are delighted that students have been given this great opportunity to complete an indepth project on such an important issue. As an ex D&T teacher, I would be tempted myself to spend some time browsing through Practical Action’s […]

    Elevated hand pumps supply clean water during floods

    Dakshin Sahipur, a small village near the bank of the Karnali River in southern Nepal, gets flooded every year. Most of the residents here are former bonded labourers, freed after the Government of Nepal abolished the bonded labour system in 2002. The government provided five kattha of land (around 1.700 square metres) for each family for their sustenance. However, the land provided was prone to flood during monsoon and drought for the rest of the year. One of the residents, […]

    June 18th, 2018

    Sun, Water, Life

    There was an Afghan, a Pakistani, an Ethiopian, a Somalian and an Englishman…. Sounds like the start of a bad joke but fortunately it is not! But it is a reflection of the global interest in addressing the crucial issue of access to affordable water supplies that are so needed to sustain communities, particularly those without access to affordable energy and reliant on agriculture for food security and income generation. All of these nationalities were squashed in friendly harmony in […]

    June 15th, 2018

    Authorities join local communities on mock flood exercises in Nepal

    USAID/OFDA funded project, implemented by Practical Action and Nepal Red Cross, joined hands with government agencies and communities to organise mock flood exercises in Kankai and Kamala River basins in Jhapa, Siraha and Dhanusha districts marking World Environment Day on 5 June 2018. It was organised in coordination and collaboration with the government’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, National Emergency Operation Centre, respective District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs) and local governments together with DRR actors to help the communities. A […]

    June 13th, 2018