Practical Action Blogs

    World Habitat Day: Why public spaces matter for the urban poor

    This week the world marked World Habitat Day under the theme of Public Spaces for All. The day celebrates the importance of the world’s cities and human settlements to our global economy and well-being. The day has added significance this year because, for the first time, the role of cities and human settlements has been recognised as a key driver of development. It has been included as Goal 11 of the newly passed ‘Sustainable Development Goals’. Practical Action was part […]

    Volunteerism, Community Services and Story of Abdul Khaleque

    Khaleque measuring the water level
    Background: Volunteerism has a long history in Bangladesh. It was mostly local led and initiated by local youths. It was very much context, time and location specific. Different local youth clubs took different initiatives like building bamboo bridges, road construction in remote areas, providing non-formal education teaching in a school, organizing drama and sports competition etc. However, since the emergence of development organizations in Bangladesh, volunteerism had been practiced widely for addressing different local and national problems. Even there are […]
    Mokhlesur Rahman

    October 4th, 2015

    International Coffee Day and Agroecology

    Organic composting
    In honour of world coffee day I wanted to take a quick peek at what Practical Action is doing to help support the worlds coffee farmers. Its estimated that smallholder farmers produce up to 70% of the worlds coffee supply, so there is a very good chance that the cup of coffee you drank this morning was grown by a farmer and his family on a very small parcel of land. Despite being integral to the world coffee market these […]
    Adele Murphy

    October 1st, 2015

    Pumpkins Against Poverty

    pumpkins against poverty
    Every year monsoon rains cause the three major rivers of Bangladesh, the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna to swell, resulting in devastating floods. These wash away fertile land and destroy homes and livelihoods.  Every year hundreds of families are forced to find a new place to live and a new means of earning a living without land to cultivate. Sandbars emerge as the rivers recede, the soil is barren but can be made productive by using the technique of pit cultivation for pumpkins and other […]
    Amanda Ross

    October 1st, 2015

    Learning from advocate development training in Nepal

    advocacy training in Nepal
    Practical Action runs advocacy training sessions to enable its worldwide staff to further the causes and interests of the extreme poor.  This course aims to develop advocates who will be able to carry out policy influencing work at local, national, regional and global level. A total of 14 participants (7 male, 7 female) attended the week long training for the Asian offices. It was participatory with lots of exercises and presentations and s to further the causes and interests of the extreme poor. ‘How change happens’ […]
    S M Alauddin

    October 1st, 2015

    Agriculture extension in rural Kassala

    Training for
    Rural and agricultural development is integral to any strategy to alleviate poverty and promote broad-based growth. The figures confirm that poverty in Sudan is deeply entrenched and is largely rural, especially considering that traditional subsistence agriculture in rural areas has gradually been replaced by market-based or commercial agriculture. This is due to many factors, including rapid economic growth, introduction of new technologies, market expansion, market liberalization, increased demand for food, decreasing farming population as a result of urbanization and liberalized […]
    Nahid Ali Awadelseed

    October 1st, 2015

    Building peace through local markets in Kebkabiya, Darfur

    collecting water from a borehole in Darfur
    In Kebkabiya in North Darfur, Practical Action was able to influence and lobby the government into supporting the rehabilitation of a local market in the village of Um Loata. Since the outbreak of conflict in Darfur in 2003, all local markets in Kebkabiya locality, with the exception of the main market within Kebkabiya town, have either been destroyed or ceased to function. This has negatively affected all sections of the population in the district, including farmers, IDPs and pastoralists, all of which […]
    Amel Ibrahim

    September 30th, 2015

    Knowledge systems, chains and grids

    courtesy of Jerry Manas
    Last week I was pleased to attend the launch of the Climate Knowledge Brokers (CKB) manifesto at DFID. It’s a really handy guide to the role of knowledge brokers, how they should go about their tasks and why they are so important. Whilst the launch of the manifesto has conveniently arrived ahead of COP21 (the 2015 Paris Climate Conference), I think the models and lessons from this document have wider importance for knowledge brokers across all sectors. In particular, the […]
    Rob Cartridge

    September 28th, 2015

    New SDG on WASH is great, but 3 things to watch for

    Collecting water from a protected spring, in Kisumu, Kenya. This counts as an 'improved water source', but could still be contaminated.
    Since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed in 2000, the profile and importance of access to an ‘improved’ source of drinking water and sanitation has risen. A landmark was achieved in 2010 with the passing of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. Ending open defecation has become a key topic for UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson. Many governments have set themselves challenging commitments and targets. And as part of the set of Sustainable Development Goals to be […]

    UN places technology at the centre of development

    The Technology Facilitation Mechanism and the Technology Bank, two new initiatives launched on Saturday 26th September, demonstrate the UN’s vision to place technology at the centre of implementation apparatus for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    Jonny Casey

    September 26th, 2015