Practical Action Blogs

    Beat the Flood wins an award

    Pupils at Sandlings school testing their flood proof houses
    I am very proud to be able to say that our Beat the Flood challenge recently won an award for the Best STEM resource for pupils, from the European organisation Scientix.   As a result it will be translated into all 24 European languages.  In addition we recently went to an event in Brussels and presented to over 50 head teachers from around Europe. To find more great science resources from other European organisations, and opportunities to network with science teachers across Europe take  a look […]

    Amber/Red for DFID – not business as usual

    sudan cooking
    Today the body responsible for scrutinising the effectiveness of UK aid money, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) , released its report on Business in Development.They’ve looked at how well DFID is working with, and through, businesses. Their assessment, announced today, is concerning. Marked as Amber/Red, it states: ‘The programme performs relatively poorly overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Significant improvements should be made.’ It is a harsh message for DFID teams but timely for […]
    Alison Griffith

    May 21st, 2015

    More disastrous for the poor; the Earthquake is unjust

    Tents at Waste Transfer Station, Teku, Kathmandu, where waste workers are taking shelter.
    The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 and the major aftershock of 7.3 on May 12 did a lot of harm in Nepal. The loss of lives, homes and heritages; and the constant fear of losing what is left; has put the whole nation in despair. People are in the state of trauma, with many in serious state of fear and stress. The busy streets of Kathmandu are deserted, small and large businesses all closed down. And […]
    Swarnima Shrestha

    May 21st, 2015

    Controversial report on financing energy access from the UNSE4ALL

    energy enables
    I’m writing this blog while sitting in the very impressive surrounds of the UN General Assembly Hall in New York on the 3rd day of this year’s UN Sustainable Energy for All (UNSE4ALL) annual forum. It’s great to see so many people gathered in one place to discuss the goals of universal access to energy, a doubling of the amount of renewable energy in the global energy mix and a doubling of the rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Although […]
    Simon Trace

    May 20th, 2015

    More people grid-connected, but is that energy access?

    Energy Access Tiers, Kinshasa, GTF summary report pg 32
    Monday (18th May) saw the first release of the summary of the World Bank’s new report on Progress Toward Sustainable Energy – Global Tracking Framework 2015 at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York. The report measures how the world is progressing toward Sustainable Energy for All, tracking country-level indicators for energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency. The headlines are that between 2010 and 2012 we made good progress in terms of access to electricity access (up from 83% […]

    Relief supplies arrive in Dhading, Nepal

    Distributing relief in Dhading
    Following the earthquake on 25th April, Practical Action’s Nepal team  has been working hard to help some of the devastated communities in Gorkha and Dhading. We’re focusing on: Water treatment (to reduce deaths by disease, especially in infants) Emergency shelters (for homes, and public facilities e.g. toilets) Energy generation (lighting and heating, including for medical centres) Solar communication technology (for mobile phone charging) Please help us deliver this help by donating to our appeal.  
    Amanda Ross

    May 15th, 2015

    Now is the time to stand against food adulteration

    They say, “You are what you eat.” For me, it means, the food I eat shapes my health and behaviour. Let me describe it briefly. Food gives you energy through providing vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. All these ingredients keep you physically fit or unfit. When you feel physically fit, you are okay with your everyday life – work, sleep, etc. But what happens when your stomach is upset? You get physically ill, that leads you to be mentally disturbed. […]

    May 15th, 2015

    Hard work pays off for Himalaya community

    It was not an easy job for the communities benefitting from the Himalaya Micro Hydro Scheme, in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province, but their sweat will soon yield results. The Himalaya project started in 2011 under the Rural Sustainable Energy Development in Zimbabwe (RUSED ) project which is being implemented by Practical Action and Oxfam. On 8th April 2015 the project was officially opened by the Minister of Energy and Power Development in Zimbabwe, Dr.Samuel Undenge. This has indeed marked a new era […]

    People prioritise community infrastructure

    Together with the Rapid Assessment Team of Practical Action, I recently visited Salyantar VDC of Dhading District, which is one among the most affected districts from the recent earthquake. As I transected into the villages, I recalled my memories back from 2008, during which I was directly involved in supporting biogas plants, constructing a high-school building and development of drinking water system through a project funded by the German Government. There were many known faces that had lost their loved […]

    May 11th, 2015

    Road to recovery after #NepalQuake

    I have witnessed some of the most notorious disasters and insurgencies in the recent times. The Operation Blue Star conducted in Golden Temple in Amritsar, India in 1984 was the first one when I got stranded for a week in Kashmir and luckily got a special train to leave Jammu for Delhi. For the first time in my life, I had seen violence and curfew. The same year I witnessed the Bhopal gas tragedy, while I was a second year […]
    Achyut Luitel

    May 8th, 2015