Practical Action Blogs

    Ensuring evidence for impact

    Women water Turkana
    Delivering aid programs that effectively enhance the lives of the poor is the central goal of development organisations, donors and the public who support them. Since its inception development aid has saved countless lives and lifted millions of families out of extreme poverty, but are we learning effectively from what works and what doesn’t? How can we as NGOs be sure that the interventions we choose are the most appropriate and the most cost effective use of our funds? Building a well […]
    Adele Murphy

    August 27th, 2015

    Pumpkin production was a breakthrough for Samsunnahar

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    In my recent blog, I narrated some of the factors that contribute success and failure of any individual’s efforts to tackle poverty. In this post, I am going to detail an individual’s success and future aspiration that was fuelled by development intervention. Samsunnahar (50) like many other poor people lives in the flood protection embankment (village of Moddhyo Belka), Sundergonj Upazilla of Gaibandha district. Due to river erosion, her family had to move home six times, lost all their homestead […]
    Mokhlesur Rahman

    August 27th, 2015

    Improving Market Systems in Sudan: Developing the Karaya Gum Industry

    gum arabic for liam Morgan
    Karaya Gum is one of those obscure substances that you often see on the list of ingredients, but no one really knows what it is. Tapped from Sterculia urens, a deciduous tree native to the Indian Subcontinent, it is a relatively common substance in commercial products, turning up in everything from cheesecakes and energy drinks to eyeliner and laxatives. Because of this ever-present demand, regions that supply Karaya Gum and similar products such and the more widely known Gum Arabic […]
    Jack Spoor

    August 26th, 2015

    What the increasing use of desalination means for the world

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    Hundreds of new desalination plants are cropping up across the globe to meet the growing needs for water – estimated to be increasing by an astonishing 640bn liters per year. But as the world looks towards technology to solve the growing crisis of fresh water access, what does this mean for people and our planet?
    Jonny Casey

    August 25th, 2015

    Gender equality in agroecology – the hidden benefits

    A Woman holding Arboos
    Co-author Javeria Hashmi Javeria is completing an MSc in Food Security at University of Warwick. She joined Practical Action on a research placement for her dissertation – Agroecology, Small farmers and Livelihoods: A Critical Analysis for Sustainable Development. Aside from trying to provide sustainable agricultural growth through the use of low input methods, one of the main goals of agroecology is actually social equity. Although you wouldn’t suspect it from its name – the words agriculture and ecology doesn’t sound […]
    Jack Spoor

    August 25th, 2015

    Factors make a case successful or failure

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    Whenever we pay any field visit to see the intervention at the ground or understand how our beneficiaries are being helped, we always get stuck to one point ‘what works and what does not’. We realize that it is not a generalizable issue. It works very individual level. It also shaped by power structure of the community. As poverty is a multi-dimensional aspect, therefore, the factors that may help one person to get out of poverty may not work others. In a […]
    Mokhlesur Rahman

    August 22nd, 2015

    The Right to Seed: Picking apart ARIPO’s Arusha Draft Protocol on plant varieties

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    Co-authors Jack Spoor and Gigi Davies The Draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Seed (Arusha PVP Protocol) is hardly the most accessible of documents. Even to those used to wading through the humourless syntax of IGO resolutions, the document is rather dense. But, while the resolution itself may be a challenge to digest, its implications are wide ranging and troubling. Ironically, these implications are likely to be greatest for those that have never heard of the Protocol, namely […]
    Jack Spoor

    August 21st, 2015

    This slum was nothing like I expected

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    I’ve just come to the end of a 10 day visit to Bangladesh, it was my first time to the country and I feel privileged to have been able to go and visit such a beautiful place and meet such remarkable people. What I like about working for Practical Action is that it works in partnership with communities and organisations to drive change and improve lives. And this is exactly what I saw in Bangladesh. As part of the visit, […]
    Elizabeth Dunn

    August 21st, 2015

    Dalit communities plan their own future

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    Would attending your local council budget setting meeting be high on your wish list? Certainly not on mine!  But the Dalit community of Jessore in Bangladesh, consider the right to attend these meetings one of their proudest achievements. The minority Dalit community who live in slum areas previously faced exclusion because of their caste from all political, social and economic activity and traditionally work in very low paid jobs as road sweepers, pit latrine emptiers and cleaners. Last week I visited some of these communities along with […]
    Amanda Ross

    August 20th, 2015

    Barsha – the perpetual water propelled pump

    Barsha pump installed in Kankai canal, Jhapa, Eastern Nepal.
    Nepal, a predominantly agricultural country, has thousands of hectares of land located next to rivers and canals. Currently, few land plots are irrigated by diesel pumps that emit carbon dioxide polluting the environment. Looking at the current scenario, Practical Action is promoting Barsha pumps throughout Nepal. The irrigation pump, developed by aQysta B.V. based in the Netherlands, requires no operation costs and is environment-friendly. Barsha pump, also popularly known as a spiral pump, coil pump, manometric pump, or hydrostatic pump, […]
    Ganesh Ram Sinkemana

    August 14th, 2015