Practical Action Consulting: UK
Practical Action Consulting UK delivers technological and practical solutions that work. We are the consulting arm of international development charity Practical Action, and we have been using technology to challenge poverty for over 40 years.
We are innovators and actively seek out challenging projects. From participatory training, multimedia toolkits, policy advice and strategy development, to in-depth research and reports, PAC UK are able to tailor our services to meet the needs of our clients. We draw on a diverse knowledge base of expert international practitioners that we have built strong relationships with over a number of years.
Our dynamic team of UK-based staff work from the Head Office of Practical Action near Rugby, Warwickshire. The team has solid international experience from living and working in over 40 countries. The UK office leads on energy development projects.
Please contact us to find out how we can work for you to deliver projects working with poor people and communities to uplift their lives for good.
Our vision is to increase energy access to the very poor in developing countries, through our own projects and through influencing others.
We understand that implementing a particular technology is not enough, and employ a holistic understanding of energy access; integrating knowledge on technologies, markets, and the social context of a community or country, with our experience of managing international teams.
PAC UK is currently producing innovative work on bioenergy, including biomass, biogas and biofuels; off-grid electrification such as hydro, wind and solar schemes; stoves; and indoor air pollution.
We integrate across our country offices to deliver on themes such as low-carbon technologies and energy for climate change adaptation; market development; and training and communications products.
Greg Beeton - Managing Director
Greg originally graduated in Agriculture but more recently has developed his career in business management and development following an MBA. Greg also has postgraduate qualifications in Marketing and Project Management as well as 20 years of commercial and international development experience across Africa and Europe.
Greg joined PAC in 2004, and oversees the group’s international operations as well as the ongoing strategic development and growth of PAC into new markets and new geographic areas.
Ewan Bloomfield - Energy Consultant
Ewan joined PAC in November 2009 as an Energy Consultant, and has more than 15 years of International Development and engineering experience from around the world, including Australia, Central Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia and Haiti. He has an engineering background, including a PhD from KwaZulu-Natal University in South Africa. Ewan currently specialises in household cooking and bioenergy, in a wide range of areas including appropriate technology design and market development, through to supply chain analysis and resource assessments.
Favourite PAC trip: “One of my most interesting trips was to Madagascar at the end of 2010 to visit a number of households in the highlands of the country who had been trialling the use of ethanol as a household fuel. All the households using ethanol were delighted with the difference a clean fuel had made in their lives. One woman told us how her daughter was now able to return to school due to her improved health since starting to use ethanol instead of charcoal.”
Drew Corbyn - Energy Consultant
Drew graduated in Engineering and has developed his career in the energy access field. He has spent significant time working in developing countries including the Philippines and Nepal, with local organisations on rural energy projects using appropriate technology.
Drew combines specialist technical skills and experience in renewable and rural energy with an ability to analyse issues within a broader sustainable development context. Drew has strong research, analytical and communication skills evidenced by a number of publications in the field of energy access. His experience in project management, policy and advocacy, appropriate technology and capacity building give him important insights into the energy access and rural environment sector.
Favourite PAC project: "The Poor people’s energy outlook report has been a really interesting project for me. Working on this project has allowed me to take my experience of how people in developing countries use energy - the deprivation of people living without modern energy, and how lives can change when it is accessed – and influence the wider development community. Practical Action has a loud voice in advocating for increased energy access, and the PPEO has been a powerful tool in presenting and communicating this knowledge and understanding."
Sharon Mackenzie - Finance & Contracts Manager
Sharon has over 15 years of experience in the delivery of long and short term donor funded development projects involving multidisciplinary and multicultural teams on behalf of a wide range clients.
Sharon is responsible for PAC’s international financial controls and adherence of procurement policies for all funder contracts undertaken by PAC internationally. During the period 2007 - 2011 Sharon has been responsible for the contractual and financial management of the DFID funded, Dewpoint Resource Centre and Engage Framework. Sharon is a dedicated project manager with a focus on excellence in client support.
Mike Albu – International Projects Manager
Mike joined PAC in April 2012, after 13 years with Practical Action's markets and livelihoods team. He specialises in market-systems development strategy: promoting business services and strengthen value-chains for poor farmers. Much of his work is about bridging the divide between practitioners working in rural livelihoods and private-sector development. Mike has consulted extensively for DFID, SDC and the NGO sector. He is also the author of the EMMA Toolkit - a manual about market system analysis in emergencies written for staff in the humanitarian sector.
Most interesting PAC trip - "My work for Maxwell Stamp supporting the Chars Livelihoods Programme involves regular boat-trips to isolated riverine islands along the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. It is always fascinating and inspiring to talk to these resource-poor farmers producing crops and raising livestock in the most challenging environments. It is great to be helping CLP staff facilitate changes in the markets for their produce and ensure sustainable access to vital inputs and services such a veterinary advice."
Mattia Vianello - Energy Consultant
Mattia joined PAC in August 2011. He has experience in the management and policy of energy access projects in developing countries. These include biogas capacity development for institutions and micro enterprises in Haiti; promotion of ethanol cooking stoves in Ethiopia and a study on smoke hoods in Nepal. He worked on improved stoves in rural Rwanda, and participated in the writing of the Poor People Energy Outlook 2012. Mattia holds an MSc in Science and Technology Policy and Management from the University of Edinburgh, where he specialised on energy-technology transfer for developing countries through research on biofuels policies in Kenya. Mattia speaks Italian, English and Spanish, as well as some French and Portuguese.
Katie Welford - Project Communications Coordinator
Katie joined PAC in June 2011 and supports the team to tell more people about the successful projects we deliver. She has worked on a range of communications projects, including teaching sexual health education in Zambia and Uganda; devising and recording an oral history project for a church group in Bath; and working on a web based modern anti-slavery project. Katie has been able to visit PAC projects to learn first-hand about fuel efficient stoves in Sri Lanka, and the charcoal market in Kenya. She loves stories and is always trying to find new ways to tell them.
Luis Osorio - Markets Consultant
Luis Ernesto (aka Lucho) joined PAC in April 2012, after seven years with Practical Action's Markets and Livelihoods team. His background is a mix of chemical engineering, appropriate technologies, and international development. He specialises in facilitation of market systems development and organisational learning. Lucho is fascinated by the questions of how to transform the deeper structures of market systems with the minimum effort, how market actors learn and collaborate to produce innovation and how innovations disseminate throughout markets. Much of his work focuses on providing technical advice to field practitioners and designing/coordinating learning and capacity building systems to improve the quality, efficiency and impact of inclusive market development programmes.
Lucho also coordinates MaFI (The Market Facilitation Initiative), an action- and learning-orientated network of the SEEP Network, which specialises in helping practitioners to become more effective facilitators of inclusive market development programmes. From MaFI, Lucho is currently promoting learning and advocacy around changes to the international development cooperation system to make it more “facilitation-friendly” (The MaFI-festo) and around the application of complexity science in the design, implementation and M&E of inclusive market systems development (Complexity Dialogues and Systemic M&E). Lucho has coordinated two international projects co-funded by USAID to improve our organisational learning systems, which include the Groove Network, the PMSD Roadmap, the Impact Awards and Local Learning Groups. Lucho is originally from the Colombian mountains (where the best mild coffee in the world is produced) and speaks Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese.
The PAC UK team have built a number of strong relationships with clients in the private and public sector. We have also provided expertise for a range of key bilateral agencies and NGO's.
For more information from Practical Action Consulting UK, please contact the office:
Address: The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ
Tel: +44 (0)1926 634403
PAC Managing Director: Greg Beeton