Practical Action Sudan's work is structured under the following three international programme aims:
Reducing vulnerability - To strengthen the ability of poor people to use technology to cope with threats from natural disasters and environmental degradation, eg. droughts, floods and civil conflict such as conflict over limited natural resources
Making markets work for poor people - To build secure livelihoods for poor people through improved systems of production, processing and marketing. Examples include: product development and diversification, access to technical and market information, access to niche markets, relevant vocational training, and extension services for market oriented agriculture
Improving access to infrastructure services - To improve poor people's access to locally managed services, eg. renewable energy services, water, sanitation and waste management
Our work focuses on three main regions. The Eastern Sudan Integrated Technology Programme (ESITP) activities take place in the states of Kassala and Gedarif. On the fringes of the Sahara desert in western Sudan, the work in North Darfur State - divided into the four provinces of Elfashir, Kabkabiya, Kutum and Umkaddada - concentrates heavily on improving the food security of inhabitants. Our office in Blue Nile State opened in 2007, and concentrates on the re-building of livelihoods of war-affected people in the region.
Practical Action is currently working on the following projects:
- Re-building of livelihoods of war-affected people in the Blue Nile State - Damazien
- Promote Local Innovation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (NRM) Programme (Prolinnova)- Khartoum
- Improving health and welfare of children through restocking - North Darfur
- Improving animal health and livestock markets - Kassala
- Making hibiscus markets work for poor farmers - North Darfur and North Kordofan
- Cleaner and healthier cooking in El Fashir - North Darfur
- Practical Answers - Kassala, North Darfur and Khartoum
The main objectives of Practical Action Sudan's programmes are:
- Alleviating poverty through the empowerment of women and other particularly vulnerable sectors by enhancing the capacity of grassroots organisations.
- Improving poor people's lives through securing job opportunities, increasing income and acquiring affordable shelter.
- Developing the skills of crafts people, including metal workers, blacksmiths and casters, to help improve their livelihoods and to facilitate the provision of cheap manufactured products for poor consumers.
Practical Action Sudan believes that alleviating poverty and improving quality of life should be achieved through strengthening the abilities of poor people and encouraging them to work together and become more involved in decision-making.
The most disadvantaged groups, with the least resources and very weak, poorly organised representative bodies, currently include women, traditional producers and farmers.
A key element of Practical Action Sudan's work involves helping develop and support the management capabilities of such groups through the creation of local institutions and/ or community-based organisations (CBOs). This is seen as the most appropriate way of ensuring the projects can achieve the aimed-for results in a sustainable manner.
Such capacity building is coupled with identifying the varying skill-building needs of poor people covered by the programmes. The necessary support is then offered, including the use of technology in income generating projects, providing access to business development services, training in business management skills, marketing support, fundraising, bookkeeping, strategic planning and priority setting.
Practical Action Sudan works closely with small-scale farmers and producers involved in its programmes on the creation and use of technology. It is participatory technology development in action - and it works well.
Practical Action Sudan's work is supported by donors including SPANA - Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad and Prolinnova - Promoting Local Innovation