Practical Action's vision is one of Technology Justice - a sustainable world free of poverty and injustice in which technology is used for the benefit of all.


To contribute to poor people’s wellbeing using technology to challenge poverty by:

  • building the capabilities of poor men and women,
  • improving their access to technical options and knowledge, and
  • working with them to influence social, economic and institutional systems for innovation and the use of technology

Practical Action works with people in poor communities to improve their quality of life today and for generations to come. We actively engage with local people to come up with innovative, practical solutions, which address their real needs.

We respond to our local partners’ needs and have an in-depth understanding of the countries, cultures and environments in which we work.

We are passionate about tackling poverty and social injustice and share this passion with the people we work with. Together we aim to create sustainable solutions for today and tomorrow.

People focussed

We help people to create their own solutions, locally-adapted and appropriate, and to apply and share ideas and skills that make their lives better and their communities stronger.


Using our expertise in simple and appropriate technology, we make technology work for people living in poverty through innovative thinking.

Sustainable solutions

Sustainable development is crucial if poor people are to improve the ongoing quality of their lives. Our technologies are easily replicable, affordable and sustainable.

The Practical Action approach to its work is sees technology as a vital contributor to people's livelihoods – but defines ‘technology’ as including the physical infrastructure, machinery and equipment, and the associated knowledge and skills, and the capacity to organise and use all of these.

Practical Action works in partnerships at all levels to enable women and men to access new and improved technologies and to make informed choices from the range of technical options available to them. It seeks further to empower women and men to change in their favour the institutions, policy processes, legal standards and development decisions that affect their lives – building from the local to the national and international levels.

Practical Action gains knowledge and experience through practical projects with local partners. We combine our learning with partners with research and best practice around the world. While our practical work is at a local level, we aim to maximise our impact on poverty reduction by informing and influencing the national and international practices and policies that affect the lives of women and men living in poverty.

More about our influencing work on policy and practice

Intermediate technology

Practical Action was founded by radical economist and philosopher Fritz Schumacher, most famous for his 1973 book Small is Beautiful, who argued that there should be a shift in emphasis towards 'intermediate technologies' based on the needs and skills possessed by the people of developing countries.

Schumacher's ideas and philosophy continue to inform and inspire our work around the world.

More on Practical Action's history and founder

Contact us

Registered address: Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby CV23 9QZ, United Kingdom

Head office: | +44 (0) 1926 634400 | International offices

General enquiries:

For specific technical enquiries, please visit our Technical Enquiry Service

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