Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries
The right idea, however small, can change lives
Our strength is our approach: we find out what people are doing and help them to do it better.
Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions - transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them.
By doing this each year we help over a million people break out of the cycle of poverty ... for good.
Through projects on the ground in 13 countries, we improve the lives of over a million people every year.
We want to change as many lives as possible, by sharing our knowledge and experience.
Our Consulting and Publishing services reach development professionals in over 45 countries across the world, and technical information service Practical Answers offers free resources directly to those who need it most.
We have big ideas that can change lives - but our own projects can only reach the people we work with directly.
By sharing our ideas with local and national governments, international agencies and other development organisations, we can make a bigger impact on a global scale - and work towards technology justice for all.
Why we do it
Practical Action was founded by radical economist and philosopher E.F. Schumacher over 45 years ago. Mostly famous for his 1973 book ‘Small is Beautiful’, he believed in putting people’s real needs at the heart of development, and that's the guiding principle that informs everything we do today.
Practical Action uses low cost, appropriate, small-scale development solutions to help people to help themselves. Whatever we do, our activities are always people focused, locally relevant and environmentally sensitive. Our vision is a world free of poverty and injustice in which technology is used to benefit all.
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacher
Schumacher's ideas and philosophy continue to inform and inspire our work around the world.