Practical Action Blogs

    Is blockchain the right technical solution for our projects?

    Flow chart: Do we need blockchains? (source: Wüst and Gervais, 20172)
    I recently met with colleagues who were keen to use blockchain for global development. As you may guess, our conversation started with the key question: Is blockchain the right technical solution for us?  Simply put, blockchain is a secured, shared and distributed ledger. Blockchain has been named to become next disruptive technology capable of changing the way we trade and interact. The key attributes, including public variability, transparency, privacy and integrity – are what makes blockchain more appealing than centrally […]

    February 21st, 2018

    Improving food security in Talkok

    clearing mesquite Talkok
    Telkok is one of the most poverty stricken localities in the state of Kassala and needs a great deal of effort to build up the food security and resilience of its communities. Practical Action and three local partners are leading a range of interventions in the area. These include limiting the spread of Mesquite trees which invade agricultural areas. One partner, the Elgandual network, is working to improve agricultural production and helpfarmers’ increase their income.  They held a practical demonstration on […]

    February 16th, 2018

    Managing the sanitation challenge for Rohingya refugees

    Nearly a million people of Rohingya community are living in the makeshift shelters in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, fleeing persecution in neighbouring Myanmar. Hasin Jahan, Practical Action’s country director in Bangladesh, recently visited the camp and describes her experience. It felt like one fine morning half a million Rohingya people just landed on the doorstep! It may be the world’s largest humanitarian crisis ever. It has been well managed with the government and agencies working together to provided the Rohingya communities with […]

    February 15th, 2018

    Bio-dykes: saving communities and instilling confidence in them

    As we approached Bangalipur, a closed-knit community of 135 households, dark clouds started covering the sky and a light sprinkle followed after. Enchanted by the fresh, earthy smell wafting from the gravelled road and ducks swimming in the brownish water in the canal running by the road, we thought of delving further into the rural life. The surrounding was verdant with freshly transplanted rice. Nearby a young man was ploughing to ready the field for rice transplantation while a group […]

    February 14th, 2018

    World Urban Forum 9: The good, the same-old, the hopeful, the shocking…

    The World Urban Forum (WUF9) is a major conference run every two years by UN-Habitat. This year it took place in the city of Kuala Lumpur from 7-13 February 2018. The last time this global community came together was in October 2016 to negotiate the ‘New Urban Agenda’ – the global urban agreement endorsed by the UN General Assembly about the future of the world’s cities. It was meant to give a steer to how all 17 Sustainable Development Goals should […]

    Enhancing Flood Resilience through Livelihood adaptation

    “The 2014 flood was worse than the 2009 flood but the loss and damage was less because people had learned from the earlier event.” Dinanath Bhandari I am currently visiting the Practical Action Nepal flood resilience project in the western region, which has been supported by the Z Zurich foundation for the last five years. The project is working in 74 flood vulnerable communities adjacent to the Karnali River, located in the Terai plains, the flat lands that connect Nepal […]

    February 7th, 2018

    Financial capital and development, where’s the problem?

    When Fritz Schumacher wrote “Small is Beautiful” he used the book to highlight two key challenges. The first that traditional development wasn’t working, he highlighted that it was failing to overcome pervasive and underlying challenges and second, that the economic assumptions guiding this development were flawed. He argued eloquently for a new approach to development, an economic development model in which finite resources were recognised and that the aim wasn’t capital accumulation but human wellbeing. Development in which people not […]

    February 2nd, 2018

    Ditch the Dirt…a NEW STEM challenge

    We think young people will love it! Practical Action’s latest Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) challenge ‘Ditch the Dirt’ offers a great opportunity for pupils to explore how simple water filtering techniques can remove so much ‘dirt’ from contaminated water. Set around the real-life context where millions of people worldwide don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water, Ditch the Dirt enables pupils to find out for themselves how science and technology can play a critical role in developing […]

    Flood Resilience Program extended for five more years

      Practical Action and partners will continue to work to develop solutions for community flood resilience and provide robust evidence for investment in pre-event resilience-building under a new five-year grant from Zurich. In July 2013 Practical Action signed a memorandum of understanding with the Z Zurich Foundation for a five-year programme aimed at building the flood resilience of vulnerable communities in Nepal and Peru as part of a multi-sectoral Alliance of partners. In December 2017, we received the excellent new […]

    January 16th, 2018

    ASE Science conference – a great way to kick start the year!

    Back to the office this week after four fun packed/exhausting days at the Association of Science Education (ASE) conference. As always the conference was really inspiring and a great way to kick start the new year. We love this conference for us so many reasons. Firstly, we get to meet some great teachers who haven’t heard of us before and are delighted when we tell them what we have to offer…for free! It’s a lovely feeling knowing that as a result […]

    January 12th, 2018