Practical Action Blogs

    IPCC special report on 1.5°C

    In 2015 the Paris Agreement, the global compact signed by the governments of the planet to tackle climate change, was agreed. In the negotiated process to reach this agreement some governments still had doubts about the degree of warming that was acceptable and necessary to maintain global development. These governments led by Saudi Arabia, asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to undertake a special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Recognising as we […]

    October 8th, 2018

    Book launch: Technology and Loss and Damage

    Practical Action was present at the launch of the book Climate risks beyond adaptation? Loss & Damage from climate change, concepts, methods and policy options held at the Grantham Research Institute of the London School of Economics on Friday 28th September. Why were we there? Practical Action is a development organisation with a keen interest in technology but we recognise that climate change presents a unique technology challenge as we struggle to understand a cope with the consequences. The United […]

    September 29th, 2018

    The change we want to see for urban slum dwellers

    Last week the World Bank released an update of its ‘What a Waste’ report. It highlights how over 90% of waste in low-income countries is openly dumped or burned. This affects everyone, but impacts poor people the most. Rubbish is rarely effectively collected in their neighbourhoods. It causes pollution (including 5% of global climate change emissions), acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other diseases and blocks toilets and drains. It can exacerbate the impacts of flooding. Landslides of waste dumps […]

    September 25th, 2018

    How to best finance ICT extension services in low and middle-income countries?

    The inherent functionality of ICT to easily transfer information helps to overcome barriers of traditional extension services. ICT extension services improve quality of agricultural information, reduce travelling time for visits, enable frequent communication between farmers and agents as well as increase accountability. More important, ICT extension services can reach large target groups – e.g. rural farmers and nomads – who otherwise excluded from the system, and for a fraction of costs of traditional extension. ICT extension services face barriers similar […]

    September 11th, 2018

    My kind of Heroes … the unsung WASHeroes of Gulariya

    “An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory.” – Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered My kind of Heroes is a long remaining B(ack)LOGS gathered while visiting field during the implementation of Safa and Swastha Gulariya project. I got to know them after seeing them – the characters, their tone of voice, and the setting that presents an opportunity to day dream of La La Land. The […]

    Time to Adopt Disaster Impact Assessment in Development Initiatives

    In the recent pasts, it has been observed that human activities play prime role in creating disasters. The impact of 2015 earthquake in Nepal took lives of 9,000 people and completely damaged nearly 500,000 rural and urban houses. The 2015 April earthquake in Nepal destroyed and damaged properties worth more than USD7b, which is over 1/3 of the GDP. The main reason to such a huge loss and damage was due to weak housing and infrastructure that were built without […]

    September 9th, 2018

    Climate Change is back in the News

    The last few years have started to place climate change back on the political map, not in respect to astounding stories of climate denial but because the foresight of scientists such as James Hansen[1] finally seems to be coming to fruition.  Last autumn witnessed the most devastating North Atlantic Hurricane season on record. A season that the poorer Caribbean counties are only just started to recover from, some may say just in time for the next one. Europe has experienced […]

    , | September 6th, 2018

    World Water Week 2018: highlights from an urban WASH fanatic

    Practical Action Publishing was in the forefront for us this year at World Water Week in Stockholm. The event is a key point in the WASH calendar with 3,700 delegates over a packed week of discussion and learning. Water a cross-cutting issue for all our programmes Our exhibition stand was a reflection of the depth and breadth of Practical Action’s engagement in water and sanitation issues across the organisation. We featured a range of Practical Action Publishing materials from manuals, […]

    Why is Raspberry Pi perfect for building flood resilience?

    A Raspberry Pi micro-computer. Source: www.acadecap.org
    Could a palm-sized $10 computer become a life-saving tool against disasters and climate change? In this blog, Rob Mullins (Raspberry Pi co-founder) and Miguel Arestegui (Disaster Risk Reduction specialist at Practical Action) discuss how the Raspberry Pi micro-computer is building flood resilience in Peru and how it could help us in the future. Creator meets user Raspberry Pi was founded by Rob Mullins and five other friends in 2009 at Cambridge University. Rob and Eben Upton (now CEO of Raspberry Pi trading) met […]

    August 20th, 2018

    The rescuers

    One of my (not-so-pleasant) vivid memories, is witnessing overflowing sludge from the septic tank at our home when I  was studying at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). My mother, one of the smartest ladies I have ever seen, just rushed to the nearby refugee camp, known as ‘Geneva camp’ in search of rescuers. It was getting dark, and we were desperately waiting for the arrival of the rescuers to salvage us from the mess and to relieve us from […]

    July 31st, 2018