Practical Action Blogs

    Better information helps build resilience that protects

    Mary Allen leads Practical Action’s work on agriculture and climate resilience in West Africa.  She has lived in the region since 1986, working on natural resource management and resilience to climate change. _________________________ In West Africa Practical Action is helping smallholder farmers and people living in low income households, improve their management of and resilience to climate-related risks such as drought and floods, through access to information and adapted knowledge services. In 2015 we co-founded the social enterprise Jokalante, whose […]

    April 23rd, 2019

    FRMC flipping Ex-ante actions and Post ante-actions

    Not only in Nepali context , around the globe in taking actions to disaster, among Ex-ante action and Post ante-actions, post disaster interventions are more observed than ex-ante actions. The updates of “core humanitarian standards” (CHS) and lack of empirical resilience measurement tools methods indicate the focus is still in post disaster interventions of relief, rescue, recovery and reconstruction, guided by CHS. Four humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence are at the core of all humanitarian work. These […]

    April 23rd, 2019

    Starting small, in Karnali

    (This is the first part of my photo story series on community-led small irrigation projects slowly turning the table for Karnali’s farming families) It is almost needless to say, Karnali stands out in its exquisiteness for the landscape it flaunts is unparalleled to rest of the world. Spread across 9,441 square miles having possessed the largest lands among Nepal’s provinces, it is also the least populated of them all — seemingly because of the hardship its topography has to offer. The province […]

    April 19th, 2019

    ‘Including real-life contexts in science teaching’ by Practical Action

    I did it!!   I wrote an article that has been published in the Association for Science Education’s journal School Science Review.  It felt like an honour to be asked, and did take a while to do (I struggled a bit with all the Harvard indexing system LOL) but it was worth it in the end. I hope that as a result of being published, more teachers around the world will read my article ‘’Including real-life global contexts in science teaching’ […]

    April 17th, 2019

    BICAS – strongly connected with people’s life in Karnali

    This was my first trip to Karnali, a region yet to be explored, where I observed several interventions made by the BICAS project and met with a number of community people and civil society organisations who were benefitted from the interventions. The interventions ranges from gravity goods ropeway to solar water lifting, goat breed improvement to agriculture commercialisation, improved water mills to micro-enterprises and capacity building of CSOs to linkages with local government. Most of the initiatives were new to […]

    April 15th, 2019

    A warm and thoughtful breakfast with the WASH ladies!

    I never thought that I would so enjoy such a charming breakfast and chit-chat with women from different corners of the world at the ‘Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Principles’ workshop in Khulna, Bangladesh. That morning, 2nd April took me by surprise! I met more than twenty beautiful faces working for the WASH sector in different capacities and roles who joined the conversation, bringing a wealth of thoughts and courage, breaking the silence. The conversation began with Alyse from the Bill & […]

    April 12th, 2019

    Dignifying Lives of Women in Waste Management: Challenges and Way forward

    Earlier in March at the 2019 UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) I was able to share some initial insights about the gender issues facing women in Bangladesh who earn a living from solid waste management – in collecting rubbish from households and streets or in the recycling or reuse. As the urban population of Bangladesh continues to rise, and to rise at rates faster than the rest of South Asia, the challenge of dealing with ever-growing volumes […]

    April 10th, 2019

    Technology builds community resilience to climate change

    Practical Action is working in West Africa to help small-holder farmers and people living in low income households, improve their management of and resilience to climate related risks such as drought and floods, through access to information and adapted knowledge services. In 2015 we co-founded the social enterprise Jokalante, whose name means “dialogue” in the Wolof language, to deliver a range of innovative ICT-enabled services to support uptake of emerging agricultural technologies. Four years later, by combining local language radio […]

    April 1st, 2019

    Innovations in Briquette Business for Clean Cooking Energy

    Access to clean and affordable energy is an important determinant in the livelihoods of all rural and urban people, however, only a few have access to an adequate gas supply for cooking and other productive purposes. Those who have not been blessed with the access to this valuable resource depend on the use of a wide range of biomass such as firewood, and agriculture residues such as jute stick, leaves, rice husk, sawdust, cow dung which are not thermally efficient […]

    April 1st, 2019

    What do Flood Resilience and Nepalese Thali have in common?

    After four years as a member of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (“the Alliance”), I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of our work in West Nepal. Practical Action and our local partner, CSDR, have been working for 5 years to support communities to become more resilient to the river Karnali’s floods. Improving flood resilience is a multi-faceted objective, which involves making the link between development and disaster risk reduction. The definition of flood resilience used by the Alliance […]