Practical Action Blogs

    We need the right climate action

    It seems likely that in the next few days President Trump will withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement. I’m not a climate scientist, but the vast majority of the scientific community is of one mind, that climate change is undeniable.  From own experience of working in Africa and Asia for over thirty years, and talking with many people who live there, the climate is changing.  Extreme events such as droughts, and floods always affect the poorest the most, which […]

    June 1st, 2017

    What’s next for ‘Enabling the Business of Agriculture’?

    world bank
    Each year the World Bank bring together their country representatives from around the globe to measure progress and push forward on new initiatives.  ‘World Bank land’ in Washington DC becomes a bustling mini-city within a city. Even the bus stops get the messages out.  My favourite this year was ‘Rich countries shouldn’t define poverty for poor countries’ I was there to participate in a panel discussing the relevance and progress of their four year pilot of the Enabling the Business […]

    June 1st, 2017

    2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

    The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) takes place every two years. The platform is the foremost gathering on reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations. The platform is convened by the UNISDR the United Nations office for DRR[1] and this year was hosted by the government of Mexico. More than 4,000 participants and delegates from over 180 countries attended the meeting. This is a rich and diverse group of actors that bridge the worlds […]

    May 27th, 2017

    Telling better stories

    After a long 1.15 hours flight and 5 hours ride in a pickup truck, we reached Dadeldhura, which will be our home for the next three days.  Dadeldhura lies in the far-western district of Nepal and holds many historic significance.   As I was told by one of the locals, Amargadhi Fort in Dadeldhura was built in 1790 AD by General Amar Singh Thapa to serve as a military base.  During the unification of Nepal by then King Prithvi Narayan […]

    May 26th, 2017

    MasterCard Young Africa Works Summit

    Earlier this year I attended the second annual Young Africa Works Summit in Kigali, Rwanda hosted by MasterCard Foundation. The theme of the summit was built around shifting discussion from how to engage youth in agriculture, to youth as drivers of agricultural transformation. The summit explored three sub-themes that contribute to agricultural transformation, gender, technology and climate-smart agriculture. Almost a third of participants were young people from across the continent of Africa.  They shared their experiences, successes, challenges and innovations in […]

    May 26th, 2017

    Building farmers’ resilience through ICT based weather information

    flooding in Siragonj
    Bangladesh has made significant advancements in the field of disaster management. We are good at response, but there are areas of improvement for overall management—most importantly preparedness and early warning systems. We generally consider a cyclone as a ‘disaster’ but consider flooding as a regular phenomenon, not a disaster. If we look at the policy documents, we will see that drought, salinity and even arsenic have been considered under the definition of disaster, but have focused less attention on these so […]

    May 26th, 2017

    With improved agricultural practices, farmers in far-western Nepal are avoiding the seasonal exodus to India

    The scene was heart-breaking. A group of women and children were running after a bus while the men were waving goodbye from the vehicle. I was witness to this scene almost two years ago during a field trip to Achham in far-western Nepal. The women and children were crying and so were some of the men. They kept on running after the bus till it was out of sight. According to my colleague Bishnu Paudel, the men were leaving for […]

    May 25th, 2017

    How to automate drip irrigation from a farm pond

    Watch the video DIY Solar Drip Irrigation Kit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVkkQvdJa4g This video is for smallholders using gravity feed drip irrigation on a small plot of land. Using the kit, you can automate your drip irrigation system so that water is pumped automatically from your farm pond (or other water supply) to the header tank and all your plants are irrigated automatically. As well as watching the video, I recommend that you download the User Manual for the DIY Solar Drip Irrigation Kit from […]

    May 24th, 2017

    Lights, Camera, Action: Reflections from the Access Agriculture video training in Bangladesh

    It is very easy to make videos with your mobile phone but when your aspirations are to share the film globally, and with a specific audience in mind, it is not… Over the last two weeks colleagues from Bangladesh and Nepal participated in a video training workshop provided by Access Agriculture in the Northern part of Bangladesh. Access Agriculture are a key partner of Practical Answers, our technical information service, providing and sharing technical solutions to solve agricultural challenges! The […]

    From despair to dignity – emergency response project in Sudan

    Heavy rain that hit the eastern region of Sudan in the summer of 2016 and flashfloods, caused substantial damage to communities in Kassala state.  This posed unique challenges and exposed local communities to different areas of vulnerability. In response, Practical Action and Plan Sudan, working in the Aqua4East Partnership, a water  project in the region, developed a six months emergency response initiative to protect the  area from the negative impacts of the emergency situation. The priority was to help the affected communities respond […]

    May 24th, 2017