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Policy and Influence

We inform policy making at global, national and local levels so that decisions made are of maximum benefit to the poorest and most vulnerable people.

We might start small, but we think ‘big’, analysing the factors that can change the underlying systems and identifying where we are best placed to effect change. And whom we can convene and collaborate with more widely – governments, international organisations, and increasingly the private sector – to help take proven solutions to the next level of scale and sustainability.

Our policy and advocacy work focuses on the same four areas as our work with communities. Agriculture, urban water, sanitation and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy access. Everything we do has big change in sight – challenging the status quo to help change the systems that perpetuate vulnerability.

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Our key policy areas

Our policy work contributes to ​nine of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and is underpinned by our commitment to tackle catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality.


Farming that works 

Making agriculture work better for struggling smallholder farmers, so they can adapt to climate change and achieve a good standard of living. 

Our policy and practice objectives relate to improving the understanding and use of agroecological methods for smallholder farmers by national governments, donors, development agencies and the private sector.  

More farming that works

Electricity and clean cooking 

Energy that transforms 

Harnessing the transformational power of clean, affordable energy and reducing avoidable deaths caused by smoke from indoor stoves and fires. 

A key focus of our work is to catalyse off-grid energy access markets, for example through working with energy businesses and entrepreneurs (particularly women), as well as communities. 

More energy that transforms


Water and waste management 

Cities fit for people 

Making cities in developing countries cleaner, healthier, fairer places for people to live and work.  

We argue that delivery models need to create space for the informal sector, while working to change systems so that slum and low-income residents have the services they need and can hold decision-makers to account.

More cities fit for people

Climate change and disasters

Resilience that protects

For vulnerable people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by climate related and natural hazards.

We call on governments and other key stakeholders to integrate climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction into their policies.

More resilience that protects

Our work with local authorities and delivery partners in Bangladesh has influenced national policy. Informal waste and sanitation work is now included under the category of ‘hazardous work’ giving those workers access to an important national Labour Welfare fund from which they were previously excluded. Tens of thousands of informal workers now have more rights and opportunities, as well as the confidence to further improve their circumstances.​

Practical theory

We work hand in hand with local communities, publishing the best thinking from the brightest minds and providing technical expertise to change-makers.

Agricultural adaptation to climate change

Poor and rural communities in developing countries are among the worst affected by climate change. Most people living...

Bio-dykes: Working with nature to reduce flood losses

The Terai plains in Nepal are inhabited by indigenous communities farming soils enriched by annual floods. Climate ch...

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Events you can find us at

Practical Action hosts, co-hosts and directly engages in key events such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Assembly, the Community Based Adaptation practitioner’s forum, the G7 Summit, the United Nations General Assembly and more.

A woman from Practical Action is standing in front of a group of people at Africa Climate Week 2023.

Join us at events around the world

We will continue to build on the momentum for change amongst global leaders and the public at international events that address man-made climate change, loss of biodiversity and inequality.

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Climate change

Contact Us

We are always interested in engaging with other practitioners and those interested in development. We welcome feedback on our work and are interested in opportunities for collaboration. Email us at [email protected] or find us on social media to keep up to date with what we’re posting.