Practical Action

Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty. They work with poor communities to develop sustainable and practical solutions, enabling them to transform lives.

Technology is vital in all aspects of our lives: our health, how our food is produced, how we access water, energy and information, our transport infrastructure.

In the developing world, the lack of technology is stark: 1.1 billion people lack access to electricity; 4,000,000 people die each year as a result of smoke inhaled while cooking on an open fire; and 800,000 children die each year from diarrhoea due to poor water and sanitation.

Practical Action want to change this.

Their vision is for a world where all people have access to the technologies that enable them to meet their basic needs and reach their potential, in a way that safeguards the planet.

Did you know...

Practical Action was founded by radical economist and philosopher E.F. Schumacher 50 years ago. Mostly famous for his 1973 book ‘Small is Beautiful’, he believed in putting people’s real needs at the heart of development, and that's the guiding principle that informs everything they do today.

They work hand-in-hand with poor communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to find practical, lasting solutions that help people lift themselves out of poverty – last year, they transformed the lives of 2.8 million people through 104 projects in 10 countries.

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What makes Practical Action different

Practical Action find out what people are doing, and help them to do it better. Through innovative thinking and technical knowledge, they enable poor communities to build on their skills and experience to produce practical solutions to their most pressing needs. The right idea can transform lives forever, allow families to live in dignity and protect the world.

They believe that no organisation alone can bring about the changes needed to benefit everyone. To make the change happen, they will engage and inspire practitioners, policy-makers, markets, funders and communities to work together, so our work can impact the lives of far more people than they can reach directly.

Other ways to support

For more information about how you can support their work with some of the world’s poorest communities, please visit the website.


The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore
CV23 9QZ

Contact Number

0800 389 1624