Practical Action

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Practical-action
Headquarters Location: Rugby, United Kingdom
Founded: 1966


Mission: To use technology to challenge poverty by: Building the capabilities of poor people; Improving their access to technical options and knowledge, and Working with them to influence social economic and institutional systems for innovation and the use of technology.


Tags: water, sanitation, hygiene, dams, hygiene education, latrines, irrigation, rainwater harvesting, water distillation, clean water, 2011


Practical-action
Story: Lubna lives in the remote rural village of Abu Degaise in North Darfur. She has lived here for 40 years, making a home for her family in a one roomed, mud-walled hut. Despite the state capital, El Fashir, only being… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
A couple of experts recommended Practical Action because of their strong research ,and publication. They also have a deep commitment to working in partnership with local organizations and building local capacity to ensure sustainability of programs.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Practical-action Simon Trace. Simon Trace took up his appointment as CEO of Practical Action in 2005. He has been associated with the organisation during a period of strong growth and rising international recognition for its work, particularly in the area of the environment and energy where Practical Action has won a number of international awards. A civil engineer by training, Simon also studied… See full bio.


Financial Data
Total Revenue:
n/a


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
practicalaction AT practicalaction.org.uk
Phone:
+44 (0) 1926 634400      
Facebook:
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Address:
The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore
 
Rugby, United Kingdom
Twitter:
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Practical-action Story: Lubna lives in the remote rural village of Abu Degaise in North Darfur. She has lived here for 40 years, making a home for her family in a one roomed, mud-walled hut. Despite the state capital, El Fashir, only being 20kms from Lubna’s village she has only visited it three times, her days are consumed by the struggle to survive. “My life is about my family: about farming enough food for them to grow strong and succeed”. “Losing my husband to the fighting has made me more determined to give my children a future. As a mother it is my duty to provide for my family but sometimes I failed them, I could not grow enough food to stop their hunger.” Times have been tough for Lubna, but they are changing. Working with Practical Action, she and other women and men from Abu Degaise began constructing an earth dam in 2005 (completed 2008), to ensure that the short but heavy rains which fall in Darfur can be used for good. Lubna and the other women in the community provided much of the labour to build the dam. “When I look at the dam I know that my hands helped to make it. Each stone that I carried is strengthening the structure and giving our village the chance to farm our lands once more”. “Building the dam was hard but it felt good: working together and watching it take shape stone by stone. When the rains fell we rejoiced, knowing that we would have enough water to survive”. “Now there is water where there was none. My land is good enough to grow sorghum, watermelon and cucumber and I even have enough to sell some at market.” “I feel pride; I can feed my family through my own hard work and now my children smile.”

Expert Reviews of Practical Action

Evidence of Impact Summary:

A couple of experts recommended Practical Action because of their strong research ,and publication. They also have a deep commitment to working in partnership with local organizations and building local capacity to ensure sustainability of programs.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Experts were more scattered about Practical Action's strength. One mentioned that Practical Action was strategic and focused on key programming; another mentioned that Practical Action brought a range of different approaches to inform their decisions and interventions.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

As Practical Action works on multiple issues, some experts mentioned that they can put more emphasis on water, sanitation, and hygiene programs. They can also reach out to more local and public authorities and acquire support for specific skill areas.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strong Research

R
They diffuse knowledge and link to academic research and exchange of experiences through the journal "Waterlines". They have a small and lean organization.
N
They avail a lot of information.
N
I appreciate the documents they produce.

Creative and Appropriate Responses

O
Practical Action have consistently pioneered creative and appropriate responses to common WATSAN challenges. They have a deep commitment to working in partnership with local organizations and they have stressed the organizational and empowerment fundamentals to more lasting programmes. They have a good gender analysis to much of their work. This has led to positive results and legacy in many countries.
N
They have strong programming that empowers local communities through alternative models. They also focus on sustainability.

Willingness to Learn

N
This organization experiments with different approaches to service delivery and records its successes and failures in order to learn from its mistakes and contribute to the wider sector debates.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strategic and Focused

N
They are strategic and focused on key programming.

Wide Remit and Experience

R
They have a wide remit, experience, and ethos.

Range of Different Responses

N
As it is not only a water and sanitation organization, Practical Action seems to bring in a range of different approaches to inform its decisions and interventions.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Put More Emphasis on Water and Sanitation

R
Their impact could be even greater with a clearer strategy on the water sector as such and improved methodologies of behavior change. They need to reach out more to the local public and authorities.
N
Although it focuses on a range of areas, it would be good to see this organization put still more emphasis on water and sanitation as it has more to offer to the sector.

Need Support in Some Skill Areas

R
Some specific skill areas need support.


Leadership

Practical-action
Simon Trace
Chief Executive
Simon Trace took up his appointment as CEO of Practical Action in 2005. He has been associated with the organisation during a period of strong growth and rising international recognition for its work, particularly in the area of the environment and energy where Practical Action has won a number of international awards. A civil engineer by training, Simon also studied anthropology. Simon's career has principally been in community development, in the fields of soil and water conservation or water and sanitation, and he has spent time with a number of agencies, including periods of secondment to CARE and Unicef. He also spent a total of 10 years in Zambia and Nepal prior to moving to London to take up a series of positions with WaterAid, including Asia Regional Manager and Head of International Operations. Prior joining Practical Action, Simon was Strategic Development Director for the UK NGO WaterAid.

From the Nonprofit

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