We are 50

#WeAre50 Celebration in India

Celebrating Glorious 50 years of Practical Action

Practical Action was founded by economist Fritz Schumacher, following an article published on 29th August 1965 in The Observer entitled 'How to help them help themselves', calling for a radical change in international aid policy and provoking considerable debate.

Schumacher’s influential book, Small is Beautiful, published in 1973, helped to spark the green movement and inspired organisations around the world to rethink economics and development theory.  Practical Action is the oldest member of the Schumacher circle, the family of organisations inspired by his philosophy.

Fritz Schumacher believed strongly that technology could play an important role in lifting people out of poverty. But he saw the need for a different form of technology, human in scale, which allowed a form of economic development ‘as if people mattered’.
Over the last 50 years, Practical Action has been putting these ideas into practice.

Practical Action believes in Technology Justice, providing access to the basic technologies essential for a minimum standard of living for the two billion people currently living in poverty.  We also argue for a shift in the focus of technological innovation away from consumer wants to the two great challenges of our time - eliminating poverty and providing a sustainable future for life on this planet.  

Our 50th anniversary offers an opportunity to spread this message more widely and increase our impact on the lives of some of the poorest people in the world.

Our 50th anniversary exhibition of photographs gives a taste of the wide range of our work over the years, focusing on technologies that have had a significant impact on their communities. It covers the many regions where we work in Latin America, Africa and South Asia.

Today Practical Action is active in 45 countries across the world delivering clean water and sustainable energy, improving food security and reducing the risk of natural disasters, demonstrating that technology has the power to transform lives.

“Technology Justice” - Technology enables people to achieve well-being with less effort and drudgery. So, human development has gone together with technology change. However, yet, millions of people can’t access the technologies they need to meet their basic needs. Billions of people remain without access to water, electricity and so on. Similarly, technology innovation and dissemination overwhelmingly favour the wants of rich and powerful consumers in the developed world over the needs of the poor in the developing world. 

Practical Action celebrates its 50th anniversary

Read more about Practical Action's history, its foundation, and the celebrations for our fiftieth anniversary.

Find out more

National Workshop on Technology Justice

A one day National Workshop will be organized in collaboration with OUAT and CAET, Bhubaneswar on the 09 February 2016, inviting representatives from different institutions,  in which academia, researchers and experts including potential beneficiaries will present different technologies that are promoted at various levels.  A detailed concept will be worked out and agreed with collaborating agencies / institutions.

The Workshop will also discuss on strengths and areas of improvements on the potential beneficial technologies and way forwards. For this, a number of small workshop will also be organised which will explore and priortise different kinds of technology in favour of small holding farmers, producers and consumers. The planned Workshop will have following highlights;

A. Launching innovative technologies – ‘Solar Water Bulb’
B. Technology exhibition
C. Paper presentation
D. Panel Discussions
E. Declarations

The Workshop have following segments : 


  • • Keynote Address
  • • Address by Guests
  • • Expectation from the Workshop


Renewable Energy

  • Mr. Bhawani Pattnaik : Technology perspective on renewable energy and smart grid from the rural perspective
  • Er. Ashok Choudhary : Renewable energy for livelihoods
  • Dr. Benudhar Sutar : Milestones in renewable energy
  • Dr. N. C. Sahu : Solar energy
  • Mr. Prashant Biswal : Bridging the technology gap through innovation
  • Er. Sanjit Kumar Behera  : Renewable energy projects in Odisha by Practical Action

Urban Waste, Water and Sanitation

  • Dr. Siba P Udgata : Ensuring safe drinking water to the public through application of IT Waste, Water and Sanitation
  • Dr. Smrutiprava Samantroy : Urban waste management
  • Er. P. C. Mohanty : Technology options in water & sanitation
  • Mr. Saurya Pal : Innovative Technology available for Faecal Sludge Management
  • Ms. Rashmi Patel : Urban WASH initiatives – Some of the best practices by Practical Action

Agriculture and Climate Change

  • Dr. S.N. Panda : Water management in agriculture for small farmers
  • Dr. S.N. Pasupalak : Agriculture & climate change
  • Dr. S.K. Pattnaik  : Bio-fertilizer technology
  • Dr. Hrushikesh Patro : Sustainable agriculture with crop diversification: from small farmer prospective
  • Dr. Niranjan Panda : Scope of livestock  Rearing  for Livelihood support  in Odisha

This workshop will be concluded with a consolidation and closing remark with the learning, recommendations and declaration of the workshop. 


Various organisations will be called in to exhibit their own innovation and use of technologies in the field of renewable energy, urban WASH, agriculture and livelihoods. Though the 50th Anniversary celebration will go on until August 2016, this Workshop will mark the closing of celebration in India.


The workshop will mark a concluding ceremony with the outout of the workshop and wayforward. 

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