Practical Answers

Practical Answers

A sustainable service of quality assured appropriate knowledge tools relevant to development processes and poverty reduction established, made accessible and proactively shared and delivered for the benefit of one million beneficiaries in Sudan and the Arabic speaking region by 2017.

Practical Action recognises that knowledge is often the missing factor which prevents people from helping themselves out of poverty. It is a key element in the sustainable reduction of poverty. Poor men and women do not have the knowledge to lift themselves out of poverty for various reasons; it could be that the knowledge doesn’t exist, or that it is in the wrong format or language or that the poor communities do not know it exists or how to access it. Practical Answers, the demand-led technical knowledge and information service of Practical Action, facilitates the dissemination of knowledge between practitioners and poor communities in a way that is accessible and appropriate for those people living in poverty. Practical Answers also stimulates demand for knowledge by proactively making people aware of technologies which are available that could help them.

Practical Answers is a knowledge brokering service which gives access to knowledge about appropriate technologies for poverty alleviation. This is genuine access to appropriate knowledge in the right replicable format and at the right time. To be appropriate, the knowledge is locally contextualised and accompanied by relevant additional information (such as market prices or service offers from extension agents).

The knowledge objects produced by Practical Answers originate from the demand for knowledge in our own work, from the communities we work with, and from the work of our partners and the people they represent.

We will work closely with our partners and Practical Action’s project teams to identify which knowledge is needed and the best ways of dissemination. We will work with partners to develop appropriate knowledge objects and to disseminate the knowledge amongst communities and practitioners. We will set up a Knowledge Working Group of stakeholders who will be responsible for approving the quality of the knowledge objects and also for advising on subject and dissemination.

Our dissemination plan is based on three streams:

  • The delivery stream is about delivering knowledge through our existing proven techniques (i.e. technical enquiries and websites).
  • The innovation stream focuses on piloting new ways of knowledge sharing and feeding successful pilots into the delivery stream.
  • The scaling stream takes the lessons of our work and shares them with donors, practitioners and governments in order to change the way that development is done.

At community level we will work closely with our partner networks of CBOs in Darfur, East Sudan and Blue Nile to capture demand for knowledge and to disseminate our knowledge objects. At national level we will work closely with NNGOs, INGOs and UN partners for knowledge exchange and learning as well as potential dissemination. We will also work closely with academic institutions for knowledge exchange. Promotion and dissemination can also be done in partnership with telecommunication companies such as Sudani, Zain and MTN.

Practical Answers

Visit the Practical Answers website, home of Practical Action's technical information service, to download free materials and make enquiries.

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