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Last year we helped over 1.7 million people out of poverty

Our strength is our approach: we find out what people are doing and help them to do it better.

Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions - transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them.

By doing this each year we help well over a million people break out of the cycle of poverty ... for good.

Our approach

We are working towards technology justice: a world in which technology and innovation is used to end poverty and provide a sustainable future for everyone on our planet.

water pump, Zimbabwe

Transforming lives

Through projects on the ground, we improve the lives of over a million people every year.

Our programmes give poor people access to modern energy, and help them to grow the food they need sustainably.

We help people in urban areas get the clean water and sanitation they need, and reduce the risk of disasters for the most vulnerable.

para-vet, Kenya

Sharing knowledge

We want to change as many lives as possible, by sharing our knowledge and experience.

Our Consulting and Publishing services reach development professionals around the world, and our technical information service Practical Answers offers free resources directly to those who need it most.

washing hands

Influencing others

We have big ideas that can change lives - but our own projects can only reach the people we work with directly.

By sharing our ideas with local and national governments, international agencies and other development organisations, we can make a bigger impact on a global scale - and work towards technology justice for all.


Why we do it

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 we do today.

Practical Action uses low cost, appropriate, small-scale development solutions to help people to help themselves. Whatever we do, our activities are always people focused, locally relevant and environmentally sensitive. Our vision is a world free of poverty and injustice in which technology is used to benefit all.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacher

Schumacher's ideas and philosophy continue to inform and inspire our work around the world.

Read more about Practical Action's approach

Fifty years of Practical Action

Contact us

Head office: | +44 (0) 1926 634400 | International offices

General enquiries:

For specific technical enquiries, please visit our Technical Enquiry Service

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