Welcome to Practical Action's library of resources

We are an international development organisation putting ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world. 

We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Challenges made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. We work with communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. And we share what works with others, so answers that start small can grow big. 

We’re a global change-making group. The group consists of a UK registered charity with community projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, an independent development publishing company and a technical consulting service. We combine these specialisms to multiply our impact and help shape a world that works better for everyone. 

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About infoHub

The Practical Action infoHub supports this work by making materials, information and publications publically available for people all over the world to access and use.



  • Reuse it!

    Practical Action (Practical ActionPractical Action, United Kingdom, 2010-01-04)
    Reuse It! is a design and make project that encourages pupils to incorporate a 'throwaway/waste' item(s) within their design proposal.
  • Less is more

    Practical Action (Practical ActionPractical Action, United Kingdom, 2010-01-04)
    Less is more is a redesign activity to propose how a familiar product can be packaged more sustainably..
  • Fair Textiles

    Practical Action (Practical ActionPractical Action, United Kingdom, 2018-06-01)
    Fair Textiles is a design and make project for pupils aged 11-16 years. It encouraged them to use textiles that do not harm people or the environment.
  • Artesanía Textil Melgar

    Practical Action América Latina (Practical ActionPractical Action, Latin America, 2017)
    En esta ocasión presentamos el primer BIP del proyecto Incremento del empleo y el ingreso neto de las familias de artesanas(os) tejedoras(es) de prendas textiles de la Provincia de Melgar – Puno, cuyo ámbito de acción incluye los distritos de Ayaviri, Ñuñoa y Santa Rosa de la provincia de Melgar en la región Puno. El proyecto busca contribuir a la mejora del empleo y los ingresos de las familias productoras de textiles artesanales de la provincia de Melgar
  • Pre-crisis market analysis for disaster risk reduction in urban informal settlements. A pilot study on housing market system in Polvorines, Peru

    Ilieva, Lili (Practical ActionPractical Action, Latin America, 2017)
    Today, the majority of the global population lives in urban areas and this rapid urbanization is a root cause of increasing disaster risk (UNISDR, 2012; 2013). As more people settle in unregulated highrisk areas, the greater the probability of casualties and economic losses is, as a result of climatic events such as floods. This makes it critical to focus on disaster risk reduction in urban areas (UNISDR, 2012). This shift has contributed to one of the biggest challenges in developing countries: the formation of unplanned informal settlements in high risk areas. In the Latin America and Caribbean region, informal settlements are a significant feature of urban growth. According to UN-Habitat (2016), 104 million people live in irregular settlements in the region, equivalent to 21% of its urban population as of 2014. In Peru alone, 8.2 million people live in such peri-urban areas, which correspond to 34% of the urban population. People living in informal settlements are particularly vulnerable to floods (GFDRR/ World Bank, 2012). Most informal settlements carry physical vulnerabilities because of their inappropriate location or poor construction practices. These settlements are often located in highly risk areas and built with low quality design and construction materials, on plots with no secure land tenure. This also leads households to be left out of the basic service provision such as potable water and electricity. They therefore rely on illegal connections to electricity poles, to water points and do not currently have access to improved sanitation. The drivers for this urbanisation are economic opportunity pulling people to the cities for jobs, compounded by lack of planning enforcement, allowing illegal settlements to establish and grow. As a result local livelihoods, strongly depend on market systems, be it for food, access to water and sanitation, adequate housing and employment. In the face of catastrophic events market systems in these areas are often severely disrupted and collapse, thus affecting the coping capacity of the population to survive and recover. Market oriented approaches for emergency response, such as the Emergency Market Mapping Analysis (EMMA) toolkit1, have proved to be effective in rapid analyses of market systems in post-disaster context. In recent years it has been recognised that incorporating market development approaches in risk reduction will facilitate transition from dependence on external relief to building local resilience.

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