Practical Action is an innovative international development group, putting ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world. Our vision is for a world that works better for everyone. 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 believe societies and economies can work for the benefit of all. That we can live within the planet’s means. That ingenuity and cooperation can conquer any challenge.


For a world that works better for everyone Our ultimate goal is a world that works better for everyone. A world where smallholder farmers can earn a decent living while working in harmony with the environment. Where parents can cook nutritious family meals without risking their health. And where businesses, schools and clinics have the electricity they need to help their communities succeed.

We’re working towards a world where people in slum communities and refugee camps live in safety and dignity. Women entrepreneurs have the confidence and the skills to build profitable businesses. And people on the front line of climate change can adapt to the challenges of extreme weather and thrive.

The communities we work with face significant challenges. The effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and the ongoing pandemic make this a critical time. But we see the opportunities for positive change and we know that our goals are not only achievable, but have never been more relevant.

Our Four Key Aims

  • Farming that works
  • Energy that transforms
  • Cities fit for people
  • Resilience that protects

Our Work

We work with communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. We share what works with others, so many more people can change their worlds.

Our History & Heritage

We were founded by radical economist and philosopher E.F. ‘Fritz’ Schumacher, who challenged the conventional aid thinking of the day. He believed in solutions suited to context, equipping people with the skills and knowledge to change their situation, economic systems that work for all, and living within the planet’s means. In 1966, Schumacher and others founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) to put his philosophy into practice. A technical consulting service and an independent publishing arm launched soon after. Schumacher’s ground-breaking book, Small is Beautiful was published in 1973 and generated worldwide interest. We changed our name from ITDG to Practical Action in 2005, building on our focus on pragmatic, holistic and systemic approaches to tackling poverty. And while development approaches have changed, Schumacher’s founding beliefs still drive us, and have never been more relevant.