Practical Action is an international Non Governmental Organization (NGO) specializing in using appropriate technology to combat poverty. Dr. E.F. Schumacher, author of “Small is Beautiful” was the founder of Practical Action, along with several associates. Dr. Schumacher, an economist, believed that the best way to help the poor in developing countries was to “find out what people are doing and help them do it better”. Consistent with this philosophy, Practical Action, according to its website, “aims to eradicate poverty in developing countries through the development and use of technology by demonstrating results, sharing knowledge and influencing others”. Environmental conservation and protection are part of the mission.

Practical Action’s website contains project reports from the various developing countries in which they work. They cover areas in Latin America, Sudan, East Africa, Southern Africa, South Asia, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Latin American region has its own website in Spanish called Souciones Practicas. The publishing branch of Practical Action contains a wide range of topics in Development and Appropriate Technology.

Check out this website to find great information on and examples of Appropriate Technology. Read “Small is Beautiful”. As we always said during our service, Peace Corps is a great time to read the classics!

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.
–Dr. E. F. Schumacher