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Our impact 

At Practical Answers, we have demonstrated impact at scale, improving lives around the world. In the past year alone:

  • 70,000 enquiries were answered by our team of technical experts
  • Over 1 million resources were downloaded from this website and our sister websites
  • We benefited thousands more via trainings, workshops, outreach work and information gatherings

Read below some personal accounts of our impact: 

“The material in there is gold dust......In my case we put up a bio digester in the middle of nowhere and we have now embarked on a larger scale model of the same because of the potential we have seen. Where the workers would have had to go out to fetch firewood for cooking they now use the communal gas stove we put out.”

Parbati Giri is from Kaski, Nepal. She has six members in her family. They depend on agriculture for their livelihood. An ongoing problem with insect damage to the rice production was finally solved after Parbati attended an interaction program organised by Practical Answer’s Nepali Services. She learnt about the method of preparing homemade pesticide and using it on the field to remove pests.

Within a week the pests that had infected her paddy field reduced, her farm regained its lost greenery, and she can now see the improvement in rice productivity. “I am very much grateful to Practical Answers Services. This program has benefitted many farmers like me in Lekhnath Municipality. I will always attend such interactions in future and will share whatever I learn with my friends too”. Parbati is now a member of the Technical Knowledge Group formed by Practical Answer’s Deepshikha Community Library and Resource Center.

“The information from you was sent to the head teacher in Bombululu (Kenya) and he met with a rep from one of the companies you mentioned. The result is that at least we now know how many storage tanks we need, what type of electric pump etc., whereas we were totally in the dark, and the head teacher going around in endless circles! So far the help has been invaluable and over 10,000 people will benefit in the future, and the info will be of great use in getting this project up and running.”

Danny Bautista is a Peruvian engineer specialising in the food industry. He is the main architect of a Regional Government project in Ayacucho, aimed at giving dairy farmers a professional status. Danny contacted the Practical Answers Latin American team seeking information on dairy processes. They arranged to meet him to see the primary result of the project: the cheese plants, and to see how they could work together to progress his business.

“I was given various very explicit primers on dairy products, particularly yogurt and cheese. The information contained in the primers was fundamental for training producers. Based on this information they were able to learn how to work with their products. They even increased the variety of their products."

“I am very grateful for the response of Mr. Neil Noble on my inquiry regarding sunflower oil production. I was able to contact the supplier from India whom he referred.”

"Podcasting has changed our lives here in Gwanda, giving us access to knowledge whenever we need it”.

Havanamasisi Magaya is a 60 year old local resident and farmer who has benefited from the use of Podcasting. This service provides information about crop and livestock production and health and hygiene issues, which smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe cannot usually access. With the participation of communities, extension experts and development agents (including Practical Answers Zimbabwe), content is recorded using the voice of community members. Despite never having used computers, the rural communities in the district have embraced the new technology. Another local farmer, Mgcini Ndlovu said,''Podcasting is very useful. It gives a set of instructions to people; the content doesn't change so I can listen several times. I also get the lessons quickly unlike when I go to formal sessions which take longer.''  

“I with heart thank you for your assistance in getting the Electrical guidelines for the Micro Hydro installations across. I have received it here. Your help is a contribution to the development and extension of the micro hydro power technology and a direct injection of knowledge to the moulding of a rural power young mind.” 

Charles Mureithi, a teacher and a farmer of Ng'arua Focal Group in Laikipia District, Kenya, has been a member of his local Knowledge Community centre since its inception. Practical Action’s materials are distributed in these rural libraries. Charles read a book with information on solar driers, and a local Jua Kali artisan was able to fabricate one for him. This enables his family to have a more constant supply of green vegetables throughout the year.

“These days it is not easy to get greens vegetables in this area during the dry season which is becoming more and more extended due to the changes in weather patterns.”

His vegetables no longer go to waste since he discovered the solar drier. “Nowadays, we harvest the vegetables, cut them into pieces, dry them in the solar drier and pack them for use during the dry season.”

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