Technical Information Service

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About us


Practical Answers is the Technical Information Service of Practical Action. We provide information on appropriate, small-scale technologies that improve the lives of people living in poverty. We enable access for all to the wealth of technical knowledge within Practical Action, as well as that of our partners and other people working to reduce poverty.

At our core is a technical enquiry service where anyone working in poverty reduction, or on small-scale technology projects, can ask a question and receive a response from our local experts free of charge. Find out more about what we do.

We currently answer more than 70,000 enquiries each year!

To be most useful, knowledge has to be locally relevant. Our service is very decentralised with most of our work being managed from offices around the world. Our team is made up of 30 staff in 10 country offices, and we are in constant collaboration with our Practical Action colleagues and local groups.

We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in sustainable and practical solutions for poverty reduction.

Our vision

Practical Answers’ vision for the world is that people who need knowledge about technology for poverty reduction should have access to the relevant information in the right format at the right time. If we achieve this we move closer to Technology Justice.

Our mission is to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods, by providing knowledge services and facilitating sharing of technical knowledge relevant to development processes and poverty eradication.

Our services have helped to improve the lives of many around the world. Read some short personal accounts of our impact, which vary from a Nepalese farmer improving her rice production after attending Practical Answers training, to a Zimbabwean community benefiting from using a Podcasting service.


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