Practical Action believes that development challenges will require a global shift in thinking: one that recognises the finite boundaries of the planet and the need to tackle the challenges of poverty, environmental degradation and climate change together. We place wellbeing, technology justice and sustainable development at the centre of the global fight against poverty.

power house in Malawi

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in 2015 will define global development targets and goals for the next 15 years. Over this period, science and technology is expected to continue to change and advance at a rapid pace. If governed well, this technological change offers opportunities to accelerate progress towards achieving development for all people in a way that conserves the environment. But if governed poorly, new technologies have the potential to reinforce established power imbalances, further widen the technological divide between rich and poor, and create new social and environmental challenges.


Investments in technologies must be designed to enable the inclusion of poor people the processes of technology transfer, adaptation and innovation. They must be used to equip poor people with the skills and knowledge to participate in the choice, use and regulation of technologies that affect their lives. We must also recognise that the current balance of investment resources and capacity to adapt existing technologies, innovate and research are concentrated in the private sector. Thus, clear targets and principles are needed to guide investments in technologies and science to ensure that they empower poor people rather than make them dependant on inputs and technologies they cannot afford or which increase their vulnerability.

  • Technology transfer will require knowledge sharing, capacity building and financing
  • 1

Practical Action welcomes the recognition that science, technology and innovation (STI) is fundamental to the international community and developing nations to respond to and effectively implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), development financing, and climate change targets. But technology transfer will require more than just sharing the technology, it will require sharing how the technology works, capacity building and financing. Current SDG and climate change negotiations largely focus on technology transfer. They do not go far enough on capacity building for innovation and technology development in developing countries and ignore the representation of developing countries in global innovation processes.


Introducing Technology Justice: A new paradigm for the SDGs

As national governments, development actors, and businesses negotiate, commit to, and begin to implement Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years, Practical Action makes the case for...


The Right Climate for Development: why the SDGs must act on climate change

This briefing outlines the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Review (AR5) that climate change is already affecting poverty reduction and sustainable...


Why Technology Justice is Critical for the Climate Negotiations: delivering on loss and damage

In Paris in December 2015, national governments as parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will meet to negotiate a new climate agreement. One of the catalysts...


Your gift makes a real difference

With a regular or single gift, you can support our work with poor people in developing countries.

Post-2015 blogs

  • A New Hope?
    It was almost 10pm in Paris, as a tired looking Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Minister, said “I see no objections”, barely glancing at the rows of country delegates packing the room, then sharply banged his gavel bring the Paris Agreement to life. After more than 20 years of negotiations by 196 countries, a global climate deal had finally been sealed. On Saturday 12th December 2015, rich and poor countries alike agreed to differ, but in the process adopted 31 […]
  • COP21 Paris update
    Week 2 Day 2; UN Climate Change Conference, are we there yet? With 48 hours left to reach agreement on the text for a climate change agreement the atmosphere in Paris is mixed with some believing an agreement will be reached, while many are worried that it will not be robust enough to deliver. The negotiations started on a high note with 150 heads of state making bold statements outlining the urgency of action and the potential threat if we fail […]
  • From adaptation to mitigation at COP21
    Week 1 – agriculture and adaptation COP21 got off to a rousing start, with some inspirational speeches by heads of state and world leaders. The objective was to inspire and guide the negotiators, however, the promises made appear to have been quickly dampened by national interests resulting in slower than expected progress, and even weakened options. Nairobi Work Programme The first week was dominated by matters concerning agriculture, forests, pastoralism and risk and adaptation. The Nairobi Work Programme on Adaptation […]
  • World Food Day and the SDGs: The challenge – no! the opportunity – for agriculture to leave no one behind
    Today, 16th October, is World Food Day. A day when we are reminded of the vital importance of agriculture in providing our basic need – food. More importantly, the vital role agriculture plays in providing food security and livelihoods for the majority in developing countries. For me it is a reminder of how, to date, agriculturalists and the international community are still failing to enable the many millions of small-scale farmers to use their efforts, and their resources – the […]
We use cookies to provide a consistent user experience and analyse how to improve our sites Our cookie policy