Poor people with little or no basic education have very limited opportunity and capacity to benefit from the wealth of information materials available in electronic media and traditional libraries.
Practical Action tries to address this problem by providing information through its Practical Answers project. Practical Answers is the name of the technical information service and comprises of a number of initiatives developed over the 40 years in which ITDG/Practical Action has provided information on small-scale appropriate technologies.
This report is a summary of learning since the start of the project in August 2007, and from earlier experiences of technical enquiries service (provided since 1968). It covers: Learning about demand for technical information services; Results of analysis of demand for Practical Answers services; and Learning about impact of access to technical information services. Various recommendations for the future are made.