Shit just got real

Award entry | Practical Action | March 2019

An innovative award entry on faecal sludge management (yes – really). It won 1st prize at the international development industry’s top award event.

Practical Action and Bond

Practical Action is an innovative international development organisation. It puts ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can transform their lives.

As copywriter, I write persuasive copy for fundraising campaigns, grant applications and award entries. These activities not only fund the organisation but also build its reputation as a thought-leader in the sector.

Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. The Bond International Development Awards showcase the sector’s most inspiring and forward-thinking work. Their Collaboration Award celebrates organisations working together to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

My brief was to write an award entry that highlighted what is possible when people come together to achieve a shared goal.

A Bangladeshi waste pit emptier dressed in protective clothing with one foot up his truck.
Rafique, a pit emptier in Faridpur, in the video accompanying the Bond award submission.

Writing the award entry

The application was about Practical Action’s transformation of sewage management in Bangladesh. This was a last-minute application, so I had to grasp the complexities of the project quickly. For the written entry, I concentrated on the elements of the project that showed collaboration at every level.

As well as writing the application, I wrote the script of the short video – We need to talk about poo – that accompanied it. I also narrated the video.


A very creative entry. Practical Action has influenced policy, then right down to organising waste workers and their protective clothing. It feels like a good example of systems influencing. The partnerships behind the work are multi-layered. Working with local government, the list of partnerships and collaboration was interesting and showed the complexity of the challenge.

Judging panel, Bond International Development Awards

Award-winning collaboration

Practical Action was announced as Winner of the Collaboration Award at the Bond International Development Awards ceremony on 18 March 2019.

See what award-winning copy can do for your charity

Get in touch