The launch of the capacity building partnership in Nigeria kicked off with its inaugural session. It provided a comprehensive overview of the evolution, trends, opportunities, and challenges within the country's decentralized renewable energy sector.
Our Innovation Lab in Nepal is underway!
The Innovation Lab is a transformative research approach that integrates sustainability research into multi-stakeholder processes aiming to bring about systemic change. It promotes the development, validation and up-scaling of innovative solutions to strengthen the livelihoods of rural and peri-urban populations. In the Nepalese context, our work focuses mainly on two types of innovations: decentralised renewable energy solutions and sustainable landscape management practices.
The ambitious transformative aims of the Innovation Lab require the establishment of collaborations on an equal footing between people and organisations with both solid expertise in the targeted fields and profound knowledge and experience of the local context. Therefore, for the Innovation Lab Nepal, WISIONS is partnering with four strong organisations:
- Winrock International Nepal, which has been actively promoting sustainable energy solutions in the country for 25 years.
- RECOFTC Nepal, which works to enhance capacities for stronger rights, improved governance and fairer benefits for local communities in sustainable forest landscapes.
- People, Energy and Environment Development Association (PEEDA), which works for the application of renewable energy as a means of improving the livelihoods of people in Nepal.
- Energy Action Partners (ENACT), an organisation that develops innovative tools to facilitate the participation of local communities in the planning and design of energy systems.
The idea of applying the Innovation Lab approach in Nepal emerged through a series of consultations and group sessions between the WISIONS team and representatives of all these organisations.
The Innovation Lab concept builds on the Urban Living Lab approach developed by the Wuppertal Institute and combines it with the long-term experience of the WISIONS initiative in promoting bottom-up energy transitions in the Global South. The Urban Living Lab is organised according to five pillars (the five “I”s): “Inform”, “Inspire”, “Initiate”, “Implement” and “Impact”. This approach has been successfully applied by the Wuppertal Institute to trigger innovations for shaping sustainable cities; for instance, in projects such as SOLUTIONSplus and SESA.
Building on WISIONS’ experience, the Innovation Lab concept complements the already tested approach in three main ways:
- It focuses on the specific sustainability challenges and opportunities facing communities in rural areas.
- It explicitly addresses the nexus between sustainable energy access, landscape management and livelihoods.
- It emphasises the experimental nature of interventions that aim to bring about system transformations.
Together with our partners, we are already working on the initial activities within the framework of our Innovation Lab.
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