Why taking a systems perspective could be the key to success: findings from a meta study.
In the second edition of our digital seminar series, we took a deep dive into how understanding communities can maximize the impacts of energy access projects. Together with ACCESS Coalition we invited two energy practitioners from the field to share their experience.
The aim of energy access projects is to improve people’s livelihoods through energy. People are enabled to gain better access to health services, improve incomes from farming, or improve their access to education. What people prioritize is heavily influenced by cultural specificities such as values and aspirations. Understanding those contextual aspects of people’s lives is necessary to design projects that are suited for the communities. This helps to maximize their developmental impacts.
Ayu Abdullah is Co-Executive Director at Energy Action Partners (ENACT). She acknowledges that engaging communities in the project process “is a bit of a struggle, because this part of community engagement […] isn’t given priority when it comes down to investment and funding”.
Our second panelist was Emmanuel Cyoy Ngeywo, Energy Model Delivery (EDM) consultant. He brought up the one key question energy access projects have to ask themselves: “Energy for what?”. This is a simple but important issue because development projects tend to prioritize aspects that are not directly expressed in terms of energy, such as improving incomes from farming, and cross-sectoral approaches are necessary.
If you would like to learn more about what our panelists had to share about their work experience, have a look at “Understanding Communities”. There you can find an extensive synthesis and all presentations of the seminar – or you can jump right in to the recording:
Stay tuned for the next seminar of the series!