This digital seminar is the second in the joint series hosted by WISIONS in cooperation with the ACCESS Coalition’s Learning Group. It focuses on how to maximise the development effects of energy access.
The ultimate goal of energy access interventions is to support people and communities to build prosperous and fulfilling lives. Local contextual factors determine what opportunities are feasible. Moreover, the meaning of ‘fulfilling lives’ varies for different people and communities according to cultural specifics such as values and aspirations.
Consequently, understanding and integrating the contextual and cultural aspects of people’s lives and capacities into the conception and realisation of energy projects is key for maximising the impacts of energy access.
During the discussion, our panelists established that conventional approaches to energy planning devote insufficient attention to community engagement. With their capacities and abilities, communities can support and lead successful energy initiatives. Engagement is possible on three different levels:
- Obtaining information from the communities (one-way exchange)
- Educating communities (two-way exchange)
- Involving communities in decision making along the entire project (ensuring buy-in)
- The tendency of experts to dominate discussions and decisions
- A lack of awareness in politics about the linkages between energy and other developmental sectors
- Low priority given to community engagement by energy investment and funding programmes
Further Materials: This online article illustrates how the “Energy Delivery Model” has been applied to support the Kitui county government in Kenya to develop an integrated energy plan: This video talks about how the “COMET” tool can help to engage communities in planning mini grids that meet their specific needs in their particular socio-economic and cultural contexts: This study applies transdisciplinary methodology to learn about the sustainability strategies of farmers’ associations in Colombia. The cases illustrate that a specific energy technology – such as domestic biodigestion – can be implemented in conjunction with other techniques and strategies to strengthen the livelihoods of farming families (cross-sector links):
09 July 2018
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