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No. 236, 15 November 2018

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South Centre participates at ENERGIA Gender and Energy Research Programme annual meeting

By Youba Sokona

Both men and women can benefit substantially from energy interventions if their differential needs and differing ability to access energy services are properly understood. Dr. Youba Sokona, South Centre Senior Adviser on Sustainable Development, participated as a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) at the ENERGIA Gender and Energy Research Programme’s final annual meeting held on 21-26 October 2018 in Nyamata, Rwanda.
Les actions entreprises en matière d’énergie peuvent aussi bien servir les hommes que les femmes à condition de bien comprendre leurs besoins particuliers et la différence d’accessibilité aux services énergétiques qui existe entre eux. Youba Sokona, conseiller spécial du Centre Sud dans le domaine du développement durable, a participé, en tant que membre du groupe consultatif technique (TAG), à la réunion annuelle finale du Programme de recherche sur l'énergie et l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes du réseau international Energia, qui s'est tenue du 21 au 26 octobre 2018 à Nyamata (Rwanda).
Las medidas adoptadas en el ámbito energético pueden beneficiar considerablemente tanto a los hombres como a las mujeres si sus necesidades particulares y sus distintas capacidades para acceder a los servicios de energía son aprehendidas adecuadamente. Youba Sokona, asesor especial en materia de desarrollo sostenible del Centro del Sur, participó en calidad de miembro del grupo de asesoramiento técnico (TAG) en la reunión anual final del Programa de investigaciones en género y energía de la red internacional Energia celebrada del 21 al 26 de octubre de 2018 en Nyamata (Rwanda).

Group photo of the participants of ENERGIA’s Gender and Energy Research Programme final annual meeting.

The South Centre is supporting since 2014 a Gender and Energy Research Programme of ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. The final annual meeting of the program was held from 21 to 26 October 2018 in Nyamata near Kigali, Rwanda.
Energy interventions affect men and women differently. Both can benefit substantially, but only if their differential needs and differing ability to access energy services are properly understood. Gendered approaches can help empower women and reduce poverty. They can help deliver energy interventions that are effective, efficient and sustainable.
The Gender and Energy Research Programme was initiated in order to extend the knowledge base that policy makers require in order to pursue effectively the achievement simultaneously of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (gender equality and empower all women and girls) and SDG 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).
A defining feature of the research programme is the firm belief that Goal 7 can be better served if energy issues are examined from a gender perspective. The programme is also concerned with understanding to what extent, and under what conditions, increased energy access can contribute towards Goal 5 and, thereby, also towards poverty reduction. A major purpose of the program is to start addressing the distinct shortage of data concerning linkages between gender and energy access.
The research is conducted by consortia that include research institutions, non-governmental organizations and private companies, thereby offering the capability to both perform high quality research and create links to policy and practice.
The main purpose of this fourth meeting was to bring together the teams of the seven research areas (1. Electrification through grid and decentralized systems; 2. Productive uses of energy in the street food sector; 3. Gender factor in political economy of energy sector dynamics; 4. Energy sector reforms and regulations; 5. Female microenterprise creation and business models for private sector distribution of low-cost off-grid LED lighting; 6. Unlocking benefits of productive uses of energy; and 7. Building the evidence base for women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship), the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the organizing team from ENERGIA to share and reflect on the principal research findings and to provide inputs to and discuss draft findings of the synthesis report. The programme covers Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania.
During the six days of the meeting the following objectives were addressed:

  1. To share and reflect on research findings developed by each research team and provide the opportunity for feedback from the other teams, TAG, ENERGIA International Secretariat and Principal Investigator;
  2. To present the main pillars and narrative of the draft synthesis report, and provide an opportunity to provide inputs to and discuss draft findings of the synthesis report;
  3. To present and discuss the data and a set of key common indicators;
  4. To identify key messages for policy briefs based on the evidence in the research findings;
  5. To identify gaps in existing knowledge and new areas for research; and
  6. To reflect on the experience of the four-year research programme and identify lessons learned.

The TAG held a meeting on Sunday, 21 October, to discuss both the team research reports and the synthesis report in advance of the Annual Meeting. During the closing the meeting decided that the TAG should meet in January 2019 to work on the synthesis report and to discuss the next phase of the research program.

The body of evidence on gender and energy will be gathered by collecting and analyzing empirical evidences through the seven research areas during the four years of research. The accumulated knowledge will be translated into policy recommendations that can support the development of effective policy and project interventions that contribute to gender equality in energy access.

For more information on ENERGIA’s Gender and Energy Research Programme, please refer to  

Author: Dr. Youba Sokona is Senior Adviser on Sustainable Development of the South Centre and is member of the Technical Advisory Group of ENERGIA’s Gender and Energy Research Programme.

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