Access to Sustainable Energy for the Poor


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Access to sustainable energy services for the poor is an essential prerequisite to making the transition from subsistence livelihoods to increased productivity, income generation, and improved living standards. The services provided by modern energy sources are key contributors to human welfare and economic development. Providing the poor with access to clean, modern, affordable energy services has multiple, synergistic impacts on productivity, health, education, and gender equality.


Comparative UNDP Experience

Energy is generally considered as a national priority for governments and its importance for economic growth is recognized in national development and energy strategies. However, governments typically focus on the supply of high-end fuels and centralized electricity generation and grid extensions that are geared toward the provision of expensive forms of energy to urban and peri-urban areas. In order to ensure that those groups most marginalized (poor, women, minorities, etc.) are considered a priority and taken into account in accessing modern energy services, members recommended this be done through a sector wide approach (SWAP) or within the national work plan for the energy sector. Members also underscored the importance of placing these policies and strategies within a human rights framework.

A Human Rights-Based Approach to Energy Access

A Human Rights-Based Approach to programming sets the achievement of Human rights obligations as an objective of development programmes and integrates human rights principles into the programming process[1]. This approach adds value to energy programme design for a number of reasons. It supports achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, prevents elite capture of energy programmes, and directs attention to the poor and marginalized. It also supports the development of more locally grounded, effective, and sustainable programmes and demands attention on the wider political, legal and social issues that impede access to energy services. Human rights principles, including gender equality considerations, should be systematically applied during all the main phases of the development programming process - the assessment, analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation phase. The key human right principles for successful energy programming include: i) participation, ii) non-discrimination, equality and attention to vulnerable groups, iii) indivisibility and inter-dependence, and iv) accountability and the rule of law.

Participation is a basic operational principle of development programmes and projects, and it has consequences for all stages of the development programme cycle from assessment and planning to implementation and evaluation. Members noted that to ensure participation of local communities in energy programmes, small scale, cost effective energy generating options that can be manifested in improved access to social services and enhanced livelihood strategies at community and household levels respectively need to be introduced. For example, decentralized wind turbine and photovoltaic systems powering communal health centers and water points. Members also suggested establishing successful demonstration applications that suit local conditions, coupled with attractive incentive mechanisms to encourage communities and the private sector to replicate and promote innovative approaches and technologies in their communities. Members also emphasized the importance of enhancing national capacity in the planning, design and operation of renewable energy technologies through technical and managerial skills training at institutional and community levels, including the private sector.

The principles of non-discrimination and equality are among the most fundamental elements of the international human rights framework. Integrating these principles into programming requires a specific effort to identify the individuals and groups most marginalized and vulnerable in regards to access to energy services. Special measures may be required in the programming process in order to redress the systemic or underlying causes for the marginalization of these groups. These measures may include making planning information available in accessible formats or minority languages, affirmative action programmes for women, and focusing programme activities to areas most difficult to reach. Although the principle of indivisibility and inter-dependence of human rights implies that all rights are equal in status, it does not mean that programming to achieve all rights must take place simultaneously. In development programming, it is often necessary to sequence work such that certain rights are targeted first. For example, integrating energy issues with livelihood issues. Emphasizing the principle of accountability of both state and non-state actors whose actions impact the energy sector is another key element of the human rights-based approach. In this regard, procedural rights, such as the right to information, to lodge complaints, and to have decisions reviewed by neutral parties, can be especially important. The rule of law can also have a strong impact on the enjoyment of energy-related rights.

In addition to discussing the human-rights based framework for energy programming, members of the UNDP Environment & Energy Knowledge Network highlighted (16 April 2009) the importance of making modern energy products and services affordable to the poor. Economic barriers can limit the poor’s access to energy services. High upfront equipment costs, irregular incomes and lack of access to credit can prevent the poor from obtaining energy services. In this regard, members discussed end-user finance from microfinance institutionsCite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no name must have content), savings and credit cooperatives, and community-based savings groups, as being catalytic in expanding access to energy. While end-user finance for energy is not common in Africa, members noted that there is certainly a demand from the microfinance institutions to begin offering loans for modern energy systems (solar lantern, solar home system, LP Gas, biogas, etc.). The financial institutions have indicated that they need help finding reliable energy enterprises to supply the product, help with the design of the loan products, help setting up a monitoring and credit assessment system for energy loans, and help mobilizing funds for piloting the introduction of a new lending product. Members suggested that linkages between local financial institutions and local energy enterprises be developed, which could lead to more sustainable and commercial initiatives. However, members noted that it is also important to ensure that the energy enterprises provide the necessary service, maintenance and warranties for their products, in order to prevent the failure of programs that could leave the poor holding a loan for an energy product that does not work. Members also recommended that UNDP support the government in including end-user finance into the rural electrification or rural energy strategies and to allocate budget for this purpose. By integrating end-user finance with the energy strategy/policies of the country, members noted that it will be possible to start engaging the local financial institutions serving the poor to provide loans for energy. In addition to end-user finance, members also suggested expanding the direction of revenues generated from sale and trade in natural resources to energy services that will benefit traditionally marginalized groups, including the poor, rural populations, and women.

With regard to recommending sustainable energy service models, UNDP E&E Knowledge Network members noted that models and approaches would vary depending on the socio-cultural and economic conditions of the country/location. Members emphasized the importance of considering several technologies and modes of electricity commissioning approaches in order to maximize impact coverage. The specific technology to adopt would depend on existing electrical power related infrastructure such as extent of national grid network coverage, rural electrification frameworks, local electricity demands, and comparative advantage of the technological options over existing renewable energy sources.

Members also shared planning, management and evaluation tools for the electricity sector, notably the Electricity Governance Toolkit (by World Resources Institute and Prayas Energy Group – India) that provides a framework to assess and promote good governance in the electricity sector, with specific emphasis on the interests of poor and marginalized groups.

Country Experience


The Rural Energy Development Programme (REDP), supported by UNDP, provides a practical example for extending sustainable energy services in remote areas of Nepal by promoting micro-hydro schemes, solar power, and improved cooking stoves. REDP applies a holistic approach to rural development, emphasizing community mobilization and empowerment. The programme has been successful in providing access to electricity via micro-hydro schemes to more than 120,000 beneficiaries. This has been done through REDP’s emphasis on community mobilization, and the adoption of a flexible and equitable tariffs structure. Through community mobilization, the local community has been able to actively participate in the ownership, management and operation of rural energy systems in a sustainable manner. The community mobilization package consists of six basic principles: organization development, skill enhancement, capital formation, technology promotion, environment management and empowerment of women, and other marginalized groups. REDP’s experience has showed that these principles have been highly effective in motivating community members to undertake community development initiatives including energy schemes.The programme has already demonstrated tremendous potential for replication and has also been instrumental in the development and implementation of a comprehensive rural energy policy for Nepal.


UNDP-GEF’s Small Grants Programme in partnership with SME Cambodia funded a community-run biomass electrification project in Anlong Tamey – a rural village in CambodiaCite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no name must have content. The project enhanced livelihoods and income-generation opportunities for the rural community and provided over 240 rural households with renewable-based electricity at a rate comparable to the subsidized national rate and half that of private providers. The project was designed based on four key pillars: (i) Community participation through a Community Energy Cooperative (CEC) model. The CEC is a cooperative of community household representatives that was created to own, operate, maintain and manage the renewable energy electricity generation and distribution system. It is wholly responsible and accountable for the sound financial and technical management of the system; (ii) Capacity development to encourage income-generating activities. The project team supported capacity development activities to help households establish small businesses once they were electrified; (iii) Focus on sustainable livelihoods. Households no longer relied on local forests or imported fuel as they planted Leuceana trees, native to Cambodia, for fuel used in the biomass electrification system. Households also earned extra income by selling the branches and leaves of these trees; (iv) Innovative financial mechanism. The CEC’s financial operations are managed on a non-profit basis where every household is charged a one-time connection fee of US$17.50. The fee covers all connection expenses from the local grid to the house, including in-house electricity wiring. Once connected, the households pay a tariff based on the electricity consumed and recorded by a meter. The tariff was set at a level to include all system operating expenditures such as fuelwood, labor, maintenance and future replacement costs. Revenues in excess of expenses are used for system improvements, future expansions or fee reductions. The project received national recognition from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy and was endorsed by the Electricity Authority of Cambodia. It is also recognized as having the potential for widespread application throughout rural Cambodia.


With financial support from UNDP Bangladesh and with technical assistance from a local engineering firm, a pilot project to develop entrepreneurship in the delivery of decentralized energy services was implemented in the geographically and economically disadvantaged Char Montaz Island in southern BangladeshCite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no name must have content. Nearly 20,000 households in the area lacked electricity and women were especially burdened by unequal access to energy services, stemming their participation in public markets. Based on the disparities between men and women in the area, the project was designed as a pilot to improve the lives of women economically, socially and environmentally. A women’s cooperative was established to carry out the key project activities that include: (i) Establishment of an energy service centre. The assembly, sale and repair of Solar Home Systems (SHSs) as well as the sale of other energy accessories takes place in the cooperative building; (ii) Micro-financing and subsidization of SHSs. A subsidy of about 15% is offered to households to reduce the upfront costs of purchasing and installing the SHSs. The subsidized upfront cost to SHS entrepreneurs was recovered through monthly installments over a period of three years. Targeted subsidies, including subsidized solar charging services, have also been provided for households with children of school-going age. A very small system consisting of a 20AH battery and one lamp has been provided on a monthly rental basis to households that are unable to afford the purchase of solar home systems. Under the micro-credit programme, the cooperative also supports other activities that generate income for members of the cooperative. (iii) Establishment of a solar battery charging station. Battery charging is carried out at the station with the installation of a 1.6 kW solar array; (iv) Capacity development in technical and business skills for women. Capacity development activities were carried out to strengthen the income generating capacity of women in the project communities. Considering the prohibitive cost of grid-based electricity even in the long-term, the project offers an economically viable, affordable and sustainable off-grid solution with a significant replication potential in other poor rural areas.


The Nkhomano Development Centre, an NGO active in natural resource management and conservation, initiated the Ndirande Nkhuni Biomass Briquette Programme in Malawi. With financial support from the Canadian Government, the project was initiated in 1998 to produce briquettes from wood and paper wastes, agricultural residues and other biomass materials in urban poor locations (squatter areas) where both lack of income and energy are problems. The project was designed to address deforestation by providing alternative sources of energy, thereby reducing people’s dependence on charcoal for fuel and allowing for regeneration of the Ndirande forest reserve. The aim of the project was to also help women in the township to earn an income by equipping them with the ability to produce, use and market biomass briquettes, and to promote waste management through recycling of paper, sawdust and other waste materials. The project engaged a wide range of individuals and community development institutions in providing technical assistance for biomass briquette production activities. Drawing on the experience from a prior UNDP-funded biomass briquette project, this programme emphasized the participation of women in project and equipment design, and in the development of a comprehensive marketing plan. The women are organized by the community development committees into operational groups of 10 women called “zones.” The zones are responsible for the production, processing and marketing of the briquettes, and the management and maintenance of the briquette pressers. Each zone has an elected committee and a code of conduct. Within each zone a disciplinary subcommittee lays down rules and regulations to govern the group. A project assessment revealed a number of key market-based factors that have contributed to the success of the programme, including its commercial orientation and identification of existing marketing opportunities, its ability to provide additional income, its use of appropriate technology, its emphasis on cost recovery and reinvestment, its partnerships with local committees and private companies, and the ready availability of raw materials.


With support from UNDP and initiated in 1997, the Energy Houses project was designed to provide energy services in rural areas that lack grid-based power. Each ‘energy house’ is a micro-enterprise established to provide rural populations - specifically the rural poor – with adapted local energy services, information, awareness and technical assistance. Supported by local communities, national ministries and agencies, renewable energy companies, and national banks, the programme provides young entrepreneurs with technical training and financial backing to develop the energy houses that market renewable energy products, such as photovoltaic systems, solar water heaters and improved stoves, install and maintain the equipment, charge batteries and distribute gas. The programme also builds awareness about the relationship between renewable energy and natural resource protection through demonstration activities promoting an integrated approach to sustainable development. The initial phase of the programme led to the creation of 150 energy houses that were fully operational by 2004.The programme has helped to create rural business and sustainable employment opportunities, as well as provide essential energy services to poor rural communities. Since its inception, two new partnership conventions have been signed with the National Agency for Social Development, and the Agency for the Development of Northern Provinces to increase the number of energy houses to 1000 units. The project exemplifies the importance of partnerships involving national governments, local community organizations, private entrepreneurs and investors to meet rural development needs through increased energy services.


A GEF-supported Rural Electrification with Renewable Energy project is using solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and micro-hydroelectric plants to electrify over 3,400 rural homes and jump-start longer-term support for renewable energy systems in poor rural areas, to improve the quality of life in those areas and provide greenhouse gas benefits. Funding is channeled through rural microcredit institutions, which evaluate and qualify potential credit clients and pay supplier companies on behalf of the beneficiaries. This innovative financing mechanism is proving so successful that the government is adopting it in other areas of rural development, such as the financing of tractors for small-scale farmers. The Government is also enacting the proposed elimination of import duties on PV panels.


With support from UNDP, the multifunctional platform project[2] was initiated in 1993 to promote women’s development and alleviate poverty in Mali’s central and southern regions. The platform consists of a small diesel engine mounted on a chassis, to which a variety of end-use equipment can be attached, such as a grinding mill. As women in these regions are engaged in time- and labor-intensive activities, such as cereal milling and de-husking rice, the platforms have helped them save an average 2.5 hours per day that could be spent on other income-generating activities. This has led to an increase in the average annual income of US$ 68, representing a 56% increase in rural Mali. The women have also been able to improve their health, as the platform project led to a rise in the number of prenatal visits to health clinics. Children, primarily girls, who often miss school to assist their mothers in domestic activities have also benefited from the project. The time saved has led to an improvement in the girl-to-boy ratio in primary school, the dropout rates, and the proportion of school children completing primary education. The multifunctional platform project has thus led to development outcomes that aid the achievement the MDGs in Mali, from the goal of reducing poverty, to improving maternal health, to increasing primary education. By allowing women’s associations to purchase the platform, choose which modules to install and collect fees for its use, the project has been successful since it empowers women and provides services demanded by the community. The 7-year project has installed nearly 400 platforms to-date, assisting roughly 80,000 women.


Within the framework of the last cycle of co-operation (2003-2007), UNDP supported the Government of Cameroon in managing a participatory process focused on the development of a National Energy Plan for Poverty Reduction. This Plan outlines the political vision on energy, poverty, and the MDGs through 2015/2016. Through the points of interventions proposed, the Plan places the question of access to modern energy services at the core of economic and social development. The process was finalized in 2005/2006, in partnership with the World Bank and ESMAP. The document takes into account all the national concerns, including those of the most underprivileged communities, by indicating preferred options in term of sustainable energy services according to the context, available technology, and its cost and impact on sustainable development. A Rural Energy Fund was designed in order to facilitate the communities’ access and management of the options suggested in the Plan. The Fund is accompanied by a handbook of procedures which is being used as a framework of guidelines for the use of the Fund. It is envisioned that the Rural Energy Fund will be operational in 2009. The Rural Energy Fund will be based in the Agency of Rural Electrification, whose capacity will be strengthened by UNDP and the World Bank. Overall, the creation and implementation of the Fund will improve the planning, financing and development of a more results-oriented approach in the field of rural energy. One of the goals will be to assist the Government to adopt a development approach that takes into account local realities and thus the real needs of the society to improve the poor's access to energy services. This fund will help consolidate different funding sources into a single funding mechanism under the supervision of the Rural Energy Planning Committee chaired by the Ministry of Energy and Water (the executing body of the Rural Energy Fund). The World Bank has pledged up to U.S. $ 40 million to support the Fund. UNDP through the 2008-2012 CPAP has planned activities to support the development of projects by the communities themselves, strengthening the capacity particularly of the poor to access opportunities of the Rural Energy Fund.


With support from UNDP-GEF, a project titled "Namibia’s Renewable Energy Programme (NAMREP)" was formulated to promote the adoption of renewable energy technologies (RETs) specifically solar energy. Key results from the implementation of the project have been attained that provides some lessons learned. Primarily, UNDP programming process should be followed so that an initiative is designed that addresses the needs as well as the barriers to meet those needs if they exist. For example, NAMREP project interventions revealed that social acceptability of the RET/SETs was one of the key basis to effective promotion and adoption. This was also backed by continuous training and awareness-raising as well as changes at the policy/strategic level. To date, through following this approach the NAMREP project has been able to provide the poor with access to energy through support provided to the Off-grid Energy Master Plan. In order to remove the poor’s financial barriers and limitations in accessing renewable energy services, UNDP-GEF supported a scheme whereby a local Bank provides loans to the poor with guarantees by the project. Through strategic partnerships with UNESCO and the Spanish Cooperation in Namibia, UNDP-GEF was able to support the poor by providing RETs/SETs systems to schools in remote areas, thereby indirectly encouraging and improving education of the poor, the minority (San people of Namibia), and women. Community participation in the NAMREP project was ensured through training members as technicians to provide technical support to schools, public institutions and homes where RET/SET systems have been installed. Many of these trained technicians have now started their small scale-medium enterprises serving as both SET/RET suppliers as well as technicians.


The pilot Wind Energy Application ProjectCite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no name must have content in Eritrea was funded by the Government of Eritrea and UNDP/GEF. The project aimed at transforming the market for wind energy applications in Eritrea. Key components include the installation and operation of a small wind park connected to a grid as well as eight decentralized wind stand-alone and wind-hybrid systems in rural villages that will promote sustainable socio-economic development as well as improve the quality of life for Eritrea’s rural population. The project also aimed to strengthen the country’s capacity in terms of personnel, know-how, governmental institutions/authorities, and private companies with regard to wind energy utilization. Project results include the installation of a 750kW wind farm at the port of Assab that has been tested and is generating clean renewable energy supply to the population. Community leaders were also educated on the advantages of wind energy. An awareness-building workshop was held for government officials and the private sector. A series of managerial and technical training for more than 25 staff from relevant ministries and the private sector is being continuously provided to enhance planning (design), operation, maintenance and replication of wind energy technologies in Eritrea. Project management, financial and environmental analysis training sessions have been held. The project document is available here.


  1. Filmer-Wilson & Anderson, 2005
  2.  Mali - Reducing Rural Poverty through Energy Access.pdf

See also

UNDP Recommended Websites

Rural Energy Development Programme

The Nepal Rural Energy Development Programme (REDP), supported by UNDP, extends sustainable energy services in remote areas by promoting micro-hydro schemes, solar power, and improved cooking stoves. REDP applies a holistic approach to rural development, emphasizing community mobilization and empowerment.

Alternative Energy Promotion Center

The Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) is an organization that focuses on the development and promotion of renewable and alternative energy technologies in Nepal. The website provides information on how access to modern energy services for the poor is being pursued in Nepal.

Regional Energy Programme for Poverty Reduction

The Regional Energy Programme for Poverty Reduction (REP-PoR), implemented by the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok, primarily focuses on enhancing equitable access to appropriate, reliable and affordable energy services to reduce human and income poverty in the Asia-Pacific region, keeping in line with the overarching goals of UNDP in supporting countries in their efforts to achieve the MDGs targets. The website contains publications that focus on energy and poverty.

Strategic Environmental Assessment Network

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a range of analytical and participatory approaches that seek to integrate environmental considerations into policies, plans and programmes and evaluate the inter-linkages with economic and social considerations. The SEA Network website includes useful resources including project case studies, and SEA Guidance and Tools.

UNDP Recommended Publications

Energy for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific Region - Challenges and Lessons from UNDP Projects

The publication, a compilation of case studies shared by UNDP Country Office focal points in the region, aims to offer key lessons for replication and strategic fine-tuning for the development and formulation of energy programmes and projects. The lessons drawn from these case studies cover participatory approaches, technology choices and policy options, and provide valuable insights into the role of energy in poverty reduction and advancing the achievement of the MDGs. This publication is a good example of UNDP's engagement to codify, synthesize and document lessons and challenges faced during the implementation of UNDP supported energy projects in the Asia and Pacific region.

Generating Opportunities: Case Studies on Energy and Women

The UNDP publication includes eight case studies drawn from Africa and Asia on access to energy and women. It provides concrete examples of how improving poor women's access to affordable and clean energy services can act as an entry point to achieving multiple development objectives, including income and employment generation, poverty reduction, the empowerment of women and local and global environmental objectives. Based on the lessons learned from the case studies, the publication considers critical aspects of policy and programme design to improve women's access to modern energy services in rural areas.

Electricity Governance Toolkit

The toolkit, by the World Resources Institute and Prayas Energy Group - India, serves as a useful tool to help civil society understand and influence decision-making in the technically complex electricity sector. The Toolkit presents a framework to assess and promote good governance in the electricity sector, with specific emphasis on the interests of poor and marginalized groups.

UNDP's Global Programme on Country-Led Democratic Governance Assessments

Resources developed by UNDP's Global Programme on Country-Led Democratic Governance Assessments provide guidance on how to undertake a multi-stakeholder assessment. A democratic governance assessment provides a critical accountability mechanism for government and for citizens to engage on governance issues and voice their opinions. Data produced by the assessment reflect and address citizens’ concerns. An assessment may also offer a superior evidence base for national decision making. Benchmarking progress provides a record of reference for planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Integrating Human Rights into Energy and Environment Programming: A Reference Paper

The UNDP Reference Paper explains the relevance of human rights to energy and environment programmes. It introduces the main theoretical issues related to human rights and energy and environment, and identifies the strategic entry points for integrating human rights into programming. The Paper directly addresses some of the questions posed in this query including how to ensure marginalized groups participate in all phases of the programming process? And how to ensure that the needs of the most marginalized groups are a priority in designing service models? The Paper also discusses the main issues and challenges that arise in adopting a human rights-based approach to programming, based on the experience of development organizations.

The Sustainable Difference: Energy and Environment to Achieve the MDGs

The publication is an important illustration of UNDP’s work on energy and environment for sustainable development and poverty reduction in pursuit of the MDGs. It describes UNDP’s efforts on the ground to support 140 countries to integrate energy and environment issues into their national development plans and poverty reduction strategies through capacity development, policy advisory services and trust fund management.

UNDP & Energy for Sustainable Development

The brochure provides an overview of energy linkages with the MDGs, UNDP’s approach to energy, its energy activities and partnerships for sustainable development. The brochure also contains case studies on successful energy projects.

Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: Summary of Findings

The publication, by Sustainable Energy Solutions (SES) and the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion Network (SEEP), provides a detailed look at the business models, the clients, and the operations of selected MFIs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean that currently have energy-lending programs. The publication seeks to offer initial recommendations for project implementation to the global financial service community, energy companies, donors, and policy makers; highlight lessons to learn from; and identify areas that warrant further attention for using microfinance to improve access to energy services.

Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: The Emerging Experiences in East Africa of Faulu Kenya and Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives

The Sustainable Energy Solutions (SES) and Small Enterprise Education and Promotion Network (SEEP) study in the East Africa region examines the energy lending of Faulu Kenya and KUSCCO, two MFIs with different approaches to offering loans to their clients for energy services and products, through field work and a desk/literature review. The field research includes interviews with selected staff of the MFIs, energy suppliers, clients, and other energy stakeholders, and analysis of the MFIs’ lending programs and financial and accounting reports.

Enhancing Poverty Reduction Strategies with Strategic Environmental Assessment

The UNDP paper focuses on the application of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to National Development Strategies with particular emphasis on Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). It outlines the history and the evolving functions of PRSPs, highlights the need to better link environment and development, and summarizes how SEA is defined in development cooperation. It then describes SEA approaches used in Benin, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania, presents main results of these experiences and draws lessons learned in the form of recommendations for improvement.

Draft: The Energy Access Situation in Developing Countries: A Review focusing on the Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa

The UNDP report provides a global picture of the energy access situation in developing countries and especially Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan African countries. Drawing on current publicly available data, the report captures a range of energy access data, but which has yet to be made available in one publication. In addition to access to electricity and modern fuels, fuels and improved stoves used for cooking are featured. The report is expected to be published in May 2009.

Delivering Energy Services for Poverty Reduction: Success Stories from Asia and the Pacific

The report outlines experiences from UNDP and its partners in designing and implementing energy access projects. It provides evidence to support the case that improved access to energy services can help poverty alleviation and the achievement of the MDGs. The experiences outlined are drawn from 12 individual case studies from Asia and the Pacific region.

Mainstreaming Access to Energy Services: Experiences from Three African Regional Economic Communities

The UNDP report documents the experience of three African Regional Economic Councils – ECOWAS in West Africa, CEMAC in Central Africa; EAC in East Africa, on their efforts to move towards developing and implementing regional strategies to increase access to modern energy services. The report is also available in French.

Des moulins pas comme les autres

The publication, by UNDP Burkina Faso, shares best practices and innovative approaches on providing energy services in rural areas based on experiences of the Multifunctional Platform project in Burkina Faso. It also serves as an advocacy tool that diffuses lessons learned from project stakeholders and gives visibility to their actions. The report is available in French.

Reducing Rural Poverty through Increased Access to Energy Services: A Review of Multifunctional Platform Project in Mali

The UNDP report reviews experiences of the multifunctional platform project in Mali and documents how modern energy services affect people’s lives in terms of income, education, and rural women’s status and health. In addition to showing on-the-ground evidence, this report presents analytical insights into key factors affecting the relationship between energy services and development outcomes. The report is also available in French.

Solar Photovoltaics in Africa: Experiences with Financing and Delivery Models

The UNDP and GEF publication explores how to make PV solar systems accessible, affordable, and sustainable to rural communities in developing countries, based on experiences from GEF supported activities.

Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding (08.05.2008)

In order to explore the role of natural resources and environment in peacebuilding, the Peacebuilding Commission’s Working Group on Lessons Learned held a meeting on 8 May 2008. Concept, background and summary notes from the meeting are available.

From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment

The UNEP report aims to summarize the latest knowledge and field experience on the linkages between environment, conflict and peacebuilding, and to demonstrate the need for those linkages to be addressed in a more coherent and systematic way by the UN, Member States and other stakeholders.

External Resources


 Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services Summary of Findings.pdf

 Access to Sustainable Energy Asian Case  Access to Sustainable Energy Asian Case  Eritrea wind.doc  Access to Sustainable Energy Asian Case

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