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Sustainable Energy for Displaced People
July, 2021

The Energy Delivery Models (EDM) training launched its third cohort!

Facilitated by the GPA Coordination Unit at UNITAR, the EDM training aims to build staff capacity around the benefits of access to energy in displacement contexts and develop sustainable energy access projects. The training programme consists of online e-learning modules, multiple virtual workshops, and one-on-one mentoring with energy specialists and guides humanitarian energy practitioners to develop sustainable energy delivery projects that are led by end-user needs and support local value chains. 

From June to October 2021, 13 project teams from NORCAP, NRC, WFP, EnDev, Dorcas, and SNV in 14 countries will be developing energy access programmes focused on Modern Energy Cooking Solutions (MECS) such as electric cooking, LPG, biogas, ethanol, solar for food preservation and natural gas that meet end users’ needs and support local market systems. Read more here and contact Aimee Jenks for questions.

Read more
41 UN Premises
occupied by IOM, UNHCR, WFP, and FAO in Nigeria are undergoing energy assessments to develop preliminary designs for solar solutions and drafting business cases to support the transition to sustainable energy solutions. The assessments are being undertaken by GIZ Project Development Programme, while the GPA Coordination Unit develops a financial solution to support the countrywide transition project. Contact us to learn more.
Spotlight on our partners
Definitions and Differences: The Evolving Space of Energy Access in Humanitarian Energy.

This briefing paper supports the rapidly developing humanitarian energy sector outlining a number of commonly used definitions and concepts within the humanitarian energy community. It discusses why several differences have emerged within terminology for energy access for displaced people. It is hoped that this paper will facilitate discussion among partners and sector stakeholders and inform consensus on the types of terminology to be used in the future. Aligning and standardising definitions may be the first step in harmonisation across the sector and pushing forward institutional action on sustainable energy at a faster pace than has been possible so far. This paper also offers timely input for the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE) process which will draw attention to the issue of energy for refugees during Autumn 2021.
IOM Energy Interventions are featured as Compendium of Good Practices by ECHO

The compendium issued by the DG-ECHO of the European Commission provides examples of 12 environmentally friendly practices that have already been successfully implemented by organizations. In addition to indicating the technical and financial requirements, the compendium also assesses the advantages, challenges and lessons learned in the framework of each project. As such, the aim is to raise awareness of the existing tools and guidance, and of the numerous good practises that have been piloted by humanitarian organisations.

Three of the good practices reference IOM’s energy interventions for displaced populations. They include: Producing energy with a bio-digester system (IOM – South Sudan), Using LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) for cooking in refugee camps (IOM & UNHCR – Bangladesh), and Solarising a humanitarian hub (IOM – South Sudan). Learn more about these projects here.

Governments and Businesses Vouch for Support to Clean Energy Challenge

On 3 June, the Secretariat of the Clean Energy Challenge convened governments, UN agencies, international/national NGOs, private sector, financing organizations, philanthropies, and academia to discuss clean and safe energy in refugee settings. The high-level event was organized to create momentum on the key energy pledges made at the Global Refugee Forum in 2019. The speakers and panelists at the event highlighted how clean energy projects were already transforming the lives of refugees and host communities, and vouched for further support. A call to action was also made with a view to include clean energy for refugees into the global climate agenda and contribute to the High-level Dialogue on Energy in 2021. Find details and recorded video of the event here. Several organizations are looking for your support, click here to know more about ready-to-go projects and do sign up to the Clean Energy Challenge Petition.

Funding energy in displacement settings: virtual donor lunch

The energy agenda needs more attention - concluded guests at a recent virtual lunch on funding green energy in displacement settings. Siloed approaches between humanitarian and development actors are a challenge, but clean and safe energy represents a perfect nexus topic that can connect the dots for partnerships among host countries, donor countries and the private sector. Following up the ambassador lunch for host countries in February, the Norwegian Mission in Geneva organized a virtual lunch meeting for donor states on 12 May. The purpose was to raise awareness and share experiences related to funding green energy in displacement settings in general, and UNHCR Clean Energy Challenge in particular. Read more.

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News from the GPA Secretariat
Leaving (really) no one behind: Energy Access in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Areas

To bring attention to the energy needs in the fragile and conflict-affected communities, the GPA, hosted by UNITAR, IOM, and Energy Peace Partners organized an event at the HLDE Ministerial Forum to highlight SDG7 in fragile and conflict-affected areas. The discussion focused on policy, advocacy, and strategies for energy interventions, as well as the challenges and opportunities in collaborative approaches, which could also include UN peacekeeping in future solutions. The event tried to create momentum on this topic and facilitate the discussion during the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy. The organizers called on all relevant stakeholders to include displaced people in national energy access policies while humanitarian, development and peacebuilding organizations were urged to switch to sustainable energy solutions in their responses. Watch the recorded event here.

Field Stories - Presenting Solutions to Improve Household Electricity Access

A series of three virtual presentations on field stories of implemented solutions to improve household electricity access in displacement settings was organised by the GPA Coordination Unit. The sessions showcased the lessons learned and good practices from five implemented household electricity access projects. The sessions followed a similar structure by addressing project-specific attributes that led to the preferred solution. They aimed to answer the question: why was this particular solution chosen to deliver energy access in this context? In addition, GPA Coordination Unit presented (based on the conclusions from these projects) a pre-feasibility solutions simulation, which they would like to trial with partners. Find the presentations and recorded videos of the sessions here and a Miro board is here.

Critical Concepts and Research Needs in Humanitarian Energy

In the area of humanitarian assistance, we believe that research should have a practical, as well as academic value, and be demand-driven and action-based in order to make a difference. The working paper provides a summary of some of the key issues for research, evidence, and data in the humanitarian energy sector, and it outlines the priorities identified by the GPA Research and Evidence Group. The purpose of this document is to connect a number of emerging themes and research ideas on humanitarian energy, with the aim of fostering a collaborative approach for research in the sector. Read more and get the paper.

Interlinkages between Energy and Peaceful and Inclusive Societies (SDG 16)
The GPA Coordination Unit, Imperial College London and the IOM authored a policy brief in support of the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy. It explores sustainable energy at the humanitarian - development - peacebuilding Triple Nexus. To support SDG 7 in fragile and displacement contexts it recommends (1) providing evidence for policymaking through dedicated research, (2) imbedding energy within other areas of programming, (3) integrating the needs of displacement-affected communities into global and local policies, and (4) supporting private sector engagement to develop long-term solutions.
Making Markets Work | Models for Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Energy

The access to energy challenge in humanitarian settings is significant and growing. These rising energy needs present an opportunity for private sector engagement, and collaboration, in displacement settings. What are the lessons learnt around partnership models for private sector engagement in humanitarian settings and how can we strengthen collaboration going forward? Learn from this webinar.

GPA Research and evidence Group call

The participants at the GPA Research and Evidence Group Call discussed Global Data Progress and Measuring Energy Access in Displacement Contexts. There was a presentation on the work of the MECS programme on what we know so far in the sector and the remaining data gaps. It was followed by a detailed presentation on the IOM Energy Assessment Framework. The presenters offered several rigorous tools for humanitarian energy practitioners. Find them here along with the recorded event.


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Please send us your stories, projects, publications, news, etc. to be published in our next newsletter. Remember to attach a photo.
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What's New in Humanitarian Energy?
The diffusion of solar home systems in Rwandan refugee camps
The results in this paper indicate that solar home systems can provide an advantage to households compared to existing energy solutions and are, in most cases, compatible with refugees' basic energy needs and expectations. However, the cost of systems remains a barrier and without subsidy, further reductions in costs or adaptations to payment models, solar home systems are unlikely to provide large proportions of households and small enterprises in the camps with access to energy. This seriously impacts the possibility of achieving SDG 7 and for UNHCR to achieve the objectives it set out in its Clean Energy Challenge policy. Read more.
Clean cooking in refugee camps and COVID-19: what lessons can we learn?
This briefing note by Iwona Bisaga and Long Seng To (Loughborough University) outlines lessons to be learned for implementing clean cooking in refugee camps in the context of the challenges posed by COVID-19. Using examples of progress in clean cooking transitions for displaced communities situated in Rwanda, Uganda and Bangladesh in 2020, the note argues that clean energy for cooking in displacement settings should be prioritised on the humanitarian agenda, and the importance of partnerships, innovation and the development of financially and environmentally sustainable models for the provision of clean cooking in displacement settings is emphasised.
Going Solar in Cox’s Bazar: Ensuring a Sustainable Future for Refugees and Host Communities
To improve the living conditions of the affected population and its environmental performance, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been looking at alternative power sources to address the electricity needs in the camps. Today, 27 IOM facilities in Cox’s Bazar are equipped with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with various degrees of power capacity ranging from 1 kilowatt peak (kWp) to 60 kWp, including health facilities, Women and Girls Safe Spaces, distribution points, offices, and water supply networks. Read more.
MOOC: Sustainable Energy Access for Communities
Loughborough University recently launched the ‘Sustainable Energy Access for Communities’ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) together with colleagues at UCL. On this three-week course, you’ll explore the meaning of energy access and how to overcome its challenges to provide safe and clean energy for communities around the world. You’ll examine case studies and learn innovative techniques to promote community engagement and help you make a change in your community. Finally, you will take part in a peer review of your plans to help your community move closer to a renewable energy future.
Webinar series on Solar Powered Water Systems
The four-part webinar series, “Capacity Building and Learning on Solar Powered Water Systems (SPWS)” was organized jointly by the Global Solar and Water Initiative project with funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), and Energypedia. The series focused on SPWS to raise awareness and to build the technical capacity of humanitarian WASH actors and other development organizations. Find all the resources and recorded videos of the webinar series here.
Off-Grid Productive Use of Energy Catalogs

The main objective of Power Africa's off-grid productive use of energy (PUE) catalogs is to increase awareness and uptake of off-grid PUE appliances available in the sub-Saharan African market for agriculture, fishing, livestock, and poultry. The catalogs provide stakeholders – including manufacturers, suppliers, non-government and community organizations, and government policymakers – with insight into PUE products and innovations. Find the catalogues here.

IKEA Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation join forces to set up a historic $1 billion initiative to catalyze investments in distributed renewable energy

The IKEA Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation announced they will join forces to set up a $1 billion global platform to fight climate change and energy poverty. The platform – launching this year – aims to reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and to empower 1 billion people with distributed renewable energy (DRE). This is renewable energy generated from sources such as mini-grid and off-grid solutions, located near the point of use, rather than centralized sources like power plants. The new global platform will oversee the organizations’ combined matching funds. It aims to deliver clean and reliable power to the 800 million people worldwide who lack electricity, and a further 2.8 billion who have unreliable access. Read more.

How to build resilient landscapes and livelihoods in refugee settings

Limited access to food among refugee households results in skipped meals, while limited access to cooking fuel forces refugees to use food aid as a currency to purchase firewood and charcoal for cooking. There is a clear link between cooking fuel and food security, which must be further analyzed and appropriate interventions defined. Energy is typically not accounted for in humanitarian aid budgets. UNHCR recognizes this as a global priority for protection with access to cleaner energy as well as a way to mitigate land degradation and deforestation. Read more.

From Renewable Energy to Peacebuilding in Mali

This study looks first at the dynamics of energy in Mali, specifically the lack of electrification in the North and the diesel trade in the political economy of northern Mali. It then examines MINUSMA’s own diesel-reliant energy practices, the convoy-related security implications, and the options for the mission’s transition to renewable energy, in the context of meeting the United Nations’ own climate goals. Finally, the report explores opportunities for MINUSMA’s renewable-energy transition and options to also unlock new energy projects alongside its field sites, as a new way to deliver on its UN mandate and support the peace agreement. Read more.

What We Are Following
(Upcoming Events, Job Vacancies, & others)
NORCAP is recruiting French-speaking Energy experts

NORCAP is looking for experts with different kind of expertise, but mainly energy solutions for household and community level, such as cooking solutions, solar power for community buildings, schools or households, as well as solar water pumping, minigrids and livelihood opportunities connected to energy solutions.
Apply now!

Building forward: Are climate finance and energy strategy in sync?

Enlit Africa will bring together a community in a blended live and digital event for 3 days in Cape Town, that seeks to meet and inspire each other and develop actions into a working plan for the coming year. Visit for more information. Register here.
Date and time: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM CEST

Building Connections for Better Health

Subscribe to the newsletter from the Health and Energy Platform of Action. The newsletter will be a monthly update for the HEPA members and will consist of useful materials such as events, tools, recent publication and articles in the health and energy sector. If you also have valuable resources to share through this platform, please click here. If you have feedback or suggestions, please contact the HEPA Secretariat,

Webinar: Cooking Energy in Displacement Settings – Landscaping

Organised jointly by GIZ (ESDS and EnDev), GPA and MECS, this webinar aims to provide an overview of the stakeholder landscape of the humanitarian cooking sector and to improve mutual understanding as a base for successful cooperation. It will shed light on their approaches and what are their advocating for; success factors as well as common challenges in existing cooking energy interventions. First in the series, this webinar will feature a presentation providing an overview of the landscape of the humanitarian cooking sector followed by a moderated panel discussion. Learn more and register!


Date and time: Wednesday, 7 July 2021 at 14:00-15:30 CEST

What is the
Global Platform for Action?

The Global Platform for Action (GPA) is a global initiative to promote actions that enable sustainable energy access in displacement settings, as laid out in the Global Plan of Action Framework Document, thereby ensuring SDG7 is inclusive of displacement situations. By connecting individuals and organizations in productive partnerships, the GPA helps advance energy programming in the humanitarian response in quality, scale, and replicability. The GPA offers you a platform to connect and collaborate with partners in bringing clean energy solutions to displacement settings. Becoming a GPA partner is an individual’s or organization’s promise to provide practical support in delivering the goals and principles of the framework document. Get Involved!
Follow us on @EnergyGPA and use #HumanitarianEnergy
Follow our brand new Linkedin page. And join Humanitarian Energy Practitioners group.

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