Access to Modern Energy is increasingly recognized as an area of humanitarian concern. If communities affected by crises go without proper access to energy, it becomes impossible for them to meet the basic needs of life. In fact, if humanitarian organisations do not adequately address access to energy in their programmes, they risk contributing to the very same problems they aim to solve.
Several key initiatives exist at the global level that aim to put these issues high on the agenda. These include the Moving Energy Initiative and the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement. Also, a wealth of innovative and smart technological solutions are available, and a lot of experience is being gathered regarding programming which aims to support the energy transition in fragile contexts.
Still, the extent to which Access to Modern Energy is considered as a priority in humanitarian programming, is low. DCHI therefore supports the spreading of awareness and knowledge around this theme, enabling Coalition partners (including humanitarian organisations, private sector, knowledge institutes, and government) to better understand the issue, to connect to each other, and to take concrete action together.
Following the successful Humanitarian Accelerator Programme earlier this year, DCHI together with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) hosted a second ‘Kick-Off’ event, to look back on the Access to Modern Energy initiatives that were granted funds in April. The aim of this insightful session was to use the initial reflections of the project-leads on implementing their innovative pilots so far. Ultimately, our aim is to use these lessons learnt in order to keep improving, and supporting the current and future innovations on the increasingly important theme of Energy. View
On April 11th the Access to Modern Energy pilot took the next step within a second meeting facilitated by RVO and DCHI. Following the kick-off, the participants from the humanitarian sector and the energy experts met once again to present their submitted concept notes. The goal had been to use the connections they made during the kick-off last month, to create new partnerships and consolidate their joint ideas and expertise to form these initial project proposals. Marjanne van der Helm from UNICEF emphasised the learning throughout this process as a benefit. “[this initiative] has opened my eyes to the energy activities that UNICEF is already undertaking,” she shared. “Together with the field offices, I have come to investigate what the challenges and opportunities are to improve and scale up these activities (…) Our partner Practical Action has been key to enrich us with their expertise and learnings from earlier projects”. View
On Friday 5th of April DCHI facilitated a roundtable session for The Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s (RVO) national sector event on the barriers and future potential of Renewable Energy in developing countries. The event was organised to officially launch the subsidy programme ‘SDG7 Results’. This scheme offers businesses, NGO’s or financial institutions the opportunity to have their projects subsidised, based on the number of people who have gained renewable energy sources thanks to the innovative intervention. View
On March 13th the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and DCHI organized the kick-off workshop of the Access to Modern Energy pilot. The goal was to explore this issue together with representatives of humanitarian- and development organisations as well as with energy experts in the room, and to commit to concrete steps to develop joint concept notes for innovative pilots. The overarching ambition was to create a ‘ripple effect’ for the future approach to the theme of Access to Modern Energy, with the overall aim to achieve sustainable access to modern energy in humanitarian settings. View
To overcome the barriers to humanitarian programming with a focus on Access to Modern Energy, The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and DCHI will implement a pilot humanitarian acceleration programme. This programme supports humanitarian organisations and development organisations to set up joint pilot projects realising Access to Modern Energy in humanitarian crisis contexts. View
One of the Break-Out Sessions during the DCHI Annual Event on the 2nd of October 2018, focussed on New Business models for the Humanitarian Sector. Traditionally, humanitarian organisations have often provided support through direct distribution of relief items, relying largely on financial support by donors to be able to purchase these items in the first place. Increasingly however, others ways of creating access to goods and services are being explored, sometimes even changing the business model by which the ‘humanitarians’ are operating themselves. View
On the longest day of the year, DCHI organized the 6th Third Thursday Meetup in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense and RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency). The goal was to inform, inspire, and create opportunities to support the energy transition in the humanitarian sector. Various avenues for future collaboration were explored with regards to ensuring that both crisis-affected people as well as humanitarian organisations can have access to energy in ways that are safe, cost-efficient, healthy, and sustainable. View
To provide innovators with useful information and examples and to learn from one another, DCHI organized a Third Thursday meet-up in The Hague on scaling innovation. During the meetup on 19 April, the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), African Clean Energy (ACE), Akvo and World Startup Factory shared their lessons learned and advice. View