11 December, 2023 Member article

Energy access in humanitarian settings

The issue being addressed: Energy access in humanitarian settings

While access to reliable and sustainable energy systems and services is a fundamental need that affects diverse populations across the globe, forcibly displaced populations face unique challenges in obtaining modern, reliable, and sustainable energy systems.

In the current system, various entities, including humanitarian organisations, NGOs, donors, and communities, lack an efficient communication structure, hindering project success and understanding of complex contextual systems.

Taking a co-design approach

We believe that meaningful and transformative co-design approaches will begin to dismantle these barriers by facilitating collaboration and an open flow of information to ensure that energy projects meet the changing energy needs of displaced populations. Co-design methodologies are key in achieving long-term success and sustainability in energy access approaches. This is why EnAccess and Outsight International are driving an initiative that will more easily allow Energy Practitioners to embed the needs, wants, and aspirations of these groups within their energy programming.

The Open Source Humanitarian Co-Design Toolbox

The Open Source Humanitarian Co-Design Toolbox represents a pioneering initiative that addresses the systematic energy-related challenges felt by humanitarian practitioners, energy service providers, and ultimately faced by forcibly displaced populations.

The Toolbox offers Open Source resources like design templates and technical specifications, aiming to empower diverse users, including humanitarian energy practitioners, wider humanitarian sector practitioners, and policymakers. The project’s deliverables include a visual system map for navigating co-design complexities and an open-source training pack for independent use by practitioners.

Making co-design methodologies and tools understood and accessible will increase the long-term success and sustainability of energy access approaches in general. Moreover, it can help build a bridge between humanitarian settings and energy access practitioners to best respond to the people’s needs.

Read more about the soon-to-be-published Open Source Humanitarian Co-Design Toolbox.