The UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok (RCB) is currently engaged in identifying and analyzing good practices and lessons learnt in expanding local energy service delivery projects in a financially sustainable way in the Asia Pacific region.

World-wide, some one billion people remain without electricity and some 1.7 billion rely heavily on traditional biomass for fuel. Unless policy and investment efforts change drastically, more than one third of the population in developing countries will be unable to access the energy they need to escape poverty in the foreseeable future. In the Asia Pacific region, most countries have energy programmes utilizing an array of technologies and fuels, and various models/ initiatives/partnerships for local energy service delivery. What the development community has not been so successful at is to ensure that, barring a few, the “islands of success” are expanded and upscaled into sub-national, national and regional commitments and processes. The knowledge and experience in local energy service delivery models is restricted either to people who are closely involved in the projects, or in the form of technical reports, and project documents and not in a form that answer the “why and how to” questions that practitioners would find useful. At the same time, there are gaps in data/ information about the effectiveness/ impacts of energy access policies/ initiatives to reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs.

Through this initiative on Comparative Analysis of Local Energy Service Delivery in the Asia Pacific region, UNDP would like to build credible evidence of practices that contribute to and are critical for expanding the delivery of energy services to the poor. This will not only allow an expansion and sharing of the knowledge that has been built in the region, but also provide guidance for future new initiatives by development partners in expanding access. This initiative is being planned as a collaborative exercise in which managers/ staff of selected projects will be supported to analyze and document their project experiences. This will lead to two key outputs:
  • A set of individual case studies of energy access projects from around the region (about 12 cases), and
  • A comparative analysis of the projects reviewed, with a guidance note on practical recommendations for ensuring the maximum development benefits of expanding access, for project planners and implementers at the local and national levels, as well as for international partners.

UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok invites expressions of interest from energy access/local energy service delivery projects that wish to participate in this initiative.

Once the case projects are identified, a final set of 12 projects will be selected for further analysis and documentation. Between August and October 2009, the project managers (or nominated project staff) will be guided to co-author the case studies. Initial draft prepared by the co-authors will be finalized at a write-shop to be held in early October 2009. All co-authors will be invited to participate in this event, which will also offer a unique opportunity for energy project practitioners to exchange knowledge and experiences, undertake in-depth analysis of their own projects, and build linkages with other projects in the region.

The Criteria for selection of projects are as follows:
  • Appropriateness of technology solution
  • Sustained impacts on target beneficiaries
  • Financial sustainability of the project
  • Level of local participation in the LESD project
  • Mainstreaming energy access into national development strategies, priorities and budgeting
  • Sustainability of the energy markets developed by the project
  • Building country’s institutional capacities at the local and national level to scale up, replicate and mainstream energy service delivery.
  • A comprehensive institutional framework that brings actors together into functional partnerships.

If you are working on a local energy services delivery project/initiative that offers good practices and lessons learnt, we invite you to submit an expression of interest to join this initiative. Projects should be of a scale (or have a potential to be scaled up) or of a type that are clearly linked to improving energy access for the poor in the Asia Pacific region.

Expressions of interest should be no longer than four A4 pages, outlining information on the project in this format (click to download).

Please send in the expressions of interest to Thiyagarajan Velumail of UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok at rajan.velumail@undp.org, with a copy to Soma Dutta, development specialist (Consultant, UNDP RCB) at abhisoma@gmail.com.

We would be grateful if you could write in no later than 12th August 2009. Should you have any queries, please direct them to m{rajan.velumail@undp.org Thiyagarajan Velumail}m or m{Soma Dutta}m.