What is the humanitarian challenge?
Access to household lighting and especially cooking energy is a major issue for refugees and often also for the greater population in some developing countries.
What is innovative about this project?
This project, managed by the Norwegian Red Cross, builds on the experiences and findings from a pilot project on household energy kits, funded by Innovation Norway. The original program set out to field test cooking and lighting technologies in Mahama camp in Rwanda and in the Imvepi and Bidibidi refugee settlements in Uganda with a view to developing a catalogue of items which might then be selected for ‘Household Energy Kits’. A second element was to develop questions and a methodology which could be used with refugees so that they could influence the choice of items put in the kit, based on their reality. A third part of the program developed a short study on how the humanitarian sector can work with the private sector in a much more complementary fashion than is currently the case – especially where companies are in-country, in the sustainable energy sector and have products with obvious humanitarian impact.
The pilot revealed problems related to logistics, which led to the realization of an innovative business model for production and distribution of necessary household energy kits, which contribute to more sustainable and cost-efficient utilization of humanitarian funds.
What are the expected outcomes?
The project holds strong partnership with private sector in co-creating the innovative solution. The models aim to use refugee settlements as a catalyst for changing cooking practices and cooking energy markets among the wider population as well. The goal is to scale the innovative business model to 5 countries in the region.