Energy is fundamental to development, from reducing drudgery to supporting productive activities and services, including education, transport and communications. However, 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity and close to 3 billion rely on traditional fuels for cooking and heating. Energy access interventions are designed to reduce energy poverty and have the opportunity of doing so while also addressing gender gaps–i.e., increasing well-being and lifting women and their families out of poverty. As a result of this rationale there has been a surge of women-centered clean energy access programs in recent years.
But how do we know for sure which are the impacts of these interventions? The key is data collection and strengthening monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. Without data, the barriers and transformations women are experiencing in their daily lives are not visible. Data makes social and economic assessments possible, helping energy access projects monitor and correct interventions, increasing project efficiency and benefits produced. The introduction of technological tools–such as the use of mobile phones, tablets and specialized software for recording and generating databases–has an important role to play in the energy access projects, from baseline to evaluation and monitoring data collection.
At a moment when the international community has agreed to work towards achieving new development pathways through the pursuit of the SDGs, with the goal of achieving universal access to modern energy sources and gender equality by 2030, and the generation of social, environmental and economic [co]benefits from mitigation initiatives, it becomes imperative to understand how progress in the energy sector can address gender equality–in this case through the implementation of women-centered clean energy projects.
The webinar was moderated by Ana Rojas, IUCN, and included the following presentations:
- Strengthening M&E systems through gender-responsive data collection and analysis with Lucia Fort, ESMAP/World Bank Group
- Impact Tracking Technologies and their integration into M&E systems with Tomohiro Hamakawa & Lana Kristanto, Kopernik
- Tracking gender indicators in clean energy projects with Abby Mackey, Solar Sister
The Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO)* initiative is a five-year program launched by USAID and IUCN in 2014. GECCO’s overall goal is to leverage advancements in women’s empowerment and gender equality through, and for, the benefit of climate change and development outcomes.
*The former Gender Equality for Climate Change Opportunities (GECCO) initiative is now part of a broader program, Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), which aims to improve development outcomes by strengthening environmental programing through gender integration and achieving gender equality outcomes.