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Advocacy program

© Hivos / Sven Torfinn

To push the transition towards green and inclusive energy systems, HivosENERGIAIIED and national civil society organizations (CSOs), are partnering with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a five-year advocacy program kicked off in 2016.

The program works to influence energy policies at international, regional and national level and is being implemented in Indonesia, Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nicaragua and Guatemala.


Download a 2-page document about our program here

Key messages

1. Harness the potential of decentralized renewable energy for universal energy access

Decentralized renewable energy (DRE) is the most flexible and cost-effective solution to speed up the delivery of energy for all. With locally generated energy through off-grid and mini-grids, DRE is a ‘leapfrog’ technology that offers affordable electricity to those living in poor and remote areas. DRE has a wide scope of delivery compared to traditional on-grid solutions and is opening markets to wider participation and competition.

2. Enable and support the flow of both private and public finance into decentralized renewable energy

Only a fraction of finance is going to decentralized energy solutions. The problem is therefore not a lack of finance, but how finance flows: mainly to large on-grid projects in higher income countries, while the greatest need is for off-grid in lower income areas. Maintaining business-as-usual will not get us to universal energy access by 2030 as laid out in SDG7. 

3. Multi-stakeholder initiatives and cross-sectoral partnerships are key in achieving energy access for all

To achieve universal energy access, we need the contribution and expertise of all sectors to co-create new solutions. Working across sectors, we can reach out relevant stakeholders, from both energy and non-energy backgrounds such as the health and education sectors, businesses and women’s groups. Only by showing joint leadership, we can ensure access for all to affordable and modern electricity, clean cooking solutions and energy for productive uses. 

Working with local partners

The program supports local partners such as women and consumer groups, businesses and media in their efforts to call on decisionmakers to push for progress on green and inclusive energy systems that will benefit all citizens.

We join forces with local organisations and entrepreneurs because the change we want to see starts with the people on the ground. Energy systems that rely on small-scale generation from local renewable energy sources allow consumers to become producers themselves which in turn drives local economic development.

By supporting civil society in the demand for energy access in poor and remote locations, we find sustainable opportunities for those who cannot access the central grid.

Find a list of all our partners on this partner page.

Media as catalyst

The media plays an effective role in promoting national development and shaping public opinion. The government and the private sector use the media to diffuse information to influence and persuade public opinion. One of the challenges that the Green & Inclusive Energy program has sought to address is that of leveraging media to communicate energy issues to citizens. Though the interest from media is there, capacity to report on renewable energy issues is low due to a lack of knowledge of energy issues affecting citizens. This is why the program supports journalists in enhancing their understanding about renewable energy. We do this by providing trainings, organizing field trips and inviting journalists to (inter)national conferences, amongst others.

© Hivos / José Pablo Porras

Investing in women

Women and men are affected differently by energy access or the lack thereof. Women and girls are more exposed to indoor air pollution from using solid biomass and coal for cooking and from using candles, kerosene and other polluting fuels for lighting. This leads to severe health risks and 2.8 million premature deaths every year.

Women also spend an average of 1.4 hours every day collecting firewood and several hours cooking on inefficient stoves. This is valuable time that could be used for other activities to generate income or learn new skills. 

Women usually spend most time in the houshold and are therfore also affected greater by the lack of electricity and clean cooking solutions. However, even where infrastructure is available, women are denied finance and appliances.

At the same time, the potential benefits of energy access for women are big. Energy policies and programs that explicitly address gender issues while involving women in decision-making, planning and implementation have better outcomes and improve livelihoods of entire communities.

Green and Inclusive Energy creates space for both men and women while specifically increasing opportunities for women that will allow them greater and more productive participation in politics, society and the economy.

Watch the video of our partner ENERGIA explaining how investing in women contributes to development:

Investing in women