D4D Workshops


Design for Development (D4D) Workshop Manor Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda.

Tuesday 4th and 5th September, 2018

Led  by Professor Heaven Crawley, Chair of International Migration at Coventry University and Co-Investigator on the HEED project, the first Design for Displacement (D4D) workshop  was held in Rwanda on the 4th and 5th of September 2018 at the Manor Hotel in Kigali. Attended by representatives from the three refugee camps in which the HEED project is working together with of academics and service providers the workshop aimed to share emerging ideas on the energy interventions to be deployed in the Rwandan context. Over two intensive days the event provided space for discussion on best practice in developing design for energy and engage delegates in wider debates on energy inequality and poverty.

The workshop began with an overview of the aims and objectives of the HEED project, with Professor Heaven focusing on issues of structural inequality, the lack of data on energy usage and the role of research in providing energy solutions that embed refugees and displaced people in the decision making process. Following this presentation, Denyse Umubyeyi, RE4R Project Manager for HEED’s partners at Practical Action spoke on displaced populations, energy policy and existing interventions in Rwanda and showed the importance of acknowledging context when designing energy policies and services.

Professor Elena Gaura, Professor of Pervasive Computing at the Coventry University, UK and Obed Muhayimana, Lecturer in Electronics at the University of Rwanda  continued the theme by exploring the extent engineers can change the policy and practice on energy design. By encouraging engineers to take a more holistic approach to energy design for displacement they suggested this could see improved engagement with policy makers, service providers and users on energy solutions.

In the afternoon Elena, along with Tomasz Prabucki, Research Assistant at Coventry University, provided a showcase of the monitoring devices that will be deployed as part of the HEED project. In allowing workshop delegates the opportunity to interact with the products, Elena and Tomasz challenged thinking on how energy services are developed. They provided an open forum, with questioning on whether current solar lanterns and solar home systems are ‘fit for purpose’ and to what extent improved data collection on street lighting generate design that increases security, well-being and economic productivity. The session ended the day with a discussion on the success of improved cook stoves in meeting the needs of users, technical issues associated with the development of micro grids and the measures that need to be taken to ensure that energy invention design is aware of, and can respond appropriately to, cultural and structural barriers to increased engagement.

The second day opened with an opportunity for the HEED team and delegates to review the issues associated with HEED’s proposed interventions and discuss the factors that will need to be taken into account in the Rwandan context to ensure the active participation and engagement of refugee communities in the research process.  There was also time given for delegate reflections on ethical concerns and models of sustainability in developing an energy protocol for displaced and refugee communities. The workshop concluded with lively discussion on topics such as the efficiency of solar home systems, the issues of communal ownership and the economic cost of schemes and how to involve households, businesses and the wider community in the planning.

The HEED project would like to thank everyone involved in this workshop as the conversations generated at this event on meeting the needs and aspirations of displaced people and refugee in Rwanda will inform discussions on future delivery of energy services.


Design for Displacement (D4D) Workshop Sammelan Hall, Shangrilla Hotel, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tuesday 18th September 2018

Following on from the success of the Rwandan Design for Displacement (D4D) workshop, the HEED project delivered a second D4D workshop at the Sammelan Hall,  Kathmandu, Nepal on 18th September 2018. This workshop saw the HEED team, led by Professor Heaven Crawley, Chair in International Migration at Coventry University, meet with delegates from a wide range of backgrounds including academics, entrepreneurs, NGOs, service users including internally displaced people themselves. The focus of the workshop was to develop approaches to design for displacement that will affective and meaningful in the Nepali context.

The workshop began with presentations by HEED Partners Bipin Basnet, Project Development Officer at Practical Action, Nepal and Edoardo Santangelo, Energy Access Adviser for Practical Action based in the UK. In reviewing Nepal energy policy and existing interventions that inform services to internally displaced communities in Nepal. Bipin and Edoardo challenged delegates to think about greater sustainability in planning and delivery of energy services.

Building upon their presentation, Dr Jonathan Nixon, Senior Lecturer at Coventry University demonstrated best practice in deciding core values for design for displacement and suggested ways it can inform projects in meeting the needs of displaced communities. His presentation concluded with an open forum for delegates to debate key issues arising in the context of Nepal with regard to the provision of energy for populations displaced by the earthquake in 2015.  

The afternoon session started with Jonathan and Tomasz Prabucki, Research Assistant, at Coventry University demonstrating the monitoring interventions that HEED has developed to improve data collection of energy usage and the ways in which the data will be used to inform future design. Jonathan and Tomasz encouraged delegates to think beyond the conventional models of delivery, such as design innovations that see street lights having potential  multi-usage of phone charging or music for community activities. This use of energy data collection reimagining the energy design process saw considerable debate on its role in monitoring electrical appliances and the extent it can help understand the energy needs and aspirations of displaced communities.

The HEED project would like to thank all the project partners, delegates and organisers for their contribution to the discussion and for making this workshop such an informative and inspiring event.


Design for Development (D4D) Workshop Coventry Technology Park, Coventry, UK.
Tuesday 2nd October 2018

On Tuesday the 2nd of October HEED hosted its third and final Design for Displacement (D4D) workshop at Coventry University. Leading the workshop was Professor Heaven Crawley, who gave an overview of the HEED project and how it is shaping ways in which energy interventions in contexts of displacement are understood. In discussing how HEED is a research project rather than an energy delivery project, Heaven advocated for greater emphasis on data collection and analysis that help policy makers, NGO’s and governments provide solutions that meet the needs and aspirations of refugees and displaced people.

Building upon Heaven’s contention for more investment in producing evidence based energy policies and protocols in the displaced context, Glada Lahn from Chatham House, presented ‘what we know and what we don’t know’ about energy for displaced populations.

Glada identified several key concerns when providing energy to camps: high cost, limited reliable data, increasing demand but she also showed the opportunities afforded if energy needs were meet. In campaigning for systemic changes in how energy is supplied to displaced settings, Glada opened up space for the workshop delegates to discuss the role that research has in offering improved understanding on how to provide appropriate, cost effective, renewable energy options to refugees. 

To illustrate how HEED is creating synergy between energy needs and the supply chain in the refugee context, Dr Jonathan Nixon from the HEED project, along with Professor Elena Guara and Tomasz Prabucki, demonstrated a series of potential design interventions that will be implemented in all or some of the selected camps starting in January 2019. This presentation provided information about the role of engineering and IoT in producing evidence based claims that can substantiate improvements to the efficiency and sustainability of energy interventions. There was also a chance for workshop delegates to be hands-on, under the direction of Tomasz, who showed them the protypes and how data outputs would be collected from Nepal and Rwanda. 

This lead into a vibrant question and answers session, which finished with Dr Thomas Yeboah asking the delegates to consider an ‘Energy for Displacement Protocol’ that acknowledged the energy needs and aspirations of displaced people, encouraged community ownership and sought affordable sustainable solutions.

The HEED project would like to thank all that attended and contributed to making this workshop a lively and informative occasion and look forward to maintaining relationships and strengthen networks in the near future.