Methodology

Primary research for the HEED project will be undertaken in refugee camps in Rwanda and with internally displaced people in Nepal. These sites have been selected because they allow for a comparison of energy cultures across distinct contexts of protracted settlement and forced displacement. Fieldwork in both locations will be guided by our specific research questions.

The methodology for the HEED project consists of four separate but overlapping stages:

Phase 1: Project set up, mapping and baseline survey of current energy practice (September 2017 – June 2018)

Phase 1 will involve a series of activities to better understand the contexts within which the HEED project is working. These activities will include field visits to the research sites, project meetings to better understand the interface between engineering and social policy interventions and training. Two, five-day research methods training programmes in Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Research on Energy and Forced Displacement will be designed by all members of the project team to build research capacity around data collection and analysis. Recruitment of researchers will be coordinated through Practical Action and their relevant county networks reaching out to universities and third party organisations. A baseline survey will be conducted using the quantitative and qualitative research methods toolkits developed by Practical Action on energy in contexts of forced displacement. The survey will be undertaken with approximately 1,000 respondents and will be used to better understand which energy issues should be the focus of the HEED’s energy design interventions and to identify households and businesses to take part in Phase 2 of the project. The energy data from the survey will be archived and made available to other researchers through our online data portal.

Phase 2: D4D and E4E designathons (June – December 2018)

Three two-day ‘Design for Displacement (D4D)’ workshops will bring together policy makers in both Rwanda and Nepal with social entrepreneurs, industry, academics, manufactures, distributors, maintenance services in the off grid energy and ICT sector, to develop energy designs informed by the quantitative and qualitative research data gathered from phase 1 of the HEED project. The workshops will be held in Rwanda (September 2018), Nepal (September 2018) and the UK (October 2018). In addition, end-users will be involved in the design process through twelve ‘Energy for End users (E4E)’ workshops which will be conducted in four displacement settings (three in Rwanda and one in Nepal) with a number of key user groups including: young people, women, social entrepreneurs, local business members and NGO representatives, These events will provide an opportunity for those directly involved in energy provision and consumption in displacements settings to build on the design of the energy interventions in Phase 3.

Phase 3: Energy system implementation for cooking, lighting and power (January – December 2019)

Energy system deployment will occur in four stages to facilitate suitable levels of engagement from the communities directly impacted by the interventions. This is important because the failure to establish trust leads to poor success rates and the risk of failure. Intelligent energy supply and demand systems will be integrated with digital business processes to promote opportunities for energy efficiency, social cohesion and economic growth in displaced communities. The system aims to avoid inappropriate or misuse of the limited energy available to the refugee camp and incentivise good use of power (e.g. during peak hours for solar renewable energy) and disincentivise irresponsible or unnecessary use of energy (e.g. limiting the use of energy for a period of time). Each energy system deployment will be monitored monthly by Practical Action research staff through face-to-face interviews.

Phase 4: Analysis, dissemination and engagement with industry and policy makers (January – September 2020)

The dissemination of lessons learnt from HEED will be on-going throughout the lifetime of the project but will be concentrated in the final nine months of the project as the findings of the research emerge from the analysis. We will engage a wide range of users and stakeholders to maximise the impact of the project. This will include conference presentations, journal publications, reports, guides, training, and an international symposium held at Coventry on energy for displacement in September 2020. Details of these engagement activities can be found here.