The ‘Agency of Change: Energy in the Displaced Context’ digital Conference was held on Wednesday 4th November 2020. The conference was organised by the Centre of Data Science, Coventry University on behalf of the GCRF EPSRC Humanitarian Engineering and Energy for Displacement (HEED) project.
More than 45 people, including representatives from NGO’s, social enterprises, humanitarian agencies and academics, participated in the event. During the day, feedback was gathered from participants to identify key principles, values, and considerations for future energy access projects. The keynote speaker was Professor Ben Sovacool.Presentations were given by GPA and the HEED team. The conference report summarises the discussions that took place and suugests a recommendations that identify potential solutions, innovative responses and best practices to increase access to safe, sustainable and affordable energy in the context of displacement.
On Tuesday, 3rd of October 2019, Chatham House, under the direction of Owen Grafham from the Moving Energy Initiative, invited HEED project's co-investigator, Professor Elena Gaura, to be part of a panel discussion on 'Refugees and Technology'. On the panel, alongside Elena, were Jenny Casswell, from Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation, GSMA, and Moulid Hujale, Humanitarian Journalist and Digital Producer. The panel addressed how refugees are informing technological innovations that reflect lived practices and ways to develop best practice to safeguard refugees when using technology, such as algorithmic bias, violations of privacy and data breaches. Elena, along with the other panellists, also emphasised how important it is to give refugees a platform to engage with and understand new technology that improves energy sources as it assists with community cohesion and develops livelihood opportunities.
On the 3rd of October, 2019, Chatham House hosted a drinks reception and photo exhibition 'Voices of Khalte'. The exhibition curated by HEED showcased the work of Edoardo Santangelo, a humanitarian photographer, who has spent the last 18 months working alongside HEED in Nepal and Rwanda recording the lived experiences with energy initiatives in the displaced context. After opening the exhibition with a reflection on the photos by Edoardo, attendees had an opportunity to talk with HEED team members about the project aims and objectives.
The event, which took place on the 17th Sept, was held at the Southbank
Centre, London, as part of The Global Grand Challenges Summit, a jointly hosted event by UK, US, and Chinese academies of Engineering. As one of sixteen EPSRC projects that showcased at the EPSRC 'Engineering Research for Grand Challenges,' HEED spoke with future engineers about the role engineering and digital technology has in planning for the energy needs and aspirations in the displaced context.
The stand, hosted by team members from Coventry University, Professor Elena Gaura and Dr Nandor Verba, was visited by a range of interested parties, including engineers, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and policymakers, to hear about the HEED energy design interventions, such as cookstove monitors and solar street lighting.
Humanitarian Energy Conference (HEC) is an annual global event, overseen by Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group and the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA). Hosted by the Clean Cooking Alliance and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), it has support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Shell International, and the IKEA Foundation. The aim of the conference is to bring together humanitarian agencies, NGOs, development organizations, private companies, governments, funding entities, and researchers on a global level to work together to improve energy access for displaced and crisis-affected people. The HEED project was granted a presentation slot during a side event as part of the HEC conference. The speakers at this presentation were Sandy Robinson (Scene), Melania Tarquino and Sarah Rosenberg-Jansen (Practical Action) and Paul Quigley (Independent Humanitarian Energy consultant).