Theory of Change


What is ‘impact’?

Research impact is ‘the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy’.  Impact is about translating the project objectives into demonstrable actions. It is about what happens with the research as a consequence of the findings.

The HEED project’s impact strategy focuses on three areas to deliver research that generates meaningful changes in conditions and outcomes with regard to energy provision for displaced communities:


In what ways is HEED  influencing policy, practice or service provision in the delivery of energy to displaced people?

  • We are producing a data portal that provides a portfolio of qualitative and quantitative case studies based on primary fieldwork with displaced people, humanitarian workers and energy providers in the Kigeme, Nyabiheke, Gihembe camps in Rwanda and a settlement for those who are internally displaced as a result of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. This will expand knowledge on energy needs, aspirations and services in displacement contexts, influencing and informing decisions and practices in relation to energy provision.
  • We are facilitating workshops on Design for Displacement (D4D) and Energy for End-users (E4E) that draw upon a broad range of  energy sector actors, private energy suppliers and governmental agencies, which will strengthen networks and open up avenues for collaboration to improve delivery of services.
  • In demonstrating synergies between SDG 7 and IoT (Internet of Things)  using  intelligent measurement to record the consumption of energy by displaced communities, we will be able to ascertain best practice in relation to sustainable, cost effective and suitable forms of energy services.


How is HEED contributing to a greater understanding of issues and reframing debates in the field of humanitarian energy and engineering?

  • Drawing upon an inter-disciplinary framework, we are working on a body of literature that reframes discourses on energy usage in displacement contexts through holistic approaches that take account of the political, social and economic contexts within which energy if provided. By demonstrating how human and data centred systems of monitoring energy consumption can improved energy provision for displaced populations we will shift discussion from top down imposed decisions to community generated strategies.
  • We are cultivating knowledge transfer through workshops as spaces for collective discussion between third sector energy actors, private energy suppliers and governmental agencies.

 Capacity building

To what extent is the HEED project developing technical and personal skill sets that increase self-reliance, self-determination and autonomy ?

  • The scaling and replication of modular energy systems with intelligent supply and demand management that is integrated with digital business processes will produce empirical data on energy needs in displacement contexts. This will encourage energy suppliers and the third sector to provide context specific solutions that reflect the needs of those who are displaced, both internally and across international borders.
  • In recognising the extent to which energy needs, aspirations and provision are gendered we will provide new insights into the ways in which energy services and  structures can address inequality and reduce time poverty to empower women and young girls
  • Alternative forms of energy will inform the design of off-grid energy systems, which will increase capacity,  encourage a marketplace for renewable energy suppliers and improve access to energy to provide greater opportunities for learning, safer communities and reinforce socio-economic stability