This toolkit and resource guide has been produced jointly by the Sustainable Energy Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ENERGIA, the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. It is designed to help planners and practitioners integrate gender and energy considerations into development programmes, including those focusing on energy improvements as well as other types of development programmes.
In many parts of the world, overall socio-economic development is limited by the lack of availability of modern energy services such as lighting, cooking and heating, refrigeration, pumping, transportation, and communications. The lack of access to energy services is known as “energy poverty,” a condition that often has disproportionate effects on women and girls.
This toolkit and resource guide outlines the linkages between gender and energy in the context of sustainable development and provides suggestions and materials on how to address energy poverty by integrating gender and energy sensitivity into development programmes, projects, and policies.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS GUIDE?
The toolkit and resource guide is meant to provide useful information on development approaches and activities relating to gender and energy concerns to a variety of planners and practitioners involved in sustainable development programmes, including:
- Multilateral and bilateral organisations, including UNDP country office staff,
- Government officials and decision makers in the energy sector and in other ministries,
- Women’s interest groups in both the North and the South,
- Development project designers and implementers,
- Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and community groups,
- Donor organisations,
- Private sector companies involved in energy and development projects,
- Gender specialists and trainers interested in energy issues, and
- Social development specialists who recognise the role of energy in their work.
UNDP PRIORITIES AND PRACTICE AREAS
During preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UN SecretaryGeneral identified five key priority areas for action: Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture, and Biodiversity, collectively referred to as “WEHAB priorities.” These sustainable development priorities are directly linked to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
UNDP’s thematic practice areas relating to poverty reduction, democratic governance, crisis recovery and prevention, energy and the environment, and HIV/AIDS all work together to support developing countries in adopting strategies for reaching the targets for 2015 set out in the MDGs. UNDP views gender as one of three cross-cutting issues to be addressed in all the thematic practice areas. The other cross-cutting areas are capacity development and information and communications technologies.