ESMAP Publication Focuses on Energy Access for the Urban Poor

14 August 2012: The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) of the World Bank has published the report "Innovative Approaches to Energy Access for the Urban Poor: Summaries of best practices from case studies in four countries," which aims to address the lack of energy polices targeting growing populations of urban poor.

The report's case studies share lessons learned from successful energy access initiatives and  provide a point of reference for energy practitioners. The studies also identify barriers to energy access, which are unique to the poor as well as innovative approaches to finding solutions, and the roles of communities, service providers and governments in successfully providing access to legal modern energy services.

The eight cases studies from India, Bangladesh, Colombia and Brazil focus on electrification and clean fuels. The studies indicate that common enabling factors such as collaborative stakeholder engagement, community empowerment, and project financing, are critical in developing new skills within communities and promoting microenterprises as energy services providers. The cases studies focus on the: high cost of services; often illegal status of slum dwellers; lack of education and awareness; lack of trust between communities and services providers; lack of infrastructure; empowering communities; collaborative engagement of multiple stakeholders; using simple, innovative technologies; access to credible information; and establishing financial and institutional mechanism to ensure continued access to energy services. [Publication: Innovative Approaches to Energy Access for the Urban Poor: Summaries of best practices from Case studies in four countries]