Needs, Wants and Values: Integrating Gender with Energy Access

Annemarije Kooijman*, Jon Cloke, Joy Clancy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contributionProfessional

5 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


This paper derives from a collaboration between the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) and gender and energy specialists of the ENERGIA network which has been funded under the UK Department for International Development’s Transforming Energy Access programme. This collaboration has brought together members of both networks in workshop discussions, shared dissemination events and knowledge sharing activities and the development of recommendations around the mainstreaming of gender
within energy research programmes.
As one of the fruits of this collaboration, this paper focuses on the appropriateness of the recent tier-based energy access measurement methodologies now being deployed to track global progress. In particular, we focus upon the extent to which these types of methodologies are able to reflect how energy access impacts on gender equality and how gender norms and values impact on the benefits of access. Although these tools have a value in steering towards improving target setting and measuring progress, the paper argues that care should be taken in how the results are interpreted and used.
The paper outlines three main messages. These are:
(i) that a focus on numbers of energy connections or availability of supply (or even quality of supply) although important, is insufficient in ensuring meaningful energy access for men and women alike, and in ensuring actual utilization of energy services because energy demands are gendered.
(ii) that it is crucially important that we better understand the socio-cultural opportunities and barriers that motivate or hinder transitions towards the adoption of modern energy services
(iii) that there is a need to develop approaches that will enable policy-makers to add depth to the energy access narrative and their interventions by addressing factors that contribute to a more inclusive development of energy access, particularly the empowerment of women through bottom-up innovation and more utilization of holistic (rather than energy sector centric) approaches.
Original languageEnglish
TypeBriefing paper
Media of outputOn-line publication
PublisherLow Carbon Energy for Development Network
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series



  • Energy access
  • Gender


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