The RE4R project helps refugees and their communities to access finance, training, technology, and expertise to develop their own renewable energy sources.
Problems and Purpose
Renewable Energy for Refugees (RE4R) was developed to reduce the cost of energy provision for refugees living in displacement camps in Jordan and Rwanda. The majority of refugees and displaced people do not have access to reliable energy sources and those that do typically have to spend a large portion of their yearly budget on fuel.
The RE4R project helps refugees and their communities to access finance, training, technology, and expertise to develop their own renewable energy sources. The aim of RE4R is to enable entrepreneurs to grow and move from reliance on aid to economic independence by making renewable energy a key element of services provided to displaced communities.
Background History and Context
The project works with refugees in both Jordan and Rwanda. Whilst facing unique challenges, both communities struggle to generate sufficient energy for day to day activities like cooking and lighting, and fuel poverty is a major challenge within refugee camps .
Part of the challenge in meeting these needs has been external organizations coming into refugee communities without understanding of the unique needs and norms of those communities, or short-term solutions that do not actually empower people .
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
Participant Recruitment and Selection
RE4R works with 50,000 mainly Congolese refugees in Rwanda and 10,000 mostly Syrian refugees in Jordan .
Methods and Tools Used
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What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The participation and empowerment of refugees is central to the project. Part of RE4R's work is providing access to finance and training which enables people to use alternative energy to start businesses and generate more income, thus becoming more economically independent .
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
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Analysis and Lessons Learned
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 Hujale, M. (2015). The best way to achieve sustainable energy for refugees is to make them partners and not just recipients. UNHCR, 2 September 2015. Available at: https://www.unhcr.org/innovation/the-best-way-to-achieve-sustainable-energy-for-refugees-is-to-make-them-partners-and-not-just-recipients/ (Accessed 10 August 2020)
 Practical Action (2020). Renewable Energy for Refugees. Available at: https://practicalaction.org/our-work/projects/energy-for-refugees/#:~:text=Working%20in%20partnership%20with%20UNHCR,schools%2C%20health%20clinics%20and%20businesses%2C (Accessed 10 August 2020).
The first submission of this Participedia entry was adapted from a research project by the Institute of Development Studies, 'Linking Participation and Economic Advancement’ licensed and reproduced under Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).