Bangladesh: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program

1. Promoting gender equality

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency is one of the three priority areas of German
development cooperation in Bangladesh. The objectives of Renewable Energy and Energy
Efficiency Programme (REEEP) are:
 Developing locally customized technological solutions on sustainable energy delivery
and establishing business cases through successful piloting
 Facilitating market uptake of successful business models through capacity
development of stakeholders, promoting access to finance and leveraging
sustainable ownership
 Developing the framework conditions for promoting renewable energy and energy
efficiency through policy advocacy and institutional development of SREDA
(Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority), the national nodal
agency.
Gender equality is identified as one of the essential factor to achieve sustainable change
with economic development. REEEP as a GG1 project considers women’s contribution
within energy interventions at different levels. To ensure access to market and develop skill
in energy related technologies, REEEP has been supporting both men and women in
entrepreneurship development. In doing so, REEEP also focusses to identify female service
provider and makes its additional efforts to build their technical and business management
capacity, link with access to finance, co-finance limited logistical capacity development and
finally connecting with market so that efforts could further sustain.
REEEP’s interventions also target women as primary beneficiary in some of the
interventions like retained heat cooker, solar drinking water pump system. In many other
interventions, women often get additional benefit as co-beneficiary, as in case of improved
rice parboiling system. In a nutshell, REEEP has contributed to women, as beneficiary in
following context:

 Minimizing health hazards in the working environment
 Reducing water and fuel collection time
 Improving lighting quality and healthy working environment
 Creating oopportunities for income generating activities
REEEP’s programme context is also in line with National Energy Policy Framework in
Bangladesh, which also has gender neutral focus in general, while instigating access to
energy for women as part of empowerment and livelihood development. The National
Renewable Energy Policy and Energy Efficiency Master Plan are geared towards Country’s
vision of providing universal access to energy by 2021 with a gender neutral approach.
However, the Government of Bangladesh is committed to implement the urges made in the
CEDAW, MDGs, SDGs, Earth Summits and all other related conventions and covenants on
promoting gender equality. The National Women Development Policy 2011 of Bangladesh
enacted to promote equal rights of men and women in areas of state and public life, safety
and security, empowerment, human rights, fundamental freedom, development,
participation, and accessibility. The three most politically influenced leadership position of
Bangladesh, namely Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and Parliament Speaker are filled
by qualified women. National Development Roadmap like the Seventh five-year plan 2016-
2020 of Bangladesh emphasized women’s empowerment and gender equality, women’s
human capabilities, economic benefits, voice, easy access to safe water, engage productive
endeavours; participation in decision over community, renewable and energy efficiency resources, emphasized changing mind-set about men and women’s roles, share household
responsibility, promote gender equality and hold men accountable for discriminatory
behaviour.

Though there are gaps of gender aspects in the energy and related policies, GIZ, as Service
Provider of International Cooperation on behalf of German Government, has the strategy to
ensure that the design of energy projects have explicit gender goals (e.g. equality of
access), encourage exploring opportunities for women’s employment, ensure that women
are key participants in the design, monitoring, implementation and evaluation of alternative
energy systems, support the collection of relevant gender disaggregated data in energy
projects, and so on. To achieve this gender inclusion in development work, REEEP
conducted independent gender analysis and prepared gender action plan for developing and
better implementation of the gender strategy. The Gender Action Plan is adopted for not only
the implementing within internal project framework, but also for influencing the national
energy stakeholders to promote gender equality and equity.

Examples of REEEP’s Gender-centric approaches
 In house training on Gender Action Plan, 2016
 Improve stakeholder’s knowledge on gender responsive intervention
 Disaggregate data collection and management in its monitoring framework
 Systematic integration of Gender equality in Operation Planning and Documentation
 Create supportive environment for the participation of women in capacity building
activities.
 Identify and Promote better understanding of gender differential needs and roles in
management, planning and implementation
 Awareness campaign on engagement and contribution of women in energy related
interventions

Examples of Gender focused Results achieved by REEEP
 Conducted Programme specific Gender Analysis and Gender Action Plan in 2016
 According to Gender Action Plan 2016, the programme is systematically focusing on
equal access to energy and women empowerment through its various interventions.
 Developed 12 service providers (SME) in one of the intervention on alternative
cooking solution. In which 5 were empowered by women. All of these service
providers have employed on an average of 5 women, which is a significant portion.
 As beneficiaries women have benefitted for i) cooking time reduction, ii) water and
fuel collection time reduction, iii) additional income generation
 Gender focal point in the Programme
 Encouraging employment of female staff
 Gender friendly and flexible work environment

Level of impacts
 Short term impact: Women entrepreneur development, Recognize sustainable
energy as an important instrument for gender equality
 Medium term impact: Gender focused project implementation, Systematize gender
sensitization at macro, meso and micro level.
 Long term impact: Integrate gender equality through policy and advocacy in existing
energy policies. Gender sensitization among partner agencies

2. Gender as a quality feature of our work
REEEP’s partners do know and respect REEEP’s gender focus as part of implementing
GIZ’s corporate focus on Gender. While translating its gender focus to partners’ context,
REEEP focuses on (a) women empowerment to household context and (b) gender equality
in entership development through developing women service provider.
REEEP’s gender work to its client is primarily focused towards its Bangladesh Government
counterpart, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA). While
translating REEEP’s gender focus to its client, REEEP focuses on (a) gender sensitization
and (b) brining gender focus to its organsiational framework and practices. SREDA does
acknowledge REEEP’s gender differential approaches.
GIZ Energy Programme in Bangladesh developed 1
st Gender Action Plan in 2012 based on
independent Gender Analysis on the programme. However, the analysis was then limited
into programme implementation level focused in rural areas. Latest Gender Analysis and
Gender Action Plan, 2016 explicitly focuses in i) programme design, planning,
implementation, monitoring, evaluation and ii) involvement of different categories of key
stakeholders within and outside project, iii) policy and advocacy to integrate gender in
energy related policies. The elaborated analysis was recognized by GIZ Bangladesh and it’s
client SREDA.
Influenced by REEEP’s Gender advocacy to its client, SREDA recently employed one
female Board Member into its organization.

3. Gender and RBM
Gender value chain analysis of core REEEP interventions are listed in the Gender Analysis,
2016. Potential empowerment opportunities, recommendation on overnight insecurity and
mobility, increase confidence to participate in household and community decisions has been
documented.
For the Solar Powered Drinking Water intervention, women’s role has been mentioned on
the Situation Assessment and Business model development report. A Gender factsheet with
Success Stories prepared. Report on Kitchen performance test (Baseline Analysis) was
conducted for Retained Heat Cooker (an alternative cooking solution) focused on women’s
role on i) Cooking habit, ii) fuel consumption, and iii) recommendation/opinion as
beneficiaries. Awareness video (YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-
LbHRUdz04I&t=3s) on Retained Heat Cooker addresses both men and women’s
contribution in decision making and household level activities. Additional documents like
awareness campaign presentations, gender disaggregated list of service providers and
workshop participants are also available as part REEEP’s gender segregated data
management.
Based on feedback from initial gender analysis in 2012, REEEP has finally received a
Gender Responsive Results Matrix (Wirkungsmatrix). It has explicit focus on developing
women service providers with the capacity to offer renewable energy or energy efficiency
technologies. REEEP’s M&E framework has included the reflection of women’s employment
accordingly. This is how the Gender Results are systematically recorded through Gender
disaggregated data of service providers and beneficiaries.

The mechanisms for measuring results are also clearly explained on the Gender Action
Plan, 2016. It mentions the establishment of gender disaggregated data of beneficiaries,
data compilation from service provider’s organizational profile, and analysis of
research/project reports. Internal template has been established to collect service providers
and stakeholder disaggregated data particularly in business case development.

4. Cooperation
GIZ’s Gender Strategy, National Women Development Policy of Bangladesh 2011 and UN’s
SDG aims to promote and strengthen gender equality. For better implementation of these
strategies, role of REEEP’s Gender Focal Person is to create awareness at Macro, Meso
and Micro Level. These were synergised among colleagues and partners through face to
face meeting, workshop and coordination with Country Office and other Project Focals. To
create awareness, Gender focused factsheets are distributed to key stakeholders in energy
related event. Gender is always presented as an integral crosscutting issue of REEEP while
presenting the REEEP Programme to bankers, investors, partners and Bangladesh
government agencies.
Moreover, in-house workshop by internal and external experts has been conducted to
provide Gender Sensitized working environment. The encouragement from Country office
also plays a pivotal role in gender sensitized planning and implementation. As the newly
appointed Country Director is a female person, the integration of gender equality is expected
to further accelerate in future.
As REEEP’s Gender Focal Person is the REEEP’s the Monitoring and Evaluation Expert, the
complementary role eventually aided to include systematic involvement and contribution
towards Gender sensitized planning and implementation. REEEP’s monthly component
meeting and bi-annual planning workshop are the refresher workshop to check back how
REEEP is contributing to Gender. Periodic meeting of REEEP’s Gender Focal Person with
GIZ Gender Working Group, and Safeguard+Gender Workshop supports to coordinate
within and outside GIZ constructively.
However, challenges cannot be excluded in spite of all above coordinated efforts. Achieving
result within REEEP’s project timeframe is a major challenge encountered individually or
together, since this is often dependent on a systemic transformation. Being a GG1 project,
importance of gender aspects often does go diverted. As mentioned earlier, absence of
gender specific focus national energy policies is an indication of Gender Neutral approach
from sectoral level. Partners working with REEEP sometimes are unwilling to accept relevant
gender perspective because of socio economic factors.

The 3 key success factors on REEEP’s Gender Integration are:
 Gender Analysis and Systematic Gender Sensitization within Programme.
 Coordinated and structured awareness campaign for beneficiaries, partners and
client.
 Document gender segregated data from Programme interventions; communicate
gender data, factsheet and success stories to targeted audience.
Annexes:
1. REEEP’s Gender Action Plan 2016
2. Study Report on Gender Analysis and Gender Action Plan 2016
3. REEEP Gender Factsheet

 

Lead Author:
Sabah Shamsy, Gender Focal Person and M&E Officer, REEEP
sabah.shamsy@giz.de
Co-Author:
Al Mudabbir Bin Anam, Officer Responsible for the Commission, REEEP
mudabbir.anam@giz.de

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