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Cash Box for alternative financing of energy needs for rural dwellers in developing countries:: a case study based on insights from lending circles in India
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Access to clean and reliable energy is one of the requirements for attaining sustainable development. However, a billion or more rural dwellers in developing countries grapple with energy poverty which renders them less productive, disease ridden and excluded from the benefits of the digital age. Apart from technical, environmental and social reasons, lack of sufficient funds is considered one of the major challenges that prevent these rural inhabitants from acquiring sustainable energy services.

In view of the foregoing, some stakeholders developed an approach based on self-help principles to organise households into lending circles known as Cash Box to enable poor households collectively raise funds for investment in sustainable energy systems. To understand how the piloting of the initiative had proceeded, a qualitative case study involving two key actors was done. These were the Swedish Institute, which organised the Energy Sustainability Forum where the initiative was developed, and Dalmia Bharat Limited from India, one of the actors piloting the initiative. Content analysis was applied to documents from the actors while a structured interview was done with a respondent from Dalmia Bharat Ltd.

The findings indicate that through stakeholder engagement, 10 groups out of the planned 50 had been formed under the initiative six months after the forum. The groups consist of 8 to 10 members that contribute funds weekly to enable a member that is selected randomly acquire sustainable energy systems that comprise of improved cook stoves locally known as chulahs and solar lamps. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that; (i) finding people with a similar goal of acquiring energy systems and logistics to organise the groups were a challenge and (ii) the actor piloting the initiative had existing networks, demonstrative energy projects and was supplying the systems on a non-profit making arrangement. Therefore, the results are limited to this case as it uncertain how actors would respond in an area where the implementing agency has no existing networks/demonstrative energy projects and where the supplier is an independent profit seeking entity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 55 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 311
Keyword [en]
Case study, energy poverty, lending circles, social capital, stakeholder engagement, sustainable development
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300801OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-300801DiVA: diva2:952479
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2016-06-03, Hamberg, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16,, Uppsala, 13:05 (English)
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-14 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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