| Boiling Point No. 28- August 1992 |
Why HEDON ?
(Household Energy Development Organisation Network)
By Jurgen Anger, Consultant, IHV/GTZ,Postfach 5180, D-6236 Eschborn 1, Germany, April 1992
In the context of the present international development policy discussions, Household Energy Programmes (HEPs) are one of the very few technology transfer approaches which do actually reach even the most marginalised groups of people in developing countries.
However, the global impact of NGO HEPs is still very small and must be increased many times. To achieve this, a major shift from the present development policies of the major northern donors is essential and urgently needed.
HEPs improve living conditions in underdeveloped, marginalised societies and have a direct impact on the following development indicators:
- energy supply situations,
- environmental conditions,
- status and working conditions of women,
- health of women and their families,
- economic situation of households,
- income generation for artisans and small industries,
- national economies.
It is not yet possible to determine the exact importance and the value of each of these impacts, but their simultaneous occurence in many HEPs suggests possible options for technology transfer programmes.
With regard to current development policies and the globalization of problems, there is a need to consider ways in which a greater macro-economic impact and larger-scale development can be achieved by HEPs.
Need for a Network
Within such a structure, cooperation between implementing agencies and funders would play a crucial role. There is a need to establish closer links with northern funders to benefit southern networks and projects. A northem network of development organisations could act as a troubleshooter, as well as attracting new funders.
At present, there is still much duplication in the work done by organizations involved in HEPs. Existing communication and cooperation links appear to be insufficient to establish more effective teamwork among northern organisations. A few organisations have become specialised in certain areas where others are just starting to work. To economise and avoid future reinventions of the wheel, we also need to improve divisions of fields of work and coordination of activities among Household Energy Development Organisations (HEDOs).
What is HEDON ?
In a first attempt to found a northern network, a meeting was held in Lund, Sweden, in January 1992 and was attended by most of the northern development organisations currently active in the field of household energy. A second meeting was held in Frankfurt, Germany in June 1992 and is reported by Tammy Flavell, SHE Programme, ITDG
The purpose of this second meeting was to reconfirm the original initiative, to agree a mission statement, to draw up an inventory of skills and resources and to discuss plans for joint activities. Twelve agencies were represented at the meeting in January. Of these, nine attended the second meeting, plus one new participant - the East-West Centre of the University of Hawaii.
The following mission statement was adopted:
HEDON is an informal consultative forum dedicated to improving social, economic and environmental conditions in developing countries through promotion of local, national, regional and international initiatives in the household energy sector. The promotion takes two principal forms:
• encouraging awareness of and support for household energy programmes among decision-makers and the general public in developing and developed countries.
• enhancing the professional competence, knowledge and skills of individuals and organisational workers in the Household Energy Sector.
What this means in practice is that we have made a commitment to collaborate closely in order to keep more up-to-date with one another's activities and to bring greater influence to bear on donors and policy makers.
HEDON Position Paper
The network's first joint activity will be to produce a position paper on household energy designed to influence the major international institutions and governmental aid agencies. The members of the network approach household energy issues from a variety of angles (ranging from developing efficient stove designs, through kitchen design, to monitoring the contributions of biomass fuel use to global climate change), but there is enough common ground to make this joint statement a viable proposition.