New ESMAP Program Provides Gender Based Interventions for Equitable Development
Under ESMAP’s new Strategic Business Plan 2008-2013, the Gender & Energy Development Strategies (GEDS) Technical Assistance Program has made progress in FY2010. GEDS is building on the significant gender-sensitive work that has already been done in the energy sector and connecting with the energy task team leaders (TTLs) and regional activities that have strategic potential for including gender based interventions. As a first step towards achieving the GEDS program objectives of integrating gender equity considerations into the policies, strategies and programs of client countries, ESMAP has connected with existing Gender and Infrastructure experts in the World Bank.

In October 2009, ESMAP signed a work program agreement with the Social Development (SDV)  Department of the World Bank, and this is being led by Nilufar Ahmad, the Senior Gender Specialist and the Gender focal point of the Sustainable Development Network (SDN). Nilufar is also leading the SDN activities in supporting and monitoring progress of the WBG Gender Action Plan 2006 (GAP); facilitating management orientation and staff capacity building in gender; developing and disseminating knowledge products, resources, tools and best practices. 

The GEDS program includes (i) gender based impact of energy service provision; (ii) enhancing women’s economic opportunities in energy SME development; (iii) gender dimension in climate change mitigation and adaptation; (iv) knowledge generation, dissemination and outreach; (v) capacity building of government counterparts and facilitating counterpart partnership. The Energy and Gender team, consisting of Nilufar Ahmad, Adriana Eftimie and Vanessa Lopes, is working closely for the implementation of the GEDS program. The ESMAP-SDV collaboration will allow for ESMAP to have gender experts become part of strategically selected ESMAP technical assistance, analytical and capacity building activities that are taking place, while working in partnership with energy, social development and gender experts of the World Bank to enhance gender integration in the regional energy program.

Adriana Eftimie, a Mining Specialist from the Oil, Gas and Mining Division who is leading the Gender and Extractive Industries (EI) Program that aims to (i) provide innovative ways of integrating gender sensitive approaches into EI projects by focusing on results on the ground, development of local capacity and solidifying the “business case” for gender, (ii) develop instruments and tools to address gender issues in EI activities and (iii) raise awareness among Bank Staff, client governments, civil society, and major Oil, Gas, and Mining (OGM) companies of this critical issue.  Extractive Industries team will be working with the ESMAP – Africa Renewable Energy Access (AFREA) (link this to AFREA page if available) team to mainstream good practice in gender sensitive sensitive approaches for AFREA initiatives.

Going forward, GEDS is establishing a “SWAT” team of gender & energy experts comprised of both internal and external specialists. The SWAT team will facilitate capacity building of governments, remain a local resource on gender and energy, and provide the just in time technical assistance that is needed on the ground.  A key component of the SWAT team will be focused on knowledge generation, sharing and outreach. GEDS will work to document and disseminate the knowledge products from the network of experts within the SWAT team while bringing the experts together to cultivate new thinking and approaches to the gender dimension of the energy sector. As GEDS evolves, ESMAP will collaborate further within the Bank and externally to help leverage the global and local knowledge, expertise and best practices to enhance the capacity of client countries.
Two important events took place in FY2010, shortly after the ESMAP GEDS program was established, that were of great interest to Energy & Gender experts:

1. On November 16-17, 2009 there was an international conference for Women in Energy and Finance in Singapore covering a wide range of issues in the energy and finance sector such as the opportunities and challenges of the global energy future, energy policy and activity of women in nuclear and financial mechanism and microfinance for women entrepreneur as well as some other relevant global issues.

2. The World Bank cosponsored with Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) a Gender & Infrastructure Workshop in Lima, Peru during  December 3-4, 2009, focusing on mainstreaming gender into infrastructure projects, specifically in the Energy, Transport, Water & Sanitation and Irrigation sectors. This event is the second in a regional series sponsored by the Multilateral Development Banks Gender Working Group, that seeks to promote MDG3: “Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women”.  The first workshop was cosponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank and held in Manila, November 2008.



Vanessa Lopes