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Linking Income-Generating activities and Micro-enterprises with Energy Services for the Poor in the Chaco Region (CRECER CON ENERGIA)

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This project links income-generating activities and micro-enterprises with Energy Services for the Poor in one of the poorest regions of Latin America, the Chaco Region in Paraguay and Bolivia. There are several barriers that have to overcome and this project addresses all of them. A horizontal cross-linking communication platform will be created to stimulate the dialogue between all ministers and organisation involved in rural electrification and poverty reduction. Tool kits will be developed to enable ministers' key staff to assess the impact of energy services on social and economic development and will help policymakers on how best energy programmes can be devised to meet their sectoral goals. The project will assist the development of co-ordinated energy policy in order to contribute towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction Strategies. The project will strengthen energy expertise in the rural development, rural financing and micro-enterprise departments of national and regional governments with a wide training and capacity building programme.


  • Development of an electrification planning tool to assist in the selection of suitable areas for off-grid electrification and to assist in the selection of appropriate technologies on a cost and economic benefit basis. This tool will be distributed to the relevant national and municipal energy agencies.
  • Capacity building for all the key stakeholders through cross-sector communication, training in the use of novel energy planning tools, and energy services and micro-financing guidelines.
  • Support to policy-making that links renewable energy to poverty reduction through local, national and regional workshops. These provide a platform for a constructive dialogue among policymakers within ministries and/or governmental agencies in Paraguay and Bolivia.
  • Development of energy guidelines and packages to assist planning at the central and local government level in the sectors of health, water and education.
  • Creation of a micro-financing framework and a Microfinance for Energy toolkit series for rural micro-enterprises. Microfinance institutions, banks, cooperatives and NGOs to assist them in the development of energy-linked micro-enterprises that addressed the needs of rural population.

Lessons learned

  • Social assessments within an energy program is often challenged either by a lack of awareness of social impact issues or because of the lack of resources and capacity.
  • Key factors of the importance of a social assessment are to:(1)Understand that any rural diverse community needs to be understood in depth and equitable development needs promotion.(2)Build up accountability through the improvement of services provided by project developers through a thorough understanding of potential users and (3) Build up and develop the local capability of users and local level stakeholders through information provision and training once their current capacity is understood.
  • If social impact is an issue that needs to be taken into account, project developers must ask these questions:(1) Will the project encourage the delivery of energy services and its benefits to improve/impact highly on the poverty or social outcomes? (2)What types of institutional management needs to be put in place in the rural communities (3)where energy services will be delivered? Is community ownership and management viable? (4)What types of delivery mechanisms need to be created?

Partners and coordinator

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IT Power Limited
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Katerina Syngellakis
0044 1256 392739
Manuel Fuentes
0044 1256 392700
Rolf Oldach
0044 1256 392 733


Key documents

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In brief

01/01/2006 to 30/06/2008
Contract number: