Holistic community development and the role of contextualized & renewable energy technologies in improving health conditions in rural nepal
Haddix Mckay, K. and Zahnd, A. (2008) Holistic community development and the role of contextualized & renewable energy technologies in improving health conditions in rural nepal. In: 3rd International Solar Energy Society Conference – Asia Pacific Region (ISES-AP-08) Incorporating the 46th ANZSES Conference, 25 - 28 November, Sydney, Australia
This paper summarizes recent trends in community development schemes aimed at improving health through the improvement of the overall living conditions. Based on our combined 22-years of experience working in holistic community development (HCD) in Nepal, we argue that selective, single pronged approaches to health development are less effective in general in comparison to comprehensive ones. Though selective approaches to development (projects with only single components such as indoor lighting or a village drinking water system) are effective in achieving carefully de-limited goals, selective approaches cannot produce the critical synergistic benefits of the multi-pronged, holistic project framework we have designed and are implementing in Humla District, one of Nepal's remotest and most underdeveloped mountain areas. Further, we describe why in remote, impoverished communities, it is absolutely essential that projects are sustainable, locally appropriate, and are developed in close partnership with the local community. The availability of elementary energy services is a crucial agent of long-term community development. We argue that tapping locally available renewable energy sources, through applied renewable energy technologies, developed for a defined geographical, cultural and climatic context, is central to project success. These technologies, in concert with the other contextualized project components we describe herein, form the backbone of our holistic approach to community development.
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