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Benefits and disadvantages of using a holistic development approach vs streamlined rural electrification programme in using renewable energy to support social development objectives in the Himalayan context.

Roberts, Terry (2012) Benefits and disadvantages of using a holistic development approach vs streamlined rural electrification programme in using renewable energy to support social development objectives in the Himalayan context. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Based on review of available literature, comparison was made between two programmes (RIDSNepal and ADB-Bhutan rural electrification programme) targeted at improving quality of life for Himalayan communities, in order to see how their different approaches to achieving these improvements worked towards meeting similar objectives within similar target audiences.

It was found that each programme approach was well suited to its context of delivery; the ADBBhutan streamlined electrification approach is deemed highly appropriate given the context of strong, able government support, and the objective for delivering equity to all populace of Bhutan as rapidly as possible, while the RIDS-Nepal holistic approach delivers amazing results given its overall limitations of resourcing and attendant challenges in delivery. Both were found to have significant impact on their target audience, towards achieving their high level objectives of improving quality of life.

The comparison revealed that the RIDS-Nepal programme had managed to achieve significantly greater relative impact on its target audience in regards to reducing levels of fuelwood consumption, and associated health, social and environmental benefits than the streamlined rural electrification approach. It had achieved this through greater focus on end benefits in programme design and delivery, and through being forced to innovate and consider achievement of high level objectives holistically, given its lower resource base.

The ADB-Bhutan electrification programmes could learn from the RIDS-Nepal experience, particularly in regard to deploying complimentary policy and technology in conjunction, or shortly after electrification. Specifically, greater focus on energy efficiency and support of other options for improving energy services are required in order to make steeper in-roads into reducing fuelwood consumption, and attendant benefits to preventative health, labour burden and the environment.

Examples of this include focus on a wider array of smokeless metal stove/heating options, and support to establish community based bathing facilities, and development of lower cost, safe bulk hot water heating devices. The opportunity to establish internal cottage industries to develop these options may also provide economic advantages.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor: Urmee, Tania
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/13894
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