Malawi District Energy Officer Blueprint : Recommendations Paper

Buckland, Hannah and Eales, Aran and Brown, Ed and Cloke, Jon and Blanchard, Richard and Yona, Louis and Zalengera, Collen and Batchelor, Simon and Sieff, Richard and Nyirenda, Estrida and Bayani, Edgar (2017) Malawi District Energy Officer Blueprint : Recommendations Paper. Preprint / Working Paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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This recommendations paper outlines the proposed role of District Energy Officers (DEOs) in Malawi as a conduit for the Government of Malawi to facilitate the decentralisation of a sustainable energy policy to district level. If developed sensitively and effectively and resourced appropriately, the implementation of DEOs in Malawi could help to strengthen levels of community ownership and empowerment; achieved through energy initiatives, improved communication and networking around energy issues at district level, electricity access development at district level and enhanced electricity literacy through roles in sensitisation and dissemination of knowledge of decentralised energy technologies and processes This paper confirms the Government of Malawi’s proposal that the introduction of an effective DEO programme will assist the Government in decentralisation of its national renewable energy strategy while aligning renewable electricity development with key national energy use targets ; 20% of national energy generation from renewable energy sources and a reduction of 22% in biomass usage by 2025. A decentralised DEO role, working within a centralised management and financial structure is supported by this recommendations paper as an effective methodology for energy decentralisation in Malawi. The support structure and accountability structure outlined in this recommendations paper can be used by the Government of Malawi to empower rural communities in Malawi in taking ownership of their energy sources and their energy use, primarily through design and support of community based development. DEOs act to improve community livelihoods through an increase in local earning potential and co-constructively act to improve national energy security and poverty alleviation across all districts of Malawi.