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Case studies

Advocacy in a sensitive location in Asia: Influencing energy policy

A Tearfund partner helps change national energy policy through presenting research to the President

2022

In one of the Asian countries Tearfund works in, overt advocacy can be restricted. However, Tearfund and national partners have utilised advocacy methods and tools to achieve government policy and practice changes in this context. One of Tearfund’s partners has been working in this Asian country to promote transparent use of resources, secure rights, and bolster economic justice. They have achieved this, in part through research and relationship building. 

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Tearfund's partner has worked on many issues, one of which is energy consumption. The more they worked on this issue, the more they realised that there were some differences in energy consumption between women and men. So they decided to conduct some research, to find out whether their assumptions were correct. The research established that women used energy in the home for children’s education, caring for dependents, and safety. Men used energy for business and entertainment.

When it was complete, Tearfund's partner began to look for opportunities to present its research findings to government officials. They targeted those who would have the authority to implement the relevant policy and practice changes. Shortly after, they heard about an event that was being organised to mark World Environment Day. This event was going to be attended by the Asian nation’s President. Tearfund's partner immediately decided to go to the event and managed to secure an invitation. While they were there, they shared their research findings with the President.

As a result, at a later date they were able to formally present the findings of their research to the President and Vice President. They discussed policy issues in the energy sector, including opportunities and obstacles. The President shared his interests in renewable energy and his concerns on the socio-environmental issues around large-scale hydropower. As a result of Tearfund's partner’s research, the President preferred solar power and reconfigured his cabinet, including the Energy Minister, to support his views. This shift in the highest ranks of the national government cascades many of the policy and practice changes Tearfund's partner’s research supports. Hopefully, the nation’s women, children, and environment will benefit from these changes towards more equitable and safe access to energy for years to come.

This short case study, on the themes of governance, and environmental sustainability, illustrated the impact of using the following advocacy approaches:

  • Research and analysis
  • Relationship building
  • Government officials: educating
  • Government officials: meeting with

Case studies can be used alongside the Advocacy toolkit, giving practical examples of the approaches it sets out.

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