Energy Research Consultant – EPSRC Humanitarian Energy Project (2 roles; Rwanda & Nepal)

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Practical Action is an international technology development organization head quartered in the United Kingdom and with offices in East,Southern and West Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are seeking to recruit two Energy Research Consultants to support the delivery of the EPSRC Humanitarian Energy Project in Rwanda and Nepal.

Date of expiry24th Sep
LocationRwanda or Nepal
Full/Part timePart time
Employment statusFixed Term
Other terms100 days

EPSRC Humaintarian Energy Project Summary

Practical Action Consulting (PAC) is working on humanitarian energy project named: “Humanitarian Energy for Displaced Populations in Refugee Camps and Informal Settlements” in conjunction with Coventry University.

The overarching aim of this project is to use specialist sensor and monitoring technology to optimise the implementation of safe and sustainable energy solutions for lighting, electrification, cooking, heating and cooling, and water and sanitation that promotes development and improves wellbeing in displaced communities. The project seeks to focus on displaced populations in self-settlements, host communities and refugee camps, and seeks to understand how sustainable energy solutions can be delivered.

The EPSRC Humanitarian Energy Project is a 3 year project that will provide energy access to four displaced populations in Rwanda (primarily Congoleze refugees in Kigeme, Nyabiheke, and Gihembe Refugee Camps) and Nepal (Refugees from Tibet and Bhutan, as well as Internally Displaced People from Kathmandu), and assess the impact of the provision of energy on people's lives against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create an impact through scalability of the energy solutions.

Outputs and Role Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities will involve on site attendance and input in a series of workshops:

  • Research Methods Workshops (either in Kigali or Kathmandu).
  • Design for Displacement Workshops (Oxford, Kigali or Kathmandu).
  • End-users (E4E) Workshops (in the selected refugee camps in Rwanda or Nepal) – to validate and refine product and technology choices.

This role will take 100 days of time between October 2017 and August 2020. The consultant will work together with the Project Manager and Lead Technical Researcher, as well as academics at the University of Coventry, and PAC consultants to support on the following key activities:

  • Quantitative data collection and semi-structured interviews with refugees.
  • Producing written outputs detailing local people’s understanding of energy access technologies including their willingness-to-pay, level of technological engagement and attitude to energy.
  • Assisting the Project Manager in coordinating and guiding camp field visits.
  • Taking notes, transcribing interviews, translating from local languages to English.
  • Producing site reports and community analyses of the interviews undertaken.
  • Considerable time spent in Kigeme, Nyabiheke and Gihembe camps (Rwanda) and refugee/IDP camps (Nepal), and liaising with local refugee communities.

Required Skills and Experience (for both roles)

General Skills

  • A Bachelor’s degree in humanities (Social Sciences or other) with some technical experience, or a technical degree (Energy, ICT or other) with some Social Science experience. A Master’s degree is an added advantage.
  • At least 4 years of relevant experience, including experience in developing countries, and in a professional environment delivering results to clients.
  • Prior work experience focussing on (renewable) energy systems.
  • Knowledge of social science methods, ability to use these tools and use them to analyse data from surveys. Prior experience in quantitative data analysis is an asset.
  • Analytical and numerical skills, familiarity with the data collection and research process and the ability to synthesize data, present results and draw meaningful conclusions.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good ICT and data-administration skills. Prior experience in R/Matlab desirable.
  • Knowledge of a programming language is an asset. Knowledge of data processing and statistical modelling is a distinct advantage.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential, as well as fluency in local languages for Nepal or Rwanda.
  • Prior experience working with refugee communities and in refugee camps is desirable.
  • Candidates must be a permanent resident or national of Rwanda or Nepal.

Research Skills and Experience

  • Key focus area: Renewable Energy Access. Knowledge of Energy Markets and experience of displaced populations would be an added advantage.
  • Essential skills: administering semi-structured interviews, analysing qualitative material and administering quantitative surveys.
  • Understanding of: decentralised energy solutions and energy access issues.
  • Knowledge of off-grid energy access technologies such as: Solar PV, rural electrification and mini-grid distribution systems. Knowledge of the way energy can be obtained from wind, micro-hydro, geothermal, LPG, biogas or biomass. As well as knowledge on improved cook stoves.

How to apply

Interested applicants may send their CV, their daily fee rate in GBP, and their preferred location (Rwanda or Nepal) to: by Sunday 24 September 2017.

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