Empowerment and energy
The West Africa region includes the 15 countries of the West African economic union (ECOWAS), which are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. It also includes Chad and Mauritania.
Economic growth and regional cooperation have improved here in recent years. However, ongoing conflict with extremist groups, including Al Qaeda and Boko Haram, has forced more than 2.6 million people to flee escalating violence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Mali. This forced migration creates additional challenges for the people who live here, in what is already one of the world’s poorest regions.
People are mainly reliant on agriculture for their livelihoods and have little or no access to reliable and affordable energy. This reduces their capacity to earn a decent living, to adapt to long-term climate changes and to endure and recover from shorter-term climate shocks such as droughts and floods.
We provide independent and professional technical assistance and advisory services to governments, NGOs, donors and the private sector. We work through a global team of more than 500 development professionals and other experts operating across the region. Our West Africa HQ is in Senegal, in the capital, Dakar.
Climate emergencies are set to make life even more difficult for farmers in West Africa. Our work helps them become more resilient.
Resilience that protects
In West Africa, our unique combination of Climate information and knowledge services help smallholder farmers and low income households in settlements which are at high risk of flooding to increase their resilience to climate hazards and adapt to climate change.
We leverage the power of ICTs and local trusted voices to increase reach and impact of information and knowledge services.
User-centered climate information services (CIS)
We provide ingenious participatory methodologies and a toolkit that position user needs and perspectives at the center of climate information service (CIS) design, delivery and feedback. We do this through a participatory systems mapping approach that prioritizes actions and knowledge gaps to improve user-centered CIS systems. It brings together key stakeholders from across the information value chain, including users, NGOs, agricultural and meteorological services and the media, to create space for empowerment and more robust feedback from farmers and facilitate consensus-building for action.
Last mile communication services for climate resilient farmers
We provide a powerful combination of ITC enabled communication services and digital extension models to support last mile rural advisory services and empower smallholder farmers through accessible, affordable, timely, actionable information that help them increase resilience to climate hazards, adapt to the changing climate, reduce losses, improve food security and increase income.
Community Flood Resilience Assessment and Action Planning
The Flood Resilience Portal provides practitioners who live and work in flood-affected communities with easy access to the resources they need to build resilience to floods. It brings together all of the practical knowledge and best practices generated globally by Practical Action and others and exchanged through the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance.
In West Africa we are extending the reach of the Flood Resilience Alliance through a French language portal to catalyze local knowledge exchange and by building capacity to use the participatory Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) toolkit and practices to assess community resilience to floods. This innovative approach combines a methodology for testing and empirically validating the framework and a technology-based data-gathering and evaluation tool for measurement and assessment of flood resilience. It empowers communities to develop practical plans to strengthen livelihood capitals – physical, human, natural, financial and social – to reduce the risks and impact of floods and recover more quickly afterwards.
Energy that transforms
In West Africa, we work with the private sector, NGOs, governments and international bodies towards the creation of a more favourable environment for rural population to access better energy services to boost their livelihoods.
Our ambition is to ensure last mile delivery to energy-poor people while contributing to the creation of a thriving private sector supported by appropriate funding mechanisms, regulations and policies.
Policy guidelines and energy planning
We conduct studies, assessments and large-scale research to advise and/or inform policy decisions, energy project design and implementation which takes into account integrated planning from the bottom and mainstream gender and social inclusion.
Private Sector Support
We provide technical assistance to private sector through technology assessment, market analysis, feasibility studies, user needs assessment and social and economic analyses through participatory to demonstrate economically viable business models & sustainable use of RE solutions for its maximum impact for low income and vulnerable communities.
We provide a unique market systems approach through participatory market mapping, user need assessment and interventions design to break market barriers addressing decentralized renewable energy and achieve a shift to a more inclusive and dynamic market that work for vulnerable and remote communities.
Energy – agriculture nexus
We provide technical assistance in promoting the adoption of sustainable technologies and business models for improving energy access within agricultural market systems. catalyze private sector investment in decentralized energy services that are affordable and work for smallholder farmers for improving agriculture based livelihood.
Energy in humanitarian responses
We provide support and user need assessment on market interventions for delivery of RE technologies that work for displaced people and refugees as humanitarian response. Our work focuses on how appropriate RE technologies can meet the energy needs of displaced people in a safe, sustainable manner.
In West Africa we provide quality, efficient and effective consulting services by combining expertise of our regional team, on the experiences of over 500 regional Practical Action staff and on our global network of over 1000 associates. Our West Africa team is made of a mix of international and regional experts. Meet some of our top experts!
We’ve been awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize in recognition of our pioneering approach to renewable energy and sustainability.
Funding partners and clients for our work in West Africa include:
- Department for International Development – UK
- Africa Clean Energy
- Global Climate Partnership Fund
- Open Capital
- Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
- United Purpose