Working in partnership towards more inclusive Sustainable Energy for All

IIED is actively working with a range of collaborators to raise awareness, secure financing and ensure smart partnerships in order to achieve universal access to sustainable energy, especially for the poorest households.

Article, 15 September 2020
Transforming energy systems
A programme of work focused on equitable energy driving climate-resilient communities
Solar panels on the ground next to a lake.

Partnerships are essential to accelerate energy access for the poorest people. In the image, a farm in Rwanda uses solar panels (Photo: Frances Hayes/Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Energy is a key enabler for development and the seventh Sustainable Development Goal, which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030. IIED and partners have been working for years to improve energy efficiency and renewable use.

Launched in 2012, the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative aims to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people by supporting universal access to modern energy services, increasing the share of renewable energy sources around the world, and improving energy efficiency. 

To advance energy access, SE4ALL works to build partnerships and evidence, benchmark progress and amplify the voices of those energy-poor households. Partners committed to accomplishing SDG7 include companies like Simusolar in Tanzania, NGOs like Hivos and ENERGIA, governments like the Kenyan government, and donors such as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Efficiency for Access.

IIED is an active member of the People Centered Accelerator, a voluntary partnership within SE4ALL of like-minded organisations advancing gender equality, social inclusion and women’s empowerment in energy access.

Leaving no one behind

Together with partners, IIED is looking at the different levels of finance and delivery models, from investor down to end-users, to identify ways to direct larger volumes of money towards more inclusive financing mechanisms and instruments. More investments flowing towards gender-conscious projects and programmes can enable more inclusive energy access and ensure no one is left behind.

The institute continues to work with different stakeholders interested in being a part of the SE4ALL initiative to raise awareness on approaches that benefit the poorest households – including through our inclusive energy planning approach, and in a strategic partnership with Hivos and ENERGIA as the lead research advisor for a global advocacy network focused on renewable energy access and gender.

IIED is also co-founder and steering group member of ACCESS (Alliance of CSOs for Clean Energy Access), a civil society coalition pushing for transparency and representation of the most vulnerable groups at national level across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

While we are nowhere near reaching a trajectory to achieve SDG7, universal access by 2030, smarter collaborations will play a crucial role to accelerate energy access.


Kevin Johnstone ([email protected]), researcher, IIED's Shaping Sustainable Markets research group