Experts Meet on Gender and Social Inclusion in Community Clean Energy

News Release | 23 April 2019

DHAKA, BANGLADESH (23 April 2019) — Experts gathered in Dhaka today for the start of a 2-day conference co-organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to discuss community-based clean energy in Bangladesh, with a focus on gender equality and social inclusion (GESI).

The program will look at specific smart grid technologies and systems, such as distributed generation (mini-grids, rooftop solar photovoltaic systems, and solar water pumps), smart meters, battery storage, electric vehicles, and their applications in energy, water, and agricultural production to promote environmental sustainability and strengthen community resilience. Participants will discuss examples and case studies relevant to Bangladesh, along with implementation roadmaps, frameworks, and strategies.

“The program is in keeping with the ADB focus on promoting high-level technology in its sector operations and will help identify opportunities to maximize the scope for GESI considerations,” said ADB Principal Social Development Specialist Mr. Francesco Tornieri. “In line with this effort, recent assessments have flagged the need to examine the question of ‘resilience’ to extreme weather events—both in terms of technical systems and the communities themselves, and how gender relations affect the resilience of communities. So, the conference offers the chance to examine socio-technical aspects in relation to power systems and community energy.”

The conference is a continuation of a series of events co-organized by ADB and the University of Melbourne around the broad topic of the low-carbon energy transition in Asia and implications for gender equality and social inclusion. Since the first workshop organized in Jaipur, India in 2016, ADB has aimed to engage with the emerging technologies and systems in the energy/power sector, especially around smart grids.

About 60 participants from Bangladesh and other ADB member countries are expected to participate in the Dhaka workshop. Participants from ADB-financed projects from Bangladesh are invited, representing the Ministry of Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources; the Power Cell; Bangladesh power Development Board; the Energy and Mineral Resources Division; and other key stakeholders.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.