The GPA Transforming Humanitarian Energy Access (THEA) programme provides inclusionary analysis and evidence on the energy needs of all displaced people, specifically by delivering high-quality research and knowledge to support policy and decision-making on humanitarian energy investments and enabling systematic change within the UN system and humanitarian partners.

The programme will deliver transformative action in humanitarian settings, working with the Transforming Energy Access platform to mainstream energy access in humanitarian settings, providing expert advice on the needs of refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and all displaced people for UK innovators and international energy access projects. Specific investments in renewable energy and transformative UN action will enable alternative and inclusive financing aimed at working directly with refugees and displaced communities. ​

Authors: Epa Ndahimana, Joelle Hangi, and Sarah Rosenberg-Jansen


Humanitarian Energy Outlook 2023

Join a special adventure with the Humanitarian Energy Outlook (HEO) 2023 to learn about what has happened in the global humanitarian energy sector from May 2022 to December 2023. This Outlook provides updates on humanitarian energy programs, projects, funding, research, capacity building, and, most importantly, advocating for meaningful inclusion of forcibly displaced persons to drive energy policy planning and implementation. Explore the challenges and triumphs of sustainable energy transitions in displacement settings, where the emphasis on renewable energy and efficiency enhancements takes centre stage. Despite increased focus and funding to the humanitarian energy sector, the Humanitarian Energy Outlook (HEO) 2023 sheds light on the stark reality that progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 7 and the global energy transition to net-zero emissions remains insufficient in displacement settings. Thus, the Outlook calls for enhanced commitment, collaboration, innovative solutions, research, and funding to ensure that no displaced person is left behind on the path to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

Read the full report: here

Authors: Sarah Rosenberg-Jansen, Joelle Hangi, and Epa Ndahimana.


Inclusivity Strategic Outlook

In November 2023, the THEA programme at the GPA launched the Inclusivity Strategic Outlook, shedding light on the gaps and challenges that reinforce the exclusion of displaced persons in humanitarian energy planning and implementation. The inclusion of displaced persons needs to be looked at through diverse areas of concern that include inclusivity in policy, inclusivity in the humanitarian workforce, inclusivity in research and innovation, inclusivity in partnerships, inclusive systematic change, and inclusivity in investment. While there is general recognition that displaced persons should be at the centre of humanitarian energy policy planning and implementation, the current approach remains tokenistic at best, and the overall situation remains dire. More work is needed to support global inclusive energy access for refugees and host communities.

Read the full report: here

Launch of the Inclusivity Strategic Outlook

On November 27th 2023, the THEA programme launched the Inclusivity Strategic Outlook, the dynamic panel discussion emphasized the crucial role inclusivity plays in the humanitarian energy sector. It explored the needs, identified gaps, and uncovered the vast opportunities that embracing inclusivity can offer for displaced people.

Watch the recording session here

THEA is a global advocacy and research programme, but the following four countries will be the focus areas for investment and priority countries for THEA in the next two years:​

  • Bangladesh ​
  • Uganda ​
  • Kenya​
  • Rwanda 

The GPA THEA Programme seeks to ensure that high-quality evidence will be used to reform the humanitarian sector and to strengthen the analytical basis for future sustainable energy programmes. The core objectives of the programme aim to: ​

On September 9th 2022, a workshop was held by UNITAR’s Global Platform for Action on Sustainable Energy in Settings of Displacement (GPA) in collaboration with the Global Refugee-Led Network (GRN), Ashden, and Chatham House, focused on mainstreaming humanitarian settings and community-driven methodologies within the existing programmes under FCDO’s Carbon Trust managedTransforming Energy Access Programme (TEA). Experts from across the TEA partner network as well as the humanitarian energy sector, came together to explore how displacement settings could be embedded within wider TEA activities- supporting long-term energy solutions for these contexts.

Key insights were shared through a panel discussion and an interactive brainstorming session exploring viable models and methodologies to include displacement settings in wider TEA energy projects and programmes with a focus on community-driven, inclusive change. Interest in expanding existing energy projects into displacement settings was sparked, and new connections between the humanitarian space and the wider energy sector were made.

Andrew Harper, Special Advisor to the High Comissioner for Climate Action At UNHCR, contextualizes the role of energy in humanitarian activities.

Shaza Alrihawi, Co-Founder of the GRN and Thomas Fohgrub, Strategic Lead of the GPA present on the current global displacement situation.

Panelists, Owen Grafham, Chatham House; Giles Bristow, Ashden; Shaza Arihawi, GRN; and Philip Sandwell, GPA, UNITAR discuss transforming the paradigm on humanitarian action on SDG7.

THEA programme works with the following partners in developing and implementing different activities:

The programme is funded with UK aid from the UK government via the Transforming Energy Access programme.

Last updated: 11/03/2024