UNDP Publishes Review of National Energy Decentralization Policies

© UNDP3 September 2009: Aiming to aid policy makers in overcoming energy poverty by integrating energy decentralization into national and sector-specific decentralization policies, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has published a literature review of over 600 online documents entitled “Energy in National Decentralization Policies: A Review Focusing on Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Acknowledging the constraints of purely online research, the study does not assert to be a definitive source of information on the linkages between energy and decentralization; it does however, claim to be the first study of its kind and therefore, to represent step towards filling a knowledge gap in this field.

Primarily illustrating how and to what extent energy decentralization has been incorporated in national and sectoral decentralization policies thus far, the study illuminates a number of general trends: decentralization can promote and scale-up active local participation in development efforts and energy delivery to the poor; an apparent gap in national decentralization policies exists concerning the nexus between energy and decentralization, an issue rarely incorporated in national decentralization documents; sector-specific policies tend to better incorporate this nexus than national policies; participation, local planning and service delivery appear as the key elements of the decentralization policies reviewed; and to realize the opportunities offered by decentralization, local development processes and planning must incorporate energy issues.

[The report]