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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics
Dr Shailaja Fennell, is a member of successful Smart Villages team, led by Sir Brian Heap and based at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK

The Smart Villages initiative (running over 2016-19) has been granted the sum of £3 million, jointly funded by Cambridge Malaysian Education and Development Trust (CMEDT) and the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

The initiative aims to provide policy makers, donors and development agencies concerned with rural energy access with new insights on the real barriers to energy access in villages in developing countries – technological, financial, social and political – and how they can be overcome. The focus on the initiative is on remote off-grid villages, where local solutions (home- or institution-based systems, and mini-grids) are both more realistic and cheaper than national grid extension. The initiative will cover Latin America, Asia and Africa and will organise two major international workshops in each region. These events will bring together the diverse set of players from across the region, providing an open and stimulating environment conducive to generating new insights into how to tackle the challenges of village energy access for development.