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Tangled overhead cables, Kathmandu, Nepal

EEG carries out scoping studies in three countries to assess research potential

The EEG programme comprises two types of research; projects with specific research themes, and country programmes. Targeted towards individual countries and driven by geographical contexts, country programmes aim to help generate the critical evidence needed for policy and investment shifts at a local level.

EEG country programmes are currently being carried out in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, but could be expanded to new countries in the future.

In order to select potential new locations for country research, the team carries out scoping studies. Based on initial assessments and the criteria of the EEG programme, Nepal, Uganda, and Zambia have been identified as possible locations for future country research programmes, and the team has recently completed a series of scoping studies involving visits to these countries.

EEG is a demand-led research programme, so the purpose was to identify potential areas where academic research might help to inform the actions of policy makers, practitioners, funders, and other decision makers in these countries. The team aimed to identify potential research areas and explore the extent of academic research capability, assessing whether there are existing institutions in the countries actively engaged in research on energy issues.

The scoping visits resulted in a proposed set of research questions and themes for each country, developed through stakeholder interviews and workshops.

In Nepal, 52 initial suggestions for research were identified, which were then reviewed, refined, and consolidated, leading to 10 potential priority research areas.

The scoping trip to Uganda resulted in a long-list of 33 questions, which has been circulated among stakeholders with a request for advice on final prioritisation.

In Zambia, seven priority research themes have been developed from a long-list of 41 research questions. The impact of climate change on the Zambian energy system emerged as the top request from stakeholders during the workshop consultation. An EEG blog on the impact of climate change on hydropower in Africa can be found here.

There is clear interest from stakeholders in Nepal, Uganda, and Zambia for a future EEG-type research programme, and issues affecting the countries’ energy sectors – which would benefit from further research – have been identified.

Reports on the three scoping missions are being submitted to DFID for further consideration.