Integrated Energy planning and national implementation of SDG7 on energy access
Both the processes for implementing the SDGs and the reporting and accountability mechanisms at the national and global levels are still being developed. Progress varies widely between countries and reporting is largely voluntary, carried out at the international level through the reviews at the annual UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF). At the national level, as highlighted in a recent review of national SDG processes , while a range of stakeholders are supposed to be included in review and reporting, non-state actors are rarely included on key SDG decision-making bodies. There are, however, countries that appear to be making efforts to be more inclusive, such as Ghana and Kenya in sub-Saharan Africa.
Calls for more meaningful data, metrics and reporting frameworks to measure progress on SDG7 are also growing. There has been some progress in this area – notably through the ongoing work of SEforALL’s Global Tracking Framework project hosted under the World Bank Group (WBG)’s energy sector management assistance program (ESMAP), as well as the work on the Multi-Tier Framework (MTF) which redefines energy access from the traditional binary metrics of having basic household electricity connection or not; or cooking with solid fuels or not.
However, the current SDG 7 indicators still focus on binary definitions of energy access (proportion of population with access to electricity and proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology). The lack of meaningful metrics and reporting frameworks could hamper the ability of under-served and last mile groups to access affordable, reliable, safe and sustainable modern energy of sufficient quantity and quality to meet their development needs. To realize the full potential of SDG7 and ensure effective implementation at the national level, there is a need for ACCESS to work actively with relevant government agencies and other stakeholders in focus countries to:
- Ensure meaningful, timely and regular engagement of all stakeholders, including poor communities and civil society, in energy access decision making and ensure issues of gender equality and the needs of vulnerable groups are addressed;
- Create robust and regular monitoring and evaluation mechanisms with meaningful metrics for energy access and that can assess progress on energy access as well as its contribution towards other SDGs;
- Promote participatory, inclusive processes for designing and delivering energy services for poor communities;
- Promote integration of energy service delivery into wider sectoral and development planning (for instance, mainstreaming energy as part of sub-national development planning, integrating service delivery into agricultural, health and education sector planning)
- Build understanding and collaboration with allies working in other development sectors on the role of energy access in enabling progress on other SDGs (for health, education etc.)