Pre-call announcement

It is estimated that 1.1 billion people live without access to electricity across the world and addressing energy poverty is now recognised as fundamental to international development. 

Given that access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is crucial to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals – from poverty eradication via advancements in health to mitigating climate change – the GCRF Energy and international development: beyond technology call will invest in interdisciplinary research.

Working with NERC and Innovate UK, ESRC is inviting proposals for innovative and interdisciplinary approaches that deliver cutting-edge research into the complex social, environmental, cultural, political and economic contexts that inextricably affect energy access and use in developing countries. 

Specific emphasis will be given to researchers forming meaningful partnerships with the political, technological and business sectors in the UK and Global South to ensure that the projects build further research capacity and promote effective knowledge translation into policy and practice.  

The call will aim to tackle:

  • the roots of energy poverty and its complex social dynamics
  • the complex ways in which user decisions, choices, values, practices and routines affect technological fit
  • the complex ways in which energy use and consumptions issues intersect with the natural environment, climate, health, sanitation, security, education, and equity and social justice issues
  • the differentiated impacts of low carbon energy interventions upon women and other marginalised groups
  • the unintended and often uneven social and environmental consequences of modern energy services
  • the understanding of the governance frameworks within which socio-technical decision making in off-grid locations is embedded, and
  • social practices in consuming and paying for energy across different socio-political and cultural contexts. 

We expect to launch the call for proposals in April 2019.